Posts tagged ‘life’

21/10/2013

Passengers

 

So who is there to hear our sighs?

Our tears will go unnoticed here,

And we will pass, as angels pass:

Unseen and in the end, unloved.

 

And who will take this track with us?

Another lonely soul who sits

And traces light on passing clouds,

With nothing left to lose or win.

 

And we will fill out hollow eyes

With all the dust which fell from stars.

And we will cling on to the hope

That someone here will share our weight.

 

So who is there to dream of us,

To hold our hand, to make this stop?

 

 

This poem was written as a response to the photograph by artist Cheryl Garner. It is part of an on-going journey.

The photographs, with poems, can be found at:

www.thecheesewolf.co.uk/category/vicarious-journeys/

the work of Cheryl Garner can be found at:

http://cherylgarner.squarespace.com/

 

20/10/2013

Reflection

 

In you he finds the space to be,

So obvious for all to see.

You sit together on the seats:

You’re sharing thoughts, not needing words.

 

I watch you, wonder if you know,

And wonder if you’re growing cold.

He’s gazing down upon your hands:

You know he is: he often does.

 

And then, I’ve gone a step too far:

Not you, but me I’m reading here.

You catch my eye, then look away.

He only needs to touch your hands.

 

The thoughts pass on, the words have gone:

The two of us are miles apart.

 

 

This poem was written as a response to the photograph by artist Cheryl Garner. It is part of an on-going journey.

The photographs, with poems, can be found at:

www.thecheesewolf.co.uk/category/vicarious-journeys/

the work of Cheryl Garner can be found at:

http://cherylgarner.squarespace.com/

20/10/2013

Train Leaving

 

That lost, bewildered look she loved:

So why, today, was he a wreck?

“Forget the night”, she said again.

They fell in drops about her feet,

 

Those heavy tears, they fell inside.

She made her smile for one last time:

It formed a line about her lips

Which wasn’t there the day before.

 

The first he knew she’d walked away,

A rueful cast upon her frown.

So there he stood, alone and cold:

He wished he’d worn a better shirt.

 

He wished he had a clever line.

The platform span and she was gone.

 

 

This poem was written as a response to the photograph by artist Cheryl Garner. It is part of an on-going journey.

The photographs, with poems, can be found at:

www.thecheesewolf.co.uk/category/vicarious-journeys/

the work of Cheryl Garner can be found at:

http://cherylgarner.squarespace.com/

13/10/2013

Commuters

 

I’ll see her standing in the rain.
The place, the time: they never change.
She hugs her bag in front of her,
Her toes are on the yellow line.

It’s rare to see her raise her head.
On days like this her hair is wet
And darker than its usual brown.
She stares on to the tracks, unmoved.

For years we’ve shared the same routine:
She stands, I wait – anticipate
Her being there, existing there –
A confirmation of our lives,

And how our lives are drifting by.
Her toes are on the yellow line.

 

This poem was written as a response to the photograph by artist Cheryl Garner. It is part of an on-going collaboration.

The photographs, with poems, can be found at:

www.thecheesewolf.co.uk/category/vicarious-journeys/

the work of Cheryl Garner can be found at:

http://cherylgarner.squarespace.com/

 

13/10/2013

Broken

 

He broke his journey on that day.

No reason why, no thought before,

He simply picked his bag and left,

Four stops before the usual place.

 

And still without a question raised

He left the station, walked into

The town whose name he’d always seen

But never thought a real place.

 

He wandered on without a goal,

Just looking at the streets and shops,

And people on their way to work,

And none of it made any sense.

 

He stopped and stared up at the sky.

Same sky, same day: different life.

 

This poem was written as a response to the photograph by artist Cheryl Garner. It is part of an on-going collaboration.

The photographs, with poems, can be found at:

www.thecheesewolf.co.uk/category/vicarious-journeys/

the work of Cheryl Garner can be found at:

http://cherylgarner.squarespace.com/

 

02/10/2013

Dust

 

At evening, as the fires lit

The hillsides with their gathered glow

And told their stories to the stars,

She ate her bread with curds and figs,

 

And stared off through the olive groves

And out towards the distant sea:

The salt of land upon her tongue,

The memories of her journeys done.

 

This land was never hers to taste.

The burning herbs, which spat and danced

And filled the sky with resin smoke,

Would blow as dust before the dawn,

 

When she would take the northern road,

And leave these hillsides’ burning lights.

 

29/09/2013

Stepping Out

 

The dress was blue and never aged.

She dropped it on and felt its cool

The same as on the autumn day

She bought the dress, without his say,

 

Her week revolved around these streets:

Her home, her walk, her week of work,

The wall which held a wagtail’s nest,

The ruts on pavements, worn by years.

 

She passed his parent’s former house:

The new folk kept the garden neat.

She passed the chapel, then the pub.

She felt the village watch her walk.

 

He never said he liked the dress:

Or if he did, she didn’t hear.

 

18/09/2013

First Born

 

Before the writing on the rock,

Had scratched the miracles away,

Before the clay had stamped its songs,

Before creation raised the seas,

 

Before the ignorance of Greece,

Before Tibetan chants of death,

Before the worthless wars of Rome,

Before the Dreamtime thought to dream.

 

A child began its cry for life,

Like every other cry at night.

Her cries rebounded through the hills,

And echoed up beyond the skies.

 

Her father had a cheating mind.

Her mother screamed and broke the ground.

 

29/08/2013

The One Consoling Beauty

 

The one consoling beauty is

These words will fade and pass away.

The sun will dim, the moon will fall,

And everything will cease to be.

 

We’re one: we’re all just one alone.

The earth and sky, the walls of stone,

The foals and horses running free,

Yes, everything will cease to be.

 

I touch your hair, and know its flow.

There is a tear beneath the smile,

And after all, it had to come,

For everything must cease to be.

 

I breath the air: it reeks of pasts,

Of love which came and meant so much.

 

 

16/08/2013

Trailer for “The Things (Les Choses)”

 

 

 

Trailer for the video poem “The Things (Les Choses)”.

02/08/2013

Honeysuckle Fire

 

I thought I saw you come alive
The night the honeysuckle died.
So cold: it froze the moon in place.
So cold: it turned the air to ice.

Yet there you were, in rainbow scarves
And gloves as thick as bobcat paws.
You took a shovel to the snow
And dug on down, ‘til fire was found.

That glowing trace of slowing Earth,
Which – just for once – we watched as one,
Gave eyes their glints of petal stars:
The burning planet lit our soul.

It took you to its ember heart.
You lived undimmed as scent, as flame.

 

 

26/07/2013

The Apple Trees (Video)

 

 

 

 

video of my poem The Apple Trees. The text version is earlier in this collection.

 

 

19/07/2013

Gwen John

 

Of all the moments, there you were:

Alone in thoughts, and thoughts alone,

With lessons learned in fields of corn,

With pasts to run from, pasts which form.

 

Alone in knowing reverie.

An open book of worlds to touch.

Alone and deeper still, within:

Those worlds of darkness, warmth and words.

 

From Bordeaux, running field to field,

Remember all those tainted hopes?

From Britain, homeless, drifting, cold,

Whilst all around was burning light

 

That strength once learned has found its poise:

A stillness brought from years of pain.

 

 

inspired by the work of painter Gwen John, especially “The Student” in Manchester Art Gallery

http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/gwen-john/the-student-1903

 

 

 

14/07/2013

Weight

 

There is a weight to being alive,

A density of songs and claws,

A flock of beaks and broken barbs:

It clings to flight, it grips it tight.

 

The earth will take the sycamore.

The sky will take the sycamore.

Its bark and leaves will feed and fall,

And life will take the sycamore.

 

This gravity of slowing blood;

The pressure buzz within the ears;

The dissipating breath and twitch:

It gives its all, it takes its toll.

 

The weight will keep the moon in tow.

The weight will hold us in its flow.

 

 

14/07/2013

6am, Sunday

 

A flickering of morning wings;

A wire buzz of starling flocks;

A distant dog which echoes hills:

Vibrations of another day.

 

A tyre drone and clunking gears;

A martin pulling songs from mist;

Allotment cockerels blaring dust:

My eyes are shut, I feel the sounds.

 

The Sunday papers brought by van;

The jackdaws of a hundred eaves;

The voices raised some streets away:

Each sound has found its space in me.

 

The air is shimmering with life:

Despairing, yearning, joyous life.

 

 

09/07/2013

Three Hares Linked

 

Across the steppe and mountain plain,

The hare came tumbling, carved on rock.

They spoke no language, gave no sign:

They simply were the three as one.

 

Along the silk route, scratched on wheels,

The traders pondered what they meant,

And made up tales and sang them songs:

The hare were lovers, mystics, gods

 

And on a distant, ice-cliffed, shore

The hare at last could make their peace.

They found a place of fragile walls,

Which faced the sea and all its storms.

 

The three were one, their journey long,

Together: water, stone and sun.

 

 

04/07/2013

Pipit – Lapwing – Swallow – Chaffinch

 

Up on the moor tops, fields are cut,

And soon the berries will be ripe.

Amongst the heather, pipit rich,

The tewits fake their broken wings.

 

I think too hard about the words.

The sun is low and burns the eyes.

The dry stone walls form broken lines.

I hear the words, but cannot write.

 

And down below, the dale is dark,

Its words are carved on whispered stones.

Around the empty chapel hall

The swallows coax unwilling young.

 

So this is summer in the north:

A chaffinch calls at mottled skies.

 

 

22/06/2013

Rainy Saturday (Barnoldswick, England).

 

No need to water flower beds.

We’ll sit and watch the shoppers dash,

We’ll watch the swallows dodge the drops:

The day will pass with nothing lost.

 

We know the way the branches dance:

The wind blows up the street (not down).

The cat will curl between the pots,

And twitch and mutter through her dreams.

 

We know the patterns of the hours:

The shadows round the basil plants.

We know the moods of sleep and food,

And change (which hardly ever is).

 

I read a book on pointless wars

And wonder: what does all this mean?

 

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.

 

 

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.