A little boy is laying two coping stones parallel
leaning two short planks over them, slants inward.
He is going to perform three backward flips.
The façades stand agog: all the houses will throw
their rooftops in the air as he lands perfectly.
But what you have done is deeply miraculous,
wildly improbable. You reached into dream,
prestidigitated reality, pulled a sock like me from
being tucked into its own and lost between
the washing machine and the clothesline.
You held onto all we were permitted to share -
now will not let me forget one iota of it.
You have tinkered me from discarded bits of myself,
say, 'Take this, and this; these go here and there.'
And how I hunger to be whole, to be yours.
For three backward flips is fish-meal. We fly:
we weave dimensions, virtuality transcending.
Technology is Cupid; time-travelling, we orchestrate
phones, keyboards, webcams, touchscreens;
and from those tuned strings compose a world.
Tangled in You (Ditto)
deeper than i
tangled in you
across years, the miles
labyrinths, convolutions, branchings
a kiss, transubstantiated from
never was, shall be - and How
memories may rearrange themselves
dance barefoot singing with abandon
you would have maenad had
(I wrapped you in safe arms then,
so needy, transported you).
Yet we were only primed,
till the miles and years of severance
cross multiplied to unity,
and your finger hit the button:
no more superego, no repression.
Your need, your resolution,
creating a green vein,
transfusing through tunnels of summer,
a motorway rescue,
cutting me loose from the wreckage,
filling me with the roar of love
love, in the ecstatic pulse,
the carotid artery, pushing up -
that unstoppable lorry
I see You
We are moving backwards in time;
an acceleration of knowledge
is contracting our universe,
the inexorable, dancing naked,
reeling us mutual in, to gasp together,
scales falling away, each to know, be
the other's orbit: how to fill a shell,
complements of surrender.
Uncontain the starlight,
Better rush out the night sky scattering
diastole. I see you walk to the window,
balloon the universe back ,
looking beyond the fecund scent
of night stock, spirit-talking.
My spell for invulnerability -
the best I can do for for you, imminent days:
resilience, the reed bowing, running
storm rain, illustrating reality
so flexed within, through adverse circumstance
maintaining memory, integrity,
elastic potential equals pressure,
waiting for abatement and clearing skies.
And then there will return the air's slow sough
The curlew call, leaf-shush, stem-rattling,
the skylark rising liquid trill to pour
where storm winds roared, unguent that soaring song
bathing with balm, where far out at calming
sea swells the white sails ply easy breezes.
Pure-Compassion's minion, grim Empathy
takes all the knocks and shocks, hurts like hell,
snivels in doorways with Futility,
screams out her heart, rubs her roughened edges.
Grappling with anger and resentment,
in nightmares waking thirsty for sunlight,
grey morning aching, starveling for comfort
for shelter: - foxes have holes, birds have nests.
So, boss Buddha, take her arm, tell her how
good she is, salve the scratches of the night,
pay her in cash, hand over the door-keys.
Its time for you to feel a little stunned
by the rim of the wheel, riding over,
and over all our spoked dreams of the hub.
(things are getting closer)
Every day is the C* Show:-
breakfast-time, day-time, prime, all the time;
it's the only show worth tuning in to.
It's on location, rough roadshow, yet with
studio resumes, revelations,
backroom breakdowns. Oh – still it must go on.
It seems interminable; it will stretch
and rend its celebrity asunder -
the suspense, the torture - sheer endurance!
but there she comes up smelling of roses,
all soft centres, and cider inside her,
melting to camera, re-telling tales.
She runs a few more hairy episodes
then takes a vacation. Paparazzi
cannot locate her; no, she's in my arms.
Status: August 24th.
I drink your left half
cup of tepid tea, tasting you,
peg out my bleached T –shirts,
wasp hovering windowed eye to eyeball
wrap sudden in white cotton
then, in oblivion, hang it, pass by
it still plunging stinger and legging it
the breezy desert space .
You have left behind, lovely, your
green marble pestle and mortar.
In Tripoli they have captured The Compound;
and how dull and stupid the Daily Mail groaners
of stalemate and waste, old egotist Ann et al
were always bound to look,
foregone since The Spring.
Truth hidden (in giant banners)
from peak-time schedules,
Correspondents bridging the Dardanelles -
tossed in coriander salad.
A500, M6, M5,
A37, Dorchester bypass;
and home you go
to a night shift.
This is summer's end:
one more week of tree-climbing kids;
my old house on the market, snapped up -
See you in September.
(C* Will Move In With Me)
Oh it's the doubt, missed apostrophes,
when hope is weak and neuroses peaking
to torture in view, that delayed judgement
which mulls over all those waters of Tyne.
Now frantically the lonely, only self
must claim its freedom from constant review:
give me my space and what can I achieve;
or what indulgence dance Dionysus?
For it's the ruin of all that hoped for
independence, interdependence day,
oblivion in the deep inter-skin.
There is another world through Cyclops eye
of love. We learn to walk again and dance,
stamp our desires in puddles in the rain.
Is another self after surrender:
reborn Trinity spontaneously
inhabiting all the deep footfalls,
trying the edges of quicksand boot-suck
because there is a hand at hand nearby,
equally as ready for pleasuring.
By reference of surrender,
as much witness ourselves,
we gain hologram depths,
peek through the ecstasy, the whole.
Love is compelling: it tyrannises,
thrusts us under like bulbs into spring earth,
plugs us with each other; yet lets us breathe
tracts, drifts of hyacinth, vistas of time.
Woman in Black
The blackbird's clarion draws me out
into a sunlit interlude above the shooting grasses,
the hedge shouting for attention;
and, as I stand absorbing the changes,
raise my eyes to your 'study' window to catch
your ghost draw back the blind - a smile and wave of love -
but close to it, as pressed against the pane
an angry face pulls back
a suitcase raised, pictures plucked from walls,
that last loud imprint of a slammed car door, and all
our days are torn asunder.
I hear the blackbird's sharp divisions cutting cleanly
cleave the light and leave me
on the dark side, weary and evil
longing to be free.
Burly backyard dandelions
at their peak fitness this April end
smile in rough and ready innocence
of all our quarrels.
'And when you walked with your love
long warm windswept cliffs
castled by rough stone,'
zings the wind in the washing line ...
'Or when you strolled garden lake shores
entranced by serendipity,'
rattle the birds on the rowan ...
'You lived two summers; you got out plenty;
you walked the earth; no day was wasted.'
'You were with us, with us',
called a curlew on the western shore.
'Forget her. You were always with us.'
The dandelions grin.
I'll spare them the hoe.
In Love's Barrow
The stone of judgement rolls into place.
Gone, you are magnified, marmoreal.
When I lie down you dazzle the pit of my stomach.
I flinch at your absent presences,
the swarms of internal hallucinations,
memories running in dual screen
that blank me to my daughters question
between the saucer and the draining board.
If it has done this to me,
What is it doing to you?
Thank you for the cure. One of us
had to die: my love for you, or I.
I choose to live, and yield my love to you.
Thank you for the cure. One of us
had to be right. I'll let it be you
and just put out my little love-light.
Thank you for the cure. I'm sure
it will improve my character and soul;
and never again will I swallow such sentiment whole.
Thank you for the cure. I know
you will get on without me very well.
And that, I'm realising, is just swell.
A Lucky Man
No more happy pills, all pacing over,
sit and endure for hours the very last
of April sunshine propped up on elbows
with closed eyes, under the songbirds -
skilful anaesthetists and surgeons
performing flawless procedures.
I know there is an afterlife
since I am here, walking its sun etched precincts.
I have tipped the accordion man, who nods
and winks and plays unceasingly.
Everyone smiles; pigeons peck paving,
mill, skip from under our feet.
'You are welcome', say the shop windows - and suddenly
I have to brush with hands and forearms
again and again until eyes are clear and my visage
I am a tamarisk tree
to allow the passage
of a red car.
I will grow out anew
from older nodes
in a different direction:
this lesson the sap has learned.
The Pity of it
Silence has come crashing down,
dark lines in the spectrum of day,
each chasming abyss of sad anguish:
between us. We have murdered love
torn it still beating from each other
yet left it jagged in each for dead.
The little shadows of the texts we shared
every day for two years, swarm and sting.
We were contact junkies. On windswept beaches
I'd struggle with my dysfunctional HTC
while kids shouted, 'Hurry up, Daddy!'
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
The ruminations are futile expressions of writhing:
wounds revolving on a wheel of fire. Sit still
and let thought die. Then a vibration.
She has received four texts... no signal. Will take
The files of her singing with me 23 years ago
and return memory stick. Still tidying up, then.
There will come a time you realise again
how birdsong-like, diamond and inviolate
is that time tunnel of your girlhood voice.
Another man may please you better. Tame
him to your virtues; find long peace:
but you will not be time lords, sweet singer
nor will you gasp and frisson at the zoom,
the recession, the renewed amazement,
the rare patterns of that passionate collider.
You have sheathed your wounded heart
and you hope to control your destiny
but it is wild and will twist from your grip.
There is little to be done to stop it running
ironic, epic, even tragic: the girl will always sing
and his fingers time the keys gentling her lilt.
Since now you are being kind, kind is the least
I can do for you: I hope you know your mind:
because we know, both love and fate are blind,
Who am I?
In the small hours, after wheeling out
the late remembered bin onto an empty street,
I stood in the side passage, stock still,
ear cocked, looking beyond the garden
out to the quiet horizon.
Today, as I sit trying to concentrate,
suddenly, I feel you nearer,
almost in the room here,
stirring me with a cool shiver
pins and needles,
electric current liberating me,
bathing me in untouched memories.
'Who are you?' I ask. And the question returns to me
like an echo: 'Who are you?'.
There's a new girl in my life.
She's moved in and hung up her mandalas
within the empty spaces on my walls,
and her clothes hang in the empty wardrobe.
She says, 'Sit down and write, my love,'
or, 'Go into the garden and drink this coffee there.'
She says, 'Never mind your old love. She doesn't know
what's she's about, so how can you?'
She is warm when I need heat, cool, when I need calm.
She moves like a ripple in the air. She's
dislodged the sock from the radiator
in her passing, but I hardly give it a thought.
With her I am a child again and I see
and hear everything afresh. She says she'll stay
but sometimes she looks a little sadly at me
as if we were both under a spell that might break.
I'm using the delete command
as a means of self control:
deleting your number from history,
deleting the thread again. Now
you must initiate the text exchange.
I delete you because I love you,
no longer to pester you, aggrieve you
with unwanted miseries, desires.
It's when I forget ... then I am strong again -
heart not melting wax, bones not running water;
and how can I do anything for anyone
unless I am strong? The front-line mantra.
Do anything for you, indeed, you need,
Though the clock is ticking and days are long.
Still as a clod I sit and am
and crack and crumble in the sun
and leach away in summer rain:
I let it go and let it go.
Love's edifice so lifted up
was processed from the earth and so
compounded with the trodden ground
love returns to love unknown.
Forget-me-not, blue sparks
in a crack of paving speak for me -
no memento but the living thing
nodding a while and passing on.
There is no will to be composed
where disjunction's so complete;
only perspective may transmute:
let the issue sleep.
My love is like...
My love is like a black black hole:
all that's left of her is gravity.
I was her two year devotee:
there remains of me a cavity.
Young man, before you give your heart,
ask, would she fight to keep it?
- or pull up pegs at a tide's low ebb
and leave you there to bleep it!
Was your love ever true?
True love is never through;
it doesn't say, now I've told my dad
I can't come back to you.
True love can weather squalls
and cruel springs and falls:
true love would have packed an overnight bag
not snatched her stuff from the walls.
Even then, would have said, 'Siree,
change your act, then we'll see.'
True love wouldn't make that final cut
and chop down the apple tree.
Open pod bay doors
and behind them the apple
blossom wet with rain.
Of less common diseases, little is spoken of the Masters and the Ph.D., yet these can ruin lives and relationships: they first lead to people compulsively speaking volumes of gobbledegook and looking down their noses, then if not careful this can advance to the cutting off of noses, perhaps to get a better field of vision, when looking down, since the hooter does cause a heck of a blurry shadow, but in plain truth to spite the common face of humanity.
The neophyte of academia, having tasted the ugly jargon of a little circle of knowledge, draws up a wry face at the labours of others. Reading the Colour Purple in two days, is as nothing compared with the convoluted mysteries of a Masters essay, so much so that mere sitting down and reading is classed as a layabout activity compared with the cutting up of a labyrinth of notes and the rearranging of complex themes.
The neophyte has blinding flashes of new clarity and starts to rearrange memories of partner and relationship and the nose and the scissors beckon ever more urgently.
(Till The Morning Comes)
Your terms are cut and dried:
force me to sigh and sigh.
You evoke the love we share;
but say you won't be there.
Your terms are very hard:
can't sign up for that card.
You invoke the love we shared;
but sub-text that it's dead
The psyche paces out its boundaries like a caged tiger,
passing the grasses of forgiveness,
the rock of equanimity, the pool of sorrow
the wood-chips of futility, the gravel of dismissivness
the wire of hate (turning) the stump of rage (turning)
the trembling tree of tenderness,
the covert of continuing love,
but all the while it longs for freedom,
to run and run and forget and lose itself
and find itself under different stars,
far from such misfortune.
A Ballad of May and September.
It was my great misfortune
that she did stalk my soul,
and throw herself upon me:
her tale I swallowed whole.
It was a tale of long love,
of ne'er forgotten dreams;
she said we'd age together,
for Destiny has means.
She said she'd waited for me
for more than twenty years
but she never really knew me
and so it turned to tears.
There are two types of lovers;
the one will love you true:
the other all declaring -
draws a thick line under you.
It was a cruel winter
and then a crueller spring
no longer would she bear with me
through fortune thick and thin.
I gave her my devotion
each night sustained till sleep
but she has took a notion
that such a love is cheap.
So it's cheerio my runaway
I hope fate treats you well
I wish no fears do haunt you,
upon you no bad spell.
But if I had my time again,
it's better not to rue:
as you truly mean it's over -
I wish I'd not met you.
Construct, far from your wall, my wall,
far from your gates, my gate,
beyond your exclusion, my enclosure.
Choose a cocoon built
of times before our time
pains before this pain,
immured into escape,
aching with transformation.
A Tea Set
You mourn the loss of my ring :( sighing
you wanted both to lie in the same drawer -
at the same time forbidding that evermore
our real bodies, sluicing with loving, crying.
You treasured memorabilia - a bygone daze
before the unchained conduct of romance -
now gather innards in funereal dance
to mausoleum, canopic... incensed haze.
Proprietor: The Dolls House of the Dead.
You. My true horror at that sentiment,
"Remember when?" walled against living scent:
your tea-set love, and only in one head.
Every moment inter-penetrated -
you in presence, thoughts or texts,
that doing any common routine thing
may provoke a claw of raking horror.
I 'lift the stone' and you are there,
'split the wood' and you are there
take out aspirin from medicine box
and you are there, there: shudder-
ing tears want to start, won't.
What an error so to love to be
dependent on one so dangerous
so angry desperate and stubborn
a judge to leave love's sparrow
pining, dying unwatered. One
moment pushing your pudenda
into me, offering breasts to suck
the next gone for good in anger.
Generously, taking the two year bubble
of memories, thank you. Heartbroken,
you said, that I gave back gifts
you bestowed on me, after you'd shut
upon me (abandon all hope)
those iron grates, removed
from me the only treasure,
expected me to leave about
the place your old cards of true
love to your gorgeous man?
Ambushes everywhere are laid:
drill-bore rescued Brazilian miners
in an exam text I am teaching...
after your operation you said you lay
in pain watching every one emerge,
the blessing occupying you entirely.
To help you heal I am to muzzle
the running dog of my tongue, post
no heartbroken poetry to offend
friendship, a conditional offer,
and even that down a dark tunnel:
for there have been no phone calls,
no meetings; you have hidden away;
you trust me not one little bit;
though, if I'd been a worse man
I could have located your mobile
for a pittance. Emails and texts,
channels of absence / abstinence remain.
Summon the will to silence; be sullen;
take a two year heart bypass - then
you email again. You want a sliver
of contact, the minimum, ticking over.
Now that the shock is ebbing -
disillusion, distaste, irritation,
weariness, plain grumpiness:
spittle gathers for expulsion.
Why did you bother me at all,
fantasy girl with dark complexes?
I could have done without
this crippling body-blow.
Aroint thee! Get thee behind me!
Tear out the pages; work the changes;
put in the miles; let the water flow.
The journey is all too certain; to
forget, diminish, wither, shrivel
as, over seasons, rain rots induvae.
22/ 05/ 2013
Cold wind is blowing
apple blossom down
rocking the clothes pole,
odd socks on the gravel,
time travelling dandelion
clocks - the longitude
of - the garden all at sea.
After that first-month shock,
wound pain winds tighter:-
skewered lump in the gut.
Head no longer shaking
with incredulity at you,
fact is fast accomplished.
Levitation dream suggests
a Troilus enlightenment:
out-of-body memories now
even our intimate passions -
I stand and watch. It happened
to someone else, a story.
Have we have done it finally:
have we have killed my love
deep in agony's efficacy?
Do you have your spacetime?
I listen out to distant sounds
but cannot catch a tinge of you.
The Gong of "Gone!"
I've been fighting Mnemonics,
cleared the decks, within reason,
on the home front, endured
seizures of memorial grief out
on tracks we trod anywhere:-
dancing in supermarket aisles
Asda-ambushed by Bonnie Tyler
and there's a Sting at the bank:
nothing to be done about them.
But the enemy within is a problem .
There's a lunk of me with you yet,
in latent dementia, oblivious, until
he shakes suddenly, slumps a while,
on the replayed gong of "Gone!"
He's getting worse, not better; says,
"Why would I want to be without her;
why would she want to be without me?
She travelled miles to meet at junctions!"
Yes, I tell him, but this is disjunction,
hopeless, short of a couple of POV
guns levelled at stubborn heads.
He gets much worse: defines his day:
"Now I'm not texting Her, 'Returning'.
She will not be there when I enter."
He sees the long summer avenues
lit up with sun, a universe of love
for you. He thinks you will return
because he inhabits this continuity,
"Get it through your head she's gone!"
I beat the gong of "Gone!" for him again.
"Oh but she emailed how she loved those
tracks of me singing from 1981," he whines.
"As much as she firmly rejects the live Macoy!"
I rejoinder. You are seriously conflicted, you know.
I am stuck with this gormless bloke. You know,
you'll be on Facebook and you'll "Ah! Bless!" a poodle
but this noodle, your 'True Love', leave to disintegrate
'under eternity blue'. Hasten that disintegration.
I have in my hands the great gong-beater
anything I can do to bang a gong for you?
Texting By The Pool of Morpheus
P: Dont let the bed bugs bite! Angel face.
C: Smiley face.
("Time passes. Listen: time passes")
C: Ok. Smiley face.
P: All right then! Giggle.
C: Zzzzz. Smiley face.
MajorSeventh May 2013