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.



The Commute

Someday soon, not so long,
Just after a whitening Sun
Has called time Noon,
Contracted, blanched,
All of this, remember
Will be finally far, far gone.
Thoughts and inward feelings
Will yet dissemble and
Be divorced
From the organic source
Like feet once on these bleachers
Now pound heavenly boards;
An event horizon in blue and
A new obilivion,
So why not be a little kinder now
To just, someday,
Someone.

I am, like you,
Flesh and Bones,
My life the size of a grain of sand
Yet my heart could traverse
A universe
To the syncopation of Love.
Isn’t this humanity’s
Latest and greatest
Conundrum?
Karma, make me a dog
If I might bring happiness
As endlessly you turn,
So why not be a little kinder now,
To just, someday,
Someone,
Even if that one someone
Some other day,
As you peruse the newness,
Adjust your hair, brushed,
Coffee brewed,
Commuting to work,
Is you, my love.

Escargatoire

A promenade of snails
And promises daily entailed,
Within life’s escargatoire
Resides a finer refuge
From the Summer hails.

Every season
Unseasonal,
We walk a mountain trail.
Those fine Autumn rains,
Appalachian;
More than mizzle,
Less than drizzle,
Somewhere blessed and inbetween.

Reminding me of times
When briefly I felt
Communion with my
Thalassic soul,
And saltwaters surrounding
That long-lost littoral shoal
Changed, in time,
Jurassic coast
Metamorphosed whole
From teeth into salves
And then what else
I’ll never know,
Fuel for other people’s dreams
And other people’s songs.

We gave the world away
To dancers and to singers,
But in the giving of our gift
We salsaed with the sinners.

It will not be so long
Before this Autumn’s gone;
Where do we go, love,
With all our homes eroded
In this unfathomable loss;
Where chances all expired
And the precipice is seen,
Who will build a northern spire
Where you and I once dreamed;
Of weather and of mountains
And snails in their desmene,
And who will put a cross atop
Our church beneath the Sea.

Edenless / Endless

A lioncub played with hyenas
And complained
When they laughed
At his pride;
And a cuttlefish caught in nets
When striving to retreat
In longcoat-lines
Is poor man’s salmon disguise;
And a sparrowhawk’s
Airborne shortening,
Quickening breath
In the heat of the heart
Of a wasp nest demise;
These creatures died
With a startled sharpness
Keener than their births
And the girdle
Of this whole earth
In their eyes,
All are victims more to mankind
And man’s disease of language,
And man’s demeaning mind,
To subjugate, and classify;
Nature is nature’s intent alone,
There’s no greater or lesser divide
Than between you and I,
So I won’t be so shocked
When I rest my sore head
On an Edenless bed,
Aspic words preserve the lie.

Hair’s Breadth

The evil that people did,
And evil that people still do
Is reason enough why I’ll be returning
In a soul-equipped igloo.

On the backs of whales I’ll hunt
For injustices in the thaw,
My harpoon deeply impaling
The abandonment of law.

I’ll sail across death’s forests,
Hear humpback’s distressed call,
By their skyward fire at night alone,
Warming my hands as I fall.

The moment is my throne allayed
Beyond that icy floe,
Eternity, hair’s breadth away,
Watch me as I go.

Undo The Undone

To the workers ploughing out there,
To people in the chair,
To families burnt in enclave rings
Now living without prayers,

If I could lease my grieving lung
I’d undo despots draining done;
Absorb that cancerous, bloodied lot,
For fairness growing through the rot.

There’s no mausoleum or statue,
No temples in gold or bamboo
Which can’t be uprooted or toppled anew;
We’d be unstoppable, in a week or two.

I heard my soul cry from its cell,
A muffled sound, bottomless well,
Mishearing its touch as a distant bell,
I reached from my seat, and unseated fell.

Veracruz

Ah verdant Veracruz,
Inquisitors landed
With seminal footsteps
On your sandy shores,
Anchored in foam bluer
Than undry eyes of lonely
Brides who cried like ghosts
Each night, for they
Knew the truth by then,
The truth unbound about
Those men both intrepid
And yet also afflicted with
Scurvy, to whom they once
Curtsied in courts, in
Galicia, and Castile.
Praising their gods with
Spongy gums, rashes infernal,
Thousands of miles from home,
Finding exotic diseases and
New fruits for their horses,
This coast too was a ghost
Of a nation destined to kill
Itself. They swore they saw
In those first loamy forests
Evidence of snakes
Eating their own tails,
And carvings of aroused
Totemic beasts whose tidings
Could block out the most
Ardent and stifling sun,
If rubbed with a little belief.

Those forests turned with Time
Into fields, the terraces and
Mesas of modern Mexico,
Where memories are as long
As the potential in doors unopened
And mines are as rich and fertile
As the self-sanctified appendage
Belonging once to none other than
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna,
Who, having traversed from here
To Baja California, was injured
By grapeshot fired from
Obusier de vaisseau on board
French blockaders, during
The Pastry War; they stretch
From unsung Sonora and Sinaloa
Which later sadly became layered
And synonymous with bloodshed,
To the caudillo’s hacienda above
Seagull nests and roadsteads,
And the hotel where we made
Ablutions, and took our rest.

That night I dreamt of seven miles
Of Atlixo, somewhere south of
Popacatépetl and the myth
Of the sleeping woman,
La Mujer Dormida,
A strip of land turned by arts
Within humanity’s hand into
A colossal supine statue
Much like Cristo Redentor
Only flat, yes, and not sculpted
From concrete with soapstone
But fashioned from the soil,
The land, into the shape of his
Image. I viewed this from the air
And marvelled at the ineffable
Grace and scale of his creation;
I wondered if something spiritual
And filled with meaning had been
Hidden under this humble yet
Hot-headed, passionate and yet
Disconsolate continent’s seams.
It reminded me of another dream
More than twenty years old, when
Two giant statues of a bodhisattva
Glided down a river, both imposing
Yet serene, navigating rapids as if
There was nothing inbetween
The reality, and the artifice
Of a mastered stream.

Kindling these memories, I forgot
That I was in a dream within a dream.
May the Mexicayotl transcend,
May the Malinchista be forgiven,
For there will be time in the end
When we too can see between rivers.