Posts tagged ‘fear’

04/08/2013

The Letter Bird of Recurring Nightmares

 

I knew in sleep the beast would come,

And so I stayed awake too late.

My forest village lived to fear

My nightmares, clawing from their skies.

 

Beyond the lights of round-hut fires,

The Letter Bird had wasted worlds,

And screamed and stalked and hawked its prey.

It ripped at meat with metal beak.

 

They waited, huddled, through the night.

They heard its wings. I tried to wake,

And hoped, if not, their walls would hold,

And keep the Letter Bird at bay.

 

I rarely woke before it claimed

Another victim from my world.

 

 

for the prompt “Childhood Dreams” put up by

mindlovemisery link here… CLICKY

 

31/07/2013

Suburban Sylph of Crying Owls (video poem)

 

Suburban Sylph of Crying Owls is a video poem for thecheesewolf (aka Gavin Jones)’s poem of the same name. This video poem features the artwork of Carine Brosse.

 
video poem copyright Gavin Jones 2013

15/07/2013

Le Mort

 

The scratch of ink, the wash of blood,

The breath of lust and love and dust,

A wrap of linen (bed or shroud),

The tomb unlocked, a broken frame.

 

And past this list: a life in flow.

The fluid stains, forbidden pains,

The cold, external brush of god,

Who whispers to the pen: “breed death”.

 

And death will come, and you will flood

Your skeletal, yet swollen, grave.

The story of your eye encrusts

Itself, accursed, around your core.

 

The tale, the book, the heart, the brush.

The dead man, draped across the cloth.

 

 

After the artwork by Marina Kanavaki – viewable at:

http://marinakanavaki.com/2012/02/07/le-mort/

which was itself inspired by the short story by Georges Bataille.

many thanks to Marina

20/06/2013

Jesenica – Aberdare – Iron – Coal – 1913

 

The garlands of narcissi shone,

Amongst the regiments of steel.

From orange dust, in which they coughed:

Came building’s load, and railroad.

 

Just like the metal there was coal,

Which clogged the lungs, and coated souls,

And saturated hems and hopes

Of every waiting valley girl.

 

And from the margins built the calls,

Along the tunnels, from the slag,

Around the coke and winding sheds:

They sung the gallows, whispered war.

 

The patterns of despair were set

Across a Europe drowned in sweat.

 

 

15/06/2013

The Thunder Birds

 

The thunder birds could tame the sun.

They flew, although their bones were stone.

The broken parchment of their wings

Could soar them through volcanic skies.

 

With jade for eyes and quartz for teeth

They hunted over nightmare seas.

At night they slept upon the moon,

And hung like bats with diamond claws.

 

And when they roared they split the earth,

The sound would echo on for years,

The scars they ripped were canyon deep,

Whole mountains crumbled at their screech.

 

One day they simply disappeared.

They left this world, they left their fear.

 

 

09/06/2013

Night Birds Calling

 

In other times, on darker nights,

The ones who carved the stones would quake

At forest howls, at spirit streams,

At shadows flitting through the trees.

 

But us: we see the lights of planes,

We hear the distant hum of roads,

We search the nightjar – tick that box –

We walk straight lines of forest tracks.

 

Oblique we stand – their world breaks through –

There’s distance here that we can’t know.

We hear the birds, we sense the fear:

Religion, science, mean little here.

 

Our pride and indolence are new,

These creatures scream from something true.

 

 

30/04/2013

The Atacama Humanoid

 

You called us dust and distant lands.

With sandstorm veil and mysteries bound,

With feet as sharp as cactus wren:

You claimed the stars, your hands were scarred.

 

Beyond the nitrate mine and cross,

You carried us to ocean’s scents,

To know the horrors of the edge,

To ask us how we bent the Earth.

 

We wept and tasted desert rose,

We shook beneath the condor’s wing,

We hid from caracara’s claw.

You called this home, this tear-stained sky.

 

We lived in fear of men and dogs,

For freedom begged the desert moon.

 

 

10/04/2013

Sticklebacks

 

I had a jar of sticklebacks

I’d netted down amongst the weed.

I sat and watched as they watched me,

Our stillness shared for forty years.

 

With azure, scarlet, silver sides,

Eclipsed the joy of my field guides.

The book I’d read on every night

Would now be left to prop a pile.

 

The jar contained the living truth –

The eyes, the spines and fragile tails –

I’d felt them wriggle on my palm,

Their life as real as mine was dry.

 

I watched them breathe through gaping mouths.

I watched them stop, grow dull and die.

 

 

26/03/2013

Fox on Pendle

 

How far? The shadows on the sea:

The pools of Irish light and rain,

The Dales, the Fells, the Lakes, the sky,

And heaven burning through those eyes.

 

The sodden feet where dotterel land,

The pounding heart where plover call,

The simple path, the vision scraped,

The buzzard circling overhead.

 

How far? From Israel to the mill,

From handloom to the broken hand,

And further still, the trees and hills:

He saw them, feared them, felled them, climbed.

 

How far? Beyond the passions’ reach:

As far as words and mysteries teach.

 

 

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

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.

19/01/2013

Painkiller

 

My screams are petals, leaves and buds,

Their blooms, I howl down from the stars,

In solitary flights they fade,

From treetops shed their seasons’ end.

 

I cannot say I do not fear

What lies beneath, what is so near.

I cannot hide, nor pass unseen,

Before these people I have been.

 

These eyes have held a mirrored sky,

Ensouled the air and stared through depths

Which others see and doubt no more:

These pains which come with beauty’s name.

 

Although I have no choice but this,

My screams are blossoms of my bliss.

 

 

19/01/2013

The Carpenter’s Oak

 

Beneath the patina of oak,

The sap of ages weighs the worth

Of prayers and hopes, of rights and wrongs,

Without the curse of falling leaves.

 

The carver and the carved are found

United in this judge’s bench.

In every cut are questions marked:

Belief and doubt are scratched the same.

 

And where the rational preaches calm

The oak will stretch a hanging rope.

Its shadow falls on certainty:

The measured minds will lose their voice,

 

Beneath the words the oak spreads roots.

Behind the incantations: fear.

 

 

(poem inspired by various stories of M.R. James)

11/06/2012

The Minotaur Waits

 

The mystery ends when life ends

When eyes can see beyond this light

When fields are mountains, seas and skies:

A labyrinth of passing states.

 

The limestone springs which burst from cliffs,

The hawks and snakes which flow like streams,

The towns which grow and crumble back,

And through them all the binding thread.

 

Beneath a slope of sage in bloom

The monster licks his face and stares

Into the darkness of his lair.

He waits to take another life.

 

As all the other creatures here

He ties the strands of many fears.

25/05/2012

In the Pit

 

In every pit there waits a beast

To break your will and snap your back,

To feast on every fear you bring:

And fears you’ll bring, and feast it will.

 

Just take the rope and lower away

And go in search of horns and snout,

And breath the stench of mustard gas,

And primal stew of sacrifice.

 

You need that beast to drag you on,

To shake you from the placid ways.

Its monstrous and divided lusts

Compel you to prepare for life.

 

For round the next uncertain bend

It just might be that this will end.

21/05/2012

Grassington Minotaur III

 

From off the moors I’ve heard your moans,

And seen the blood stains on the stones,

The howl of fearful winter storms:

Above the doors I’ve seen the charms.

 

But were you ever any more

Than breath exhaled in voiceless awe?

A thought which lingered on too long,

And left the anguish clinging on?

 

And did you taste the cavern’s air:

The dampness, rock and trapped despair?

Your monstrous counting of the space:

The skeletal wrecks through which you pace.

 

And did the living curse your name,

And weep as lovers fed your shame?

13/05/2012

Monsters

 

I’ve heard the bunyip howl in swamps,

Its screams as loud as hurricanes.

I’ve seen the creatures crouch and hide,

As bunyip footsteps shake the earth.

 

I’ve felt the dread of moonless nights

In forests writhing, thick with snakes,

Majestics shrieking from the trees,

The sounds of death and feeding life.

 

I’ve woken in the dark of dawn,

My mind ablaze with wordless fears,

Anxieties dragging monsters out.

From every shadow: clashing teeth

 

And now I walk into the maze,

To find the beast and face it down.