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.


I Am Not Unique

I am not unique.
There are another ten thousand
Just like me (sub-meaning being
I am far from irreplaceable)
In these unredemptive moments
Which fall like old snowflakes
In baubles and saucers,
In reflections and in tendencies.

I am not unique.
This sadness is ubiquitous,
(Engulfing and never retreats)
We are woebegone experts
In the ravenously bleak
Mapless frontiers with our
Purring batteries
And silent artillery.

I am not unique;
Stone-filled arteries
And bruisewort disease,
We sit in our cages
As cycles continue
On the last of the piers,
Or lost, haplessly,
While out at sea.

I am not unique.
By our army united
And spirit-siphoning industries,
We comb our hair
And wash our beards,
We go to bed,
Amazed when we wake up
The same way as someone else.

Encomium

Artists, hold up the rivers of the world!
Re-route all the inevitable flow
Through fenny drains and artifice.

This glassy surface observed from below,
Through your mirrors fixed and held
Our curving universe, a damp fell,

And being a mute extra in my life
I am dexterously kayaking cataracts
With no little verve and thrill

To preserve those passing actors
And their entourages through a swirl,
Achieving nothing at all.

Apparatchiks and financiers
Will line those canal-sides furnished
With skulls just like trophies

Burnished with jewels and gold,
Only both are grey and dulled,
Only their blood a colour

Known in thickening wine poured
Between our lips within an older world.
I witnessed this appalled,

Hiding behind a sail-clip
On my little persevering hull,
My skiff of walrus tusk

And hacksawed ivory hope.
When the fields are flooded
Inherent a danger in thinking

We are more than we are,
Rain fall, river roars,
Then painted and sold

At Abyssinian bazaars.
So rally, protest in your artistry,
As I wend into a distant, aching lake

Where they practice still
Their beating hearts
And their husbandry.

Numbers

How many parts
Might contribute
To the entirety
Of me,
Made on production lines
Might I say
Like automata,
Might I say like
Serendipity,
How many nuts and bolts:
206 bones,
32 teeth,
1 brain or maybe two
Or three,
Or ten to the power of
Fourteen synapses;
Add ligaments,
Add damages,
Add follicles,
Add freckles,
Add moles,
Add imperfections
In their millions,
Add my eyeballs,
Add my feet;
Add my nerves,
Add my ancient pleas,
What numbers then
Do we reach?
Only one,
Less fallacies.

The sad irony being
Unencumbered,
I did not ever really believe
In numbers.

The Reason For This Evening’s Tailback

Deathly onyx cold,
When the layering curse returns,
As it always will and still unfolds,
Ravenous, his satiation made
Impossible, implausible,
Bringing new brocaded covers
With images of his solace
Although its story is well told,
I then become cold to my bones
And proximity is no requisite
For shivering from his grimacing
Chtonic, unobvious presence,
Timeless and with flashing teeth
On gums of gangrene and mould.

In this grim palace
A choice is not a choice,
Any meaning is void
And made obtuse,
Made meaningless;
Debased, your imagination
Weighed the same as gold,
Which he bought, and
Which he melted to
Gild the dumbstruck throats
Of statues in his home.

Unwilling guest, dreaded party,
I had torn up his red invitation
But a taxi arrived regardless.
Now I am bound with his
Interminable shadows
While he plays a consummate host,
Debonair, with silverware,
He spins on a cane of liquified hope
And this bleak trope is complete,
Gone with all cares,
They were strafed from wastelands
And in his darkness I grope for
The one way home,
That one truth path
He scattered within
A million mascarading bluffs.

It would be akin
To climbing back in
To the belly of a dragon
Having seen the knight
From within eviscerate,
Daylight sharply juxtaposed
Between swordtip and entrails
As he slices me out.
No, life, sunshine, heroes,
No you don’t.
Put me back on the shelf,
On the bleak rib and distral ropes
Where gastric flames
Did many a stronger man well-roast
And more so, yes, than me.

So, then, these true happenings
(With heavy heart I am re-telling)
Are made manifest
In men driving their many cars,
(Cars they keep on selling),
Parked by central reservations –
Early evening drifting snow –
Tailbacks ensuing,
Vows for renewing,
And with nowhere left,
Nowhere left to go.

Foxhole

Straggly sprouting rust-coloured roots
Define my vulpine life;
At dusk, I stare up from my earthy-bedded
Denizen, up this red tubular shoot
I dug out with my snout
To observe a dutiful Moon,
Rusty too, old ruby shoes,
With my paw I claw for an awful truth.
Distant Moon, you are unrepentant,
Occluded too,
And unlike most other liars
Have nothing to say that’s new.

Dark chute, daylight blues,
I rest my head on my outstretched legs
And watch the ostracised humans
Moving to work.
I once had whiskers of fire
And I would dream about you,
Fearless dreams, dead dreams
Starving mutual fuels of desire and truth.
Along with those roots there are
Long-buried plastics and also bones
From crones and a Viking tooth.
At times, it is stifling down here and
I have nothing left to chew.
Our litter, by some absurd urge
Of the Great Dictator Nature
All outgrew their rooms. Of course,
You were the apple of my eye
And I thought, I believed
Habitually, against my better sense,
Ritualistically, squeezed beneath a fence
That I could not live without you.
This was a lie, for whom Nature
And I inevitably colluded.

New bins, broken lids,
My nose is still the same as yours
(Although olfactorily mine is more highly
Evolved), and I am not immune
To crossing busy turnpikes
In the early evening light
In the hope, as thin as the unblinking
Eyelashes of Moon, dodging lorries,
That a car might careen
Through a new reality or two.

Subliminal Hooks

Dreams are hung on sunbeams,
Out in a garden to dry,
Steam I have seen rising,
Subliminal hooks in the sky;
Ancient as an argument
While no one remembers why.

There is an unseen world
Within my organs, my tubers,
Where moving creatures thrive:
Spermatozoa,
Micro-organisms,
Carnivores in disguise.
Should my body burst
Like a vodka-soaked melon
Standing in only my socks
In a hosted dream
In your backyard,
Please do not wake me up.

I wonder how far into madness
We can stray before it is
Too late to return.

Over the river
They have set seven festival fireworks off.
I heard applause, distant,
A languorous dog breathes
In my ear and tells me
Life is not for living;
Her voice is husky and
Her beard is coarse;
And i wonder whether all those moments
Are locked, unchangeable,
Or if variants spin and gather
Like a Catherine Wheel
In a clear night sky.

Somewhere then, I am worse off;
I would return to that place
Though not at that one time –
There’s too much pain in the host,
And the river there offers nothing,
But sinners floating, and ghosts.

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.