Archive for May, 2013

25/05/2013

The Shadow Figures of the Vrsic Pass

 

I took the high road through the pass.

The rain and mist whisped round the pine,

Above the trees the clouds touched earth:

I saw the shadow figures there.

 

I moved towards them, they withdrew.

The shadow figures knew the tracks:

They knew them like the hazel grouse.

They padded lightly with the lynx.

 

I saw their faces briefly there:

Beyond the rock face, glaring down.

I saw their questions, wild and raw,

With human eyes and shadow souls.

 

The mists soon closed the Vrsic Pass:

The shadow figures melted back.

 

 

20/05/2013

Secret Hiding Place

 

Amongst the lime-sun barley spikes,

A conch-curled shell of azure hides:

A field of summer, field of spring,

A field that Demeter would sing

 

Where lovers run through trails of stems

And trace their broken tracks through life,

To where the underworld begins,

To where the sun and night are streams.

 

It’s there amongst the twisted grass,

There they hang from grains and grasp

At rains which come as echo seas:

The hidden ones who cast their shells

 

For now their light of life will glow,

And deep within their mysteries flow.

 

 

Poem inspired by the rather wonderful photograph, taken by Silentwonderland,

and found here: http://silentwonderland.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/secret-hiding-place/

 

 

 

 

20/05/2013

Where “L.A. Woman” Played

 

The black-walled flat – as damp as dark –

Where smoke and carpet merged and flowed,

And promise drained, and talent flayed

Its beauty with a knife of song.

 

And through the liquid of my eyes

I sensed the air begin its ebb,

It sucked another day to death:

A Hammond swirled, a poet curled.

 

The concrete stairwell, soaked in gold,

Was echoing a dusk or dawn,

As rain began corralling drains,

And woke that sleeper from its pains.

 

Out there a dog lay writhed in bones:

In dereliction, howled alone.

 

 

Remembering hearing LA Woman by The Doors in a squat in Blackburn, Lancashire, 1987.

19/05/2013

Lost for Words/Words for Loss

 

The words will cease one summer night:

Just midway through an opening line

A poem stops and calm descends.

They drain my veins these awful words.

 

The words have worth I never knew.

Their meanings hide in other minds,

They find their ways to pool their tricks,

They carve their tracks through broken hearts.

 

And I will stare at stars that night,

And see them just as points of light.

And I will feel the wordless dew:

Just notice it and know it’s true.

 

The words will mourn me in my void:

You’ll find the words despairing there.

 

 

19/05/2013

Alone Again Or

 

The dust and strings and motel lights:

An Iliad of horns which weep

Across the desert south, and sweeps

The meeting place of every scream.

 

They all converge and break their songs.

Cicada tremolos, which tease

The furtive loves lived out of bounds:

Illegal mouths to feed with dreams.

 

The voices dub and layer above

A canyon deep, where visions clashed

On streets with water cannon blasts.

Achilles – swift – has lost his fight

 

And hangs alone above the sands:

A broken man from distant lands.

 

 

Prompted by:

http://mindlovemisery.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/prompt-4-music/

 

inspired by:

Alone Again Or,  by Arthur Lee and Love

18/05/2013

The Primrose Bank

 

The primrose bank was April sun.

Beneath a hawthorn, robin rich,

With sad, sweet, dappled songs of light,

The primrose bank was every spring.

 

And every spring the petals poured

Their golden cadence gleaned from years,

From melodies of pastel tints,

From wood, to beck, to changing skies.

 

The verses flick rebirths of time,

Their delicate and shuttling lines

Which called on rains to fill their voice:

And voices filled, and sun rejoined.

 

The primrose bank is life to you,

The robin’s song is always new.

 

 

15/05/2013

Morlock

 

The phosphorescence rolled the rocks,

In luminescent workings locked.

One more to hold within the walls,

One more to weld alone and tied.

 

Too fortunate, too blistered blue,

Too formed by broken will and rage.

One more for silent angers crushed,

One more for wasting, whipped and blocked.

 

Indoctrinated, sulphurous tears,

In violence, sated lusts and fears.

One more to twist and turn our way,

One more soft back to crack, then meld.

 

In green the glow of hollow earths,

In green the eyes and horrors stored.

 

 

14/05/2013

Bachman’s Warbler

 

The light of neurones formed of gold.

The light of skies beneath the lakes.

The light of memories dying out.

The light of mourning fireflies.

 

Out there, before the war forgot

To purge its nightmares from our streets,

A weightless shimmering of blood

Had stopped to drip on southern crops.

 

Its song was shackled to its fate:

Its song of falling, song of light.

Its burned with topaz in the swamps:

A voice of sunlight through the night,

 

A drop of blood which stained its loss

On leaves and lives and crosses born.

 

 

14/05/2013

Hyperacusis (II)

 

Within the plastic twists and shifts

Of spectra split from screech to hum,

Unravelled sounds of empty rooms

Are splayed across our emerald selves.

 

The waterfall of pressure waves,

Cascading foam, neuronal sweeps,

Are rushed back through the feedback loops

And pour again with greater force.

 

The energy of the air unleashed,

And time again yet more release:

The sapphire bands, the ruby wreaths.

 

The vicious proof of life made raw,

Through light, through sound, through screams:

With at the end a gasping mind.

 

 

13/05/2013

Always Four

 

Between the branches on the beech

She sees a star and shivers.

She gathers in her dressing gown

And closes tight the curtains.

 

The floor is cold, the room is poised,

A creaking board the single sound

Besides the tinnitus which whines.

Outside the wind is dying down.

 

Her eyes are heavy, full of sleep.

She stands and waits for thoughts to break

The pounding of the still.

 

The clock, which stopped a while ago,

Restates the time when timing ceased.

She bows her head and shuts her eyes.

 

 

13/05/2013

Two Modes of Study

 

Precise amounts of manganese

Dissolved with hormones: scattered truths.

Across a desk a mound of facts,

A half constructed proof of tears.

 

The counted words, the research notes,

The Harvard Referenced quotes for weight,

The nights of struggle pushed aside,

The memories lost in paper balls.

 

Just here – this eye can tell it all –

Each gram of iron, each lonely year,

Ionic tales of grief and thought.

 

The study skips between two states,

But soon must fold back on its tracks,

Its solitudes and sufferings.

 

 

13/05/2013

Lasting

 

We’ll waste our few remaining nights,

Enjoy the pointlessness of sleep,

Then call on friends we’d lost to time,

On days we should be fighting for.

 

We’ll make our pacts we know we’ll break.

We’ll tell our loved ones nothing new:

Revealing any more would just

Leave them with more questions.

 

And then we’ll turn our faces up

To sun or clouds, to stars or snow.

We’ll kiss the rain and know it’s true.

As if we had one moment more.

 

We’ll run the emerald fronds of plants

Through fingers touched by magic.

12/05/2013

Reverberations

 

You take a step, the Earth slips back.

It’s never fair, it rarely is,

But just in case you didn’t know:

It’s in your eyes I see my life.

 

The sadnesses which came before,

The solitary walks at night,

The sleeping rough beside the cliffs

Were never yours: you gave me life.

 

I measure out the speeding years

Like feet and inches on a wall:

Each notch another pain or joy.

And so our Earth is spinning by.

 

Again, in case you weren’t aware,

In your young life there lies the point.

 

 

To Joseph

 

 

12/05/2013

Time Planners

 

Were we to run the clocks instead,

We’d plan the world as dreamers do,

With moments set aside for sleep,

The rest carved up for us to use.

 

The hardest hours would be the ones

Where necessary chores were shared.

Remunerations would be paid

In week-ends stretching on for months.

 

And soon we’d lose all sense of time,

And clocks would tick ‘til batteries died,

And light and night would merge and mix.

 

And soon we’d lose all sense of us,

As married day and married dark,

Would form our perfect, timeless heart.

 

 

12/05/2013

Hyperacusis (I)

 

The opposite of deaf is deaf.

 

The screeching spines inside your head,

The spiral labyrinth of drills,

Igniting spikes of sound and pain.

 

The lances pierce your amygdala.

Your lizard mind lies whining back.

The neurone contours spit and flail.

 

The opposite of deaf is deaf

 

At night the echo pins are pricked

To vent the agonies of angels

Through the diamond points of scars.

 

And every slightest scratch sets off

A pulse of blood to silence words.

When deaf the noises never stop.

 

 

12/05/2013

The Barmanou

 

 

They shook the mountain caves at night,

They broke the boulders, cracked the cliffs,

They mocked the flags on sunrise snow,

They howled around the prayer wheels.

 

Then far beyond the mountain’s pull

A gentle chant, the plateaux’s thought,

Was caught in clouds and spiralled up

To join the Karakoram’s breath.

 

They stopped a while to hear the chant,

Put down their knives of Yengisar.

Then, furrow-browed, they went on back

To breaking wilderness and peace.

 

For all their noise, they heard the change:

They sensed the myths had rearranged.

 

12/05/2013

Yeti

 

She plumps the furs to make them soft,

Then settles down to share her thoughts.

The image world of snow and rock

Soon takes her to the meeting place.

 

The children play outside the cave,

It’s cold, and bright, and leopard free.

Their voices echo through her dreams.

Across the valley mothers join.

 

One shows an ibex, one a storm,

They share their images and tales:

She visions children playing safe.

The mothers strengthen her embrace.

 

They all have seen the tears of life:

This mountain valley is their space.

 

 

03/05/2013

The Panther Man

 

The shadows curl their lips and kiss

My silent feet. They keep me safe.

In light I weigh, but here I float:

Adrift in myths and hidden fates.

 

From here I watch you fight for space.

I see the endless paths you take:

You circle, paw, and spiral down.

You know I’m here: within, beyond.

 

I ripple through your flitting mind,

Just hinting at the shape of words.

A fire as dark as Saturn’s heart,

A trick of whispers, mist and night.

 

I pad these forest tracks alone,

A shadow soft in shadow’s hold.

 

 

03/05/2013

The Almas

 

The Altai nomads sleep in skins,

And lay hot stones on melting snow.

We know the envy of their souls:

For generations we have watched.

 

Our altars pile from mound to moon,

To seasons of the thousand lives.

We touch horizons deep within:

Beyond the heart, beyond our time.

 

Beneath the grasslands work our roots.

Our feet kiss feet with mirror men.

We feed the sap of spirit pines.

We leave our skins on jagged rocks.

 

We raise our voices in the still:

The Altai nomads fade as dew.

 

 

02/05/2013

Words on Island Shores

 

We spoke the words on island shores:

Before the rains, before the snows,

Before the coming storms and floods.

We spoke the words, we heard the world.

 

It shook the islands, shook the ferns.

It took a word from oak, a word

It took, and tales it spun, the oak –

In mountains – pouring spoken rains.

 

We passed beyond the lives of oak,

We took the tales to coming storms,

The mountains spat the islands down,

We heard the tales and spoke the tales.

 

Unbroken tales from skies, to rains,

To lakes, to oaks, to island shores.