Constant small recoveries
From what we once lost.
Constant small recoveries
From what we once lost.
Preferring by nature or my curse
Cold winter rain and isolation’s
Frayed and penniless purse,
A sarcastic plastering of sunlight
Forced me into action – a walk
With my faithful dog on a Tuesday –
I felt like death.
We are Generation-P;
Modern cells breeding irreligiosity,
Ferment the wrong and then the worst
Politically dressed as progressiveness –
Anything can be acceptable
If you are just elevated enough;
But my dear, doomed youth,
Therein grows a truth:
As long as you stay tube-fed
Governments will not address
Syphons in the climate
Or typhoons in the west.
On my perambulation and yes,
That is a word, on my walk
Around this mistake I observed
A herd of drunken monks à la mode,
Raucously belting out anthemic notes
Like overweight jackdaws whose rote
Is to caw and claw and breed
In black and white-striped uniformity,
Yet the only way anthems are sung
These days we teach our young
Is when our nameless neighbours
Coalesce to upbraid linesmen
Who are predominantly male,
Over another tin of alcohol,
And I am told I am made in his image.
I did not linger in our
Once overemphasised sexual congress
Spilled from a nearby open window
And I could not understand
The need for these over-compensating
Exhibitionists to announce
Their unannealed dependencies.
It is a well known fact that during
International sporting seasons
Domestic abuse atrocities
Some governments keep statistics
For the rhyme and not the reason.
I had been reading about another
Child murder within a murderous country –
A better MP from Birmingham
Stands for once a year in parliament
And reads a list of women dead,
Murdered in one year again
And again and again by men;
Surrounded by blind owls
Who do not usually allow
Or dispensate for lists,
For time might be an enemy of truth
Or even accuracy – what good are lists
Or t-shirts with laudable and
To avert injustices and oversights
While as I write about my journey
Another daughter and yet another wife
Died for loathing dressed as honour,
For horrors dressed as life.
We said we went to war
For people better off than this.
I am not one for opprobrium,
I returned to my home and my cell
And took another dutiful spell
With ibuprofen mixed
In hydrochloric sodium.
For reference: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/read-this/list-of-uk-women-killed-by-men-in-the-last-year-read-by-mp-jess-phillips-in-parliament-3163774
In leafy greens, tall treetops,
Stepping stones untouched.
Neither blue artist
Nor musician need portray
How much I miss you.
That was that because
Of me, and this is this, blue,
Because of me too.
Sore back, a sore throat,
Turn me into a mountain,
Or a mountain goat.
Fever surged like tides anew;
Well, my father said fever
But mother said he was a heathen
And nothing more could be said
About him, or her, or you.
My cactus-needle fever swept
His scraping rake on the sands of my back,
My back a long-lost Zen garden
Surrended to thistles and to feverfew.
My beard is ten miles long,
My ears as hot as a south-Saharan tongue,
A mirage of Madeira and mechanical raining frogs.
My white blood cells fought in Malawi
Against some boys in blue,
Riotous and corruptive on safari
Around northern housing estates
Sunk in those grains, like an eye,
Like the truth. Next day
The fever broke to my relief,
Though not before my mother
Retrieved from the loft
A grip of dusty rosaries and
A worn sackcloth, each sweaty bead
Counted by the market seller
Who wore lavendar
At his cart of wares
On a distant Thursday afternoon
In Cairo, and also Khartoum.
Anodyne in grey.
Some days loss, some days this pain
Weighs more than my blood.
A depression sinks
Thick teeth into my bay.
Brazen, sharply emblazoned
Within my beacon’s sleep,
One final action
Before the king of myself
Exiled himself in a fit of treason
To his most inhospitable island in
Far rough southern waters
Beyond starry St Helena and
Tar-deep lavas of
Tristan de Cunha,
And even beyond the other island
Of shimmering immateriality
And such impossible wealth,
With more lakes than land,
More puffins than people
And fathers’ mouths
Mastic with less teeth in number
Than they bequeathed children,
And statues of elders
Each chiselled with just one foot;
Well, he commissioned hundreds
Of such pitch-pots over
Coastal paths and marshland routes
To alert his nation’s duties
Towards resurgent armadas,
With canons trained
On peace and seasons,
On woodlands and hope,
On fisheries and reasons,
I woke to an ocean of
Platitudes in old Spanish
And also Greek calligraphy.
Blood on my wrist,
Alpha is Omega
In this new script.
Why do I enjoy numerically
These blood-clot sensations,
These idyllic notions
Beyond posts of my death.
I live my life in miniature.
Contusions eased with daisies,
Soapwort and from comfrey too;
Overtures for unguents.
Nature was once cause and cure
For every man-made affliction;
Long since fields and meadows too
Were ceded for a pound or two,
I’d appeal that you are sure
Of remedies we bore
For illnesses, and a new
Trapped in illusions
I myself have caused,
This world continuously
Seeping people as
Exfoliants strip us all
From its existential pores;
I do not want your phones,
I do not want your cars,
I want to be alone,
I want to be unadored.
These thoughts, then,
With contours like enormous
Conformed, in time,
To new rhubarb leaves
In my compost-sodden borders,
They themselves shaped
Like a huge rose-breasted
Bird’s throne, although
The red-throated male
Reincarnated and his chair
Became fit only for
A cutpurse with enemas,
For that’s what rhubarb
Is best-known for, a purge,
Or repurposed and reworked
The hem of a green dryad’s
Arboreal wedding dress.
How thoughts appear,
A universe’s canula
Feeds my vernacular,
Suppresses my dreams
In false vanillas.
Yet this annual resplendent
Explosion of rhubarb
Reminds me of reasons
And the seasons encoded
For this existence’s
And in that singular moment
I wanted a phone,
And I wanted a car,
I did not want to be alone,
And I would have travelled
No matter how far,
In that moment reborn
As The Stone Roses sang,
I wanna be adored,
Drifting through into
My waking thoughts,
A garden party next door,
A tournament match,
I woke with seccateurs
Held in my left hand,
Needle in vinyl,
Seeds upon grass.
Our little band, our merry troupe
Had just arrived in Guadeloupe
Filled with mirth and junipers.
Island clouds, mangrove lush,
A chartered man from the Hindu Kush
Landed us where a giant dune occurs
As high as three knees of the God
Of Iguanas, verdant mountains at odds
In their majesty with smaller dwellings
Of colibri, territorial, proudly emblematic
Of a land where a slightly rheumatic
Castilian caraveller (and with swellings)
Imported moose to banish snakes
Like San Patricio of the Lakes,
Only those Eurasian deer grazing would devour
With gazes obtuse as atheists as they chewed
All native flora and fauna viewed
A few hundred years ago, an hour
Of ingestion at a time, and no longer.
At the harbour I found a fishmonger,
Lobsters as bright as the famed red paint
In the sacristy and the credo
Of Santa María de Toledo,
He boiled the claws and prayed to his saint.
In a fever my genuflecting libido
Summoned dreams in a white tuxedo
Worn in that club at Les Abymes –
(The club they told me not to frequent,
Entrance shaped like a one-eyed serpent),
Where a barman garnished a large Ti’Punch for me,
Where a Caribbean singer
Whose hips within my view would linger
Gave birth to the shape of Guadeloupe.
I woke in a deep and heated sweat
And for a moment I would forget
That I had not flown before, nor my troupe,
Nor travelled to her sheltering lore
Where I lost my mind before
On the blue shores of Marie Galante,
And in that hazy nightclub smoke
Holding someone’s panetelas, I woke
In the concave dreams of an Ashanti
Slave-trader, only I was the slave
And he softly spoke and gave
Advice which has ruined me to this day,
For I was to be imprisoned in his seam,
Neither stirred nor sleeping with a beam,
But somewhere in between the fray.
Still, somewhere out beyond my prison cell
My people there have smiles to quell
Storms which filled a holy stoup
Of less green seas, their hills of gold,
Where rains remain our friends of old,
We steered our flight, to Guadeloupe.