Out Of Body

I am within a constantly spinning
Out of body experience;
It's true that Suzie made me do it.
Give me a cello and a double bass
And I ascend the braced confines
Of a marshy soul so sublime
You could flush for a thousand years
With all your torch-bearing trodden might
And a dynamic jubilation of flutes
And yet never find a mallow-pheasant,
And yet never see its sparkled flight.

Pyrena

All the processed meals
And all the steady cravings;
All those times I’d mostly feel
My esurient sense of failing;
All these glands within me
Like silkworms masquerading,
Blind their burrow-mouths must be,
These ever-unworldly sensations;
Saliva in my pancreas
And bilious in my breathing;
Memories bladder-manacled
To strangely knotted bleachers
From where I sat once witnessing
Impassively, all my days receding;
With those who would abuse me
Only then, to obliterate
And smash these blistered benches –
Refuting my existence,
My purpose; those perpetrators,
Those missing old soul-eaters.

Incomprehensibly then,
Such totalities
And inexplicable mythologies,
I step out from shadows
Framing my toxic profligacy
With rhododendron, rose
And briar-choking ivy
Bordering my inadequacies
Made tangible from the tacit,
Born out from yellowed ivory.

How odd, I reflected
In afternoon relapses,
That our connections,
These mysteries,
Regardless neither of
Cooling distances
Nor cold absences which only show
Just how much we know
Each other’s oldest ossified routines
As we trespass through boundaries
Only then, again and kneaded again,
Transposed into our folded selves,
Our living sea.

Aquiline

A dog tastes first with his nose
And then his victim entrusted
Within his puffy
Cravasse-pawed toes;
Circulatory, damp,
Outer-rain ring gyratory
And then suddenly thrusted
And swiftly transposed,
Years and years ago.
An army marches on its ribs –
Calamitous, our industries.

Do you exist in the marshes
Of my aquiline cerebellum just
Because I, too, do not exist?

Natasha Renewed

You were the envy of centuries,
Your love the unplundered loot
Under plum-coloured helmets
From mud-lusty Danes of Harthacnut.

You moved into a house
On a slope (made hazardous,
I imagine, by frost and ice
That yet must be a long way off
Along another horizon),
Next door to my grandmother
Who rested dutifully
In the annex
(Like an old mole
Upon your jawbone,
You resigned yourself
To her perspiring presence)
Carved from a former saloon
Where of an afternoon she snoozed
While keeping vouchsafed in a jar
Her one last sandstone tooth.
O how a home that could not exist
Yet appear with a simple veneer
Much like any other rooted
On this strange village street,
The only difference being
When you opened the door
There was nothing beyond
A jaded porch, lavender
And heather turned to dust
Along with dried
Forget-me-nots and
Compass points made moot.
You had changed your name,
I do not know why,
To Natasha, your eyes
As wide as a frontier
Where swirled surprise
And regret in those glass bowls
Once burning like calderas,
And in your hands
Scentless celeriac,
Cauliflower florets
And a head of herring.
Somewhere along the line
You bought eggs from a garage
In a parallel place and time.
At the very extremeties
Of our dormant love,
I knew too late to appreciate
That which I could never touch,
Neither ending nor the essence.

This dampening dream-like nature,
A long green duffel coat and hair
Once vibrant as sunsets
Over Mediterranean ports
And on to far Aden
And golden Sharjah,
Cities we knew a long time ago,
Now grey as a downpour in May
With a woodland scarf,
A husband – I could not meet his eyes –
Two children and my phone
Running low of charge
Like my soul, which is why
I step through my dreamcatcher
To wherever you are present,
Mapless, stateless revenant,
In a rendezvous pretences,
Preferring to be this lost,
I would rather be surrounded
By all those silent deaths above
Than tortured by the humdrum sounds
Of life removed from your love,
Modern and irrelevant.

Foxholes

My missing fox-soul searched,
Far from foxholes flooded;
Faux Moon muzzle-mud observed,
Drizzle cubs cold-blooded.
Her vulpine veins saponified,
Her den reborn inverted,
My hair aflame personified
One less soul converted.
Refrain a sale, saint to ermine,
Daylight’s dearth, unearthly bowl;
Something singing for your soul
For longer life determined.

Marshland Road

Eventually,
Those marshy roads
You pleasantly drove
On Sunday morning
Overloads,
Beyond skeletons made
From fenny pheasants
Ancient and less clawed
By toothless crows
O wide-eyed
Skies below,
Circus tents
And badger’s nose,
Swingbridge blues,
A bull to doze,
Will be essentially
As archaic and unexplained
As brittle canopic jars
Buried under
Tessaraed mosaics
And unidentifiable
Canine remains
In the tomb of
Amenhotep,
Second Pharoah,
A God aflame afloat.

Blind Chaffinch

Such nimble, quicker artistry,
Electric in their chemistry;
Fleet-footed, twig throne-seated,
In awe of more than fourteen free;
Chiding, momentarily;
Mocking and most formidably
Locking braiding jaws and beaks
Like dank dim horns
Sub-knuckerholes,
(Only these were forged
For popping seeds);
Then, confiding in their trembling,
Under withered-wimpled leaves
And snowdrop cloaks,
Within a cloister weighted-down
By later morning apogees;
Exuberant rain-dance chatter
With ancient unsolved dialects;
Newly found, this youthfulness
Could put all suffering, hubris
And pedantry
To bed.

A run on pumps,
Bleak the river bends.
I can hear the notes
But cannot see
Something so obvious
Ending just in front of me.

Jāta

Evolution is testing me;
Her step-sister, Society
Arrested me, complicity.

Canal side paths I cannot walk,
An ancient pump disused
Within a bruising of hedgerows;
My gaumy brain encrusted
With tawny bone and moss.

Deep within me,
Peaty bogs, a cairn stone
Beside a waterfall’s spooling locks
Where thoughts swirl in a pool,
Froth, and only downstream still.

Tell them, tell all the kilted boors
When their universal chores are done
And the last absconders have gone
That I rejected it all.

The Hermit Of St Kilda

A sturgeon in a muddy bath
Atop one wayward cleit-bound path,

A bunion-coloured troubled moon,
Swallowed by his bleak lagoon;

Bothy ghosts with bridal sedge,
Perilous steeper western edge.

He floated on a flotsam-skiff
Disembarked, in gloaming mist,

Footsteps in her foaming surf
Winds were purging sands and turf;

He knelt, and kneeling blessed,
Wilder elements would contest,

Existence, akin to snow still falling
Intrinsically, all thoughts appalling.

An aching storm then passing through
Shook the eyes in that lagoon,

Lugubrious eyes, ugly too,
All the things he never knew.

Dead-way eyes, and deadly too,
For all who looked within the gloom;

Rising above, more than self,
Prayed upon a skerry shelf,

While sturgeon, eel and salmon fled
Back to where the city bled.