Vicissitudes

Low winter light,
Vicissitudes of crows;
A skein of squawking geese
In a V, in a row,
The beauty balanced
Between what might happen,
And yet usually,
In my diary scribed
Or sometimes scratched
On angel’s breath,
Inevitability shows
Through dull experience,
Does not fully hatch.

Swan In A Restaurant

Lately this bald lake
Is a beer can graveyard,
More litter than fish which
Occasionally float
On the surface, lifeless
And bloated and stripped
Of their sequin-coloured
Sequences.
Still, a scent of bergamot,
A lost incongruous
Birdwatcher with
Binoculars on a cord
Around his neck
Says a cheerful hello
And we are on our way.

A single bold swan
Wandered into a restaurant
Beside the lake
Yesterday as we ate,
Yellow tag on her ankle,
Perusing for food,
Brazen and tame.
She could take my dreams
And sculpt with her beak
A series of images
With memories interlaced.

Little then required to inspire me,
Just you and me and a song;
For many years afterwards,
Years after you had gone,
I wondered whether that swan
Had ever visited at all.



I Am Not Unique

I am not unique.
There are another ten thousand
Just like me (sub-meaning being
I am far from irreplaceable)
In these unredemptive moments
Which fall like old snowflakes
In baubles and saucers,
In reflections and in tendencies.

I am not unique.
This sadness is ubiquitous,
(Engulfing and never retreats)
We are woebegone experts
In the ravenously bleak
Mapless frontiers with our
Purring batteries
And silent artillery.

I am not unique;
Stone-filled arteries
And bruisewort disease,
We sit in our cages
As cycles continue
On the last of the piers,
Or lost, haplessly,
While out at sea.

I am not unique.
By our army united
And spirit-siphoning industries,
We comb our hair
And wash our beards,
We go to bed,
Amazed when we wake up
The same way as someone else.

Beckoning

A deluge in May,
Kerbside surface spray,
Torrents overwhelm
Dank country lanes.

Driving in low gears,
Waterfall chicanes,
Wrong latter ways,
Reminds me of childhood

And leaping over streams
Beneath a tarn-light bay,
Beside a dead man’s seam
In long-lost dreams

And longer lesser days.
Over there, a castle, see,
Its ghosts roam free
Through basements, attics

And these oak-pannellings
Overlooking a sodden
Village green;
Stumps received,

And sandwiches filled with
Cucumber and cheese;
The church hall leak,
Well, we can fix,

While men in linen-whites
Played winning willow innings,
Then ominous rains returned,
And a beckoning for tea.

Paradox

If I die
Does that fly,
(Industrious in my boardroom-soul),
Die too?

The answer lies in morning truths;
I have seen too much death
To live without the absolutes
Of moths and fly-wing truths.
Await ahead, the multiplicity of universes
Wait renewed,
For the fly lives on without me,
But that singularity buzzing
In my mind’s
Unhealthy eye
Is discontinued,
And so the two states
Unfold together,
Uncomfortable together,
Yet necessary ever since
The primordial glue,
Made endless as Pi
When considering as I
Pulled the duvets of truth
Over my view
Of all the possibilities
Latent, residual,
In me, and in you.

Marginal

I walked through a wall of existence,
Still breathing, still believing;
Brickwork little resistance;
I caught myself in a mirror,
Where the new tide goes out
A sea-tongued oppressor returns
To burn the littoral villages,
(All the villagers succumbed to flesh or fled),
Terrorises forgotten margins
By a finest thread, then departed.
The sea is in my stomach,
Within the acidic ripples
Briny anatomic micro-organisms
Breathe and live and cling
Like bivalve molluscs
Balanced on an edge
And I am the ballast
Between life and death.
These unseen beings which cling to me,
Surface only to surf on waves which begin
With servitude to this nude existence,
Yes, beyond the ellipse and bells
Of life and of death,
Where everything we give
Is received by an unrivalled sea,
Effortless are the divinities in
This efficacy, these elegies
Where the sea says her prayers
With whitecap-rosaries,
Seaweed petals and confetti of squid,
Their ink so black it could forge a night
And blind these biting gods,
Ravenous on the rocks of their follies.