Today fear is a cloud
Fear is a dark leaf
The flowers say,
We grow better in vases!
A chorus of flowers.
The morning clouds weren’t as complex as these men
And the breezes of the afternoon were loving.
But what winds we’ve had!
Things could’ve been if there’d been
No decisions to make.
A chorus of shouting
Fifty years plus or minus
Then a deadening shout –
As good a place to stretch
Out a trembling, palsied hand
To touch the infant
Who doesn’t answer.
The sun bathes in its own saliva
It is like a tongue, like one
Out of the damp sack of the sea
Some would say, embrace
Or the suck of the mother
Or the hug of a dying institution
It’s a struggle to speak
But what difficult gifts!
But, but the sun rises in a simple way
Like a woman
And watches herself like a man
Not a woman at all.
When she’s kissed her palm
Held the sky to her
The red sky to her breast,
Once more certain he’s there,
When she’s pressed her palm to him,
Pushing him under…
Then it starts with lovers like these
On the edge of the pool in the leaves
Beside the volcano.
To the early commuters
Complicated men bearing useless things
Without any visible means of protection.
After all’s done what’s said?
The mornings we’ve had!
She’s sung without audible notes
Like a prayer
Unheard and slowly, certain of being seen
She’s unknotted, untangled her hair
In his mirror.
And they’d say, the sun’s masculine
In a way she could never negotiate.
She rises like a woman
Not a queen
And she watches herself like a man.
Fear is a cloud.
Putting his tongue to the barbed wheel of the world
What choice did he have?
Fighting up from the damp fantasy for a word
Trying to move it without giving an answer.
We live longer in vases!
They’d say we’re unafraid of terror
Because we feel nothing in our exclusion
Except what lovers feel.
What lovers feel
Is of no use to anyone
The sun insults us and the moon’s harangue
And every natural consequence afflicts us
With the certainty we are the children of our children
It makes us to lie down in the field
Of our personal sensation –
A place where all the world’s children can live in peace
Without a chance of blotting out the light.
A dark leaf.
I’m leaving the book open
In order one day to write in it.
But everything I could ever own
Is running with the rain.
I’ve no confidence in the finale
I’ve no faith now in the morning
As a good a place to stop
After a century of shouting
Plus or minus fifty years you’ve no more
Time for me now
To be born
With a deadening shout.
The word was
Why don’t you know what, what to do?
You’ve left your teeth somewhere
In a bag of saliva, at a Post Office…
Anyway, outside my field of knowledge
I’m outdone, overdone
Grown overlong in the womb
With the waters stale
All the corners
Now my sides are soft, squishy.
I remember the soft pap your tongue pressed to another
And the hollow laughter from the hollow hole in my hollow heart
Put my mouth to the barbed edge of the world
And try and turn up in the morning without an answer
In fact the outlines of the city are sharp
Under the mist and low cirrus
And, although not unlovely, forlorn, somehow lonely
Its building and towers must be like
The freshly cut stems of a bouquet held upside down
Not at my wedding
Somebody else’s misunderstanding.
The flowers themselves, the colourful heads
Are in small towns, are in vases, are in the suburbs
And it’s said are buried underground.
Their most heavenly scent
It must be said must be remembered,
Is remembered in the staleness of smog
As a visual effect.
Yellow rose blood orange burnt umber…
Sunrise improves with traffic and for a moment I’m there,
With no faith in the morning
No trust in the sex of the sun
Wearing the synthetic sock of the maker.
I should leave now I should
Leave it all behind.
Time is for the unborn
Like life here in a country that refuses its pang,
Its passion hangs
While the skin heals over.
One day there will be the artefacts
It’ll be everyday you can see
Bits of their way of living left behind,
Every painting a reminder of a culture of the past
Where I can’t.
It’s so hard to carry the forecast through into the evening
The wind is tiring and there’s a cleaving
That can only be unloosened with wine
With the erotic distress
Of infants in jars
With the water stale
Without a trace of bitterness are the breezes
Of the afternoon.
Like the bodies of some dead emotions
We’re unable to straighten out
The corpses are turning, turning
As if unable to relax
Like the bodies of dead relations
We can’t stretch out
And make last
Like absent friends…
The clouds throw pile on pile
The dry leaves rub and your cool brow’s
While the cars grind down the distance
And my hands have forgotten how to unclench,
You’ll never be forgiven.
From plane rides through the terror-zones
From golden islands
What precious toothpaste
With clouds of perfume thick as fevers
And other duty-free purchases
They bring, these vain complex men
On the backs of their amused abusing voices
Swaying like camels at the circus
From lust and fury and frustration
Too long confined to the circuit
Lost and wanting kings.
We could’ve known
At dawn how many children
Would not be there.
The poet’s words are immortal
The shouting is fit for a king
The winds drop the rain begins
The sun is in the sea
Our thoughts are in the fields
Our dreams are with the shepherds
Some would say, farmers
Praising the recovered meat process
The sky is brown
What hope for high yields?
When everything I’d own is washed away.
The provincial soldiery picks its teeth
It’s an effort to speak
A bone sticks in the craw
It’s a pain to ask
For a bit of boiled potato to push it down
But open your mouth
The nurse is squeaking to the stable
To the monstrous body of the birth
The brown stain of the earth
The brown jam
Water blasts until the gutters fill with it
From the hogget carcase and the lamb
They say the sea can’t swallow for lack of spit…
We’ve seen the intubation
We were happy to suffer
The induction of the contract kill
We’ve been invited to supper
On cattle meal,
The masochist nation
Genuinely happy to accept.
Though our thoughts are in the fields
Our hopes are better cut
From the bed or the dirt
From the root of dissent
From the seed of tomorrow,
A verse to each is said and inbetween
A chorus of flowers.
Then of lovers shouting
A day fifty years more or less,
Beside the pool in the leaves
On the edge of the volcano
And the deadening shout
Of a certain private experience
Of reflection without doubt
While the skin heals over
In a vase in a jar
A Victorian bloom of both sexes –
As good a place as any
To introduce to you
A new brutal reality.