Monthly Archives: October 2011

Supplication

Pray to our gods that our children will shun
malignant malaise, militia’s cold might,
old shoulders aiming democracy’s gun.
 

Spider-climb lies that their leaders have spun;
pallid untruths that proclaim to unite.
Pray to our gods that our children will shun
 

slick manifestos, oiled speech over-run,
warmonger prophets that aim to incite,
old shoulders aiming democracy’s gun
 

warning our youth there’s a war to be won,
crimson ink spilt and the wrongs splintered right.
Pray to our gods that our children will shun
 

promised land, seeing the damage that’s done;
bleak arid wasteland devoid of all light,
old shoulders aiming democracy’s gun,
 

blood husks in trenches, bleached bones in the sun,
carcasses licked clean by bellicose blight.
Pray to our gods that our children will shun;
cold-shoulder weight of democracy’s gun.
 
 

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Caveat

No need to steal into my room,
the door’s open
and you’re welcome to visit at any time.
 

I’m elsewhere but my scent lingers –
pink pepper and lilacs lacing base tones
of amber patchouli.
 

My shape has shifted,
my absent form leaving a melancholy imprint
on the memory foam mattress
 

and faith has left faint scratches
where I hand-cuffed myself
to the creamy metal spokes of the antique bed.
 

The solid warm-wood chest
belies the mercurial nature of the
diaphanous garments secreted within;
 

slip-stitched silky knickers
sewn with shaky fingers,
invisible, unbreakable thread.
 

You may lift them,
lay them on the purple counterpane
and immerse yourself in their forlorn fantasies
 

but should you attempt to snip at their seams
unpick the hard-earned sutures
that have held together the woman
 

you will be left with disintegrating rags,
tattered remnants of the past,
while the girl you once knew walks away, naked.
 
 

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Filed under Free Verse, Tercets

One year on

A year since lain in langour’s lap, cradled
in the receding arms of an Indian Summer,
indigo-script yearnings
incarnated in season’s departure.
 

Exultant, slipped deep
into the contours of a fiery landscape,
first breath of Autumn rough-brushed on lips,
blistering hips ripeplump on boughs.
 

Purple shadows of bruised fruit scattered
beneath October’s ochre lava,
sticky sap released to run glistening
down the deep-riven bark of parched elms.
 

This year only memories harvested,
faint echoes of a stillborn sadness,
stored in the larder to stave off the hunger
of Winter’s dearth.
 

But come Spring cold hands will plunge
into the darkness of a peaty earth,
chocolate-moist crumbly balm
to papery palms as they scrabble to plant
hope’s cherished raspberry-leaf embryos.
 

Nurture from the womb-like land and watch,
while succulent shoots sprout green and hungry,
reaching for the succour of a season re-birthed.
 
 

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Rock Paper Scissors

If I’m on fire they dance around it
and cook marshmallows.
And if I’m ice they simply skate on me
in little ballet costumes.

 

~ Anne Sexton
 

A bemused observer
of their game until now,
I have become a portentous player
for I am Water.
 

Not the cleansing hill streams of Snowdonia,
the bottled minerals of Cerist,
or the bland, reservoir-rated,
‘lapped from the dog’s bowl’ drink.
 

No,
I am neither clear nor pure.
I do not quench their sand-filled throats
with the serum of their early years
or cool their ragged-flanelled fevers
as my beads burn from their foreheads.
 

I am torrents of snot-filled globules
bubbling in a salty cauldron,
liquid spittle unravelling before them.
I am deliquescent disorder,
drowning amid the septic sewer’s craw.
 

So what will become of them?
 

My rock,
my tiny pebble
who grew into a heather-faced
mountain of a man,
strong enough that I could lean on him
and feel small against his contours
his steady drumbeat a perfect paradiddle
to my erratic metronome.
Will he plunge into the slithering river,
his rhythm faint and failing
as he sinks into the brackish silt?
 

My first-born paper boy,
so many scribbled lines shared late into the night,
even when distanced by the delerium
of drunken student life.
Will his blue-scribed words bleed,
his pages turn to pulp
as his adolescent song
runs sopping through the gutters?
 

And what of her,
my sharp-tongued, slippery seamstress
with her silver-fish wit and her precious metal smile,
her glinting shears swathing effortlessly
through the diaphanous dream
that she weaves around her.
Will her blades rust
beneath the deluge of my sorrow,
as the naïve loom lies abandoned
in the corner of a cobwebbed room?
 

No,
for I am Water.
I can be poured
back into the pitcher,
treated and filtered
until I run clean and clear again,
dancing weightless and unfettered
in the myriad sparkling streams
of Mynydd Mawr
where they will lift me to their lips
in cool-cupped hands
and sup from me once more.
 
 

~ Mynydd Mawr ( Welsh for big mountain) is a mountain in Snowdonia, North Wales and is pronounced Mun-ith Mow-r (rhymes with hour)
 
 

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Tumbleweed

Cloistered, showered,
smothered in smooth-looped luxury
designed to absorb.
 

Chamomile conditioned,
volition lost amongst the numb folds
of a Turkish export.
 

Hiss-spit-shed,
slip out into the drip-drop rain
of a soft-soaped sky.
 

Stride, naked, hoopy frood-like,
across the scarred lawn
for that line-dried scratchy rag
 

its abrasion welcome
if only to feel something
rough enough
 

to slough off
ophidian skin
and watch it blow away.
 
 

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Filed under Free Verse, Tercets