Guadeloupe

Our little band, our merry troupe
Had just arrived in Guadeloupe
Filled with mirth and junipers.

Island clouds, mangrove lush,
A chartered man from the Hindu Kush
Landed us where a giant dune occurs

As high as three knees of the God
Of Iguanas, verdant mountains at odds
In their majesty with smaller dwellings

Of colibri, territorial, proudly emblematic
Of a land where a slightly rheumatic
Castilian caraveller (and with swellings)

Imported moose to banish snakes
Like San Patricio of the Lakes,
Only those Eurasian deer grazing would devour

With gazes obtuse as atheists as they chewed
All native flora and fauna viewed
A few hundred years ago, an hour

Of ingestion at a time, and no longer.
At the harbour I found a fishmonger,
Lobsters as bright as the famed red paint

In the sacristy and the credo
Of Santa María de Toledo,
He boiled the claws and prayed to his saint.

In a fever my genuflecting libido
Summoned dreams in a white tuxedo
Worn in that club at Les Abymes –

(The club they told me not to frequent,
Entrance shaped like a one-eyed serpent),
Where a barman garnished a large Ti’Punch for me,

Where a Caribbean singer
Whose hips within my view would linger
Gave birth to the shape of Guadeloupe.

I woke in a deep and heated sweat
And for a moment I would forget
That I had not flown before, nor my troupe,

Nor travelled to her sheltering lore
Where I lost my mind before
On the blue shores of Marie Galante,

And in that hazy nightclub smoke
Holding someone’s panetelas, I woke
In the concave dreams of an Ashanti

Slave-trader, only I was the slave
And he softly spoke and gave
Advice which has ruined me to this day,

For I was to be imprisoned in his seam,
Neither stirred nor sleeping with a beam,
But somewhere in between the fray.

Still, somewhere out beyond my prison cell
My people there have smiles to quell
Storms which filled a holy stoup

Of less green seas, their hills of gold,
Where rains remain our friends of old,
We steered our flight, to Guadeloupe.





Hepatic

Same thoughts,
Get over it
The counsel said,
Belly-brewed
Within a witch,
When she stirs
I start to twitch,
When I twitch
I start to think,
Gears will shift
And skin will itch.

Same thoughts,
Same day,
I was born
To be betrayed,
I was born
To know the stray.
Why this cursed,
I cannot say.

Death herself is
More or less
Conceptual,
Somewhat experiential,
A bruising myth
Handed from fathers
To their children
Like unwanted gifts;
Ushered in,
Silencing,
Rather than die
For certainties
I fly on a whim
That skims
Weatherfronts
In the far Hesperides.

Flatlining,
Drowned by
Duck-stooling
And cajouling Fate,
Stateless sister
Wearing midwinter,
A bleakly
Wielded and
Formidable
Conglomerate,
Unreformed and
Strange
Opponents.

One of my
Hispanic
Diseased
Hepatic
Blackened
Dragons
Is emerging in my
Synaptic troughs,
This one headed with
You are not good enough‘.
His thoughts are in crimson,
There are eels in his blood;
When he moves, I tend
To expend
Entire mornings lost
Watching windscreen wipers
Swiping in the same
Parking lot
I mentioned before.

Death is whittled
On whetstones of Time,
Sharp bladed Time,
And I am frightened
Of a place that is final,
A place definitively
Made without rhyme.

Outside, An Ocean

Outside,
An ocean
Of constant motions,
Lush tropical abundance,
Yet all I cradle are ashes
Charred from bark
And burnt rubber plants,
Unusable coconut
And a poisoned palm –
The bark itself carved from
A mythical phoenix-tree
They discovered
Accidentally
And nonetheless marked
And later diseased –
This would have been
My self-sufficiency.

If no man is an island
Mr John Donne
And Mr John Dryden,
Then why does my lonely abode
Align with the limits of
My aspirations so comfortably?
I have seen in deep reposes
Those ghosts who come and go
For whom there’s no repelling;
Sometimes they stayed a while
Perhaps from curiosity,
Or perhaps their own
Uncertain form of loneliness,
Yet never so long
As to find me compelling –
This writer without hands,
This tongueless orator.
They always stole something
Out of nothing, or would
Confiscate our materiality
In the end –
Glass from oriels,
Tiles from steeples
And church-roof lead.
This is why, to hold the pen,
I maintain my right to an island
With hopes and invocations
For better times ahead.

Cloud Topiarist

Clouds shaped like lovers,
A giraffe without a neck,
And skeletons in cupboards.

Cloud topiarist,
We seek perfection and yet
The nearest shears are in heaven.

Metallic balls on a yttrium string
Swing rhythms on a table;
Dead offices; disconsolation.

Was there ever a collective
Endeavour roaming
Worth our reminiscence?

It remains an open secret,
There are many dead men walking
And living people buried;

This is what occurs
When graves within my sleep interred
Are kept broken, undelivered.

I hear recurring prophecies –
Spiral vortex dreams –
A financial offshore tremor,

A van concealing hostages
In flags of white and blue,
Loaded guns, rooms in rubble.

If over nations clouds remained
They often gave that day a name,
Apartment diaries, online news,

Then happy in this skylight citadel
Are those murdered few,
For at their graves

Where clouds give shape
They’re brought to life
By a drama or two.


On Time

Time, Grandmaster Illusionist,
You can try and hold it like water,
These richest minerals taken for granted,
And as a dream likewise disappears
Without warning or notice,
So too elusive Time evaporates
In my field of view,
Far and otherwise near,
Far and always untrue.

Within a dream the other day
I saw the Law in stitched array,
In a pantomime ass; in abeyance;
One end politicians, the other the press
For which the gutter has provisions.
Which end was which, I’ll leave you to guess;
Flies her wishing-tail would sway,
The flies beheaded horsehair days;
I felt feverish cold when she brayed.

Loneliness of their abyss,
Where those betrayers
Now perilously live
In the grizzly sanctum
Of their own belittling myths.
If Time
Is a construct for such benefit
Of Life’s gardeners and of taxmen’s
Ophelimity, then what of this rose,
Or distant bridge, who knows
What really connects
A rubber oak, or dripping sink,
And perhaps there is a calm
And therefore finally
Meditativeness, a pledge,
That despite their best efforts,
The void of missing you
Through which my heart pours
Daily and effortlessly,
Will be sealed,
Padlocked in eternity,
And timelessness.

Topaz

Underneath two ribs
Of a lunar-like mountain
You exist.

Underneath incipient
Residual intent they buried
With ritual laments,

With your future there
Scattered, Time’s amulets
Mattered, these grimly

Iridescent moments
Stuck in weathered endgame
Frames of dunes and rocks,

Like emerald in oil,
Like a child when locked
Within the habitual dragon’s eye,

Though you cannot burst through
To our labours of today,
However much we may wish

And no matter how much
We think about this,
There, you exist.

I travel to that mountain,
Dull-brown slopes
Smooth and exposed

By denial, or worse,
Colluding through
The exclusion of truth,

The Athabaskan sun.
In my mind sometimes,
Touching barren surfaces,

The inner host’s recipient,
Tomb of an empty womb
Imprinted in my thumb.

Amethyst gates to a park
Stay resolute and fast,
By hematite chains, padlocks

And the timings of hearts,
Some are beating here still,
And some we can’t restart.

Soul Coast

My feet are a foreign land
As I stand where surf relapses,
Whitecaps are my family
And encapsulate with great
Succinctness
And sadness

My lifetime of experiences,
An escapologist, an emphasis,
My bare toes in saline curls,
Where is my soul’s house
In this here and now?
I too loved the feet of her odes,

As measured as moonlight
With feminine verbs,
I caught a punctured headlamp
From a lane that would curve
And chicane until it meets
A coastal kerb, above

The haunting cove,
And I am compelled,
Once again, to restart,
To daylight’s return.
On periwinkle sands,
A mustard-coloured heart.

Temple Bar

Your love is my temple
Where we enter
In reverential
Silence.
These tasselled
Tabernacles
Inside you
Are draped
With silks and refined
Ores from the shores
Of the Aral Sea,
Luminescent shells
And gold-leaf murals
Of peacocks and grapes.
This temple, (just like that arid bed
Once home to sea-cucumbers
And one exotic fungus which
Expunged all poverty,
Caused wars born from
Tribal animosities),
Flooded once, yet while all
Around the shops and houses
Resounded with torrential
Waters and furniture pounded,
(They were engulfed by the love
Of the Lord all around them,
Inundated beyond survival),
Yet you stood firm,
Outlasted all the others.
Your love is the beginning,
An entrance, the frame
In which my adoring form
Is made out of shadows.

We are a communion
Our love out of your love
Conducted by a lightning rod
Until earthed in a channel.

I must be mistaken
If the worth of sleep is awaking.
A telephone rings briskly
Somewhere in brittle distances.
I get dressed and feign existence
In the inbetween life
And all its anodyne mechanics;
I go to work solely so that
I can live and pray again
In those shadows.

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.

Time Is A Spiral

Time is a spiral,
Double-dead helix,
God’s corkscrew,
Glass ceiling,
Ponzi scheme love.

I do not believe
These seasons are even.
In speeds now descending,
Some skelters
For mending
And sometimes a swamp.

So I am still wary
When a universe pops!
For gods love the bubbles,
And therein my trouble
As life gently floats off.