Unencumbered

I have no misgivings
That Life is for the Living;
Go forth with your luminous

Lustrous and flourishing
Heart! You are the beginning
For so much cherished and loved.

There is nothing so urgent
As the higher sirens unencumbered
Proclaiming emergencies above.

You are the dock leaf
To my meadow-nettle sting,
Salve urticarial rashes;

You are cotton-light soul
To fill such holes
Within my spirit-dwelling;

You are in my tested toll
And heavy eyes at nine o’clock,
Drifting asleep in the old armchair

Where once you sat and sang to me
Until the next alarm. Know this:
Just because I am gone

Does not mean you are lesser loved –
Do not believe all you are told,
Do not descend a buried half;

Do not be deceived
By pre-constructed episcopies,
Do not settle for their losses;

If something is free
Then you may be the product

Of consumerist albatrosses;

And when the expurgating racists
Run our ruinous parliament
It’s time to move abroad.

Life’s a little better unscripted,
A little less choreographed
For the garlands in your heart;

Regardless, I cannot yet
Apologise for the pieces in our
Backwards path those others broke

So long ago, a squandering,
Anonymous in their parts
And we are stranded, poles apart.

Another ending is a start;
For eternity you will be
The finest creation I could conceive,

Yet Death again is stalking me,
And though I called numbers
Their manual did not include

My quicksand thoughts, and I
Become his maddening habit,
He takes comfort in my residency,

The rest is just formalities.
I cannot forestall the inevitable,
I cannot distract tomorrow

From chasing the tail of
Its sadness in gardens of
Summer sun-drowned lambs;

All I can do is remind you of truths
Ever preserved in this poem,
For how proud of you, my son, I am.

Fog

Just when you think you are
Near that very end,
But you are not,
Like becoming aware that this
Interminable book is
Published in many volumes,
Cursing its unknowable author
For your youth and your loss,
Or a film the university tutor
Required you to study lovelessly,
Even though he himself yawned
Through his own seminar;
Teeth like a caught makerel’s,
Dark and doomed and sharp;
Only to discover there would be
A trilogy of liquifying dross.
He vaped, and looked you up.

Or conversely,
When you think you have
More steps to take,
Feet forward,
One at a time,
Wherewithal,
Seeing with each imprint,
Tentative rubber tread,
Success is the end,
Yet only to fall;

So this, then, is my life,
Like being on a pier and
Trying to make sense
In a dense unending fog.

The Running Dog

For all bifurcating branches
Sublime in their simplicity,
A dog has very little need

Indeed, yet with joyous barks
No less retrieves
Inherent interventions

Between what we deemed
Essential, or inbetween,
Or instead invented;

This contrast is at times
A subtle one,
Like sunlight through

Doppelganger-dappled leaves,
Ever since antiquities
In these dark-shaded parks

Of our entwining souls;
Yet if not for that twisted,
Rotten tooth of birch

In boggy undergrowth,
There would be no us,
Nor any running dog at all.

Pebble Poem

This poem is a pebble
Or on the pebbled path
To homelessness, alone,
An unpolished stone
In the shape of
Inevitable loss,
Where barefoot ramblers
Wince and stumble
From discomfort rubbing
Against their soles,
Between camomile toes
And a heart of
Lemongrass.
Reminiscence aloft
From parabolic domes
On domiciles all tossed
Into an open ocean’s
Samphire-scented arms.
Someday, far in the future
These words will be unearthed
By a scientist’s assistant
Who later came to harm,
And where then will
A coast resurge, wild
Spume, renewed oaths,
Where will be their gardens
Beside the stony path.

This pebble is a poem
And in my hand, a gift;
Transient, impermanent,
Miracles are not
The genesis of men,
But germination,
That’s godliness,
Oak from a seed,
Galaxies from an atom,
A poem inside me,
The rest is axiomatic.

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.

Kush

I rode through the snows
Of your Hindu Kush,
I walked through galaxies
Of entropic daytime-dust
Some hundred-soul kilometres
North from Rawalpindi
And the lemon-lush yards
Of green Abbottabad.

Returning to foul play,
All the way from Asia into
A Nottinghamshire ginnel,
Far, far away from palsied peaks
Of syncretic embezzled goddesses.
There is a certain ability
Of the English suburban
Populous, to keep a garden
Tidily, and a house
That I cannot share
Should I dare to return
To that sandy airstrip of grit.

In a dream within a dream
She passes for me
Daisies through our fence,
Although there is no recompense
For what I have seen
Between a sunny meridian
And that mountainous defence.

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.