1983-6

 

 

Abort-song

 

 

Look down upon
this uncleaned verse
from nightlong birth
its call through racked lungs
where dawn refused to spark
hence signs which will not burn
and things I wanted said
or breath wished kindled
still unlit
in musty sumps
while codes fade past
that noise lost
by an unknown throat
like mine
my non-speech speaking
without quite reaching
a mouth

where cells dream about fresh air.

Hear me in a voice I would disown
after it had sung
if only I could sing
yet thoughts push again
in madness to be born
as a poem never formed.
Is there radiance enough
to rinse such lines?
Try breaking them open
find, perhaps,
little hearts are beating
parasitic sentences heaving
amid a fungus of ruptured text
sounding some abort-song
speak then
unwashed words
if you can.
You weren’t made for daylight.

 

 


 

 

Listening

 

Seated alone
eyes open
I wait

Needle arcs across air
then a wash by harmony
compressing crafted fingers

Music seems to thicken
in viscous pink
towards my door

It dips and drives
passing light
through the body

Imagined ornamental trees
stir among
cool shadows

Melody bursts on weightless shores
like some faint echo
of a face.

 

 


 

 

Sea shade

 

 

Small waves gasp over sand
spray-feathered impacts
sun like a glass shell breaking on the head
drops hot blades
across my shoulders
forward just one step
beyond this clashing rim
here dark meets light
through shade’s warm brow
a lizard glances by
skims that cooking edge
in reflex blur.

I soon slept amid watery dream
where gentle sea was passing
with a rhythm of eyes rolling
below the lids
surface glinting scale tones
in falling progression
around sharp rock
its smooth rippled hug
as some liquid automaton
dazed or tired
might slowly gesture
there.

 


 

 

Another midnight

 

 

Shortly after my twitch
or something rushed past me
in the dazed flesh of another midnight

Under dull inquisitorial tones
that moonbeams cast
across a darkened road

Drifting toward sleep
hearing voices
at a ritual

I smell incense on its airborne song
and gladly sink
beyond the help of reason.

 

 


(1984)

 

In the sleeping eye

 

 

I sank through a burning dream
strange bodies murmuring
their outlines on fire

While in imaginary branches
black shapes began to breathe
when leaves became bats

Cloudy as fears
such creatures live where
sleep laps against vision’s shore

Molten shoals
light-drowned
touched in an eyelid’s ocean

I tried to reach landfall
beyond swimming uncertainties
of form.

 

 


 

 

Peace or dream

 

Peace
frigid like reflection
calm in a pond
yet sharp.
Peace of dreams
reactive as acid
or presence
stalking a situation
untouched.

Dreams
in a haunting
of the eye
finding words from exhaustion
and origins concealed
that darkness
within vision
stalking its image
untouched.

 


 

 

Inner voice

 

 

I remember your loneliness
dark nights without soul
familiar routes across the housing estate
so many chill evenings
walking through a silent valley
I saw you falter
on wet winter pavements
felt mute prayers
covet some sluice-gate to heaven
aching for starlight
legs dragging you back toward
a morass of bad dreams
that hollow house
its old fridge humming insect vibrations
those years drifting
insomniac
brain at ferment
alert for roaming dogs
or being stopped by police at two a.m.
they watched you
trailing your slug despair
along deserted streets
to a room easily lost
cold air closing over you
in damp layers
of pressure.

 

 


(1985)

 

 

 Nocturnal Muse

 

 

This Muse journeys by night
preferring gloom
a certain fog
an intangible excitement
which tinges the brain then
providing more fertile ground
for her delirious issue
in their gaudy drapery
attending neuronal galleries
there she can hold convulsive court
while darkness trembles
under her
following as impulse runs satray
to obscure cerebral boltholes
sniffing-out fusty old memory-pits
where associations have lain for years
falling fearless among bubbling synonyms
metaphors with broken claws
are quickly consumed
once nerve-fibres blaze
she gets those lines dancing
a final witching waltz
of vital verbs
before they sink
utterly spent
amid sleep’s torrid brew.