I used to tumble from the cliffs
In a tranquil sort of humour
And quick as a comet born on wheels
I’d breathe out my butterflies.
But a tear swollen bolt has changed
The colour of my lacy voice, now
Empty of all florid chatter
I sleep my life away in pictures.
I see the fork-faced errand boys
Niggle the rain with both shoes on.
Their gasses running silent through
Their bandy wickets of queeze.
I see the rod-necked ladies scrum
Like seals, bless ‘em, on a narrow beach and
Black as buttonhole stories
Their shoes point underground.
Huffing out it’s peppered gale,
The sun’s plastic shell sees me
On the bridal path with
One shoe on and one shoe off.
Yes, I wear but a single shoe, these days
To pad the moonless skies
Scuff and bruises balanced upon
A bugle of rats and nibble.
One foot stirs the crimson tufts
Of a wipe-your-feet lounge carpet,
One foot reads the floor as river stones
Cold as surgery,
One foot gathers wool upon
A reef of cut-marquette,
One foot inexorably
Through the solid rock.
Each memory has a nucleus,
One soft incendiary dapple,
The reeds and bells of Ambrose
Cascading reefs of chimney smoke.
This one is a standing leaf, spoked in pale celeste,
Casting lashes of shellac
Down the lanes and carriageways,
Around the bowls and shoulders of a white world.
In this world sleep begat sleep
And from it’s deep sprung walls
I leaned to glimpse a thread of strength
Treated to a water chill then dried on the wind.
I leaned to glimpse comfort
In a little paraffin houses sheared from the soot,
Trailed in a full-throated hum of blood
Where darkness flows in loops –
A cat-rub against birdshell.
I this would
Mould-lopers crackle in their nests of black clover,
Shapes dislodged from the midden mound,
Moles at the junction of soil seas.
Drawing the sap from my hearth-nail slippers
With no birthday oysters to tweezer on a boundless hearth
I swallow the monoxide lullabies of homecoming craft.
In the threshold of a bland acrylic twinge
A season of blancmange blackens under light
And craft are climbing lorry bolts for a blue swig of sky.
Tearing open the sack of the sea
My deep water trousers weighed bedward
With garnets of spume and the long arrows to come.
The homecoming craft are gaining nerves locked into the meat.
Their lullabies have lasted through the sun’s loudest bloom
And are sealed blisters in the wrangling of conflicting winds.
Their lullabies rest upon a mischief
That will, one day, decipher the habits of nature,
And hang from the bird-wire like bacon traps.
An elf-tale pulled by my euphonium
Is making wire stilts for luncheon spread.
Spittle-cobs in the elbow of my jaw
Light-up with a songbird’s glad eruption.
Breathing it’s egg into the fog between my fingers
The bird tugs an extra knock of bells for painless Sunday.
On our yellow garden square, the bellows of its syrinx are
The old ventriloquy of jewel box felts.
Shovelling a chalk of old bones to suff dyspepsia
The songbird rhymes between the lines to this effect:
“Cadaver dogs and hidden graves,
Monkey do and helper faint,
The angel calls beneath the waves,
The sailors exercise restraint,
The bathhouse where the old men shave
Is born of rust and peeling paint.
The shelter falls, the snowcloud paves
And patience grows to make a saint”
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One shoe on and one shoe off (2011)
I leaned to glimpse (2009)
Lullabies of the homecoming craft (2009)
The songbird (2010)