Posts tagged ‘mystery’

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

Flight

 

And into air I spin and twist:

I never knew my scattered world

This high, this bright, this burning light.

And down below they swirl in blue.

 

The forests and the fields, they flow.

Their dizzy hearts, their green and grey

Are fading out, escaping from

The boxes and the traps we built.

 

And here, I hang on cirrus lines,

On eddies at the edge of space,

In jouissance, in points beyond

The passing earth and all it was.

 

It slips away: a distant star,

A point of light in boundless light.

 

 

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/

 

06/10/2013

Terminus

 

And so it seems this all must end

In blue and gold and shattered glass,

In metal coils around the throats

Of mottled lives between the cracks.

 

What route I took I just don’t know,

It seemed so long and hardly changed:

No matter how, the rains will fall,

The storm will come and I will fall.

 

I have no questions left to ask.

Explosions in the sky can pass,

Explosions take my eyes and pass,

Explosions bring this to its end.

 

The summer lost its heart to me,

But I was cold and told it so.

 

 

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/

 

03/10/2013

Platform

 

So here I am in hope again,

Between the layers of sleep and thought,

The shade and space and hidden lights,

Between the shifting lines of doubt.

 

I sit in carriage four of five,

And drift through waking depths of dreams.

I wait for certainties of time

To close my eyes, or shake me out.

 

He sits on platform three and stares

Into an emptiness of clouds.

The train – not his – has mirrored glass:

He sees himself – he’s looking old.

 

I watch that world disintegrate:

What could have been and what was not.

 

 

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/

 

25/09/2013

The Shepherdess

 

Beneath a sky of stars and moths

She trails her light through olive groves.

And silences the nightingales.

The stars are stilled, the moon is dimmed.

 

Her breathing draws the warmth from earth,

Her feet float soft as owl’s wings,

She leaves no trace, she makes no mark:

This is her world, this is her night

 

She walks amongst her sleeping flock:

They twitch and flick, but barely move.

They trust her, breathe as one with her,

She guides their dreams to mountain pasts.

 

She is the shepherdess of souls,

Across the streams of Epirus.

 

18/08/2013

The Things (Les Choses)

 

Video Poem: The Things (Les Choses).

Poetry by thecheesewolf (aka Gavin Jones), music by Joseph Kwasnik

Inspired by the writings of Georges Perec and Walter Benjamin, The Things (Les Choses) is a history of the everyday, of objects imbued with personal meanings and stories. The five poems together tell the tales of five objects which have formed part of my life (indeed part of me) for the last twenty or so years. The images were all filmed in my home on the Lancashire and Yorkshire border (in the North of England). The music, by Joseph Kwasnik, was recorded in the same room as the filming. In keeping with my other works, this poem looks at the central theme from a range of perspectives.

17/08/2013

Object No.4 – Pot of Basil

 

An ordinary world of light,

A luminescent line in time,

I’d walk along and breathe along,

And perhaps forget to look and know.

 

Forget to hear the questions posed,

Forget to smell the basil plants,

Forget my time perhaps would end:

So sad I’d leave those things unsaid.

 

Around that pot pasts might adhere.

All through the room of light so strong,

A trace was strong, a life was long,

An ordinary world was lost.

 

The basil scent would linger here,

You’d sense my echoes through your fear.

 

16/08/2013

Object No.2 – Soap Stone Monkeys

 

The tins of peaches, tins of cream,

All stirred with sugar, served with juice,

Shot through with North Sea gas and war,

With woodsheds, polish and despair.

 

There could have been the three wise apes.

They’d sit beside that music box,

Where Maurice Jarre and Pasternak

Were lost amongst the jewelry paste.

 

And off downstairs, the TV times

Would bring the wrestling, bring the scores,

And pools results and solemn prayers,

Before the pier-end sing-alongs.

 

Those three wise apes would see it all,

They’d hear, then chant their soap stone curse.

 

 

16/08/2013

Object No.1 – Bedside Clock

 

I’d count the pills, you’d slip the ticks,

The clicks that flicked the days away,

Mechanical and fractured flow,

The souvenirs of sleep and fear.

 

You would have been with me throughout:

Between the pier and Marble Arch,

Before the facts, before these deaths,

Before computers drove my world.

 

We’d count together, fall as one:

Your face at night, at two, at three…

I’d ache with age, you’d creak with time:

The world outside would take us soon.

 

We might be measured, might be cast,

My skin as dust, your cogs as rust.

 

 

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.

 

 

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

25/07/2013

For the Crossing (video)

 

 

a micro-film of my poem “for the crossing”

23/06/2013

Oil and Water

 

From where to where the question spins.

A roar of throttle run aways.

Escape is energy enough,

Escape and mysteries in rain.

 

They split the emptiness of streets,

And leave their molten lines of tar.

Like Carver’s “Elephant” in flight,

The tyres barely touch the road.

 

Refractions in a thinning slick:

The life before has slipped and bloomed,

And through its rainbows run the tales.

They leave behind their drying tracks.

 

The stories we can only guess,

Or write our own escapes instead.

 

Inspired by the photograph of the same title, which can (and should) be seen here:

http://stgpla.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/oil-water/

 

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?

 

15/06/2013

The Ottoman and the Atheist (A 19th Century Riddle)

 

Between the trees a light breeze blew,

A gentle ripple shivered leaves.

It seemed the trees had never moved,

Their roots held deep in solid ground.

 

It seemed the breeze was passing through:

Once here then on. It barely touched

The earth at all, it had no weight.

The trees were real, the breeze a myth.

 

And from the breeze the stories grew,

And from the trees the tales were true.

In time the trees and breeze would change:

The breeze grew leaves, the trees took flight.

 

It seemed the breeze had never moved.

It seemed the trees were passing through.

 

 

15/06/2013

Moonrain Seasilk

 

You sang a song I couldn’t know.

The moon had soaked the blood of life,

The words were lost beneath the rain,

The ghosts of ghosts sat at our feet.

 

You screamed as if the world had lungs,

The shattered glass smoothed soft by tides.

No speech could reach the pain you brought

Into the sealight roar of dawn.

 

You danced one evening on a lawn,

Immaculate in lunar silk.

You skipped the shadows with each step,

Your starfish heart within my heart.

 

You sang, you danced, you screamed, you drank,

You came alive as sunlight sank.

 

 

04/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 5 – Just Passing Through)

 

1. In the Lobby of a Hotel, Kranjska Gora, May 2013

 

Are we between the wars again?

Or back when Empires froze and stared

At mountains barely understood?

We take “the tour”, we are the world,

 

And then that gap has opened up.

There’s knowledge here no one can know:

Israeli cases, linen suits,

A sporting team, some Irish girls

 

(Who laugh, then buy too many drinks).

We all look lost, but some breeze through.

The world we are will shift and twist,

And leave us clinging to our pasts.

 

We see ourselves one step removed.

We pass our evening sharing time.

 

2. Listening to an Israeli Tour Group

 

I roll in music born of tongues,

The beauty of the unheard sounds,

The meanings gleaned from rise and fall,

The other worlds I cannot know.

 

A flow of fear and joy combined,

A mystery from a mythic prose:

There’s sun in there and lemon groves,

There’s salt and desert, birth and dreams,

 

And then the stillness when they leave,

Their final rumble lingers on.

I hear the echoes down the hall:

A question mark which breaks through song.

 

Whatever place the words come from,

The human voice always belongs.

 

 

3. Borders

 

One border is a mountain range,

An earthquake shattered caravan,

A sheer drop of broken seas:

We stand outside its distant age.

 

Another border has its plaques,

It hides in parks and deep in books,

It towers like the end of time:

We cannot touch its heroes here.

 

The final border has no words.

It creeps out from the forest edge,

It fights for life with every breath:

Its meaning is its force within.

 

We cross a line and sense a change:

The air is clear, the buildings strange.

 

 

4. New Europeans

 

The rain falls straight from limestone clouds.

She huddles tight beneath the roof

And stares at puddles, danced with drops.

The bus will come in half and hour.

 

In other years the water fell

On streets she felt she knew too well.

But now they melt around her feet,

Their patterns seem an old deceit.

 

Across the street another bus

Takes other people to the north –

Frustrated, tired and seeking truth,

Or work (whichever comes by first).

 

The rain falls straight, there is no wind.

The bus will come in half an hour.

 

 

03/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 4 – From the Adriatic to the Alps)

 

1. On Piran Seafront

 

Ten thousand years of people stare

Off out to sea and feel its breath.

Ten thousand years of questioned souls

Who turn, and shrug, and build their worlds,

 

Those years are here within this point.

Entranced, we watch the fish and boats:

That silver dart, that bobbing float.

We are those generations now.

 

Then Trieste fades and Piran falls,

The bells un-ring and we are back.

The fish all hide, the sun is bright,

I hold your hand, we are alone.

 

The Adriatic Sea is blue:

It always is – is ever new.

 

 

2. When the Birds Fly Low

 

You see the point in being close:

An avalanche destroyed that house,

An earthquake took the town that day,

You closed your heart as war raged on,

 

You see the way the birds fly low.

You buy the cheese and share the bread.

A flock of alpine choughs descend:

They work as one, they fly as one.

 

As snow is creeping through the trees,

A dusting through Arolla Pine,

It brings its memories of times.

The birds fly down amongst the town.

 

You turn your back upon the cold.

You feed the birds and drink your fill.

 

 

3. Rainfall in the Julian Alps

 

The sun won’t break the clouds today.

The mountain crags have gathered rain,

The sparrows hide beneath the eaves,

The church bells echo hidden peaks.

 

The peace of circle patterned slates:

The point before the rivers form.

Within a pine a blackbird preens.

The air is still, the rain is clean.

 

A miracle has formed the sky.

Here in the sky, we are the sky.

The snowmelt cycles up, then through:

We breathe the ice of years gone by.

 

Within the clouds I see the sun.

Amidst the rainfall there is song.

 

 

4. Night in the Julian Alps

 

We do our best to kill the still

With street light, owl hoots, cow bells, cars.

We build and burn, we run and hide,

But up here nothing comes our way.

 

The mountain’s cold and silent depths,

The forest’s growth on rotten roots,

The haze which twinkles dying stars:

They are the silence we can’t dodge.

 

We think we are unique in this –

Us falcons, martens, humans, frogs –

Not caught in headlights: we freeze at night,

And stare into the mountain depths.

 

The long collective mass of life

Is just a tiny flick of light.

 

 

02/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 3 – Part Forgotten)

 

1. When Summer Comes

 

When summer comes the fields will fill

With flowers as rich as sun itself,

The clouds won’t form around the peaks,

The streams and waterfalls will dry.

 

When summer comes our days are long,

Our swallows laze against the sky,

Our lakes will haze and we will swim,

We’ll live our dreams and drink our wine.

 

We wake and find the air has ice,

The snows retreat but still have bite,

The birdsong has an urgent force:

We wait to take a breath of sun.

 

Forever waiting, never here,

When summer comes the end is near.

 

 

2. Unmarked War Grave

 

How many layers before the skull?

You breathe the air, you touch the grass,

You scrape the earth, you search for tracks,

But rarely can you see beneath.

 

The silence of the mountain air

Reverberates amongst the trees.

Old shots rebound from bough to bough,

From tight-lipped year to silent air.

 

And if you could reveal the skull –

Dig back once more the soil and skin –

What would you find but naked bone,

Corroded name tags, wasted times?

 

The silence held the truth too long:

That what was gone has lingered on.

 

 

3. Contradictions

 

The ivy rose to touch the sky

Whilst dragging down the tree it crushed.

The castle high above the lake

Had also found a sky to touch.

 

The mountains seem to stand as truths,

Yet on their slopes their lies are writ.

They’re not immortal: just like us

They rise, they age, they turn to dust.

 

A bridge is built to span the gorge:

An enemy will burn the bridge.

The bridge will fall and find its words:

The enemy will do the same.

 

The world is wrapped within itself:

The opposites have tales to tell.

 

 

4. Sentinel

 

Behind the trees a woman waits.

Her dress is grey, the snow is late.

Her youthful dreams inspired her once,

But now they eat her from within.

 

She waits to meet her southern guests,

No different from the other times:

They’ll pass the café by the slopes,

They’ll walk straight on and to the slopes.

 

She thinks of times when this made sense:

When eyes like hers had hidden depths,

When snows in May were something rare,

When friends had love and time to share.

 

The snow would fall from now to June.

The southern guests would pass by soon.

 

 

5. Burja Bora

 

The mountain butterflies all fled

Extremes of scarring sun and storm.

The butterflies had lost their wings.

The winds so strong they tore off roofs.

 

The winds so strong they broke their hearts.

The mountains turned away and wept,

The leafless forests bent and cracked,

The butterflies found caves and hid.

 

The butterflies found caves and slept.

They spent their years in worlds of thought,

They rolled through centuries of doubt,

They let the hurricanes abate.

 

And when at last they crawled back out,

The skies belonged to voltine moths.

 

 

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.