Friday, April 24, 2009

Walking on Sunshine

Holy shit! I mean, like, HOLY SHIT! I'm in Pomegranate! Jesus

In celebration, here's a new poem.


When I handled the fine furze
at the back of her fresh-mown head,
sitting on the steps outside our building,
then nodded towards where the sky
had been yellow, then turned rust-red,
then damson, as if any different
from the hundreds of other sundowns
since we met, I couldn’t have imagined
how, weeks later, her eyes would glaze greenly
when I left town for the first time.

When I left town for the first time
we wrote letters like lovers, sent photos,
drafts of poems, postcards, newspaper clippings
as though our removal was only for now
and soon we’d be back in our best get-up
and she’d bubble over and we’d dance
or share a Stella as spring turned around
or sprawl on the grass between lectures
where she’d handle the fine furze at the back
of my head and talk about staying in touch.

Many thanks,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back on the Horse

So portfolio is in and marked and now comes the four-month project I like to call 'write fifteen completely new poems (provided you can find twenty decent old ones)'. Baby steps, people, baby steps. Also thanks to Gwen for being good subject matter.


Some new stars came from dead stars.
Five billion years ago the sun came out,
Ichthyostega grew legs,
Quetzalcoatlus grew wings,
glaciers, rock hungry, moved mountains,
mammoths grew fur and survived.


An old dog with its hindquarters hung
in a wheelchair lurches across a field
after a tennis ball and other dogs
like the golden retriever watching his man
do cartwheels, yoga, juggle batons
between the cycle paths and building sites –
a white crane, a red crane – green-brown
grass under the saltire sky, crossed
with white jet fumes, the jet howling like a baby
in a stripy red romper inspecting
the wild round crinkled buds that burst
from every nook and notch of the old oaks.


My pretty black-haired friend,
I’m glad you joined me under my tree
even for a few minutes with your green
khaki messenger bag and Yorkshire brogue
to look at the hot spring afternoon with me,
even for a few minutes, and to say ‘it’s nice out’,
‘are you coming to the pub later’, and go,
dodging the joggers who have been here forever.


A toddler stamps toward her father
is hoisted to his shoulders and rides away;
swallows swing in the thermals,
jet engines still filtering through the branches,
the evening full of violins.


And the moon, half-meteor, half-earth,
rises opposite the middle-aged sun.

Thanks for reading, expect more soon!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

hello poem how have you been

I've been spending a heckload of time tinkering with an already-completed portfolio and then an enjoyable but time-consuming essay. And I think me and Michael Longley need a bit of time apart. On the other hand, here's my first new poem in a long time, which totally apes him. Woot?

Body Language

Since I will, some day, forget your face
this poem will celebrate your will
to keep talking, your ease in lip-reading
that switched our roles in crowded clubs,
and apologise for the time my hand
hesitated on your hearing aid as my hand
has since hesitated on pierced ears, healed piercings.

Thanks for reading!