Revive A Version Of Me

Revive a version of me
On quiet pages written,
Within a work I’ll never read,
Upon a different Britain.

For though the bandits won,
Those scoundrels and the bigots,
And all our lovers, woebegone,
Drowned on foreign frigates;

When all’s accounted, more or less,
Our xenophobes decanted,
Abusers too, then eat their mess,
And feed MPs replanted,

Then perhaps, the maps I find
Will chart more coloured places,
Less partisan, this paradigm,
With free and hopeful faces.

Green Dog

A dog painted green in the woods,
A white frog caught in floorboards
In my dewy miller’s youth,
Begins in my memory’s mouth,
A horseshoe over the door,
Rusty, swung another way round.

Those brass horseshoes abounded,
Luck pours out like the entrails
Of stars in the observable universe,
Pouring like turned milk from jugs
Invisible to the naked eye,
Invisible to the soul.

Rio Grande do Sul

My life is the size
Of one grain of sand
On a beach in Brazil
Or faraway land,
Further away
Than the south Rio Grande,
Further away
Than the end of my hand.

Yet my soul beats as big
As the Amazon basin,
As bright as an eye
In the swan constellation,
Further away
Than the blessed and the damned,
At my window sill waits
For the ends of a man.

So if you are feeling
As lost and alone,
Remember the healing
For how hearts atone –
Your soul touching stars
Braiding sinew and bone.

Grey River

We knew of ancient love,
But change with an A my lady;
Now I know of sickness enough,
Convalescing whilst all’s fading,
My monochrome existence.

There will come a day
When I traverse Grey River;
I know that day is not today,
Little less strength to deliver.

I was born with arms
Just like you,
I was born with a heart
And lungs and a liver,
But all this lost art,
Immaterial now,
Lonely are those left to shiver.

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.

Abyssinia

Sometimes these abysmal lows
Seek to address and occupy

My own ebbing soul’s
Reclusive loan and use

Of shadowy caverns,
Avoiding outer

Stony nomenclatures
Or any such anatomies of light,

Suspended and unrarefied
Far beneath the looms

Of gloomy, nervous time.
And if poured out now

From this diluted womb of myself,
And if all I am told should sleep,

And if all I observed and believed
Tattooed into the warp and weft

Is less akin to blood
In her unusual rivulets

Underneath riveted drifts
Within my skin and my bones,

Nor like molten gold
Or anything else so brightly bold,

But doubtlessly a
Thick congealing

Tarry albumen
Under my night-auk’s

Starless eye and ceiling
I am constantly reeling

In a reckoning disguise,
And arctic cold.

Sometimes I feel as though
Life is a test without answers.

Sometimes I feel my road
Is routed through converging disasters.

My body brittle as a twig
Drifting away from life’s fine flourishing,

Away from glittering citadels of my truth
Down a bruising river,

And when they find my floating form
Who will be my forgiver?

The Hawser-Husband’s Song

All seafaring folk
Reasonably discharged
Understand deeply 
Having travelled so far
Frequencies of rope;
Clews marking time,
Demarcating fate
Like crow-wrinkles carved
In a late man's hope,
Smiling sublimely
While his body bloats
And slowly floats away
Within a curlew's ode;
They count in knots,
They measure briny-time
With bights on the lee,
And sometimes by 
Their cat-beards' growth
Upon a beaming sea.

There are far more purposes
For well-made ropes
Than horse-dreams harboured
On wayward western slopes
Of blue infusing hollyhocks
And sadnesses of heliotropes.
Beyond those voyer-headland folk,
Such a balch-length I do know
Is coldly devoid
In a dead man's grope,
Unfeeling, careening, 
So from humanity we eloped.
Her colours change as suddenly
On a breeze as the piskey-cheeks
Of whiskey-infused 
And maudlin mopes
Who sit beside the steps
At the plentiful village pump,
Sometimes straight as a butter-cross
And sometimes they do slump;
One day as grey as a bassam,
The next day graily eggy-hot
And bald as a wreaking coven.

Knowledge of how to fashion
This mission's cabled spires
Is memorised by barning-ghosts
Under varying fires;
The future slips through
Their misty furtive fingertips,
Fewer than before
Their green immortality.
Sailing some more,
Nothing abounds;
Within our creel ribs
Old myths rebound,
Waves make landfall
Permanent and yet somehow
Without existing at all.
Breathing in
And breathing out,
Hessian fodder,
Oceanic Frisian cow,
Horizon unknown
For years from now,
On slowly floating ice-breaks
My vessel is aground.



N.B Cornish dialect in this poem includes:
Balch - a rope
Barning - phosphorescence
Bassam - a bruise
Eggy-hot - a warm beer
Graily - an aged beer
Piskey - drunk
Varying - lightning, St Elmo's Fire
Voyer - a headland

Toenail Soul

Wanting to wallow
In the wrongfulness of me,
I found a form of failing
Became my artistry.

My anuran tongue swallowed
In their final masterpiece;
The eight great lies in my life
Found at last assemblances
And momentary pangenesis
Like lizards in a creek,
Initially protozoic,
Then a simple slow unfurling
Inwardly, of tails and brains,
Until such time as galaxies
And all their hypothesised junkets
Unplugged and drained,
Seen through a
Telescopic lens
From beyond the maddening planets.

I've been painting the toenails
Of my soul again.
The dead have this tendency
To disregard boundaries,
To interrupt, to mishear,
And so I misappropriate myself
With many colours brushed,
To stay their ways
From being near.

When We Were Giants

Revitalised by rain
And changing directions of wind,
Supercharged by
Their grey and warming manes,
Reminded me that I am a giant
And I only took this smaller form
To be suppliant, as ever,
To the Goddess of Discretion.

The southern farmers are churning
Mounds of Friesian manure again;
Even my dandelion friends
Hold their delicate noses,
Those whose seeds
Gave birth to Time herself
Before disappearing injudiciously,
Slipping through their progeny’s fingers,
Disintegrating as swiftly
As a conscientious objector’s hopes.

I have a greater affinity
With the dappled fingertips
And gold-green keys
Of silver birch
And willow trees,
Those all too slender
Harbingers of water, of Life,
And my favourite, my old friend,
Those Lombardy Poplars
Which grew through my youth
Until they touched the lower sky,
Fastigiate-shaped as my soul
With burry words and
Blackened folds inside.

I sensed all this on my evening walk –
The scale of the task,
The age of the talk –
Before returning with my homeward self
And losing, until the next new winds,
The memories of way back when
We few men were giants.