august 2022

                              (i)

…what are these unearthly, underground choirs

that shriek from grids in the street

turning hearts into solid bone

and words into drool

just what do they want

with these their terrifying thresholds

it makes no sense

gutters do not prophesy

drains do not recite

and yes, every line of every verse

is in itself a vein

a stream of thickened blood

that slowly disappears into the ground

so why then, should this loathsom magic

this sing-song apocalypse

now rise and chorus

from the very pores of the earth

yes, bones speak and flesh spins

but this emerging, dark cacophony

is right here beneath my feet

my tongue, my heart…

 

 

 

                                (ii)

…this long, long cry of existence

this long, cruel benediction

what has it achieved 

where are the fruits

the earth’s shadow is my shadow 

the ocean’s milk my milk

and the past, the past is grey with guilt 

is even darker with sex

and yet, yet these stars 

the narcissists and the versifiers

they rise from the ground like lanterns 

promising even more blindness

even more eyes that can certainly see 

yet are sightless to so much more

the grey, milky fruits

the decorous shadows

where has the world been

what has it achieved

standing and yet moving

from one great absence to the next…

 

 

                              (iii)

…and now time’s cancer waves its claws

beckoning to no-one else but me

I am, it seems, to replenish the infinite

with a heart that knows only fear

and a face only this mask of gratitude

this offer of a million suns

to ease the emptiness

the insignificance that flows in my wrists

and so the claws wave

and the missives are written

fate must, it seems, always be ready

even though I am not

for I hereby renounce and relinquish

rescind and refuse

all the lies of transcendence

I will, instead, choose to be of the earth

 

untroubled by this fearless insincerity

by this grip of the infinite

 

a lichen, an amoeba

a thing, finally, with no mask...

 

 

                     (iv)

…hear them and feel them

these emissaries in flames

see them and say them

these words on fire

floating, as they always have

in the bright, black sky

seeking love

seeking always the same closure

always the same love

the exactitude of final things

this language of the sun

shaped strangely by flesh

by the fire-frozen air

the emissary’s breath

and this world of tongues set adrift

over the burning oceans

searching, always searching

for a love that will not hurt

for a universe that will not

just burn away to nothing

but instead lie untouched

and shining in the ashes…

 

 

 

                  (v)

…to have waited so long for this

this reality in absentia

delicately touching your face

as it passes by

this tissue of air

this cavernous fiction

that, with closed eyes

softly kisses your breasts

then moves on 

down into the earth’s great hall

where bones lie waiting for flesh

and reality bleeds with strangers

those vast, grinning angels 

who hold in perpetuity

a dream between their teeth 

and so, so this release

this longing for freedom

to come and gently touch your face

an explosion behind closed eyes…