Friday, October 31, 2008

Welcome to the WORLD of TOMORROW

Soooooo it's been a while since I paid attention to this here thang. Ima put some poems up that I've been working on, hope you enjoy em. Gosh, this whole page needs a little housekeeping. The junk in the right margin... seriously.

This one is a re-worked old one, the title refers to where the poem might be situated. Dreams are weird.

Anywhere but Vienna

The night is alive with drones.
The hum of the streetlight,
the infant cry of a far-off ambulance,
stillness enough to hear blood flow.

If I opened the curtains I might see
the moon pass between clouds
like the last train out of Vienna,
and the courtyard dyed blue-grey.

If I opened the window I might hear
dogs yelp as they doze,
or the murmur of an exchange
in a language I don’t recognise.

But if I sleep I might dream
an off-white room full of saints
praying for distillation from the physical
into one solitary, confident note;

a theatre of bunk-beds,
curtains and moth flight,
and a pebble of dream-stuff
I can hold until morning.

Next one I'm pretty sure has been around here before, but I wanted it a bit more sparse. Less is more.


The valve turns and releases graceful
sleep. Daffodils circle the tree
among patches of foxgloves.

Satellites beam through
space, miles above the surface,
shinking the landscape.

The daffodil in my hand
braces to the wind
that once blew over foxgloves.

Names are fun! So is romantic longing. This is a renga, which is a Japanese poem consisting of pairs of stanzas; the first has three lines of 5-7-5 syllables, the second has two 7-syllable lines. The basic idea is to make a poem that can be easily read then just as easily forgotten.

Better Words

Hear the folk song of names,
blood-lines, incantations.
Sound them like a spell.

I hold your name behind my teeth.
I hold your name beneath my tongue.

I call up spirits
far gone in time and geography,
that one afternoon –

shearwater, meadow brown,
cormorant, yellowtail,

stitchwort, iris,
meadowsweet, herb robert,
lily, vetch, foxglove –

for better or worse, time let
them live, like a kiss goodbye.

Ruddy with wind-catching,
we walked through the streets
with grassy knees.

A towel, old shorts, summer sun,
touching my face with loose blades.

Topless in water,
feel the searing embrace
of airlessness,

watching the sun set on the glens,
glowing like you wouldn’t believe;

god, or a thing
for which there is no better
word than god;

the breeze tangling your hair,
fingers tangled in your hair.

Palmful of horse chestnut,
floor glazed in green shells,
smell of muddy shoes,

witch-hazel, valerian,
ragged robin, lady’s bedstraw,

bay window,
the ever-dwindling
list of flowers.

I knew you less than a year.
We never saw winter.

I write about birds a lot. They're weird and fantastic.


From a standing position
in the wet-leafed car park,
magpie waits, wings furled, head
tilted left, right, square
to the ground.

On legs of hooped birch
and dirty lizardskin,
its haunches tighten
and release, launching
those few pounds of bird-
flesh, bone and feathers
inches from the concrete
where wind twirls magpie
in somersaulting spirals.

Feet, yards and faster,
magpie wings spread
farther in the blank
winter night –

Yards, furlongs and further
magpie spans the breadth
of the sky, tearing away
its animal sutures –
shards of feather turn
in diffusing whirls
to the scattered light
of the black, glinting
winter sky, all
the stars tangled
in magpie’s wake.

Thanks for reading!