Haiku #754

754.

Convalescent life,
Constant small recoveries
From what we once lost.

Fever

Fever surged like tides anew;
Well, my father said fever
But mother said he was a heathen
And nothing more could be said
About him, or her, or you.

My cactus-needle fever swept
His scraping rake on the sands of my back,
My back a long-lost Zen garden
Surrended to thistles and to feverfew.
My beard is ten miles long,
My ears as hot as a south-Saharan tongue,
A mirage of Madeira and mechanical raining frogs.

My white blood cells fought in Malawi
Against some boys in blue,
Riotous and corruptive on safari
Around northern housing estates
Sunk in those grains, like an eye,
Like the truth. Next day
The fever broke to my relief,
Though not before my mother
Retrieved from the loft
A grip of dusty rosaries and
A worn sackcloth, each sweaty bead
Counted by the market seller
Who wore lavendar
At his cart of wares
On a distant Thursday afternoon
In Cairo, and also Khartoum.

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.

Fumina Bianca

How sweet the sombre Moon,
Her constant timbres
In tremulous rhythms,
Crepuscular hues.
I have my own yellow
Contusion or two.

How easy for you,
Overdue now the Moon,
Pregnant, permanence,
Your statues in temples
Are resplendent and nude,
Only a subtle
Lightless
Subdued.

Pendular Moon,
Appearing too soon,
Indulging indolent soldiers
And causing seven hundred
Saboteurs in your shade to
Swoon. They planted a flag
On your granular calcified
Caldera where entombed
Pulmonary metastases
Are cultivars which once
Were those sluggish
Bedfellows’ scimitars;
They rest on
Their thuggish elbows
Your silence,
Your rays on their chest.

I reached for my own sword
And found bread
Shaped like crescents
Instead.
The sharp tip of the route
To the Moon
I witnessed,
Its lactating tip bore
A causeway from my bed
Into new nocturnal views again.

A witness to misfortune
And efforts in mute,
Disasters reduced to mere
Moments, and the life cycles
Of the great and ancient
Volcanoes rendered into
Wispy smoke,
As the dragon incarcerated
With potent stones
Woken by a cough,
Or announcements
From His concave staff,
Heralding a Pope.

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.