Poetry III

Ode to David Bowie.

Beauty called on high

from the low ground

rocking a dark beat

a whispered

schizophrenic jest

on the wave of a

raindrop masquerading

as the ocean and

thrived on the free cloud

of majestic existence.

 

Past

Painted toes curl

Under your foot.

Moistened lips

Smile rose upon

Your cheek.

Little fingers

Weave through

Yours folding into

Clasped hands.

And love smiled

From dark eyes

And olive skin until

It didn’t.

 

Dead

The dead shrew

On the grass verge

Didn’t quite make

The woods: you

Are only sleeping

Sweet friend.

 

Self-fulfilling prophecies

A momentous meeting

That changes a course and

Re-registers the compass.

A different flow,

Or so one feels at the time.

In the end it is all the

Same direction –

A self-fulfilling prophecy

Of a confluent

Death.

 

The party’s over – now let’s dance.

A divorce is

For life,

More-so than a puppy.

Over is

A position of

Continuation,

Whereas starting

Will always come

To an end.

 

A Fine Romance

We surrendered to

The fall and crashed

Onto the Cornish

Beach a black pebble

And a white rock,

Spitting and hissing,

The chaos of hearts

In a storm raining

Down blood violent

And streaming that

In the end not

Even a kiss

Would cure.

 

Unsafe

I sat on the

Shelf waiting

Amongst forgotten

Ornaments gathering

Dust when the

Sun shot a glance

And ignited my heart

Down a path

Of perfect destruction

Enough to bring

Me alive, the riot

Of which rarely

Ceases where the

Safety of the shelf

Is now non-existent

And sorely missed.

 

Immobile hearts

Never loved

A travelling man.

Instead their feet

Rooted to

Bricks and mortar

Kingdoms and

Salaries where to my sorrow

The heart became

Pained and stifled.

I journey on in

Search of a heart

Willing to go

The distance.

 

Indelible

Scrub her fingers

Raw and bleed

You out.

 

 

Art of the Heart

Destined for a path

Of snakes and ladders,

Life early stuck between

Four and five stood on a chair,

To clean away the default soma

Of craving and loss

That forged twists

And turns

Along paths of perfection

Regardless of outcome,

As she intermittently

Played with cowardly cubs

Mistaken for roaring lions

Only served to

Deepen her resolve

To not give up

On her love of art

And her art of love

Always prepared to surrender

To the mark

Because life was too small

Without you

And will always remain

So.

 

Love no Loss

Cohen sent his letter

to Marianne

and I send my to you.

Ever since the

all too early

umbilical sever,

love gets cut

too short,

always too short,

and yet

majestically

and eternally

upheld.

 

Death loses heart

Red life

runs through

a pulse of heart

until unbeaten

silence reigns

all indifferent.

 

Disrupted sleep

Sometimes I want to stab:

my arm or leg, my head or heart,

the wall or the mattress.  A hard visceral stabbing

that brings life awake so as to deaden the pain.

I have loved none so cruel as you.

You searched for my mouth

as a newborn sought the teat:

an eager and hapless child.

When first experienced

in my body these words

were blood hot and mine.

Now they leave my fingers

and die lonely and cold on the page:

a tomb for a dead word.

 

For all of them

Oscillating

teacher and pupil,

taker and donor

of heart and eye

mouth and finger

flesh and blood,

word and tongue,

spontaneous laughter,

tender touch and angry chain,

bound the caring gesture

to the heart unclean in its purity.

Honest and broken-hearted,

temporarily we had it all,

as liquefied majesty and fool

seeped through the sieve

of time, of life, of sun and rain,

of youth and ache.

What form, what bliss,

of flowing love

forever pure and

eternally scarred.

 

Shifting sand

I think I have to leave,

Leave my not belonging

And sidle across

To another place where

There is no home

To feed my longing.

 

No Trace

There’s no need

She says

No need she says

She breathes she says

Breathe easy she says

And it’s hard she says

Breathe easy and hard she says

These days

She’s leaving these days

She says, will be gone

These days

She, her ways, and her days,

Gone, she says.

 

Sophie

High cheeks

She had

Full cheeks

She had

Smile fitted into those cheeks she had

Cheeks never sullen even in death

Young full of flesh cheeks

Remain alive in tears

To me today

Sophie.

 

Absence of denial

Deny me

How can you?

I am not here

My not here feels

Your absence acutely

Painfully and excitedly.

 

The spill is mine

The wound is not my intention

and I carry the blade knowingly.

Blood spilt with no crass apology.

Choice I make without choosing

as it forcefully drives honestly.

And all the while knowing

that I am driving cruelly.

 

Leaving a mark

Flaking skin –

A desiccated

Death walking

The earth.

 

Graceful exit

Let us not slide
Sedately into
The retirement home.
Let us not be murdered
By the purchase of the
Deeds in suburbia.
Let the rock age,
And let the age rock,
Unwashed and hope
To be eternally dazed
One foot stumbling
Into the next step
Sober, stoned, or drunk
But surely graceful
And alive in our own decay.
If our words die,
Shoot us and know
That hearts will continue
To pulse amazed and in
Tune with the songs
And the leaves
Blowing in the breeze
That we drifted upon.

 

Fleeting

Sometimes it’s really hard to see the wood for the trees

or when we feel feet are treading treacle,

or when hearts are aching.

Yet even the treacle is something,

and feet are going somewhere,

and yes, aching hearts can heal.

Today creates an opening

to step into exploration, awareness, and movement.

Precarious movement that is our life which is already here,

until we have to leave.

 

Fear and Trembling

My urgency where you have none

You having me

and not seeing me.

Loving you, you not loving me.

Lying here bereft dying alone.

Simple violent love.

 

Vapours not vipers

Life is not a war against death.

Head and heart are of the same event.

Wider than I, deeper than I.

Pulsating,

Love does not over flow.

It is a breathing in of vapour

From within this infinite container.

A distinctive breath not a separate gasp.

Laughter is infectious

And tears are joyfully whole.

As I breathe my last

I breathe in you

Again

And always.

 

Happy New Year

A turning phrase

for the turning time

of a turning world.

And the year will be filled

with pleasure and pain

hope and despair

love and loss

laughter and tears

breath and death –

‘cos that’s life.

May we all restfully breathe

graciously live

and courageously love.

Until the next timeless turn.

 

Awake

The space in between

anguish and pain,

love and liberation,

is a dead monotony,

the numbness of which

I cannot bear to experience:

live or don’t live

but don’t be numb.

 

Nostalgia

I hark back to a childhood

I never had.

All black & white

With blue and pink hydrangeas;

Empty streets

And privet hedges.

A lack located

In a fantasy

Of nothing

Brings a profound feeling of home.

 

Sesshin 2017

Silently grief, out of the

Stillness you arrived and

Soaked my face whereupon

The random fly danced

And enjoyed a salty drink. I

Heard him lick his lips

And my all too violent

Grin startled his

Decadence ‘til no

Longer could I feel his

Delicate pitter-patter.

 

Always present

Grief brings

Company of

A glorious kind.

 

Zazen

Grief burrowed

Its way and twisted

Knife-ache into my right

Eye, shoulder, hip, knee,

And ankle.

Then it left.