Along A Weir-side Way

How slow the snake uncoiling
On weird cerebral lawns,
Grips those moles now grieving
And how the wagtail mourns;
Feet of gruesome coots are blue,
Uprooted and reborn.

His weir-side way gave us today –
Barbed our briar impressions;
His river’s course, unnatural,
Fallacies abounding wherever
Escapes briefly water or weather.
Too late the discourse and the dawn;
Too late misplaced starlings imitate
A feather’s fate forlorn.

A garden in his stomach then,
His bowels behold the bones:
Where self-conceited owls will plot
Their death, I walk the weir alone.

Stateless

First, a state did crack me,
And then the devil
Indivisibly did hack me;
In a dream, I hanged on a heath,
Poured my endless heart out
To thunderous friends
Suspended underneath
Where secrets will not keep,
For you cannot hold a pen
When peaty fens grip
With a potash-painted
Serrated beak.

In the ever-aching distance,
A final burning spire;
Nothing I can do.
Sky-ribs pierced,
Limbic cadences and seditions,
Marshland feet bound
With mallow and rue.

I soaked my face in the lake of the deaths –
I cannot say what I witnessed; instead,
A frozen rotten seagull wing,
A bald and bloodless silver moon.

I heard there is a market
Every weekday afternoon,
Where nature abundantly flows
In shapes of latent marrow
And ample, gravid legumes.

Amentiferous

Today is the same day
As yesterday,
And every day preceding too.
The weather may change –
The same bleeds tomorrow –
And slowly then, a view.
A skinny, catkinny frost,
All futures somewhat like
Frozen carp in a cube,
Suspended, inanimate
Within a lake unthawed;
A whitening sun ignored,
Bleaker the sky, and blanched,
Inscrutable eyes widely forlorn –
A stupefied state –
So too the perch,
The grayling and the dace.
And so too, yes, the sky,
White as a severed heron’s chest,
White as survival and yet
Still agonisingly fruitless,
I pack up my taxonomies,
Slowly headed for home
In my exposed, irrevocable chest.

Occupancy

There was a time enforced
I licked therein the back of your head,
Before their gums replaced my tongue
So turned my teeth to lead.

I cannot move for seeing you,
In currency, the emptying sea;
In pastoral ways, bloodhound veins,
Freedom formed from occupancy.

The decision maker’s dossiers
Have your headware stamped;
The prisons, schools and hospitals,
The tanks upon the ramps.

Even time, no less,
With your ages marked;
Should I rescind enriching binds,
Cerebral riots sparked.

Peripheries

There’s a sink that needs cleaning,
A festive wreath to pack away;
Death essentially demeaning,
I can’t see beyond what you did today.

Meanwhile,
The pure agony of existence
Is on the peripheries
Of oceanic ferries
Towards bliss, or heaven.

I can remember every moment,
Pernicious and horrible;
Impervious to me, terrible,
Memories in their tsunamis
And their oceans becalmed,
Crammed into the ecstasy
Of my every waking thought.

Out Of A Lotus

Time will slip by
Unhurried, unnoticed,
So I propose one kind action
For someone out of a lotus.

Sometimes kindness requires
Doing what you would usually not;
Sometimes self should write aside
Someone else’s suffering plot.

Tempus Fugit Usquam,
So in moments see kindness renewed,
For some future day, ego expunged,
What will become of me and of you?

Giraffe Police

We accepted the unacceptable;
Evolved what was ephemeral
To permanently inevitable.

Dusk, orange early evening light.
We arrived at the municipal
Railway station, magnificent
In its antiquated style,
Minarets, many fountains
And bountiful hanging baskets
Where passionflowers spilled
Into their sulfurous being
As brightly and wide as your smile,
Only to be met and then processed
By two genial-enough
Officers in crisp white linen
Riding on giraffe-back;
From their howdahs’ vantage
They shouted down to kindly
Inform us, notebooks ready,
That their Bactrian camels
Had for the night retired
At their presidential stables,
And so on these languid
Knock-jointed mammals
With wrists for knees
They had to travel instead.
Those ungulates looked at us
With profound imperviousness,
Nonplussedness no less,
As phlegmatically
They chewed their cud;
Their riders read us our rights,
Although what we call rights
They now name our trouble.

We could conceive
The inconceivable
But in this desert crucible
We choose not to.
We did not question
How the officers knew
We were on the 2.20 train
From the coastal town
Where time had run out,
And now my memory hurts
From the telling.

There is no dispelling the fact
That these people dreamt of me once;
I was writing a poem on the subject
Of their nomadic travels
And subsequent apprehension
By a lieutenant and his junior,
And in this way
Come what may
The poem became the people.

Not The Bearer

Sometimes Love’s amphoras
Overflow, enriching
Not the bearer
But everyone below,
Until Love’s ceramic
Sun-glazed jugs
Finally become discoloured,
Emptied, and in shadow.

And although
I hide my losses well
You can always tell
When I am struggling –
I forget
To cut my toenails
And I forestall
The days of the week
Which I have changed
To names of trees
Extinct by thirty years;
Monday’s Ash,
Tuesday’s Elm,
Wednesday Oak;
Poplar’s heights
Touch Thursday’s toes,
Willow’s Friday’s river-cloak,
A weekend fit for toasting
Alder and Horse Chestnut,
Cold kidney pie
With mustard mash
I misplaced from last week’s lunches
Before returning to ash.

You can also tell
When I am unwell –
Chores do not interrupt and
You can hear the sounds
Of chaos from somewhere
Down the hall –
A thousand years of loneliness
To only end it all.

Love can pour back upwards –
See the citadel’s sorrow;
Place a lid upon the urn
And try again tomorrow.