Your birdsong might drive a hundred nights
crashing to their knees in the daysprung delights
of your symphonies. I will bow now to the rising east,
and lay my head in peace upon my pillow.
When I want for your yellow, and clearing blue,
in the deepest darkness, I shall think of you.
The Boy King
Chattering lines on
and tall coaches
roll into the cul de sac
like coffin fish collecting
on a reef.
We're going on a trip!
Shriek sandwiches suffocating
Your history teachers
flounder painfully out of
of awkward t-shirts.
Spears are great
but pots are pots.
A brash gold face is
an eight out of ten.
The good stuff's through here-
A torn yellow eye socket or
a gift-wrapped limb.
The Moon Princess
Come on Carter,
we'll dig up Diana.
Uproot the rose
and strip her.
Prise the wreath from her grasp
Pinch her ****
Two poems. How soon is too soon?
I watched you once; alone, asleep,
behind a yellow air.
No ancient halls of Rome did speak
of beauty like your hair-
that fell in spells and drew me down
still closer to your mouth.
I hold no softer memory
of summer in the south.
When I study Poets
who passed their hours
in passion, peace
and quiet thoughts-
Who spun their words
from sylvan towers
and sat at ease
in flowered courts.
Or in Amherst hurt
the single girl
who pressed against
While a thousand
hours alone unfurled
her heart commenced
to pen the rains.
by vanished stars
who scribbled into a
Their elegant prose
and lovely scars
speak forever; they
can never die.
The room is large and
paint is peeling,
from panelled walls
and alcoved ceilings.
An old woman is buried
in a damp chair.
A warm smell of ****
She does not turn but
"Americo, do you remember
your blossoming power?
The whole world despised it
but I loved you dearly.
My wanton child-
Red in matricide,
white in supremacy
and blue here now,
in your rosewood seat"
Americo laughs briskly
at Britannia's slight.
But they are both disturbed
and chilled by the sight,
of Romulus' freshly starched sheets
and all his leafy golden crowns
in a tied black bag
beside the door.
I dozed while the daylight passed
‘Til I woke in the grip of thick wet grass
Among those fragrant flowers and stones
I alone; thought of fetid bones
That huddled under the thick wet grass.
Those now spent shells; of a battlefield long
And treacherous in that those who were strong
Were braving the winter to feel more pain
As the snows came again
And great guns crashed on a battlefield long.
So quickly then, it was I who rose
From my forgotten corner; just suppose
In that electric eve and damp
Their bodies dull and rank
Grieving they retched awake; just suppose.
to concrete indents,
roaring in foresight
Of broken pavements.
Twisting papers are
scattered above me.
are whistled shrilly.
Kettle prayers boiling
in wind-whipped foam,
frothing from meteors
mouthing for home.
To the News:
ants drift like drops
To metropolis, where they
vanish from view.
A woman shatters
the glass ceiling, and
I am halfway up heavy stairs.
Brittle on the quaking
The world is leaning
to watch office chairs
Be thrown through windows.
I will set now
As a tired evening sun
With the flowers at the roadside
Are my senses overrun
It is dangerous (any night)
to mull too long on the inevitable song
of a raindrop's pallid flight.
By opening up to the minute flicker
of passion coursing in a tear.
As concrete growing wearily darker
damper, distance disappear.
Downwards and split on the earth
reflections of a watery star.
I have never truly been hungry.
and never fought for food.
Never in a state of ecstasy,
at last have I... chewed.
But I have loved
as one who has been alone.
Clung to the eye of a failing hope,
built my house in a hurricane.
I blame the rain - I cannot sleep.
I spent too long on the tiny things
that did not care, I cannot sleep.
We took our places you and I-
I the bones on the cool night sand
And you the desert sky.
Looking up I wondered why-
Though felt foolish to ask;
How you wore the stars quite so,
And how the planets passed.
Realm of new gold, and blue-hot raging sun.
Yellow kept kingdom of the spilling fields.
Blind under burning filaments that run
like blood from the bursting heads of corn.
As sultry woods dapple with bluebell peals
and all the summer fruits of swallows song,
are shaded by kestrels, glaring overhead
and jealous ponds are broken by the stares;
of swollen mayflies, peering from the dead.
I am late for nothing.
Staring into the robin's egg sky,
watching my breath tumbling
to cloud about me.
There is a bus coming.
The light is fading.
Growing numb about the edges,
of frosted steel railings
and heavy molten hedges.
There is a bus approaching.
Fiery tree before me,
swallow the wintry sunset
as a fading reddish memory.
In similar shades, I know we met,
many times, and we were happy.
Days on days; my hometown harboured
concrete cradles cast for me.
Children growing tall like ships
alone and listing out to sea.
“I do not care"
Murmured the Sun
burning above an obelisk-
of terror and somehow Daedalus,
breathes alone in a darkened room.
In slow gasps; the phone is down,
the metal blinds are drawn.
"Everything now is different.
But I am just the same."
It used to be simpler.
Workloads were lego
and gameboys were bigger.
The world was greater
when rainbows were an end
to be followed, by the intrepid
and yelling storm-chaser.
How to spend my gains,
when youth drifts further
and further away?
On more lego? The toyseller
would laugh and say
I was mad. So I shall show
to the world that I am old-
Swear on my quietly thinning soul,
at rainbow's end I found no gold.
Torpid though low nightly torments stay,
how lucky I am; to miss and bathe in dreams
Of absence through the dawn and into day.
From my far flung ship; I shall watch old islands
Sliding past while sadly silver streams-
from Heaven; fall in silence.
Back and forth flickered his net
with a shimmer, and whirring stems
stirring and whispering in the haze.
But little did the lepidopterist know
there were lions in the long grass;
lithe numbers, labeled days.
This one's for John,
who was suddenly called away
by the delicious roots of a spreading yew.
He crumbled softly in his room,
until an empty service finally drew
the life from his body,
like poison from a wound.
Ribbons of shining cars:
The countryside in parts
Will always be ours.
Drizzled in a distant June
as silver lace, let smoking
breathing moonlight race
in living strips, let temple steps
be made of every smiling road,
through fields that flashing, leapt by swift
as hedgerows drinking yellow dust,
that floated in a silent drift
and blew around there - missing us.
He came to the city as a child,
breastfed on the traffic lights.
Bawled endlessly, while his mother
Went to school every other day
Lessons like so many bad dreams
Then youth passed away, and a father came
in the shape of a small-time Manhattan ****,
and blossom fell streaming from every tree.
In that great city - by January,
the boy was newly teasing death.
In one way or other, walking the streets,
asking after ****.
Sodden fur, half buried by leaves,
a grey squirrel floats through grey trees.
On a bitter night, winter glisters,
under the crumpling tread of cars.
Now as the wind upon your fingers,
Now as the darkness between the stars.
I began my dream dinner party
with an icebreaker.
Then over the candelabra I leant in,
advised the Arch-duke to run to my cabin
and take the kevlar vest.
On my left was a vigorous guest,
from the Vienna School of Art.
He regaled the table with Chaplin impressions
and a heartfelt account of Passau.
As our night advanced, I saw him glance
more than once at the glittering Empress.
And there I felt continuity echo
and all of history shift.
We're drifting in the evening,
dreaming with the leaves.
The autumn holds a moment,
a portent in the eaves.
The season heaves.
Brown skeletons are gleaming.
The clouds are only swallows
borrowed from bare trees.
The washed canvas sky
dries with arrows of geese.
A watcher breathes
in cloudy gasps, and grows.
All of town is lit tonight
and blazing on twenty screens.
The roadside trees are desolate
and defeated things, a black phone rings,
the stars may hardly be seen.
to the last tower came.
His mail was a twisting
His sidearm appeared
more of a gesture.
A Stanley knife
and selected verse.
He muttered blackly in his mirth;
Fi, fie, foh, fum.
I smell the blood
of a million men.
Is it harder to open or close a book?
Certainly at a look, seven PM
in September is somewhere to be.
The hardening light, the steady cessation,
the Southbound birds - gliding from the station.
April ages more subtly,
with a wholly crueller edge.
The ease of unfolding at seven AM
seems granted for everything new.
But not among these arrowing swifts -
are the Stones, and by degrees, you.
Absence is not darkness
but only the channels between
Islands of light lining streets
and rows of tents unseen
Solitude is a seven-starred cape,
black pavements pass like minutes
The alleys of isolation stretch
and gape, with well-lit limits.
At a desk, coffee sachets rest.
Long-life milk harbours
white dreams of expiry.
Shuffling in his forgetful nest
a grey man blinks
at the intruding light.
Americo, do you remember
your antique power,
that opened like a rose
on the walls of Hiroshima?
A meter empty on a hill
by two trees glowing unashamed.
One bore life while one could fill
a cup with thickly flowing thought
and drive the couple cursed and blamed
from Eden or the parking lot.
— The End —