"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time." (T S Eliot)
"A dark and chanted verse is what I am." (
Forough Farrokhzad)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

FISH AND SNAKES

It seems, at times like these,
Gladness has flattened patterns
And nothing rises to please,
Only sadness fattens.
Silence blanks out all noise -
It's impossible to hear
Waves slapping against buoys
As I walk the pier.
My eyes are blind to all that's bright -
Sunsets are grey, sprayed
Darker than moonless night,
Stars, jaded, fade.
Life reeks like discarded flowers,
Rancid and rank in hot sun,
No more sweet fragrant showers,
Now foul like death begun.
Once all I asked for was fish,
And you gave me only snakes,
Coiled up in a porcelain dish,
To strike at my mistakes.
Thus poisoned, the throb that splits
My brow, blow by bloody blow,
And my heart breaking to bits,
Are all that I can know.


Monday, August 15, 2016

THE TEMPLE

In the midst of a patchwork
Of orchards, farms and gardens -
Carefully cultivated lands
Set on rolling hills
Breathed at the beginning of time
By the spirit of the one true god -
There was a splendid temple.
Two rivers flowed
Through the purlieus
Ample water
For the sons and daughters
Of the hinterland –
Fruit, vegetables, cereal crops,
Herds and flocks -
And leafy trees and wildflowers
Of this most fortunate country.
The rivers were also home
To many species of fish,
Swimming in such abundance
That the riches of the land
Seemed almost redundant.
Somewhere, far away,
These streams spilled
Into the sea –
An ocean shining
On the edge of the world.
Despite the landscape’s marvels
Its majesty was surpassed
By the sacred magnificence
Of the temple buildings.
Walls of bright yellow sandstone,
Carved from mountains
In the deserts
Of less prosperous nations.
Olive green ivy,
Clinging to columns,
Defined the portico.
Between the creepers
There were decorative emblems
Of gold and turquoise,
And pictures of another heaven,
Framed by onyx and lapis lazuli.
The main doors were made of cedar
And their jams were bejewelled with jade.
In the centre of the sanctuary
Bdellium burned day and night,
Sending its perfume into the vast chamber,
Fragrant like myrrh,
Incense for a king.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

GARGOYLE

There’s no need to return my calls.
I know it’s just a game for you -
A profitable game just the same.
And clients are fuel for the flame,
I just happen to be in the frame,
A man in the reverse of fame,
Another damages claim,
Rather complex, so you glibly maintain -
But you’re not the one that they blame.

Somewhere there’s a money pot
Holding nothing of interest to me.
And you all want it so much!
You want it slimy in your sweaty hands.
You want it as work-in-progress.
You want it as an entry on the balance sheet
Of lies you’ve told and dreams you’ve stolen.
You want it to offset your mistake -
But you can afford your life as a fake.

There’s no need to recall my name.
I stepped down long ago, in shame,
Before you started to reign.
You never saw me in my prime -
Working twelve hour long days, six at a time -
Stretched out on the brilliant blue sky for months
From brutal Manhattan to blithe Anaheim -
Able to pitch, able to battle, able to climb,
Full of intensity and straight down the line -
But you can’t believe that I once dared to shine.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

SWORD

My feet fall heavily these days –
Slowed up by sticking to my ways,
Shocked by the times
And halfway crazed,
Walking at dusk,
Hidden by haze.

I should have been those ragged claws
That Prufrock saw
Before world wars,
Scuttling across those ocean floors,
Hard and silent,
Without a cause.
Like him I never ever soared,
I was a mere attendant lord.
He died wriggling
On a pin, gored.
They’ll come for me,
Wielding a sword.

But I hear the songs of magpies
Somewhere up there
In cloudless skies,
Or in a tree –
Leafy disguise.
Compared to me
They seem so wise.