Archive for February, 2013

18/02/2013

Vertigo

 

You fall before the final scene,

Tipped from the lip of suicide.

You try to fix a stable point,

Out there, beyond the camera stare.

 

Her face is lit in vivid green,

Your clammy palms and dripping tongue,

Obscene in spirals, circles, swirls:

You’re trapped and haunting streets of lust.

 

Obsessive cycles, garish forms:

You can’t avert your preying eyes.

You pray to find one last release.

A dress, a gaze, address, a death,

 

Then life – a woman, painted, pinned,

An object of your falling dreams.

 

 

response to the film “Vertigo”.

 

 

18/02/2013

Magpie

 

If only there was nothing left

To take – I’d free my shimmered voice:

Released to sing as thrushes sing,

At dawn, at sunset, call the earth.

 

If only I could hide away,

The fields would know my tranquil heart.

A peace which only plovers know:

I’d be – and nothing more than that.

 

But then you’d lose the glittered back,

The gleaming iridescent wings,

The gathered glory of my nest,

The golden rings and silver silk.

 

I wonder if you’d miss the “chack”

And chattered questions I shout back?

18/02/2013

The Prophecy of the Raven

 

I.

I see the silence of my grave,

The wind, the hill, the mists of dawn,

The open beak and broken back,

The feathers thick with blood and moor.

 

I see the sunrise on my bones,

And light the tips of flightless wings

Which flutter in the gentle breeze,

As up above a skylark sings.

 

I see the fungus raid my flesh,

And watch myself dissolve in earth.

The seeping soil that once was me,

Will host my cold and strange rebirth.

 

My call rings out with joy and life:

I’ve seen beyond this pointless strife.

 

 

II.

I see an ocean in my eyes,

My feathers brushed with scales of fish,

My learning heart is formed of sparks,

I sense the tremors of the sun.

 

I see these pasts unfurl their tales,

Though barely one has yet begun.

I know the path that each will take,

Entropic embryos of fate.

 

I see my breath will join the breeze:

A moment’s warmth then lost in clouds.

Those clouds were once my pulsing blood,

They soon will fall as ocean rain.

 

I see my place and know my time:

I call from lungs, from heart, from mind.

 

 

III.

I see the world come round again,

The days of sleek and gleaming hue,

The night of warmth and sheltered wing,

The feathered signs, connected lines.

 

I see the places we once flocked:

The silent mountains ground to dust,

The ancient forests thick with moss,

They melt away in lakes of loss.

 

I see the passing of my kind,

But sight continues on through time,

Beyond the vanished arch of earth,

Beyond the burning universe,

 

I see what will be, not what might:

I shake my feathers loose for flight.

 

 

IV.

I see beyond the light of now,

Through cold eternities of space.

Out there where all the cycles end,

I see the elements descend.

 

I see that emptiness in life,

The ice within the spark and flame,

The pleasures burning in the pain:

I see the sun within the rain.

 

I see the dissipating whole,

Each smile’s inception births a death.

The reason why the pasts collide:

They are the future, form its pull.

 

My wings will take me to the stars:

But ever distant they fly on.

 

 

V.

I see the beauty in your kind,

And how the few will fear your rise.

They try to crush your nascent form,

Deride, despise and spread their bile.

 

I see the distant turn their backs,

And others shout to hide your cries.

They buy and hoard their island shames,

They warm their claws in stolen lands.

 

I see a constellation formed

From stars beyond your senses reach,

And in that gathered throng of stars

Another knowledge will be lit.

 

I call toward that beacon’s pulse:

I see your hope begin to rise.

 

 

VI.

I see tomorrow, cold and dark,

But in the ashes seeds will crack,

And something good will bloom again:

Something simple, pure and free.

 

I see a place where every word

Is set for all to hear and hold,

Where those who live and those below,

Are given space in which to grow.

 

I see the ones who suffered most

Respected, cherished held aloft,

And power flowed from one to all,

Together sung, together born.

 

I tumble through the misted skies:

And call to all the things I’ve seen.

 

VII.

I see your plans and see your pride,

The shields you raise to passing time,

Disputed tales you hold as truth,

When miracles are not enough.

 

I see the mountains ground by ice,

Until they fill the river plains.

The deepest oceans touch the clouds,

Within their depths volcanoes rage.

 

I see your cities spread and rise,

Their fortunes fed by starving mouths.

Your churches made to scar the skies,

Their limits set within your minds.

 

I fly above your world of gold:

There is no future here foretold.

 

VIII.

I see the rocks which were a sea,

The bones of fish on mountain tops,

The fertile lands and desert sands,

They are the journey we will make.

 

I see the cooling universe,

The metal heart of aging stars,

The moment when it all unites,

The moment when the silence falls.

 

I see beyond the end of time,

Beyond the consciousness and pain.

I see the track our spark will take,

When all is nought and sight will end.

 

I raise my beak and shake my wings:

I call the wondrous state of things.

10/02/2013

The Night I Saw “Babette’s Feast”

 

On Brighton beach I watched the birds

Form dark aurora round the pier.

The sunset burned their patterned swirls

As afterglow across my mind.

 

I watched them as they sucked the light,

And dragged it down beneath the waves,

And when the neon broke their spell,

A lonely soul, I left the sea.

 

I went to watch a late night film.

The cinema smelled old and cold.

I drifted through a dreamlike meal,

In darkness tasted beer and bread.

 

A solitary watcher blind:

A film as still as life and time.

 

 

response to the film Babette’s Feast, and to art house cinemas.

 

 

 

10/02/2013

The Hound of the Baskervilles

 

Around St Petersburg the fog

Is emanating tales of fear.

Its rotten stench has howled for years,

It spreads malignant myths of death.

 

The truth behind the curse is raw,

A void as deep as Russian steppes,

Where generations wait for word

Of riches mired as feudal hordes.

 

Those truths are never glimpsed for long:

They’re flashed as fugitives of code,

They’ll raise their dues and feed the hounds,

They’ll drag all wayward souls beneath.

 

The bleakest marsh has tales to tell:

For all around they’re tales of hell.

 

 

response to the film Приключения Шерлока Холмса и доктора Ватсона: Собака Баскервилей (The Hound of the Baskervilles): the version directed by Igor Maslennikov

10/02/2013

The Draughtsman’s Contract

 

The mirror carp outlive us all:

The monarchs, heirs and breeding mares.

The moat is thick as Irish blood,

It laps the brutal sandstone walls.

 

The clues are strewn across the fields,

And scattered out beyond these isles.

The desecrated arts of love

Can claim their ownership of graves.

 

Each day the gardens yield their fruit:

The murders, pomegranates, limes.

Exotic cultures lust for growth,

And envy is an ancient crop.

 

He goes where fame and money lead:

To shame and torture, birth and blame.

 

 

response to the film The Draughtsman’s Contract

 

 

10/02/2013

The Barn Owl

 

Defying earth and air and moon.

An essence made of sky and flight:

Your every silent bob and feint

Will stop a heart, or still the dew.

 

Defy mechanics, vault the clouds,

And shatter every shackled thought.

You see through roots, through night, through time,

And fly on questions, drift on mist.

 

Defy the senses, hide in sight,

You hear the elements combine.

You are the opposite of weight,

You are the miracle they missed.

 

Defying life’s fragility,

You scream impossibility.

 

 

05/02/2013

2001: A Space Odyssey

 

The universe begins in light.

We clutch its bones, we twist and sway.

For us the sterile void of space,

Is all there is and all to be.

 

The emptiness within, without,

Is spinning, weightless, wordless, bleak,

A hollow home to hold our heads,

And birth our dreams, and leave our dead.

 

We step beyond the body’s shell,

Traverse the glimmered track of stars.

We trace our possibilities,

And raise our heads in wonderment.

 

We walk the stepping stones and sparks,

And drift forever through the dark.

 

 

response to the film and novel 2001: A Space Odyssey

 

04/02/2013

Black Narcissus

 

The bell is tolling to the storm,

From peak to peak it magnifies,

Until the wilderness is filled

With crash on crash of peeling bronze.

 

The fall: its horrors kept inside.

The fall: its myths and anguished guilt.

The fall: a never world of sin.

The fall: untouched, unblemished lust.

 

And still the bell is drawing howls

From all the broken hearts, repressed.

It shatters spells of hidden dreams,

It makes belief, it makes it scream.

 

The fall was beaten from the clouds.

The mountains break the passion’s fall.

 

 

response to the film Black Narcissus

04/02/2013

Withnail and I

 

The eras end with wrecking balls,

And eyes so dark they look like fights.

Just try and touch those stars again:

You know you’re made of light and dust.

 

If peace and love are sold as slaves,

And aesthetes all have broken hearts,

Then all that’s left is rain and pills,

Those rapid fading hopes and dreams.

 

So take your wine to Camberwell,

And walk your wolves to Primrose Hill,

And join the ghosts at Camden Lock:

It had to crash, it rose too high.

 

You face two ways when made to lose:

Regret the end, embrace the fall.

 

response to the film Withnail and I

 

03/02/2013

The Third Man

 

Between the lines of chaos left,

The shadows and the rubble piles,

The cats, the beggars and the old:

The ones whom death had overlooked.

 

He makes a simple killing there:

Chiaroscuro trades at night,

Around the Hofburg’s ruined walls,

Beneath St Stephen’s tarnished gold.

 

Sewer deep the devil rules.

An overspill of human loss,

From steppes and mountains, bombed out towns,

They cry to him through wounds of waste.

 

He’s there: a light to pry in graves.

He’s there, to light the caudite charge.

 

 

Response to the film “The Third Man”.

03/02/2013

Three Colours: Blue

 

The beads of simple, tinted glass:

Between each one the links of loss.

The music of their chimes when touched:

The glittered schisms, splitting light.

 

Each facet shines with bitter dreams.

Each angle cut betrays a past,

A slight, a trap, a loveless chill,

And yet a life which always was.

 

The threads which bind are rarely seen.

Beneath the beat, a universe;

Between the beads and solid earth

The scattered force of freedom’s cost.

 

The grief which comes with cutting loose

The bluest segments of the sky.

 

 

Response to the film Three Colours: Blue.