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Mark Goodwin Feb 2012
I am The Shoes of Shoes,
which are Solomon’s. Let him polish
me with the oil from his brow, for his gloss
is better than sunshine.

Because of the fragrance of thy ointment buffed
upon me, thy name
is Scent Shine, therefore do the ****** shoes
love thy feet. Stretch me,
with your Shoe-Tree, and I will run
& rejoice with thy feet through
gardens & woods, and across mountains alike.

I am leather, but comely, O ye Daughters
of Shoeshopingham, as The Pile Beneath
the Prophesised Viaduct, and as in the abundant
bottom of The Wardrobe of Solomon.

Look not upon me, because I am leather,
but put me upon thy feet for I
am thy soles.

I am the Rose of Shoe, and the Lilly of The Laces.

As the strong shoes among thorns, so
is my love among The Shod.
As the tongue that tightens to the fruit of the foot, so is
my beloved among The Shod.
His left foot is in my left purse, and his right
foot is my right, tight.
The Polish of My Beloved, behold, cometh
glinting off llyns, he cometh leaping upon
the mountains, with both of me tight on his feet.

Looketh fourth through The Round Window
of Wisdom, through The Lattice see
him shoeing himself with my flesh.

Take us the socked foxes, the little foxes that chew & spoil,
for our shodding is tender.
My Loved Shod’s feet are mine and my leather is his.
Until the day break, and the unshod shadows flee, turn
my Loved Shod, and be thou like the shoe young on the mountains.

Behold, thou art fair, my shoes, behold thou art shoes as fast
as a flock of goats over the Mountain of Shoedon.
Thy laces are like soft strands of moss, which have been spun
& woven in the Workshops of Acorns by The Grubs of Oak.
Thy eyelets are like the sweet slots in which nestle
the seeds of the pomegranate.
Thy tongues are like scarlet leaves fallen from speaking
trees, and thy squeak as I walk in thee is comely.
Thy heal is like the shield that should’ve been
fashioned for Achilles.
Thy two toe caps are as sleek & pert as the twin otters
that fish among the lilies.
How beautiful are thee, shoes for feet, O Goddess’s daughters,
the joints of thy soft foot-slot smooth as the gleam
of jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning cobbler.

O Solomon set me twin shoes as seals
upon thy feet, for Love is as strong
as The Road to Dead we must follow. O
my Loved Shod! for every one
of thy steps you make

in me is my bliss.
from 'Shod', by Mark Goodwin, published by Nine Arches Press

digitally produced audio poem version:
Mark Goodwin Feb 2012
soft larch needles    I sniff wish     thin dangling larch twigs hold
raindrops    christ & pagan wrapped to tinsel    autumn light
has projected Borrowdale’s matter    a work crafts growth    I

peer    at a twig’s knuckles    a needle’s green edge   a tiny globe
dissolving landscape    Borrowdale is a    mass    of details full
a vastness of minuscule    high    resolution beauty    immense

numbers of bits    of leaf-frames pebbles daddylongleg claws
for an instant I spread    let    a moment explode    as I climb
through woods by crags    every detail of me    follicle bone-cell

grease    shatters or slicks    amongst     Borrowdale’s infinite
tiny details    one    of my gasps stretches wetly with the beck
others entwine with white fibres of gills    unravelling    gravity

the calcium atoms of my teeth    jumble     along drystone walls
moss green-gleaming    my meal     of Herdwick meat    passes
through my gut whilst Borrowdale’s    details    digest my soul
from 'Back of A Vast', by Mark Goodwin, published by Shearsman Books
Mark Goodwin Feb 2012
She's on my shoulders, her chin snug
on my crown; her hands;
little-strong, clasp
my neck.

My man's fingers & thumbs circle
the glass bones of her ankles.

I am her daddy. Hers.

I imagine the feel of me through
her feelings. She chuckles
at the roughness of my whiskers. I'm the stuff,
in this moment, of her childhood

memories to come: The faint
crispness in the beginning-distance
of her life. These are the days
before her brother will be born.
He is due in August.

These are my last days of this particular

closeness with her. Quickly a glisten

in the corner of my eye builds
to clear silvery wobbles, suddenly pigeons
clap up from the corn, the smooth
heavy-blue sky sheets
electric-flash, her hands cling

a little harder as the dark
clouds rumble.
My cheeks itch with trickles.

As the storm hovers above her she says
with her small-voice clarity -

'Daddy, I won’t cry.'
From 'Else', by Mark Goodwin, published by Shearsman Books

audio recording:

— The End —