Seven

My palm lines are changing –
Life is rearranging,
Slowly, piece by piece.
Scintilla soul,
Tesserae hole,
My apocrypha, at least,
Is over
For now.

A cloud that day,
That cloudless day,
Revealed its fury,
Furies revel
In sixes and sevens.
Spectacles covered,
Pigeons survived,
Dustsheets all over,
Sevens and nines.

Dead escalators.
Tokens to green,
Covered in dust,
Dust and debris.
Sirens pervasive,
And pervasive
We collapsed
Or scratched
Or stretched
As an inflexed
Naked armpit.

Asphyxia,
Suits say die,
So they said,
And so we trust;
Yet truth can be
Evasive.
Grey faces,
Early grey hair
Like a Lowry abroad.
Hatzalah paramedics
Abound in my
Parallel dreams.
I wake
In a sweat
Into boundless rust,
Into blue sky
And a useless sword
To thwart a seam.

Bled Out

I am envious here
Of people in tiniest
Terraced houses,
The bald sweaty farmers
And all the brief spiders
Delighting in
Their whitening,
These workers in spinning
Peripheries of forests
Where greens speak
Privately, some merge
Silently, and where
Motorcars plucked pheasants
From trajectories
More skywardly,
Now turning berserkly
In the ferny flushing
Of their fibres, I passed
Carcasses of some
While others
Jerked and spluttered;
Even here, I know envy,
Walking by,
I am a dying light
Within a zoetrope
And these narrow doors
And rotting windows
Float by like embers
Before the lightning,
And I come to realise
Through my own signage,
Through my own bones
And fingers
The bare river,
The influx from cities
With their hardening
Inflexions
And battery acid
Vernacular
That I am envious
Not of bricks
And mortar,
Not of the movers
And removers,
Nor my life stymied
By neither my fear
Of creativity
Nor failure,
But instead
Of my own childhood.

Nubian

My head is compressed
(In cartouche contents
Made for dead
Languages and archaic
Aspirations traced in
Plumes of incense,
Haunting nisba-laden
Conjugations with lists of
Nubian fisheries, bakers,
Haberdasheries and fabrics
From a starry peninsula,
Often misread and
Always missaid aloud,
My name was poorly
Pronounced somehow),
As I tread these deserted fields
Devoid of other dog-walkers,
In colder shrouds and clouds
Formed by exhaustion,
Pressed and re-pressed
Like a dried dandelion
In a volume unread,
My pages of dread speak
Into the breach of
Time and space,
From marbled halls,
A minister disgraced,
To a Baltic beach
Beneath the dacha
Where their children
Reach to impossibly touch
Vapour trails the gods
Of cacophonous oligarchs
Inhale from within their
Sarcophagi (and we are blessed
They said to be able to travel
And sunbathe and have sex
In the toiletry aisle
Of a Balearic supermarket
While a bored middle-aged
Checkout attendant with a
Name badge which reads
Catalina files her red nails
And rolls her eyes
With a fed-up expression,
Until we unknotted our lives
Into marriages and false promises
Or if not false then unwitting
And no less juvenile,
And jobs, and downfalls,
And a vacuous
Repetitiveness of Dawns),
Spumous offerings
And votives and how futile
To think otherwise,
Or to fume with such
Unprecedented fury
Our peers denied,
And all through that time
They were the ones in a happier crowd,
They were the ones burning
A once-fabled cow,
Oiling a river on fire,
Standing up to their knees
In effluence clotted
By our keenness to deliver,
By our kindling desire.

Over a different horizon
I envisaged a raft, far adrift,
Where I was alone and immersed
Therein eternal solace
And a certain bliss.

Blues

In youthful days
I could not know
These ways of you
Would change and grow;
Not for better,
Always worse,
Yet if abeyant
Fate
Is versed,
Who will wear
In blue
This curse.

Considering
These tired enquiries
Distractedly,
Quietly,
Little more than frayed
Boot laces left in a shed,
I trod upon my anguish,
Barefoot, pierced through my soles
By rotten and forgotten branches
Underneath a rosebriar bush
Where foxes were thwarted
And ladybirds courted
A flagless border imparted,
These remains are still
Too sharp to handle
Ungloved, though many years
Have waned in truth
Since numbers were pruned
Beneath a single glass eye of
A newly shot moon,
Long before
The dark in the dew
Of my tears would pour
On the eglantine proof.

I found a long-dead mistle-thrush
Beyond my unwaxed gate,
He brought to me a message,
His gassy eyeballs glazed;
Lividity, a beaten breast,
Downy pall for his heart,
Stiffly pointed scaly legs,
No more worms for the beak.
Absurdly straight, those legs,
A spindly, wiry
Duet of prayers
Offered to our blithely
Tergiversate universe
On my starless
Tarmacadam path;
One last breath
With flames as blue
As the one true host,
One last herald
Too late to restart.