Aboriginal

Lunar mood fringe,
They placed several tiny pins
In my undernourished sides,
My diaphragm and then
My abdomen.
They did this for a promise,
For prophecy, and yet
When no blood flowed
Nor did I flinch nor wince
Nor died, they hauled
And winched me up
By my rusty flehmen lip,
To survey all extents
Of the damage they once did.

Far away from my vantage
I could discern a dust bowl;
Local Angle diminishes grief.
Despite the best intentions
Of actors and musicians,
Also known as charlatans
And often politicians,
We are worse off now
Than we were back then.
There is a bald eagle at war
With itself, it circles and calls
In brawling self-doubt;
In a dream irrepressibly
Parallel with that downy beast
Four bearded men rode side-saddling
Into a town where football grounds
Are venues for public displays
Of punishment and the schools
And universities and places
Of worship were left deserted
Long ago, long before my desertion.

When misappropriating men
Chase flags or desecrate chalices
Or bulldoze summits
To landscape the world a little flatter,
It is always women out of love
And children out of hope
Who are doled the most to suffer,
And at last I could see
From these barren heights
How Time’s helices reverted
To a more peaceful place
Wherein my less bleak thoughts,
Moreso than all of these,
Became at once atavistic and
Goldenly aboriginal.

Kalaallit Nunaat

On a glacier peak in Greenland
Landfall felt unfortunate rain.
Unnatural, wrathful kiss,
I dreamt of this;
Firstly, as an ornament,
Then adulthood the same.

Pacific atoll,
Bliss of cooling fish,
These skimming stones
Evaporated into sky.
I know why the hourglass turns;
For a wrongful man we burned,
Wearing a suit and a tie.

See: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/20/rain-falls-peak-greenland-ice-cap-first-time-on-record-climate-crisis

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.

Generation P (Work It Out)

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 –
Late afternoon.
I felt like death.
Reverberations unsighted,
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,
Predominantly white,
Over another tin of alcohol,
And I am told I am made in his image.
I did not linger in our
Plastic-polluted parkland
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
Rise exponentially;
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
Well-meaning slogans
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

Unguent

Fire, smoke,
Heathen folk,
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
Zoonotic dereliction.

Tombolos

Sometimes I could not feel
My feet or my hands,
These extremities
Of my experiences,
Socially tied
Like isthmuses
Providing havens
For radicals and
Eminent pariahs
From the edges of
The Hesperides,
Unable to return
To our homelands
For fear of persecution
Or reprisals
(Or if not the Hesperides
Then the Cyclades
Or Sporades, or if
Not the Sporades
Then the Great Orme
Or the Rhins of Galway
And also Blakeney Point
Where my tame grey seals
Sunbathe on sandbanks
And I know each one
By name for we are
One and the same),
I grew up believing
Radiators were designed
To handcuff hostages
By the mist of international
Politics – in lands
Without plumbers or
Thermostats, but wild
Celebrations which also once
Blinded a man as shotgun fire
Fell back down to earth –
Before returning by
Diving back in to
My childhood, one day
I remember vividly,
Colluding in my empty room
With an atlas,
A tiny life ahead
In parentheses,
Until I observed,
Dropping that great book,
My feet and my hands
Turn in to translucencies
Of lapis lazulis and shiny jade
And my wonder reverted
Into horror then
As I climbed up inside
The used husks of my future,
Where my whole long
And arduous life filled
With silent furores
Became a faded photograph,
In a family album
No one opened ever again,
Nor blew dust off
In that boarded-up house
From its light blue cover,
And what was once,
A long time ago,
A gold leaf letterhead.

Last Armadillo

When the last remaining animal –
Or statistically likely to be
Insects pestled from their
Trillion kingdoms into
One final fly’s resilience,
Or persistence in a millipede,
Entrenched, like a final
Ardent campaigner armoured and
Protesting against a railroading
While his friends from
Treeline canopies all fell,
Curled in a hopeless ball,
In otiose defiance
Against humanity, and defence
Instead of deference to
Authority, Ark-reversal,
Last armadillo, last pangolin,
Last bat, turtle, last blue fin,
What will happen then
Upon this faithful reel,
When dejected, I am
Reincarnated
Upon a karmic wheel.

On The Banks Of The Pripyat River

That Galatian draper
Of parthenogenetic
Golden grapes
And apples of sapphire,
Oceans of lapis lazuli
Divined in her eyes
The mother of Aphrodite,
Born from waters high
Beyond heaven,
The tortuous waters
In stellar torrents
From braided brushed hair
In plaits which cascaded
Like Venezuelan or blushed Kenyan Falls
Down the hellebore back of
Our great Goddess Gaia,
With a samphire-scented brace
The ancients traced to their doom
In primordial hazelnuts festooned
About her neck, and seven
Phoenix eggs a grandson
Stowed from Yemen,
Born from fragrant desire
In such fecundity, such abundance
With celestial semblances
Impressioned in seven arches
Of her firmament above me,
Sufficient for holding up heaven,
With new advances in
Seminal-fermenting broth
Resolved in a garland of yawns
And languorous delicate touch
To spare her first-born’s tubers,
And so with a delicate cough
Which paradoxically would snuff out a
Kindred thickness of stars
By their redundant, hapless wicks,
(And from where pinnate-plants
Bore the name of Cosmos
In their penance),
Expunge black holes,
Drain oceans from skies
With catholicised taste,
Poured her boy’s illness from a
Terracotta urn
To secure his safe arrival
From shores of the leprosy-coast,
There he had sojourned with all those lame
And all those made infirm by wars
And misadventures; and their survival
The entertainment for their progeny,
There are two things we have observed
About the foibles of men
And their disciples –
Firstly, that they never learn,
And secondly their egos are
By nature never sated,
And they always get
What they deserve
From the immortal populous
Of Nemesis and Comeuppance,
And the Goddess of Depreciation
Turned to me and lifted
A curtain of dawn choruses
And spoke with thelytokous words
She counted three;
I have no enmity with truth
And far be it for me to displease
A Goddess with a neck and depths of
Merriment and pleasure that,
If She chose, She could make a man
Immortal, although she pledged instead
To deny this atavistic talent.

And so this is why men existed,
Unfathomable predilections
Became a habit, and the cloak
Of the floating planets unwound
The charred distress, the ancient
Razing of rivers and forests,
All to preserve the life blood
Of her son with pleurisy
And tuberculin
As wide as the winter in Chernobyl.