Archive for category Recent poetry
I may as well be on a desert island.
Life in a dome of sea blended seamlessly to sky,
with empty beaches and sighing trees and whispering waves
and solitary boulders that stand silent on cliff tops
watching out for me.
There’s a magic supermarket here that’s run by AI.
It feeds me and provides a regular supply
of washing up liquid and beer and tobacco
and sausages and pizza and shit like that.
Sometimes there I see shapes like people.
Shimmering mirages that move slowly amongst the stacked shelves.
The hard and real stacked shelves.
Sometimes they stop and merge with the tins and the toys.
The voices of their children whisper want like the waves.
But no one sees me moving amongst them.
Sometimes they stand in my way.
I see through them,
vapid creatures that they are.
But they belong to a universe that isn’t mine
and so I have to walk around them.
Outside in the baking hot sun that sings cicada songs
in light that dazzles off glass and the distant sea,
I pause for thought and listen to the sounds around me
that travel through me and shimmer like the light,
and that feel like silence and which never carry my name.
I may as well be on a desert island.
Surrounded by sea seamlessly connected to sky.
With a magic supermarket run by AI
That feeds me and provides a regular supply
Of washing up liquid and beer and tobacco
And sausages and pizza and shit like that.
Sometimes I see shapes like people
Walking amongst the stacked shelves.
They move slowly and sometimes they stop.
But they don’t see me.
And outside in the baking hot sun
That dazzles off glass and distant splashing waves,
I pause for thought and listen to the sounds around me
That seem like silence and never carry my name.
When your parents die
the movie ends.
Now you’re not playing a part.
You can sit back in your chair,
the one with your name on it,
and watch the action played back.
See the part you played.
Sit uncomfortable beside others,
self-conscious as your playing is reviewed.
And the silence closes in about you
as you see your failings
and the quiet of those around falls away
into the distance,
and your life and the stuff that is you
comes into focus.
A real tearjerker is this.
Who wrote this script?
How could, who would, did I?
They were just people.
Life’s timeline compresses.
Your streaming curve cuts across theirs
And streams away to curve back.
You with your guns firing.
Your stupid guns.
We should have talked more.
Because now I don’t see you
By way of a mirror.
Now I can look straight at you.
And I have to hang my head
So what am I really?
Now I’m in the mirror.
You stayed for a while.
I felt you and I heard your thoughts.
Now it’s quieter.
But one day I may
Have to have that talk.
About how we all made mistakes.
Mine feel so much greater
And I wonder where I’ll sit
Between you and my sons.
Warm air rang chilled,
hammer on an anvil.
Church steeple still
in pleasant landscape
stopped to look
at small life given.
Sleepy world glancing
his way for once
and simmering summer
sultry birdsong sang
So little england carried on
and one who came to pass
and had lived their way
no longer had a choice.
Mild wind in blue sky with sun glinting
off snowy Cretan mountain peaks
and bird song amongst orange groves
ripe with fruit waiting to be picked,
reverberated to a double shotgun blast
as someone blew his brains out
and spread them over the plaster
landscape that was his for too long.
As I wrote mellowed by birdsong,
righteously writing about what was wrong
with no cognisance of what went on
just below my balcony.
A moment came and passed.
And I learned about it from the news.
Written a long way away.
And now when I gaze down,
the birds still sing amongst the oranges.
And the dogs still bark.
She was a cold, mirror smooth lake
in the cloud tossing tempest that raged around her,
and I stood wet and weather beaten on her rocky shore.
How could she be so disconnected?
When you truly listen to people
and you hear what they are,
you will find
that everyone is lonely.
The sad thing is that
the only people I’ve harmed
have been those I loved.
That hard bit just now,
after that warm and yellow bit.
I wonder what’s next?
Sitting in bath warm water,
waves lapping up my thighs,
leaning on one hand on the yielding sand,
watching the moon sink into the sea.
The natural world is all that’s real.
The rest is construct and hubris.
Watching that sinking moon
over the turning world,
and the whirling cosmos of a trillion lights,
all ticking step by step in time.
And then it came to be known
amongst all sentience
that the Original Source is me,
and we are the Original Source.
I wear my tears like
a Warrior who weary,
has become gentle.
This is a poem.
I can say whatever I like.
Poetic licence and all that.
I can say without fear of ridicule
that I am lonely and mystified by life.
The whirlpools of logic and illogic
and unfathomable stupidities.
And the wonders and astonishing things.
Aspects of grand realities
that seem distant and huge.
And I’m allowed to confess that I cry,
often and loudly,
because I’m a two sided coin.
And other things too.
The sense of smallness
that makes me gently humble as I look around.
That sense of contiguity with all that is
that occurs occasionally.
My smallness and my scope.
My all encompassing modest place.
Watching wise if I’m lucky,
defined by my context,
laughing and crying without doing either.
Over drab hills held down
by scudding clouds,
a gap opened and sun’s rays shone down.
Splitting into a million colours
through a million tiny drops,
as the light of a star showed itself to us.
Its million aspects viewed with awe
by the only entity capable of seeing.
So see yourself like this.
As he died and saw the world fade away,
he also saw his life spread out
like a two dimensional fan in front of him.
Then flames appeared and a charred black hole
spread out from the source into the delicate fan spread.
Each blade a part of his life,
crumbling to charred paper and blowing away on the wind.
And so he returned to his original state.
Now able to play a part in the way
he spent his life hoping he might.
Wiser now and on a universal stage
rather than a bit part in a sideshow.
But having learned to understand this.
A happy soul is one
that’s learned to let go.
Like a seed from a dandelion head
in a sunny breeze,
that let go
of its anchor point
and turned to face the breeze
and the skimming land below.
To arrive where what is.
There were four,
but then it fractured
And I curled and died
with shame and pain.
But they’ve risen from
and fly proud.
What part did I play though
as was my understood purpose?
That purpose that faded away
so I could only watch
And cast faintly heard praise.
they’ll live better lives.
All we can see of ourselves,
that tells our tale,
is our hands.
Smooth and then
suddenly not so.
This process of
the compression of one’s life
cannot be seen
by seeing yourself.
That would be to try
to describe your face
without a mirror.
But you can see
the hands that lie there
looking back at you,
and they tell no lies.
Wrinkled a little now,
they represent your life.
Its good and bad
and ultimately tired understanding.
Ahead lay the divide that ran from top to bottom of their lives,
Defining the move between their doom and their fortune.
So millions of people lived their paths,
Not knowing that far above,
White winged Josef and the raven winged woman
Flew towards the light.
If only the minions also had that sight.
Blank hard walls
and in a window that doesn’t care what it sees,
I see reflected a me that used to be.
There are so many.
So many ways
a rose might have opened.
A butterfly might have emerged.
In the eye of the beholder
my fate is decided,
and then I fade away.
Walking drunk down the passageway
past the sorry rooms
to gaze through the window
at the grey skies and
the blown crows
I have to ask why things worked out
Had I known that I needed to know
such certainty of ambition so soon,
perhaps I could have focused.
The crows know a secret
that the wind shares.
To follow one’s true nature,
if you can filter that out from the deafening noise.
Is it not odd in a world of
That a female Praying Mantis
Still eats its mate.
That it’s possible to die
By digital excess,
Or also lack thereof.
Through that one small window pane
Looking out onto a black garden
On the darkest of nights,
I saw so many children
Running in the sunshine
Made sparkling by hosepipe rain.
And dogs and barbeques.
And the oak tree leaning over
To whisper smiling praise
For the children’s snowman.
And that battered and sun faded deckchair
That never got put away.
And the rose bush that ran wild.
And the garden shed that came to sag sadly.
And that forgotten glass in the flowerbed
That grew pale green with time.
And the memory of you.
Clear as daylight. Sitting there.
And that crumbling vision of a life
That drained away into the earth,
As though it had never been.
I weep for that now,
Seeing it through my mean window pane.
I weep for that in the eternal now.
On a dating website tonight,
I paused and considered what I saw.
Images of people frozen at
Very particular moments in their lives.
And then writing an advert to promote it.
Someone messaged me tonight.
I was shy to link to her too soon.
When I did, she’d destroyed her account.
Admiralty129000 I will never know you.
And this space I’m in
That comprises me and a screen.
This is how we interface now.
And yet she was there. She was.
She messaged me.
And then she didn’t exist anymore.
You achingly dark spangled depth.
How does my mysterious sparking
Of elemental syntheses
Mirror your endless
The qualitative universal components
That make my observations what they are.
So small are my thoughts.
Like splashing drops in an ocean wave
Crashing upon a shore,
Unrelenting in its logic.
Standing on the Chain Bridge
Over Budapest’s Danube,
Watching the water flow by.
Gellert Hill stands in the background,
Where the Nazis had their headquarters
In the second world war.
How many Stukas lie buried in river mud?
Bleached skulls gazing up at passing pleasure boats now,
Wondering what it was for.
In a Budapest pub against a wall,
Stands an ancient pram that sits quietly
Amongst the bawdy crowd,
Remembering walks in the park.
Its cast iron wheels and rusty springs
Support a wicker basket lined with
Broken cotton that once warmed
A baby long dead now.
In its place lie old bottles,
And a single, painted plate.
It looks up at the ghost of the woman
Who still patiently pushes her charge
Down tree lined paths in parks
Long since bombed beyond existence.
She sings to her baby
And it beams back,
Its awkward, human hand painted features
Irregular in a mechanised world.
The plate is still there
Whilst the baby’s long gone,
Having lived a process through
Two world wars.
Now through that plate,
The artist and the child join spirits
And smile happily up at the pretty young woman
Who knew nothing of what was to come.
The cigarette smoke world curls around me,
changing shape and fading away.
The present I see includes the past
as well as imagined futures.
The trees are bare now.
They had leaves and will have again.
The whorls and whirls of the wind
swirl remnants of the past year,
as beady squirrel eyes watch
the world move on.
Earth spins and moves and does its thing.
Fox and Owl make their noises in dark woods,
Jaguar prowls and Bat flits.
In some African savannah,
Kudu is eaten alive by lions.
Nearby, self obsessed termites
build webbed cities.
In the middle of this maelstrom
of whirling world things,
weather and wind and life passing,
I stand bewildered by the pace
and irresistible process
of which I’m a part with no control.
But mostly I’m amazed
by humanity’s contempt.
And I play my part,
and wait to see the consequences.
May my sons forgive us.
I know I’m not supposed to admit this.
It’s neither dignified nor manly.
Because men only think about one thing.
And they’re not allowed to cry.
Pillars of society,
We joyfully join the scrum.
Pretending indifference to the quiet voice.
We have to scorn the quiet voice.
That’s what it is to be a man.
Quiet voice that in quiet moments
Allows us to wonder at the unfurling clouds
And the emerging beauty of spring.
That oh so gentle curve from neck to shoulder
That might simply be beautiful rather than just sexual.
Even that small voice of a child.
Any intuitive interaction
That might be seen to be too gentle
To be masculine.
Women’s preconceptions preclude these sensitivities.
I know. I’ve seen how the bastards always win.
Taunted by thigh and tit and scorned for responding
Unless we’re fancied or are able to be ruthless enough
To ignore another’s value. Like bastards.
However good you are in bed,
Or how large your heart may actually be,
The bastards always win.
And seem welcomed for this.
Even as they pretend to wail,
I scorn those crying women.
I died a million times tonight.
All I had to do was to remember,
And my heart crumbled.
So remind me,
What do I have to do to live?
Moonlight sonata strokes my soul and makes me weep.
It reduces me to my basics.
I’m left vulnerable and open to the world.
And to the unthinking ways of people.
If you want to break me,
Then do so whilst Beethoven’s
Heart breaks also.
It’ll be easier for you.
I’m dying. My feet tell me so.
As I pace back and forth
Between hope and despair.
There’s no stairwell to heaven here.
There’s no way to wisdom
Or any such feast.
Just meagre scraps that fall
From processes I don’t understand.
And as for love,
There’s no such thing.
Instead there’s a place in an hierarchy
That deserves regard or doesn’t.
Take your heart and crush it underfoot.
I might have loved you
If you hadn’t looked at me like that.
When I confessed my nature
Didn’t fit the modern way.
If you wonder why you exist,
It’s because life is a fundamental component
Of an inevitably evolving universe.
As fundamental as hydrogen or carbon atoms.
A reflection not of bits but of process.
Of how these and others interact.
And of the evolution of these interactions.
And as this interaction evolves,
It acquires ever evolving conciousness.
If you want to know how to be happy,
Understand this fact.
One life everywhere
So look skyward and see
That one day we’ll blend.
And at that point
The discreet existences we all know
Will come to an end.
As entropy finally converts all matter
To nothing more than understanding
And everything finally stops.
Because there’ll be nothing more to know.
Calm down and quieten your mind.
Stop thinking so much.
Be a smaller and more delicate thing
That taps tentatively rather than beats.
Let the world vibrate as it is,
And watch more
But observe less.
Draw further back and accept.
If it dies even as you watch,
It was too big for you to save.
And if it thrives and grows,
It would have done so without you.
Just ask that whether what you see
is death or the blossoming of dreams,
You played the right part.
From my window I see cars
Parked like soldiers ranked
On black tarmac that in
Street light is silver,
Whilst the sky above
Has turned black from white.
Past the train station.
Its old stones and arching glass having seen
Tanks and wars and revolutions.
I stood amongst shoppers with garish bags
From all the top brands.
Then past me walked a woman in blue plastic
With tears running down her face
As she saw the cold night ahead living on the street.
And I wanted to give her something to help
But I didn’t.
I stopped and turned and watched her walk away
Through the hurried, selfish crowd.
Now it’s I who weep.
For my weakness.
Silvered moon over the gleaming Danube.
Twinkling Budapest lights.
Where are you? Someone.
It would be good to nuzzle your lovely neck
Whilst seeing this.
I think I’ll go for a walkie-poo.
Actually it’s something I really must do.
And as I do my walkie-poo,
I’ll do a dance, just for you.
In the spangled sunshine.
Under the tree
With spread-eagled fingers.
I’ll kick the golden leaves
And see the flighty clouds spin overhead.
When I look from my window
At people passing by
I wonder how the thing i am is.
I wonder at the things that made me,
That make me sad.
Life is like watching a river pass
And wishing that the bit that passed a while ago,
That I’m sure had more fish in it,
Would pass again.
It’s a river.
That bit has passed.
Now be happy.
If you stopped to ask him why,
As he sat filthy bent there on the street,
A few small coins in a paper cup,
Would he lift up his sag skinned face,
Filthy creased leather and wire wool beard,
Eyes red rimmed and shocking piercing,
And answer you?
Would he tell you his story?
Would he warn you why?
Would he tell of children and lost love?
Of missed chance and chances taken?
Would his eyes water with regret
Or turn deep with hidden meaning?
Or would he ask you the same question?
Through air cold as ice they ran,
over pretty leaves of gold and brown,
crushed more dead by each soft footfall.
He caught her, laughing, and swung her round.
She saw his eyes and lent back
against thin hard vertical bark.
He cupped her face tenderly either side
and ran his hands gently up to course
her hair through his fingers.
Taking hold he pulled her head back
to show her beautiful neck
with delicate strain like his arcing cock.
And she looked up and saw the arcing trees
bending away towards the stars.
He bent low and kissed her throat,
and moved up to whisper in her ear
how sublimely beautiful she was. And she was.
As she was kissed, she watched
and saw amongst the wind drifted trees,
the silhouette of a flying bird.
She saw its eyes as black,
watching her as she writhed
in silky analogue motion
that jumped with each digital phase
of the bird’s flight frozen
as in a freeze frame film.
And so she saw his passion granted,
as part of a universal flow.
She saw and gave and came
as the birds saw and knew.
She arced her graceful back
and squirmed across the face
of the man who knew her in his lust.
Flying up there with those knowing birds,
over the moonlit silvered trees
and through the star splintered dark,
she looked down in her ecstasy
and saw two people entwined
in their confusion and their
lust tempered by love.
Well I watched you leave.
Even if no one else did.
Walking slightly too slowly perhaps,
Through the foggy small talk
Of gossip and football.
I don’t like it either.
You nested your hair
Into the exquisite nape
Of your neck
As you wrapped your scarf.
Then you left and ghosted alone
Into the cold dark.
If you’d turned to glance,
I would have smiled.
Amongst the Autumn tawny leaved trees
With the oily, boiling Danube coursing by each side,
I came across the ruins of a Franciscan church.
Placing my hand on a stone embedded in one ancient wall,
My mind’s eye saw what the monk who built it saw.
Autumn tawny leaves with the Danube boiling by.
Things of real value don’t change.
The rest is ephemeral distraction.
It’s hard to let go of things.
But once you let go of the first one,
And the memories associated with it
Become like those clouded passing visions
We all remember from childhood,
Then losing the next item becomes easier.
And then the next item becomes
Easier again to choose,
As if loss throws value into relief.
And when that next thing goes,
The context that one’s built over years
Starts to dissolve.
A process of distillation takes place
That concentrates your
Value of things
To a few.
Enough to carry with you.
Then your perspective changes
As you let go.
If you’re lucky a lightness takes hold
And your life thus far seems contrived.
Like a game played by a child.
There aren’t many years left now.
Time to turn and face yourself.
And just as your things reduce and fall away,
The markers you measured yourself by
Fall away as well.
And you’re left with a wide open
And wondrous world
That’s yours for you to wander through
For the first time.
It isn’t too late.
Because it takes just a moment
To realise the extent of your smallness
And the scale of what you’re privileged to know.
Once I was part of something flat
That lapped upon a shore that resisted.
Then I found myself lifted up
And up and soaring
Over a golden beach and curving trees,
And then I fell forward too fast
And the beach disintegrated across my face.
And now I simply go with the flow,
Up and down this unredeemable beach.
And so I’d like to go
To a place where it’s warm.
I’d lie and fade away under
Some wise-wrinkled olive tree.
Even as round and brown little
Beetles crawled over me.
The sighs of the ghosts of gods
Mixing with mine.
I see you wondering
With eyes fixed on a distant view,
Some place in your own mind.
Seeking a space that makes sense.
I do it too.
Sometimes it seems we think too much.
But there’s more to life than the trivial.
To know this is to be truly human.
So it’s good that you wonder why.
I do it too.
And even if it makes you cry,
Feel yourself growing wise.
One day you’ll gain strength from knowing
That you tried
And found a true perspective inside.
It was always there.
Discovering it was the point of your life.
So complex you make
Your life and its words to be.
Guided though it flows.
Sweet piano sound
Drifts through the air around me
And yet I’m crying.
Dad was further up the bus queue
He caught one just now.
I’m still waiting.
Some wait in front of me
And some wait behind.
Number 37 or some such.
Don’t know where it goes
Or why it’s called that.
But we’re all waiting for it.
In a queue.
I didn’t see that he’d caught his bus
Until just now when the phone rang.
But then it is a long queue
And he was right up at the front of it.
I remember when he stood
Kicking the dirt right back here
Where I now stand.
Looking about him
And wondering what and why.