#poem #poetry #amwriting #beehive #bradford beehivepoets digest compilation

Don't mind me...

 I'm just putting some poems together for my trip to the Beehive tonight....


On Carrying Your Child

One day you will be too big to lift
or kiss
or look on with the love of a parent
who loves you for what you were
and are not now
tucked into my shoulder
and reached around my neck
with hands as trusting
as my faith of what you will become.


What You Won't Read In the Guardian

Tonight at noon, I was struggling with a metaphor:
an imaginary girl was sitting in an imaginary coffee shop
reading an imaginary copy of Henry James:
in order to make a metaphor for something I imagined
might be of more interest than it was to me.
I wanted to create the illusion that her eyes; her grey eyes:
were like a seal breaking the surface of the water.
That would be allowable I believe.
But, allowable.
A suitable subject for a poem; about nothing;
that would offend no one, and maybe evoke some kinship
before slipping back beneath the waves: like a seal.

That was today at noon.
But now not so much.

Who was the girl? What was she wearing?
Why was she in that cafe 'where nets hung like shrouds'
and the outside world 'mere shadows on the latticed glass'?
I don't know.

Of course she was middle class, in a flowered dress
and leggings.
Why else would she be reading Henry James?
Or in a tea shop? Come to that.

For one must be bourgeois to write poetry.
And one must forget all the movements of art
and deal only in the constructs of the in-humane:
the terse, the deus ex-machina of the leftist,
the eternal fragrant future, and the toothless poor in bus stations;
who while they occasionally amuse: for poetic pathos:
exist only to eternally confirm, and deny.

Rather like those girls in Rotherham; sorry; slags:
who have waited years for justice to be denied
by the overshadowing of their abuse by the timely production
of yet more dirt on Saville, and the other celebs.
I mean far be it for a simple poet
to point out the years in which we were told not to speak
or it would fuel the 'right wing',
And how useful that Savile can prove white men do it too,
whenever a turn in the shameful affair comes to light.
No doubt when the police start getting sacked,
and it comes to light that officers of the council were up to no good,
a new report will come out
to show Savile was doing the same.

And the name Rotherham, need not be mentioned



There are things you don't want to know;
like did your mother orgasm at your conception.
It's bad enough to think she orgasmed at all.
Not out of unkindness:
or in a fatalist manner;
that somehow
her reaction to your father's thrusting
influenced the shape of your nose.
Rather, your mother is inviolable: to you at least;
how else could her love be unconditional.
Or not.
Not all mother's are the same.
How else to explain
How else to explain.


Impression V

She takes me to a gallery; an exhibition: a sale of pictures

and asks which one I should choose.
The paintings are nice.
The colour is good.
The composition fine.
The frames are worth a bob or two.

And as I think of this
passing the abattoir at midnight

a single sheep bleats.

Studies by the sea.
Pastoral scenes in Victorian style:
families grazing on the beach.

I suggest the only painting, that to my eye, contains life

a hurried sketch of a girl of seven,
in a whirl of white dress,
caught between that moment of sandcastle or sea:
tucked into a corner of the wider scene.

And, while she runs through the reasons
of why she will buy a different picture

I think of a camel.
And, the stored fat of the hump:
and her fat arse and thighs.


Love Letters to a Cousin

Let memory speak of time without stars
bathed in the sunlight of gardens remembered.
Beauty still remains, amid the brassy dream
unsentimental as this skyline picked by cranes.

Everywhere is elsewhere here, to be copied
or mocked, left to blacken or rot or built
gelded beyond the height of gilded arcades.

But wait. Do I come to pander or to praise
those conservations, to the pretensions of this town.
Or to find in refraction of refracted memory
my genuine affection, for a place I rather like.

I want to say slag heap.
I want to say concrete.
I want to ridicule the chavs on bikes
and the dreary view on grey Sunday mornings
as the 16a rounds Armley gaol
and all the world tumbles down the dog-shit slope
to the pebble-dash and double-glazed.

But that is not me. Nor does it reflect how I feel.
Or why I began in memory of that garden on the Selby Road:
looking out, through the hedge, to fields.


Letters Found
You, like Sylvia, only knew two words,
always and never: which you carried caged
like linnets of a stolen song.

How nice to take a knife to you,
your watermarks, your curling hand,
to read afresh your streaming thought
before that well ran dry.

Or so I thought; and thought now,
appreciating these love letters
to one hundred petty brightnesses:
as luminant as rain.


How odd, that by the rules we must respond
with something more than 'very good', 'I like that',
'try to bat on it's almost tea'.
In the strange world of prose on a postage stamp
the form is to say how we would have done it better.
Better than what?

Better than looking out of the window, perhaps
or sarcastically carping harder that the carping crowd.

I should write a manifesto, or start a movement:
make strident metaphorical announcements of the new,
the fresh, the revolution in poetics.
At least it will give me a rule to break.
If I'm feeling really silly, I might adhere to the style;
allow the adoring to think no more.

But like all wallflowers
I shall smooth my dress and smile;
and not utter,
'they might try writing poetry' -
or better still, reading it aloud -
it is allowed you know.

No perhaps not.
Nothing destroys more quickly.
It will do no good. The prosey crowd
will not change - where would they hang their beret -
and novels take so long to write.

No, it is read it once and forget.
Or like poorly programmed Hoovers sniffing away
until they run into an obstacle
and then it's 'what does quodlibet mean?'

Any excuse, not to read.


starts at 8 for 8.30, at the Beehive on Westgate... do come along....