The Reason For This Evening’s Tailback

Deathly onyx cold,
When the layering curse returns,
As it always will and still unfolds,
Ravenous, his satiation made
Impossible, implausible,
Bringing new brocaded covers
With images of his solace
Although its story is well told,
I then become cold to my bones
And proximity is no requisite
For shivering from his grimacing
Chtonic, unobvious presence,
Timeless and with flashing teeth
On gums of gangrene and mould.

In this grim palace
A choice is not a choice,
Any meaning is void
And made obtuse,
Made meaningless;
Debased, your imagination
Weighed the same as gold,
Which he bought, and
Which he melted to
Gild the dumbstruck throats
Of statues in his home.

Unwilling guest, dreaded party,
I had torn up his red invitation
But a taxi arrived regardless.
Now I am bound with his
Interminable shadows
While he plays a consummate host,
Debonair, with silverware,
He spins on a cane of liquified hope
And this bleak trope is complete,
Gone with all cares,
They were strafed from wastelands
And in his darkness I grope for
The one way home,
That one truth path
He scattered within
A million mascarading bluffs.

It would be akin
To climbing back in
To the belly of a dragon
Having seen the knight
From within eviscerate,
Daylight sharply juxtaposed
Between swordtip and entrails
As he slices me out.
No, life, sunshine, heroes,
No you don’t.
Put me back on the shelf,
On the bleak rib and distral ropes
Where gastric flames
Did many a stronger man well-roast
And more so, yes, than me.

So, then, these true happenings
(With heavy heart I am re-telling)
Are made manifest
In men driving their many cars,
(Cars they keep on selling),
Parked by central reservations –
Early evening drifting snow –
Tailbacks ensuing,
Vows for renewing,
And with nowhere left,
Nowhere left to go.

Taraxacologist’s Song

I've been foraging for borage,
Buttercups and a certain
Salving parsley, floral
Wreaths and silence,
Foxgloves floating in their thousands,
Beyond
My soul-tsunami.
Above love's undergrowth
Billow seeds of lion's teeth,
Also known by cankerwort,
Irish daisy,
Witches' gowan, take
Your pick dependent
On your parlance,
Slowly drifting by
Like the quietly
Glowing intentions
And desires of
Subtle snowflakes.

No greater miracle we need
Than Nature -
Germination, regeneration,
We packed away our overcoats
And umbrellas and crumbs
Of conversations to stand
With crowds in verges,
In suburban lanes where
Carnival celebrations
Passed us by, a smile,
A photograph, a wave.
For this self-renewal,
I saw that same procession
With elephants and acrobats
And other-worldly fruits,
A girl with second sight,
A vial of dust did sprout legumes,
A great-great-grandmother
From the coast who met
Her son exhumed; flags
And banners and drums;
And there, within
This entourage's
Centrifuge,
A quite magnificent
Lioness, born from leaves
Through penury,
Through belief,
Through ritual and rosaries
And into then beatitude,
Never better expressed than
In some jagged leaves
Of a weed, upon
A kerbside edge,
Recipient of our wonder,
Thereafter born anew.

Immolation

I set my soul on fire,
Alive on a pyre of
Dry hyacinths and
Sad gladioli dreams,
A blind man’s
Sandals, and shoes
Without seams.
By a scruff
Of the neck my flames
Took hold of and wholly
Captured that beach,
Held up like a brace
Of heaven’s partridges
With only a tidemark
A cause for retreat.

A scandal for a year or two
And then the villagers
And media and cartels
Will sleep. We are all
Victims, one way or
Another, of sins.
A distant windmill withers.
In a dream sunk
Within a different dream
Your hand came out
Of my mouth like a tongue,
Like a mythical petrified snake
From a deep sunless cave
And for the first and only time
I was made complete.

The Nightwatchman

Alarm in the distance,
A kettle of noise,
The Haddocks are woken,
The widow has poise;
A light in the window,
With sleepyhead sight
Orange from street-lights
Parry and toy.

Dogs are in mangers,
Fallopian heights,
I am the nightwatchman
On this new estate’s blight,
Built on hopes
In choleric graves hand-held
A paupers’ mate,
False-shamen cradled,
Done-dusted whoremen
And shoremen of late.

How words and meanings
Conspire to change
With time,
Like just deserts,
Fathom and Guy,
Dependent on favours,
Curried and climes,
The bailiwick is easing
The willow in rhyme;
Hell for leather,
Whatever the weather,
You can pitch on my crease
And I will not decline.

Several hours later
These policemen arrived,
Sombre and Sober,
Notepads with lines;
They’re taught a falsehood
Between black and then white
On the unturned pages
Of this error-strewn night.
The thieves long-dissolved
Into brightly-hued dawn,
I woke from my slumber,
Mute sigh, with a yawn.


Communion

Rain within rain within rainfall,
As snow that once thawed
Within picturesque scenes
In a bauble unbroken
In cold winter dreams,
Inside a teardrop forests find,
A teardrop containing final skies
And faint heartbeat.

No more the fish,
No more the season,
An old empty dish
Devoid of all reason.
The rain became snow,
Water to ice,
Reverse upward cats
And dogs within mice;
Umbrellas my friends and
The looseness of frogs,
All it takes for an ending
Is to lift up the fog.

Pawprints In Snow

Snowfall,
Incorruptible,
Unpreventable
Flurries in melodies
Of white so composed.
I have no further claim
To a snowdrop’s name,
In damson-greys
A pre-dawn light,
For the sight of your
Unfolding
Spindling
Quintessence
Is the same feeling inside
The Roman frontiersman
With bones and sinew of ice
And the kindling world
Which is capricious when it comes
To obsolescence,
And her calcified husband
Have ever since felt
Under sandals
And Mercury’s frozen brogues
Also in caducean whiteness.
Bald white, furrows of white,
Cathedrals of trees
And choirs of sprites,
Unfurling burrs of fern-fronds
Have their cowls bowed down
In homage to such heathen genius
Of seasons long lost;
Icicles for arms,
A tetrahedral white,
And penuries of frost.

All things start with love,
For much like the snow
There are hundreds of words.
A crust of slush-smothered snow
Collapses from a rusty Lada’s
Rear window.
Snowfall, a sky-bound
Unicorn’s fleece untossed
Onto holly, and spiraea,
Mint and sage and mosses;
Chicken-wire befuddled and bent
In the shapes of dead clementine drunks
Observed from Moscow
Across to the Khanate of Kazan
Guarding crystal-lined Urals,
From St Petersburg to
The opulent gems of Tashkent,
The meanderings of memory,
A time that roared and went
Into spent exhaustions of
The walkable Volga.
Pawprints and clawprints,
Adipose and strange,
A chasing of tails,
A lifetime spent in shadows
Yet adamant for this existence
Did happen,
Did take place,
Much like a thought
In the cavernous yawns of today,
From where fell one or two fathoms
Destined to thaw, retreat
Down a chasm’s wake,
A singular, ever-unique
Snowflake.

Forest Lodge

The past is a lonely huntsman
Walking on shards of ice,
Those sharper endings present,
How winter ways entice.

I found a dampening cabin
Beyond that gated path;
I couldn’t explain what happened;
I could not find a start.

But whatever you might imagine,
The truth would bruise your heart,
The curtains dank in ambers,
Shelves all empty and dark.

A sign above the doorway,
Inscriptions fading in moss,
I read my name spelt backwards
And woke into my loss.

Ballad Of The Lame Duck

We travelled together
To a country pub,
Twice down the lane
And called ‘The Lame Duck‘.
Hillsides abounded,
You could roll Cheddar downward,
Seats of stone
Beside summer-westward.
The riverlet rilled,
Smells from the grill,
A rusty sign twinged
With sounds of relief
As we entered a darkness
Devoid of belief.

On your thumb you twisted
An emerald ring,
And down in my heart
I heard your soul sing
Songs of sufficiency,
Songs of lament,
Funerary orations
Deeds, necessary, and
Seed preparations,
Epitaphios Logos,
Stored within an amulet.
You turned to me and slowly said
Do not be sad that I am dead;
An eye for an eye,
A tooth for a bed,
Cat got my tongue
A seventh judge said.

Many more crossed
The same riverbed
Before you stepped into
The last wildnerness.
Wide expanses,
Better unsaid,
I roamed alone
And into the red.

Aphelion

Snow falling on the sea,
I noticed how snowflakes floated awhile
And then we disappeared.

Somewhere out there is Sun,
But sunlight is not for everyone
Down here.

The lathered cabesters returning
And a chacking huer’s thirsty
As he conducts the fairmaids home.

How beautiful the ocean
If only from a skiff,
How beautiful the drop

If only from a cliff,
How beautiful the missing
If only we may live.

Somewhere out there is Moon;
Aphelion wilderness
With a little less gloom.

N.B Lathered, Cabester, Chacking and Huer are words from Cornish dialect. Fairmades or Fairmaids is an old Cornish word for pilchards.