#poem #poetry #amwriting april compilation


we had a blind boy at primary school
   with creamed filmy eyes
   and I liked him a lot
though he never played chase
he always was led by the arm
   from place to place

when it was my turn to lead him
   I thought it an honour
   I'd hold his hand tightly
walk tall and erect
and I liked that blind boy
   with childish respect

then one day at dinner he needed to go
   the class-goat tricked him
   to shit on the ground
and we gathered round laughing
to point at the floor
   we never did see that poor blind boy
                                                no more


 just in passing

women always have tales
                 of lost children
not the normal of the monthly
but of specific

which of course
                 are terrific
in their everyday

how much laughter
                 the world has lost
for little cost or care
   just a few cells
   and a snatch of blood

never there


simple statement

amid the scrunch and phut
and patter and putt
and the squeak of my right boot
complaining at it's over use

I limp through the rain
and think of all the reasons
I love poetry

but they are the scrunch and phut
and patter and putt
of limping through the rain
in an anorak hood
with my left boot
laughing at the rights over use



at some point today
I had one son on one arm
another son on the other

there were no cars
no dogs
nothing to fear

I wished only to swing my arms
breathe in the scent of the bluebells

but I held the offered hands

knowing it was love
and loving every step we took together



compassion is not a virtue but a vice
just as nice isn't pleasant but an amalgam of
                                            neat and precise
and they exactly make a perfect pair
for the empathic to feel superior

oh I know I am heartless
    for daring to say
that I am greatly saddened
    by the knowledge
      most african university graduates
      dream of working for an NGO
      or being an emigre

but it's nice to have cut flowers
   in every retail outlet
and those out of season fruit and veg
they simply will not grow themselves
      and it is of vital import
   to pile them high on gaping shelves

and then there's all the minerals
what must be gathered in
uranium is valuable
as is bauxite and tin

    and those dark chaps in the way
    they must at once go away
    they cannot be allowed to stay

of course it helps those in control
of the mining rights and oil holes
   own the compassion tap
for the NGOs to spout some crap
of how you are a racist knave
because you refuse to behave
and object to the plan
   of evacuate and drown

but mind and never mention
   - don't send blankets just send cash -
haitian hotels of grand dimension
for on the beaches tourists splash
    while up the mountain out of sight
    another child drowns in shite
    as cholera that disease unkind
    clears a path for the clinton's mine

oh yes the despots hold compassion
as the greatest of all virtues
without it they could not be stashing
the money nicely taken
       from empaths like you


 homeward through woods

in unison
we three step leap the stream
   landing together
   marching in step

   and you cry
'look at how light the green leaves are'

   the crusted sweat of walking
   flakes at our vibration
      falls in snowdrops
      to the rustled brown floor
   all there is
is contained within
   this bell of your voices

as you run to balance on stones
   crack sticks to echoes
blow the stasis of winter
   from your lungs
                      gather freckles


sonnet of the hanged man

only he who has lived in shadow
can know the truth of the light
or the joylessness of the lightdwellers
in their constant fear of darkness

only he who has drunk his tears
and been drunk on those tears
and felt his guts in his mouth
can know happiness of freedom

for all else is plastic of design
no matter how roughened the surface

and only we who have lived
in appreciation of our limit
and gone beyond without care
know the truth of foolishness


 and we are

and the sunlight passes through us in laughter
- roaring and rushing at the joy of living -
spinning in the moment our arms o'erspan
our reach - grab all the eye can see to
cast up in silvered dancing - to shower down upon us
drenching all that we are - and can be

and we turn and we turn and we turn -
until we lift - how full we are with love -



because I have rejected good and bad
and seek only what is
I am deafened with joy

no longer do I wrap myself
preparing not to receive

for now I
wash my soul - smell - and see
with a vivacity of which I could never conceive
or believe
before I allowed myself to let go
of those two bogus words

that from childhood define us


 for a dead child

where shall I take these ashes
   my urge is to the sea
   to the wide norfolk sands
   and trudge across the flatness
      on a receding tide
   so that I might have excuse
   to keep you

I will keep you close
   to my beating heart
      lay down on the wetness
      of drying sand
push my head
   backwards onto mussel shells
      so that I might have excuse
      to keep you

and when the tide turns
   chasing me to the land
I will find excuse
   why I never take you
   to the sea
                for I am you
and you are me

                and one day
                we shall be

please don't say

it's the constant edginess that wears you down
that tight band around the ribs
a sickness that never wretches
but stretches
all muscles to tautness
until the only escape is trapped in the head

it's those thoughts that cannot be expressed
that leak out inconvenient
they terrify in their calmness
not raving
just the simple stating of tabboo

it's the urges to end it
to prove yourself correct
whilst trapped in your head

and if you really let yourself go
it's back to that moment when you met death
it need not be your own
it might be the image of a glue sniffer
head bumping at the top of the esculator
hair being dragged through the teeth
matted with evo
each cough pouring blood

talk about it
talk about it
but don't say you like it
don't be honest and say
how you really feel
and on no account point out
that you are sane
and the expert with a septic toe
poking out of his sandal
is crazy



on days when the blues play unwished for
I stroll out beyond - wish for more -
to blue remembered driftwood shore

light a fire among the dunes
and in the mists beneath the moon
give full voice to sadness - my croon -

if croon it be - laments across the faithless sea
and echoes - so it seems to me -
in verses neatly - three by three


bow bell

I see them now -
in the garden
eating oranges

she cracks them
relishing the tearing
licking his palms

and he
   catches bees
   in the juice


 bushmills, though I prefer jameson

I used to go out drinking with an irishman
   and play paul mccartney in ira pubs
'are you english or an englishman' they'd ask me
   what the fuck
can't I tap my foot to the fiddle like you

we'd have a few - and when he forgot he was born in hull
    he'd get all sentimental for danny bouy
and draw on a beermat his lines of advance
      great sweeping lines they were

          up they'd come from donegal, monaghan
sligo and leith
                    dancing jigs like on the somme

and I used to say to him 'oo you foiten'

he din't know, or din't care
stick a bomb in bin, blow up a kiddie
what the fuck - we'd had a feu

he's been to confession
I've had a wank
and the cat still visits the queen



the farms - plump cottage rolls
   biscuit walled,  oven blackened
   slate tapped  -
                sidle through
                the valleys
in search of seclusion

stone floored
    dumb - pretending - but tight
like farmer's unwethered grip
pulling the lamb and the land
into the fold

     pushing the hills
with the balls of the hand
rolling them
   and squeezing up
      stonewalls with the fingers



england beautiful runic ing
   how green you must have been
   to those woodsman of germany
      before the angles and crosses -

your dark tracked forests
   pilgrim ways - on a journey
from the sun to the sea
    and the mist and the marsh

         and the upturned tree -
at times you resonate still -
still can the pulse be felt
   on a clear cloudless evening

      as the rookeries cease their squabble
stars rise from the turquoise waves



the town hall clock strikes maunful tone
   tea washed and dried
                                  she leaves her home
this time of day she calls her own
    as she makes her way to evensong

those who live their life by reasons
    will not comprehend her love of seasons
    nor the smallness of her hoped for pleadings
        as she slips away for evensong

she goes not for god or wealth
not even really for herself
but to hear the birds in full breath
    in glorious joyous evensong


The Blue Book

No comments:

Post a Comment