Hoofprints

Everything you see of me
Rooted more resolutely

In those muddy hoofprints
Of my morning loneliness.

Alignment

Your smile illuminated a night.
The Moon is loosening Jupiter,
A cat is lowering bark;
Southwesternly, further too,
Venus, Saturn, mistaken stars
Are found aligned at last
As I walked with my dog
Through an unlit park.

Light rebounds from behind
God’s eyelid, a pinprick
In a twilight sky extracted
From the uncuttable diamond.
And if so dimly lit
After years of travel,
Like the last burning candle
On a galleon returning
With a South Atlantic vase,
If this could reach my sight
By quarter to ten
As I stand in awe
On the frightening grass,
Then I will see your smile
In a dampening daylight,
Restoring a long lost past.

Swan In A Restaurant

Lately this bald lake
Is a beer can graveyard,
More litter than fish which
Occasionally float
On the surface, lifeless
And bloated and stripped
Of their sequin-coloured
Sequences.
Still, a scent of bergamot,
A lost incongruous
Birdwatcher with
Binoculars on a cord
Around his neck
Says a cheerful hello
And we are on our way.

A single bold swan
Wandered into a restaurant
Beside the lake
Yesterday as we ate,
Yellow tag on her ankle,
Perusing for food,
Brazen and tame.
She could take my dreams
And sculpt with her beak
A series of images
With memories interlaced.

Little then required to inspire me,
Just you and me and a song;
For many years afterwards,
Years after you had gone,
I wondered whether that swan
Had ever visited at all.



Stay The Moon



On a constant path descending
With gooseberry seasons ending
For mackerel sauce we searched.

Hooked many years by fish,
Beneath that bush our every wish
We stirred in gooseberry fools;

Rhubarb too, did crumble,
Time through fingers fumble,
Poured in to an oily pool.

When my peers awake,
They will see that dreadful lake
And fear their fruitless doom,

For I too once was as they are,
And though I watch from here afar
Unable now to stay the moon,

With a bulbous cultivar,
Poetry my scimitar,
I’ll cut my lonely gloom.

Unguligrade

Lost
In elaborate
Oblast-wide
And aboriginal
Anarchical
Ladybird-shaped
Labyrinths
Of my clockwork mind,
No way in
And no
Way out,
No signs in a concrete sky,
No internationalist help,
Just dead ends,
Drainage channels
Shaped for my tears
And Time.

Always
Subtle,
Time.

To speak,
I open my mouth,
Move my lichen-lips
And mossy nostrils
And larynx about,
But no words now
Come out.

And though
I summoned
A squall
Of thoughts
Thunderous
As ten thousand
Stampeding
Elephantine
And rhinoceros
Feet beneath
My howdah-like hope,
Those walls were not
Demolished
Nor even diminished,
My life no more
Than a demoted
Capitalist’s
Grey plastic trope.

Their hunting party
Marched onwards,
Tusks sharpened,
Banners and bluster,
Oblivious to
A hurting man
Not far beneath
Where unguligrade
Digital comforts
Impact under
Those herdsmen,
Those conglomerates
Entombing sand,
Dust and undergrowth,
By perrisodactylic
Surfaces
Engulfed.

Scotch Gambit

Chess is so much more, he said,
Than simply moving pieces
On an eight by eight board,
Tossing another blood-red husk
From without his creel,
Indolently, then another sip,
Almost all unreal
And twice as tall.

‘You see, this existence’, he said,
With an expansive gesture
Befitting a man of knowledge
Of the ocean berths and beds,
‘Is only an unblemished stone
Of a moment sat upon an axle,
Whether on your pebbled shore before
Or what will be my later wheel,

And so yes’,
The fisherman said,
Cartilaginous and devoid
Of any spurdog-hampered gansey
Over a mottled chest
Akin to bruised and foot-pressed prunes,
His old eyes closed and his
Skin drenched
By a genuflecting sun,
Riven planes along
His spokeshaven cheeks
As light-brown as to be almost
White as leather bleached
And blanched deceiving,
On saddles before the bronzing
Inspired by untamed biga-chariot horses,
Flehmens flared and frenzied
Underneath that self-same sun
Sailing blithely far above
A crowded hippodrome
On a Punic evening.

‘It is about foresight, you see’,
And I nodded, absentmindedly,
‘Knowing your opponents’ moves
Before they know themselves’.
He stood up slowly, somewhat
Frailly, brushed himself down,
Claws and breadcrumbs
And sovereignty,
Shook my hand
Defiantly, before
Wending his way
Back up the cobbles
To his cottage,
And his wife
Waiting patiently
With a cold soup supper.