the poet (again)

I’m playing my song to the long stems

that dance at my window; the flowers that bend

like light on the depths of my loneliness.

 

I have lain on the cool stone of midnight

and risen to greet the light of morning.

I have slumpt by the window to long again

for the evening, a cool hand upon my skin.

 

I am still ill from interminable

midnights til dawn with nothing to fill

the hole when the pills have turned sour.

I harbor the bitterness still.

 

My audience is the silent witness;

the multiple faces, hushed in the violet greys

of an auditorium. They watch closely

as I mime my antics; verbalise

my grief, my gestures, my lunacies.

To the Spring I have hummed all Winter

an overture to my happy disposition.

 

*

I experience everything again; feel it

again, but better. The kiss in the first

flush of evening by the pool in Summer;

the acoustics of the corridor; madness in the cell.

I have waited at the bus station and I was blind

to a thousand faces that were not you.

 

I have lived for you, the walks in the Ligurian

gardens, the cool evenings, the gay laughter

between the high walls of houses. After supper

you can hear the ice clink against the glasses.

 

In the morning I sat outside the bar

in the Piazza smoking after coffee

in the sunshine, reading the sport in the paper.

At night again I walk the narrow lanes

between the crooked houses and dig the echo

of my heels, and the near-distant laughter.

 

My solitude is like a jewel.

 

*

Even on the grassy bank of the railway lines

shivering in my clothes under the wintry stars

of the desolate Parisian outskirt, I had a home

to go to. And in the gloom of the morning

I stood on the side of the road to catch the dying embers

of streetlights and headlights, and hitched a ride South.

 

I feel now for the adolescent kneeling in his room

looking out the window, or arms outstretched

across his bed, cut-up like a rag; and the old man

hurting with his secret love.

 

I love these long melancholy Summer evenings

on my knees smoking out the window

toward the tombstones, a white generic mass

at this distance. I know close-up the individual

corpses under stone, each with a name, two dates

and a tribute:

 

I was once like you.

 

I have walked there at night, paused and

heard nothing. I thought of the dreamless

heads, and the stillness in the air was so dense

and I felt alone.

 

*

 

I leant out to see the pale

city constellations. I thought of the Grecian

brothers that had named them; the Semite

Wanderers also traced those lines; and I thought

of the gods that banished them, as tribute

or punishment – for hubris, love of Man.

 

5-6 October 2015

IsIsIsn’tIsolated

FunDeadBiBigBusyness

1

There is a pandering,
a love to lose yourself;
a meandering in wistfulness and dream;
a waiting, a weight, like thinking
of the moon, in its perfect place.

La Luna scale gradient
exactly sized to fit between the sun.
There are connections to be made,
and things too small to know,
and beings that are too big to be seen.

There is this guy, from your position
in the local galaxy, there’s division
in the prophets, over mind as generated
by a brutal field Electric, binary
replicated in the way Compewta saves.

Or it’s something far more modern
then the modem to its slave
the shadow on the cotton
is the Sun’s work: yes or no?

&

2

Knowing when you’re thinking
is different from a thought:
the stillness is vibration:
the Off in part is On.

Tubes of heated sand,
polished two-way lenses,
a showing eyes planets
in the systems—

the Earth is as a grain of rice
beside a tennis ball
around the size of sunfish
compared to submarines

We are knowers, who do nothing,
have shrunken to the pin point
viewing water floating man
-kind a mammoth mannequin.

Saluting, like a clansman,
two fingers aristocracy,
like believers of the book
who utilise Scripture

to prove their picture
is correctness as it forms
never really noticing
in the feeling in the room

of a harmonised group
they’re in a closed loop
of self validation

& we’re seen to fumble on
like a disjointed dream.

 

3

Sheer perfect of the heart,
mad variety of spider,
doesn’t prove yr god
yet no blind disorder.

What is breathing water,
bodies reading sound,
the sightless and the Braille,
the deaf and their hands.

The Earth is as an island
as Fiji is to Earth.
The Ocean as to Fencing
as scrambled oxygen.

The atmosphere above us
isolated are
like a vivid Mirage
on the floating polyscopes

shaved glass polished, and a listening
gaze at other visage
we commit to never reaching.

 

 

 

homecoming

homecoming
dedicato a Marco, poeta e traddutore

I.
there was nothing
else than the walk from
the shore to the house
all as it had been
for all time past
yet voices shouting*
bold with the
drink from your
own cellar
and you sank
the arrow
into their
fat revelry
even before
you had kicked
the stout door
in with calves
of iron

II.
kavafy**
i see
you with a suit
the grey of an
otago sky
the excellent
shades fining
your gold rimmed
glasses held
lens of hard
cold tears you
looked at
us through and
love ever turned
cold in that look
however dear
it was.

III.
i might have
wanted more
got just what this
shore had always
held for me the
soft first step of journey
onward
or returning
the smell
of dry seaweed
burning.

queenstown
january 2012

*reference to Odysseus’s return and his slaying of his wife’s suitors, who had drunk and feasted in his palace.

** reference to the Alexandrian Greek poet, Konstantinos (Constantine) Kavafy. Kavafy’s poem ‘Ithaca’ (Ithaki) which describes the significance of Odysseus’s home in the making of his legendary journey is one of the iconic works of 20th century Greek literature.

South Rain

Gentle is the day’s rain

Sliding in from the south

It is a mist, a cold lace curtain

And it clings to face

And emotion

It makes you look

Deeper, to wonder

If this might be

The season’s forecast