I write such pretty words
About the ones I've sort of loved
I used to think I'd be like Joni Mitchell
And love all the beautiful men
With their beautiful voices
And their beautiful souls
I've gotta get me a singer in the park, dancer in the dark
A dirty word thief to mirror my own heart
Funny how life goes exactly how you don't plan it
(and spaceships hang in the sky exactly how bricks don't)
Or if you were prepared for that
It will go according to plan but taste like splenda
Me, I'm riding steady on the latter
Sometimes getting sadder
And barring that time when I was sixteen
All the loving never felt like love
Not all the way
I don't mean to degrade those salty days
I've got a headful of memories that I'd never trade
I don't know what I'm thinking when I say the love I make could be better
Maybe because I've never been made stupid, never really been played
Which is to say that I've never actually gone all the way
Never settled or sacrificed anything I couldn't get back
Most of me is always tucked away
Escaping only in blinding bursts that leave everyone involved a little scared
I don't remember how to temper myself
In relation to anyone else
But I remember every time I've realized that something wasn't what I wanted
I'm damn good at falling out of it
And writing lots of stupid poems about it
I've watched too many people rip each other apart with it
Felt it start to rip at me
Of course I'll never let that happen
I'm the first to advocate divorce
But some days I get really worried that I'm not capable of anything more
It's not that I'm broken
I just have really,
Maybe I'm lying, scared and selfish
Going against my own mind
I know I've felt bliss
Once I felt infinite
But that was a different me, all soft and made of clay
This me, pushing out these particular words, well
I've never been in love
I'm always a little bit in love
Only fires burning bright,
will glimmer in the dim of night.
On the edge of the forest where the river is red,
where faith and reason both are dead.
In ecstasy the invalids run astray,
into the circles where the shadows play.
Of silhouettes dancing in the earthly mist,
raving naked with sanity dismissed.
Running wild in ceremonial haze,
with eyes made of opium and hearts of clay.
Their lonely fires burning bright,
cast smoke rings off into the night.
Whilst the ancient forest is oblivious to their undertakings.
And watches the smoke pass out of sight.
The Great Creator Sat, Smiling Solemnly,
As He Molded A Soul From River Clay,
He Took In A Deep Breath As He Plucked A Ray,
From The Sun Nearest To Our World,
He Gently Placed It Inside The Earthenware,
Giving It Life--Giving It A Smile
The Great Creator Sat, Pondering It's Housing,
The Soul Sparkled As It Awaited It's Home,
Awaited It's Time To Prosper,
The Great One Took Two Feathers From The Bird,
Who Calls, "Jay", And Placed Those Pale Blue
Feathers Upon The Irises The Soul Would Wear,
He Peered Into The Sea, And Found The Richest,
Darkened Blue Hues Which He Placed Onto The Eyes
The Great Creator Looked In The Most Beautiful Garden,
And Plucked Two Rose Petals, The Palest Pinks,
Then Placed Them As Thin Lips Upon The Face,
He Selected The Golden-Brown Hues Of Wheat,
For The Skin Of Which The Soul Would Wear,
And He Found The Blackest Of The Night Skies,
And Molded It Into Hair
The Great Creator Sculpted The Housing From Granite,
Wrapping It Around The Soul,
He Then Put On The Finishing Touches And Sent The Soul To Earth,
Yet The Soul Did Not Feel At Home,
That Is Why The Great Creator Gave Him,
A Baby Girl
In the winter garden
of the Villa del Parma
by the artist’s studio
green grass turns vert de terre
and the stone walls
a wet mouse’s back
grounding neutral – but calm,
soothing like calamine
in today’s mizzle,
a permanent dimpsey,
fine drenching drizzle,
almost invisible, yet
with evidence of rain.
In the kitchen’s borrowed light,
dear Grace makes bread
on the mahogany table,
her palma gray dress
bringing the outside in.
Whilst next door, inside
Vanessa’s garden room
the French windows
firmly shut out this
season’s bitter weather.
There, in the stone jar
beside her desk,
branches of heather;
Erica for winter’s retreat,
Calluna for spring’s expectation.
Tea awaits in Duncan’s domain.
Set amongst the books and murals,
Spode’s best bone china
turning a porcelain pink
as the hearth’s fire burns bright..
in this house
a very Bloomsbury tone,
a truly Charleston Gray.
Not quite daffodil
Not yet spring
Was Nancy’s shade
For the drawing room
Walls of Kelmarsh Hall
And its high plastered ceiling
Of blue ground blue.
Playing cat’s paw
Like the monkey she was
Two drab husbands paid
For the gardens she made,
For haphazard luxuriance.
Society decorator, partner
In paper and paint,
She’d walk the grounds
Of her Palladian gem
Conjuring for the catalogue
Such ingenious labels:
Brassica and Cooking Apple
Green to be seen
In gardens and orchards
Grown to be greens.
It would be churlish
to expect, a folly to believe,
that green leaves would
cover the trees just yet.
But blossom will:
clusters of flowers,
And at the fields’ edge
Primroses dayroom yellow,
a convalescent colour
healing the hedgerows
of winter’s afflictions.
Clouds storm Salisbury Plain,
and as a skimming stone
on water, touch, rise, touch
and fall behind horizon’s rim.
Where it goes - no one knows.
Far (far) from the Madding Crowd
Hardy’s concordant cove at Lulworth
blue by the cold sea, clear in the crystal air,
still taut with spring.
A spring day
In Suffield Green,
The sky is cook’s blue,
The clouds pointing white.
In this village near Norwich
Lives Marcel Manouna
Thawbed and babouched
With lemurs and llamas,
Leopards and duck,
And more . . .
This small menagerie
Is Marcel’s only luxury
A curious curiosity
In a Norfolk village
Near to Norwich.
So, on this
Marcel’s blue grey
Perched on a gate
Squawks the refrain
Sumer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
And springþ þe wde nu,
thrown off the hump
the Japanese way.
Inside hand does the work,
keeps it alive.
Outside hand holds the clay
and critically tweaks.
Touch, press, hold, release
Scooting, patting, spin!
Centering: the act
precedes all others
on the potter’s wheel.
Centering: the day
the sun climbs highest
in our hemisphere.
And then affix the glaze
in colours of summer:
I see you
by the dix blue
asters in the Grey Walk
via the Pear Pond,
a circuit of surprises
past the Witches House,
the Radicchio View,
to the beautifully manicured
Orangery lawns, then the
East and West Rills of
Gertrude’s Great Plat.
And under that pea green hat
you wear, my mistress dear,
though your face may be April
there’s July in your eyes of such grace.
I see you wander at will
down the cinder rose path
‘neath the drawing-room blue sky.
Out on the wet sand
Mark and Sarah
take their morning stroll.
He, barefoot in a blazer,
She, linen-light in a wide-brimmed straw,
Together they survey
their (very) elegant home,
a retreat in Olive County, Florida:
white sandy beaches,
It’s an everfine August day
humid and hot
in the hurricane season.
But later they’ll picnic on
Brinjal Baigan Bharta
in the Chinese Blue sea-view
dining room fashioned
by doyen designer
Leta Austin Foster
who ‘loves to bring the ocean inside.
I adore the colour blue,’ she says,
‘though gray is my favourite.’
A perfect day
at the Castle of Mey
Watching the rising sun
disperse the morning mists,
the Duchess sits
by the window
in the Breakfast Room.
Green leaves have yet to give way
to autumn colours but the air
is seasonably cool, September fresh.
William is fishing the Warriner’s Pool,
curling casts with a Highlander fly.
She waits; dressed in Power Blue
silk, Citron tights,
a shawl of India Yellow
draped over her shoulders.
But there he is, crossing the home beat,
Lucy, her pale hound at his heels,
a dead salmon in his bag.
blue, clear skies,
before the first frosts
and the apples ripe for picking
(place a cupped hand under the fruit
and gently ‘clunch’).
Henry Holland’s hall -
just ‘the perfect place to live’.
From the Picture Gallery
redolent in portraits
and naval scenes,
the view looks beyond
to Brecon’s Beacons.
At the fourteen-acre pool
trees, cane and reed
mirror in the still water
where Common Kingfishers,
blue green with fowler pink feet
vie with Grey Herons,
to ruffle this autumn scene.
In pigeon light
this damp day
into lamp-room grey.
The trees intone
An autumnal valedictory
to reluctant leaves.
Yet a few remain
hanging by a thread
they turn in the stillest air.
Green smoke from damp leaves
float from gardens’ bonfires,
rise in the silver Blackened sky.
Close by the tall railings,
fast to lichened walls
we walk cold winter streets
to the warm world of home, where
shadows thrown by the parlour fire
dance on the wainscot, flicker from the hearth.
Hanging from our welcome door
see how incarnadine the berries are
on this hollyed wreath of polished leaves.
hums, quivers, aches ashes once again with
midnights slipped though slowly shutting eyes.
Statues turn to flesh, come alive.
Rain-danced the cracks away.
Smoothed over once again,
built from nothing out of clay.
I'm waiting for the echo,
new sound, sweet music
my 'eres itch, anticipate to quiver
wait to feel a breath, then to shiver.
Ambience is all I have to give
in search of death, to breathe again, to live.
To sleep perchance to dream and then to wake
alone yet someone's arms your pillows fake.
Would you pay for this clarity?
Magnifying glasses are still a barrier.
Yet hope is on my side that there will rise
another who can see with clear fire in their eyce.
Wait now until the world escapes.
Skin cold like stone again will rest,
waiting for the moment
when flesh will capture crumbling breast.
breathes, shivers, resonates manifestation with we who play with dice
sixes, snake eyes; kiss yours if you kiss mine.
The lustrous supplicant skin, virgin red,
Blooms with the misty imprint of her reflection:
A bloodied, ballooning head
Swelling in the suspension of the ruby fruit.
Its two lewd leaves' dark velvety greens
Drape to the sides like a wind-torn vail.
Her hair tucked behind her two ears,
As the red moon spans the black of her eye.
She has possessed the tree of hooks.
Down to the purple roots that dreamed up
This ever-extending bough,
Offering itself with quiet conviction.
The fruit brooded deep within her.
A heart of maroon clay shaped by desire
Hanging in her borrowed ribs,
Now mimics the rose-colored bulb.
Her tongue unearths like a worm
From crimson lips, priming the reddening slit.
Now slowly, with animal instinct,
The teeth press against the earthen neck of scarlet flesh.
Upon inventing death,
Her thighs flush of their eggshell-white.
Her two legs, a pallid stem
Propping the sprouting weedy tuft.
The gate of wild hair goes rivering out
With dry earth and greenery.
Flower heads, some living some dead,
Landslide out of her endless womb.
The tree's leaves are now tawny with age-
The dry, fiery speckles shed and scatter.
The bare branches, a hand of upturned roots,
Swallows her into a cage of tumbleweed.
And out of the corner of her eye, exits a black snake.
A squirming lock seeming to crawl
Out of her hair and into the distance.
The shadowed braid leaves her stiff and greying with age...
Her dark visions turn stale and melt in paradise.
Dawn brushes bronze in the sky
And the apple-dreamer wakes in her bed of grass.
She rises and slowly approaches the tree.
Even amidst all the chaos, stars are born on the rise. Let's hang our bedsheets of jealousy out to dry.
Bask in the Lunar glow of night sky. Reflected dreams shine amongst the will of the fight.
Follow the winding trails of hope, for she's always the test. Best you learn to fear stupidity, as it burns through the nest.
Surely you jest! Fuck the selfish gesture from heartless chest. Crested Swallows fly down to get rid of your pest.
Blessed be the people, the worst AND the best. Flourish in broad daylight and ingest the nourishment of our plight.
The night owls watch from their perch, then take off on a flight. They're wisdom may be the wisest of the avian kingdom.
Pray to your God to not give up on your way. Sway not from true freedom, these poems are the iridescent rainbow spray.
Splayed and flayed magically out for the eyes of the next child that stays. Days turn to nights, and nights into days.
You eat your Doritos and I'll eat my Lays. We'll cleverly act out our plays. Mend the space of fabric that frays.
We'll tend to bend time to our ways. These rhymes speak louder than illusive money in May.
We'll mold our creations from enkindled passion flames, shaped from warm clay.
Cows moo away and eat grass, while horses nicker and neigh.
Our actions speak louder than our poems do. Live on, cause dark turns to light, and night turns to day.
She may find my
and unmalleable attitude
something that does not suit
her range of liking,
but I've changed
one, two, many times
to give a damn
if a dime minds my demeanor.
Steel Reserve, and steely nerves,
I don't even have an interior
just miles of walls.
Glass eyes don't blink at all
when her clothes fall
or her voice calls
This clay is fired
it's too late to
For many years he'd traveled far,
a merchantman by trade.
His Mom passed on while he was gone-
she sleeps there in the glade.
Now he is home with tales to tell
of his trek on the Ocean Blue
but the one face he longed most to see
is not there to tell them to.
So he sat down on his duffel bag
beside her well tended grave,
and spoke his stories of the sea
when others might have prayed.
He left a white carnation there
upon her bed of clay.
It was well watered by the tears
he shed for her that day.
He said his last good byes to us
and turned back for the sea and the shore;
He'd search for peace on Neptune's deep
for Home wasn't home anymore.
They push us to the sea
amongst their garbage and their humanity
there is power in the depths of what you don’t understand
decline all that isn’t cash in hand
you push me, you pull me along
but when I straggle, like an old man, you do little to help me along
to the grave that awaits me in this dirt
to the mother and her clay earthen rebirth
for this I cannot stand
for you or your foolish demands
I find my legs pulling me into the soil, into the sands
To a core of nourishment, as the earth reprimands
And unprofitable wisdoms
Nursed off these primordial urges
Sprung from these primordial waters
They wish to nourish you too
Take you to the land your ancestors always knew
But take what you may, take what you can, you’re too fast to sit, to reminisce, to even understand
The power, in your ways
your mind is despondent, to you, your body and your long days
Disturbs and aches away
The life in you decays
The irritation in your eyes flare
For the young and the ancients to prepare
For the rains
They do come
From the druids and their amphibian lungs
The chieftains move in their sunken ocean bed
Heave their damaged corporeal forms unto the shores
As far as their breath can take them and their blindness can see
To where that body dies, and the eternal walks eternally
To walk amongst you, to change you and heal the old and the forgotten ones
those you’ve left cleaved and torn
From the wisdoms their ancestors had weaved for them, to be worn
To you, do we sing
Those who are connected to a place that feeds the heart and the mind
Clears all of which was not fore-designed
For this body, for this soul, for all of the wonders the earth ponders to show
Do your deeds
Do them well
If they serve your soul
The earth as our united soul will tell
We have contract
our secrets, with composure, will yell
Amongst the rolling rocks, to the aggravated layers, to those that move above you, to those that travel in the thin air when you kiss.
You would do well, not to dismiss
To no longer remiss