Poems

Three hours out from Heathrow

 

After a dinner party once

you stilled my hand

 

Don't blow out a candle

my brother is a sailor

 

Above the dark blank Baltic

I thought of him

 

The lonely sweep from a lightship

three hours out from Heathrow

 

And as the plane descended

I struggled    ears filled as if with water

 

and clutched the landing card

as all the lights of London blazed

 

 

Such a beautiful morning.

 

when the sun rose on the raw fabric of the world

water-marked flesh curled in its own drowned weight  

now broken up and reassembled

 

it rose on the flotsam of bodies

adrift in a two way mirror of consciousness

isolated between   translucence and reflection

 

on ribcage and skull still attempting futile protection

:the failing heart, the final momentary sun

that mirror blaze, that is the signature of thought

 

it rose over a now unrecognisable landscape

of collective   incomplete figures

and their illogically substituted limbs

 

on seaglass sea,   sun sharp and bright

engulfing pain along a line of nerve

in its steep undersea preoccupation

 

Such a beautiful morning

clear and afterwards calm

when the sun did rise and its light did stab

 

 

landfall

 

that sudden unexpected glimpse

as you look into a mirror

 

and expecting to see your self

look into emptiness

 

here the silvered distance

from my world's end to beginning

 

charted by hemispheres of the skull

or the heart's unsafe harbour

 

an illusory figure sails

sightless (just off frame)

 

no promise of the infinite

or landfall beyond

 

instead a shape of air

sailing deceptive water

 

 

Other's sleep

 

It is a dark

Shared with my lover's son.

 

A high plain

Scaffolded with prayer flags

 

Quiet as on a field of battle

Yet to be commenced.

 

Thin fabric   fluttering

on spindly poles. The shuffling

 

of others as they shift position under

our endless forest. So many prayers.

 

We raise aloft our tallest

dreams to face this merest breath of wind.

 

(The past was easier to forsee

my earliest memory a rainshower

 

through sunlight.   Monkey wedding.)

How can the dreams of these wakeful

 

nights be interpreted? Others sleep.

We await the dawn.

 

 

Measure

 

A crossroads if you will - complicit

between the physical and the emotional

There in the sensuality of the eye

a flood of colour. We steady ourselves

regain balance in the give and take

of breath

Wave after wave exhaling

until all is washed clean

Head cradled against fishing rods

the run of line

leaded with weights to its barbed hook

finally trusting emptiness. We pack down tight

in the belly of the car ferry

Truth now lies in memory

a return from the Zen practice

of being

unflinching at the beach

under the endless gaze of sky

 

poet's biography ->