Poems & texts 2000 –

So many openings

 

so many openings

through which the world

enters,

mingles,

melts into me

only to flow on

into others, world

into self, self into

world,

 

like sticks in a stream,

bent by the light, we

pass through a prism

 

rainbowed and scattered

we are not what we

seem

 

 

Nothing is what it is

 

like mercury,

but dancing,

river-sea surface,

tide-high, reaches

at rocks, catches

at a low wet

sky

 

mist salves the wounds

of autumned oaks

turning yellow on fading

hills

 

objects are widowed of shape

and essence, nothing is what

it is without its

absence

 

empty mist,

up close,

is a plenitude

of drops, an ocean

of reflected

worlds

 

 

No matter where

 

no matter where

we look surprises turn

assumptions to ash,

smoke twisting into

all the shapes we can’t

imagine

 

over there, I can only

guess at what the journey

brings:

watermeadows

strapped with iris-blades,

meadowsweet sloughing

cream skins in shadows

where oaks lose their fisted

roots

 

nothing is as we

expect it. Always

our expectations flit

like bats in and

out of what is and

what is not

 

 

Poems & stones

 

in a poem

words are thoughts

or images, or

thoughts & images

are words,

compacted

into lines of

stones

 

yet stones are

a reverberation

of atoms

& a pulse of

light

 

 

Two for Reznikoff

 

old man sits

alone, his solitude

so absolute even when the train

is full no-one will

sit with him

 

*

somewhere in that

blank and black

night there is

an estuary turfed

with rippled

tide

unseen but not

unknown it moves

without reason or

cause

when the dawn comes

it will be gone

 

 

Overheard

 

What’s he say?

It’s too late

Too late for what?

Three weeks too late

For what?

Time will tell…

 

 

On the way to work

 

on the road to

the station a one-eyed

seagull meets a

man with a large

head

 

 

Gum tree lost

 

gum tree lost most

of its leaves til

just a few hang

limp and lean

flicked here and

there by hardly

a breeze, furious

when a wind comes

by

 

it’s not in

its element here

in Devon Atlantic

northern hemisphere

rain

 

roots don’t

tether in Devon

clay, don’t belong

here, won’t be

long here, just

a few leaves left

in Devon

air

 

 

Colorado triptych

 

I see a lone bluebird

shimmering

on a stump beside

Clear Creek ice-white

lake

 

I see cows in trucks

on the road towards

snow-glistening

mountains

 

hours later stars now shine

on a white frozen lake I may never

see again

 

 

Lady sews dreams

 

lady sews dreams on a winter porch, fingernails still flavoured  with peonies ~ to speak, maybe, or to be quiet, to let the air say what has to be said ~ come in, she whispers, come in, sit down, have a drink ~ no excuses ~ OK, maybe a few ~ into sharp hands, her grey head sings for April & curses each elegant note ~ no joke to remember the dark birds have flown ~ 60 years & only one shooting star, only one ~ beyond pneumonia & tenderness, she sees it again ~ pale kiss of light in dark April ~ as now, she turns to candlelight disquiet, flirting for dreams in frail winter air

 

 

Four sheep

 

four sheep & bent hawthorn

stapled to a windy

hillside

 

*

high tide

low cloud

brief meeting

 

*

among tussocks of sharp grass

crow circles a limping lamb

 

*

heron hunched in flight

mountain hunched

in another time

 

 

Notes I made long ago

 

sun and moon light

scattered in furrows,

only red clay remembers

turning blade of plough

while iron soon forgets

casual stone

 

it is here I hear

green woodpecker sawing

through leaf-drained air

while trees raise their

chlorophyll arms to

God knows where

 

we are a measure of this moment

here at the ear of twilight,

shadowed furrows heeling

to the dark

 

 

In memorium

 

songthrush hit by car, on its back,

flapping til it dies. Hard as it is,

keep alive the moment of the

kill. Remember the small life and

the flapping wings, and that it

once sang with all its heart

 

 

Not sleeping

 

half moon in rain behind

curtains, hushed breeze and

dark pines. Sleep will

come, but not just now

 

 

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