Herakles Of Antikythera

In all probability
Such acts of importunity
Would go unnoticed;
Artists’ strokes still pondered
Under rising sands,
Poets who wrote with much-devoted wonder;
Murmurations from ancient loves
A league beneath a perma-land.

Forebearers’ genres costed now,
Ashes pack a summerhouse,
Berries bluesy caterwaul,
What did we know of here at all?
They dredged his head, encrusted prow,
Entrusted to blind seabed sows,
A bludgeoned god dislodged himself,
To find his home on a pastor’s shelf.

Pelotons

This breath is the breath for an ending;
This breath is the breath for defending;
This breath is a breath for befriending.

Under this gourd are skeletons;
On unseen frames ride pelotons;
Steered through hands of Telamons.

This beat is the beat descending;
This beat is the beat for a mending;
This beat is the beat never-ending.

In Memoriam

Corridor necessities
Amid vomitoria policies,
A mind in memoriam;
For benches searched
Or even Delphic creeds
Though every turn
Fired memories
Across my synapses,
And how they burned;
I may never achieve
That Field of Reeds
Across the frightening river,
When reason is deserting
And yesteryear still hurting,
Irony is shaped by
Hephaestos beserkly
Hammering my soul
Once golden and yet
Now smouldering,
Malleable, and dirty;
With each strike he sang
A weapon for a war we lost
Before conscription started.

Someone stole the show
While, in cells below I waited;
So I write, not to remember
But instead, to purge, forget,
And now is nothing,
Is all I have left.

Scylla

Sea-millipede hair,
Ocean groundhog mare
And coral-hog stare,
Mouldy Gorgonzola-stench
Infused and clenched
Into the newly drenched
Visions of whalers
As they sail too near
To her slowly growing
And highly attuned ears,
Two harpoons in array
Aimed from the back of
Her thoracic majesty
Towards their deepest fears,
Ironic demise, inevitably.

I dreamt of this revenge
Bare chested in my bed,
Possibly to escape from the thought
That I am the cause
Of my own death.

In this way,
This is why I stay anchored
Under my duvet all day.

I Give The World Back To Nature

I give the world back to nature;
A waxwing with a breast of songs
Calibrates my credences,
Re-writes years of wrongs.

If gnostics, also stoics feared,
Divined this branch’s end,
What other laws acceded to
Make tools for our amends.

I give the world back to nature:
Conjugate, Platonic fox –
Milk may curdle, wood will rot –
As brambles smother brickwork clocks.

All my beliefs retreat in nature,
Moorland horses, forest boars;
Language seldom for relief
Nor remedies the source.

I watched a guru wash a lake,
His oily face was aged and cragged;
Flowing ocean, growing marsh,
Have me slowly backwards dragged.


Polyphemus

Bareback-riding blue whale stars,
Stirrups smelted fishing scars,
In his grip, sea-scimitars,
Poseidon’s hooves in necklace jars.

Poseidon’s blood his tattoo-paint
Across his nose and briny face;
Proteus blind, a drowning saint,
These brutish oceans will embrace.

Reins abrasive, totems clutched,
Trident eyes tell of such a place
Where skin’s by sun so rarely touched,
Where islands sank without a trace.

Nubian

My head is compressed
(In cartouche contents
Made for dead
Languages and archaic
Aspirations traced in
Plumes of incense,
Haunting nisba-laden
Conjugations with lists of
Nubian fisheries, bakers,
Haberdasheries and fabrics
From a starry peninsula,
Often misread and
Always missaid aloud,
My name was poorly
Pronounced somehow),
As I tread these deserted fields
Devoid of other dog-walkers,
In colder shrouds and clouds
Formed by exhaustion,
Pressed and re-pressed
Like a dried dandelion
In a volume unread,
My pages of dread speak
Into the breach of
Time and space,
From marbled halls,
A minister disgraced,
To a Baltic beach
Beneath the dacha
Where their children
Reach to impossibly touch
Vapour trails the gods
Of cacophonous oligarchs
Inhale from within their
Sarcophagi (and we are blessed
They said to be able to travel
And sunbathe and have sex
In the toiletry aisle
Of a Balearic supermarket
While a bored middle-aged
Checkout attendant with a
Name badge which reads
Catalina files her red nails
And rolls her eyes
With a fed-up expression,
Until we unknotted our lives
Into marriages and false promises
Or if not false then unwitting
And no less juvenile,
And jobs, and downfalls,
And a vacuous
Repetitiveness of Dawns),
Spumous offerings
And votives and how futile
To think otherwise,
Or to fume with such
Unprecedented fury
Our peers denied,
And all through that time
They were the ones in a happier crowd,
They were the ones burning
A once-fabled cow,
Oiling a river on fire,
Standing up to their knees
In effluence clotted
By our keenness to deliver,
By our kindling desire.

Over a different horizon
I envisaged a raft, far adrift,
Where I was alone and immersed
Therein eternal solace
And a certain bliss.

Karagöl

This shortening life,
This thickening life,
This blink of an eye
Left on a continental shelf
Life, (devoid of the I
Which ego contrived
And relies upon having hatched
Like a blind hag-matriarch,
And who underneath our
Inexplicable surfaces
Survives and thrives
While my egg-timer soul
Is turned over again),
I felt my sense of self
Not to reside inside me
But externally derived –
Fermented and distilled
Across our guarded borders,
Lifelong out-of-body experiences
And my many other disorders,
Then the near-death experiences,
Lifelong too, (my witness,
Who is a pawnbroker
Of disasters and also
Fathers, who sold
Ink perpetually
To stain my sinking skin,
Told me this is so),
It is well-written
With strange hieroglyphs
Throughout, ever present,
Every sallow thanklessly
Tantalising day
Behind my harrowing eyelids,
That clear and imprinted
Rendition of my deep,
Impending gallows.

Damoclean

Lifelong I have walked in sole-bare shoes,
With the trapdoor of my thoughts
I am going through,
Like an inverse Damoclean sword,
Like a parapet above a bamboo pit,
Each stake sharpened
By your silence as wide
As a black hole’s gingival abscess
Or a behemoth’s grin.

I walk with a shadow
Owned by self-sabotaging indiscipline,
Infrequent in me, your company,
I trod the floorboards while you
Flossed your wolfbane teeth
With cider-froth and
Complacency.

Only lately,
That lateral door’s secured
By love,
A love that endures
Longer and more fast set
Than a Trappist’s bloodstone whetting,
More than the Gordian knot
Where once we tied to dogwood
In this self-same moment
An ageing satrap’s ox;
And I, my love,
I will no longer drop.

Symptomatic

Is this world both one and true
As that within my mind,
From Argonauts, Thelassian crew,
A golden fleece to find.

I felt the sea the same,
That gentle Aegean lapping;
Did Peloponnesian navies tame
The inlets I am mapping.

Or is this landscape’s manifest
From minds divested only;
Symptomatic, I am a guest,
Devoid of fleet and lonely.

Don’t pity me, a juvenile,
These sands and weeds aren’t homely.
Owned by ones I could not find,
Wandering lost and lonely.