Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Talking poetry with the taxman

I offered a stanza

He couldn’t account

for comodity of feeling

In my recant

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Leave me the chasms of lost promises

Leave me the chasms of lost promises, the chaos, leave the gulf, leave nettle poison, rags.
Take everything.
I’ll be a mountain cave, live like a wolf
or crazed wild man, eyes full of suffering,
who cannot learn what love has always claimed
but longs to find it, unsheathed from the clasp
of someone who owns nothing, naked, maimed:
to give all for a dream beyond his grasp,
to die in peace, yet drink lifes bitterness,
to sieve pure song, full throated, out of thunder deep to sound the depths of woman’s innerness,
then perish on full lips, flesh ripped asunder
yet not be bound to earth by bony time, gripped by his own delusions,
he hears how the wind cries

These stubs of pain have shrivelled, since your fire
has burned them out and what was left, their ash,
scattered on windswept water, and desire blistered on the flickering of an eyelash, smudged, crumbled and dispersed — except for this,

Whatever self your substance might allow
has so unravelled, past analysis,
that what I was no longer matters now.

So, skittering, feeble, pitter-pattering heart,
although you seem past breaking, still you’ll beat on and on,
timekeeping for the voiceless part
that heralds this — and darling I that can’t retreat
to habitats of longing, well entrained
by those on whom your love have never rained who too lay in wait

in the chasm of lost promises. 

Categories
Photography Poetry 'n Prose

In The Dreamtime

C_bM0B7XgAE6xWZ.jpg_smallIn the dreamtime
I saw you in the reflection of the sunset,
as the auburn red and gold
began to light up the night.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Finger tips

Those days I held your hand
we couldn’t help it
watching endless love
from the sidelines

even when you make me
watch those bloody antique auction programs
didn’t need to know
how much it was worth

You see sheep know what I’m saying
I’ve read their newsletter
Zen and the Art of Abattoirs –
an impressive article on stoicism

and love
in every issue.

 

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

I’m afraid

I’m afraid of the dark

I’m afraid of giant machinery and sharks

I’m afraid of finding worms in the apple, after the bite

I’m afraid of how easily Capitalism has become the effective tool of governance and social policy

I’m afraid of friendly fire and planes as bombs and bombs from planes supported by gods whose followers could only be pathetic as their descriptions of their gods;

I’m afraid [like Geldof?] of the “great indifference” that consumes our lives

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Swift Poem

Swifts are wonderful
For almost all their lives
They live in the sky
Landing only to nest,
Nurture their young
And die

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Soulmates

me without you

is me without glue

a process without due

a truth subdued

philosophies empty

artwork  brutal

brittle bruised broken

me without you

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

On Days Like These

On day like these
I see the sun is out and my laces are undone
toddlers on mobiles
they know where the game is at

On day like these
I see older couples on benches
sliding palms over each other’s thighs
the comforting touch

On day like these
I see weeds refusing to be judged
no matter how hard
they’re pulled at the roots

On day like these
I see birds ignoring pecking orders
And marching to the front of queues demanding
And winning acceptance of their aspirations

On day like these
I see queues at food banks
fighting back the tears and blows of austerity
an austerity that never starts at the top

I see celebrity presidents without fear,
on fake news
boasting the size of their [nucleur] buttons
warplanes, gunships and drones,

ready in the wing for more strikes against
orphaned refuge babies
hoping somewhen, somehow
someone will love them again.

On day like these
ever resilient scientists develop
a new polymer protective covering
as the ozone layer disappears…

I see optimism and hope
melting
like icecaps into the sea

On day like these
my shoelaces are still undone.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

The Heart’s Final Stillness

Open yourself to the clearing,
you may retire to receding
points of suspension and yet…
The perfect enclosure beyond
the hot summer’s cauldron

The dark forest mushrooms
The undertow of our longings
And yet there will always be
calm, sky-bearing lake

Is this the last declaration of love or
the heart’s final stillness?

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

The Drunken Proletariat

There is so much to remember and what of it would matter

to a silent universe devoid of humans or sentient beings?

All the poetry, all the literature what is it for?

The universe is mute to our desires our ambitions

Just as all we amounts to nought in the universe

with each passing moment of our lives.

 

Every generation forgets and the next generation has to learn again

Teenagers are hard wired to ignore their parent advice

so why do we bother, why do we bother with social order,

with moral relativism or absolutism?

 

Their generation will ask if such a thing as good or evil in the universe exists?

What is the hunger in human being that there even be a God?

Why is he good, why do the right thing? Who will impose order when God is dead?

The minimally educated, the war dis-empowered, drunken proletariat

manipulated by riches of man’s regress, greed and ambition

that make us fight against that which will benefit all men.

 

As moral relativism collapses, moral absolutism collapses too

and chaos takes its place,

Resist…. children, resist: question thoroughly

deduce logically, induce imaginatively and compassionately.

When babies cry they cry for all of us

all of us burdened by this spiritual dis-ease

a disease ignored and replaced by the desperate attempt

to find the masses and to fit in – no matter the cost.

 

Yet we rue so sadly, we crave praise, and cover up blame,

all the time looking away from our rights and responsibilities

for personal freedoms, handling over our hard won privacy

to social media, its algorithms of money and the mind

for big brother who still keeps the watchful eye on us.

 

We settle for this psychological detention until the only choice left to us

is nothing more than competing brands in the supermarket isle

which are nothing more than warehouses of compliance

where we exchange consumer rights for citizen rights

We remain the drunken proletariats unable to rise up.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Tree of passion

Buddha tree
Tilopa tree
zen tree
tantric tree
Kali’s tree

trees of passion
regenerative
language tree
speaking names
telling stories
histories

transformations
depthless tree
deathless tree
tree of comrades
of airs we breathe

dancing on water
cupping clouds
emptiness in form
form in emptiness

unpruned
untameable
immortal tree
overarching
human rainbows

come near
see them blossoming!

blossoming now!

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Tree of dreams

Tree of dreams
and visitations
leaved with hair
of fallen heroes

snake wreathed
giant guarded
threaded with voices
and children’s laughter

spread-eagled
against the morning
a scented trellis
spanning noon

blue crowned
tree of earth
water fire
of air of airs

light ship
dusky barge
sailing on
wind seasoned

around year ends
and back again
clay moored

soil harboured tree
prow lapped
by heaven’s tides
sun cradle

moon basket
cloud blanketed
cask of stars
rocking meteors

shaking planets
ploughing galaxies
on long oars
world hammering

sky raking
word breaking
rocksplitting tree
bone-cracking

wrist of boughs
tower of strength
pivot fulcrum
axial roof tree

ever turning
clawed through crust
on cliff and crag
pointed dactyl

spark igniting
flame hurling
quill clutched
in a stone fist
illuminating

day’s page
in green and gold leaf
manuscript
chiselling plaques

in night’s crypt
with serifs inked
kindling speech
of origins

to sing darkness’s
molten core
of ice moss and coal.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Tree of life

Tree of life
planted in my core
spreading growing
many branched

tree of songs
flame tree
rooted in life
breath blown

bone fibred body
elemental
tree in a seed
full throated

thousand tongued
thick skinned
creaking tree
enduring thunder

wind eroded
snow bound
under storm clouds
budding slow

through despair
thrusting hopes
of high skies
cirrus strewn

milky ways
and birds returning
wakening sleep laden
circled in memories

close grained
springwood
and summerwood.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Tree of madness

Tree of madness
tree of angst
set with thorns
sweating blood

pain tree though
evergreen
showering ghosts
shedding loss

Overshadowed tree
insect gnawed
rot infected
lightning blasted

around whose roots
the serpent coils
around whose branches
flits the white bird

buried in heaven
to flower through veins
arteries nerves
capillary tree

in infinite skies
descending up
and ascending down
rod of aeons

on the high mountain
nurturing
moss and lichen
mould gathering
mushrooms

where the spider weaves
and the rocks nest
and the bat flitters
and the kestrel waits.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Tree of time

Tree of time
revolving burning
prising open
history’s lips

drilling its jaws
to spit pips
needle twigs
and wiry shoots

earthed in its seams
and blood routes
ore flowers
on brittle stems

magnetic amber
resolving mysteries
and diadems.

Electric tree
lightning conductor
fuelling years
with quiet breath

tree of creation
tree of destruction
temple planted
worming woody

fibres through
eye socket
and mandible.

World tree
scroll keeping
cave covered
by sky mountain

joy tent pitched
in wilderness
dome whispering
aspire trembling

gargoyle gnarled
buttress of hills
glory cone
mist piercing

latticed steeple
nesting angels
fan vaulted.

Echoing tree
runged ladder
for the soul’s fingers
valved throat

winged glottis
ringing singing
rib cage tree
harmonising

forest airs
coral tree
perpetually blazing
deciduous.

 

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Laughter is the religion of love

While troops moved in on
Bagdad last night, we sat
in a car and talked
till the moon quit the sky.

We turned from the suffering
the phlegmon of war,
forgot the children born
with cannons for brains,
bullets for food:
forgot the girls maimed
by the dribblings of nervous men,
the upholders of “right.”

As we kissed we ran
through a fantasy world
where streams bred fish
not to be caught but to swim,
where birds flew fearless
in the trees below the sun,
and lovers sang of love—
not in the past tense, a lament,
but in a now of permanent fruition.

Laughter is the religion of love:
and we laughed while the world crept
to the edge of its perch last night,
and we sang and we died with the dawn.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Gauge and Engage


Gauge and engage the challenge of your courage

throw down the glove at darkness and dance light

on paths unworn by guru or by sage

grant nothing is for granted, get your wage

only from getting right all that you might

gauge and engage the challenge of your courage

 

All precedents are clamour in a cage

priorities, mere prattle, crass and trite

on path unworn by guru or sage

if you must cast authorities in a rage

cast them, yet with humour and foresight

gauge and engage the challenge of your courage

 

And if you cannot stay bright with advancing  age

bind your dreams against austerity tight

on paths unworn by guru or by sage

and run the gauntlet of history, this gauge

you have measured chooses you to fight

gauge and engage the challenge of your courage

on paths unworn by guru or by sage.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Catch You Up

How long does it take to reach the end of the lane,
almost stationary frozen? You tell me ‘Go
ahead and feed the ewes.’ I get my jar and catch
you up, take longer than I thought. But you are there
still, moving barely perceptibly just slightly
swaying side to side. You had said ‘Walk on. I shall be
very slow I shall take a long time.’ As distant
galaxies cross our horizon their image will
be frozen.

You often say ‘Go on catch you up’ but often I say ‘No.’
For I like to walk with you, your way more slowly
than the elephant, as a galaxy at the
end of time, faster than the speed of light, so you
are swinging out of ken faster than glances can
any more pass between, faster than I can see
any longer, than I can ever catch you up.

How long does it take to reach the end of the lane?
You are near the end as we watch the galaxies
fade, their appearance frozen in time. I tell you
‘Go ahead, I’ll see that the fire’s OK,’ as they
recede from us. But you are there still, are frozen,
moving barely perceptibly under the trees,
your dark form gathered in the shade. As we watch the
galaxies fade, just slightly swaying side to side,
by the time you reach the shed the sheep are fed, their
appearance frozen in time.

If I can ever
catch you up, put my arm round your shoulder,
distant galaxies will then be moving too fast.
You say ‘Go on’ as distant galaxies
cross our horizon. Will I ever catch up with
you? The end of the universe, frozen in time
as we watch, will never be able to reach us.

You tell me ‘Go ahead, for they will never grow
older or change. They will only grow dimmer as
they recede from us.’ Then when I come up to the
lane I expect to find it bare, but you are there,
your dark form gathered, too fast for me to see. As
distant galaxies cross our horizon, the light
they emit after the moment of horizon
crossing will never. be able to reach us. As
we watch the galaxies fade, which you so often
forget, you say ‘Walk on. I shall be very slow
I shall take a long time.’ You often say ‘You go
on,’ but often I say ‘No.’ For I like to walk
slowly; your way; this majestic way you exist
and travel through this space on the lane by the trees.

How long does it take to reach the end of the lane?
As we watch the galaxies on the way back the
gob of blood glistens on the tarmac where you coughed
and although animals later lick up the blood
the dark patch stays next morning when the tarmac is
frozen.
I love the way you move so slowly that your mind sees
things differently You often say ‘You go on,’
but often I say ‘No.’ I like to walk slowly
with you, your way; more slowly than the elephant,
as a galaxy at the frozen end of time.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Passenger’s view

In the far distance are coppices
that stand stock still
behind a shifting middle ground
and here, where traffic is quick and perpetual.

Properties change, but not that hanging
backdrop, true
to a mind expectant as actors’ boards
for acts by any available you, you and you.

Yet always others in the audience,
fluffing their part,
betray, come late, blur as they pass
this older passenger fixed in some memory.

Could he sit there by the coppices
and stare towards here,
here would stand still, a middle ground
play on, some distant audience interfere.

Who can return to youth and hope
for innocence
again? Most of the acts are known
and the best that age can do is avoid pretence

praying those distant coppices –
where the possible
was yet to be – retain their view;
the lad, if saddened, be unbetraying still.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Sweeping Parakeets

Sweeping Parakeets
In sun setting trees swooning
An ageing man’s heart

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Moments

I am the moment
The sole inventor of paradise
Awkward and perishable
The most neglected of times
I am the moment
That mourns over its temporariness

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Neither Perfect Nor Complete

There’s an idea in Japanese culture which suggests that true beauty can only be achieved through imperfection, as its opposite is unattainable.

It is time to tidy up your life !
into your body has leaked this message,

No conscious actions, no broodings
Have brought the thought upon you.

It is time to take into account
What has gone and what has replaced it.

Living your life according to no plan.
The decisions are numerous and
The ways to go are one

You stand between trees this evening;
The cigarette in your cupped hand
Glows like a flower.

The drizzle falling seems
To wash away all ambition.

There are scattered through your life
Too many dreams to entirely gather

Through the soaked leaves, the soaked grass,
The earth-scents and distant noises

This one thought is re-occurring:
lt is time to take into account what has gone,

To cherish and replace it.
You learnt early enough that celebrations
Do not last forever.

So what use now the sorrows that mount up?
For love, is both present and gone
Neither perfect nor complete.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

The Sounds of Waves

The oceans rolls happily you,
Naked enough at the bed
To be my archangel 
Playing with Possums in tropical waters

Keeping me spirited forever
Long before the morning sunrise
Long before stepping stones appear
Back to semi-consciousness

You then morph to an octopus
As sunlight hits my eyelids
As the poly-chlorinated byphenyl sea rolls out over
My muddled brain.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Searching for Bartók (translated)

for Bartók. Our paths meet in music – Bartóknak. Útjaink találkoznak zenében
which are interminable. – amelyek végeérhetetlenek.

Old trams counters the heartbeat – Régi villamosok egy ütemben dobognak a szívveréssel
outside my hotel – a szállodámon kívül
both are full of light – mindkettő csupa fény
late at night across the Liberty Bridge – késő este a Szabadság hídon keresztül
with the Danube in flood high on – a Duna vize magas
their pillars. – a lábaikon.

Two girls behind me – Két lány mögöttem
fuelled by love in the walkway – táplálva a szeretettől az úton
laughing in youth – ifjan nevetve
whilst I’m searching for – míg keresem
Béla Bartók that radical – Bartók Béla az a radikális
fundamental mixer – alapvetően felkavaró
fixing the past for the future – rögzítette a múltat a jövőért
tutor of the revolution – tanára a forradalomnak
rolling the renamed streets – ameny gördítette az átnevezett utcákat
scratching the free world. – belevájva a a szabad világba.

My heart is still in the past – A szívem még mindig a múltban
when the red star was ruby bright – amikor a vörös csillag rubint fényes volt
top of the parliament dome – a parlament kupola tetején
poor light river fog, man with an accordion – kevés fény a ködös folyón, férfi egy harmonikával
playing Magyar parasztdalok – Magyar parasztdalokat játszik
horses, hats, long coats contrast against the – lovak, kalapok, hosszú kabátok, háttérként
Central European darkness. – a Közép-európai sötétség.

The guard at the car-park has – Az őrnek a parkolóban
the red fire face of a drinker – vörös ar arca mint egy iszákosnak
and no knowledge of this land’s greatest son – és nincs tudomása Bartókról
I finally find him next to Solti – végül megtalálom Solti mellett
marked by a chisled bass clef – jelölve egy faragott basszus kulccsal
and overgrown with conifer – és benőtte a tűlevelű
there’s a fragment of a red star – van rajta egy töredéke egy vörös csillagnak
and no flowers. – és nincs virág.

With special thanks to Sara Vitrai for the Hungarian translation.

Categories
Poetry 'n Prose

Everyday

I look for you in a crowd
You are not to be seen
Only a wave
Of salt-white faces
Images on a screen.

Someone distant: Can it be?
No
A trick, a figment,
A simple longing of the mind
Sudden panic
You won’t come.

I feel the gap you’d closed
Spring open with the force
Which cracks when comfort
Tumbles from its cosy latch.

Then you appear
Half an hour late: apologies,
A smile
A good excuse.
My longing turns to irritation
And then to longing again

None of this is proof of love
Nor is it to be denied.