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  Sep 2019 Tom Harbottle
Pablo Neruda
Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a ******
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.
Tom Harbottle Feb 2018
The barren, windswept world of the unforgiving landscape of bare, white cliffs

like fists raging and pounding

against the fragile crust of the old earth.

An abandoned kingdom amidst the rubble of ancient towers and



        built by fossils,

striding across our bleak soil.

A sea of glass, giving occasional diamond glints

as if offspring of the clouds and the stars.

A swift uplifting rush of wind is all you need

and you are awakened to the wisdom of many layers encased into the rock.

But not all great things are so revealing as the mountains.

Forts lining the edge of the black and white icebergs

put up by humans desperately trying to defend themselves against one another,

ignorant of the fact that the very stone they construct their safe havens from

will outlast them,

for snow and stone covers all, even war himself.

There is no limit in the eyes of the mountains.

Brothers with time,

dancing around to the very same blunt tune,

overseers of all occasions. They recognise and understand all,

for they have seen all.

The eyes of the mountains will not be veiled.

People flock in their hundreds to admire the glinting white daughter of the mountains,

using her, feeling her speed under their feet.

She gives them joy and happiness,

laughing amidst her hair. The mountains are imperceptible to them but He doesn't waver, only forgives, for the eyes of the mountains are Father to all.

Timeless legends are woven in with eternal beauty.

His greatness would shame the children's empires,

ever learning from the teacher of all.

He never needs to move from his rocking chair

as he sits atop the secluded throne. For he has eyes, his children do not.

They pollute his hands and slaughter their brothers but they are illiterate

and oblivious to true benevolence. But these tired, aged eyes can guide his children, and so they do, the eyes of the mountains,


                                      these eyes will do.
Never fall in love with a poet
for their words are sometimes lies
on occasions they're a shield
on occasions a disguise

They will take you on a journey
upon which they bare their soul
in a bid to ease your burdens
in a bid to make you whole

But in every word they choose
for the stories that they tell
lies a little piece of heaven
and a little piece of hell

Tormented souls we poets are
sometimes quite broken and despaired
in search of lost expressions
missed by others who once cared

Never fall in love with a poet
unless you're prepared to share their pain
to hold them close on the darkest nights
over and again
Follow me on Twitter @athomashawkins
Tom Harbottle Jul 2017
“By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.” -Genesis 3:19

They felled the last tree yesterday.
I felt her heave a great sigh
As they lowered her down to her grave.
Terminal she lay. Deathly still.
Black trucks crept from where she once stood.

They felled the last tree yesterday.
I felt the ring of the axe,
The devilish war-cry of the saw,
Biting, biting away beneath a spiteful sun of a mad crimzon.

Stumps. A testament to man
Entrenched in the barren soil.
Who was there to pray for them?
Only the quiet dayglow, resting upon the subtle fragments,
Of what might have been.

One must wonder:
“How many must it take for us to learn?”
If only we could learn.

So don't tell me that they have no use
For we are of them, and they are of us
All made from the same soft stardust.
From earth to earth.
Ashes to ashes.
Dust to dust!
Tom Harbottle Jul 2017
The heavy air hangs over the stadium to watch it waken from its slumber.
It is the eve of battle.
It awaits its hooligans.

The oddness of bears and lions
Facing each other in ritualistic bands
Chanting their devilish cries.
Carrying the raven on their lilied shoulders
As they trudge past their own respect.
It is a long way down to the ropes of war but no one bothers to stop.
But this game is an excuse for fruitful violence.

A game? A simple game,
Fathering all this dense cloud of hate.
How satisfyingly
How triumphantly
They think they have celebrated “The Beautiful Game”.

Both sides shout and bang against the stadium, drowning the crowd with Sounds of war drums to the beat of the stone prison all around them. They tear and writhe at the thought of innocent blood.
But that blood is less innocent than the claws it feeds.

It is a dance remembered, mimicked through the ages.
Danced by men of forgotten unity.
What would their children think?-
But remember this:
Your daddy fought with the hooligans, son.
View on football hooliganism

— The End —