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?

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.

A Crime Scene

Turn my head to one side,
Existentially shy, and sleep deprived;
Alone in a mostly unhomely bed
And words tip out
From my mouth,
The mouth in my head.
I observed mutely
Their acute, distinct forms,
Their acumen as they tumbled
One
By
One
Onto my musty bedroom floor.
Until all that remains
Is a hollowed-out cranium,
And a verbal stain
Of beetroot-red blood on my case.

A lexicon of detectives
Entered the stale daylight,
Scratched their proverbial heads,
Striving when aligning invisible dots,
Returned home to partners
And a scotch on the rocks.

Night-time, dark seas,
Waves as high as a devil’s eye
And a coldness which strips your
Life-jacket and your skin
And then your seven dignities
As it becomes something horribly
And unethically mythic and
Intravenous.
What senseless, sponsored
Statelessness
Could be worse than this
For you to attempt crossing,
To enter this grey
Bay Of The Disconsolate.
Searchlights and sou’westers,
Faces chipped and glazed like
Limestone obelisks stolen
For someone else’s vanity project,
Now violated, graffitied,
Vandalised to your very souls
As you float in oceans
You have never even seen,
Where an armada danced
Before your demise,
Supinely, and serene,
Nor the land and sovereignty
And simple everyday occasions
Which can gratify and relieve –
A birthday, a Wednesday –
To ease an eternal
Deplorable soreness.

I want to rip out the sea;
I want to tear out the heart
Of every incompetence and
Inadequacy –
You were all born, you were
Umbilical, and biblical,
You were loved and languages
Added into those percolating bones;
You were found and swelled
In life’s great lung-like wells
And still, unchangeably, all for this,
Far too far from any sort of homeland;
Lighthouse power outages,
And so many exits unplanned.

Letters From A Misanthropist



If I laid stock-still
Through quietest nights
On my side
Would all
My naked thoughts
Fall out?

An earthquake of pain
Reverberates
In my tectonic mind.

In a dream
Through gritted teeth
And a sense of purpose
I did not own,
I wrote letters
To my son
And also everyone;
Letters of apology,
Letters singed by the sun.
So little left to inspire,
I decided to enquire
Into my mind and
Write down names
Of several men I admired,
To prove a value
More for my son
Than myself,
Than anything else.

Alphabetically
This dream-missive listed:
Alex Jeffries, for persistence,
Colin Powell, for cross-party respect,
Denis Mukwege, for making a difference,
Despite the circumstances;
François Villon, balking against
The injustices of
The See of Orléans;
Mr John Wheatley,
Same reason as Denis’s,
Only a different season
And in a different respect;
Louis Bleriot for his determination
In all matters aviation
And in love;
Richard Ratcliffe for his hunger striking
For a principle, for his wife;
Several Russian mid-nineteenth
Century poets, ditto Chilean,
Ditto Chinese and Japanese
And European and American
From predominantly before
1980 or maybe 1984.

I poured a molten moth
Back up into my skull
Through my broken
Ethmoid bone,
And woke up, exhausted,
In a sweat I must confess,
And wondering how
I had evolved
Through experience
Into this
Misanthropist.



1461

Alpacas in a rolling field,
And species sold unseen,
Many metres down my shield,
Such places I have been.

You have doorbells now,
I had muse and mead,
Bones did show to me somehow
A foul and future deed.

An owl within your stomach
Flew through all this time,
A blizzard for a buzzard,
Sacred and sublime.

We sacrificed our future,
Seven days of rivers red,
My past both sword and suture,
A llama farm my bed.

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.