Now The Falling Day

how it dives

like a dove

how it is sacrificed

at the mad altar of the scorching sun

how hot the poor people burning

is this life

I ask myself

and I burst into a billion fragments

this is what life does to you

I hear the stars sing

and the oceans echo the endless waves

lashing the earth our poor mother

onto which we now fall like dust.

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Ovid

I say

bring paradise

bring that green garden

on the hill

with beautiful and strong trees

bring that white bird

that flies calm like the wind

like the warm sunlight in your eyes

sometimes Ovid the mind simply breaks

the body crumples its bones become dust

and darkness descends into darkness

like an invisible falling staircase

Ovid bring song

bring sheep and rivers that delight

how the city burns like paper

its black smoke its heat killing us

like flies

Ovid let your drumbeats roll like calm white clouds quiet

give us our wings and let us fly

let our hearts drink the blue mist of your high mountains

let them quench their thirst Ovid

see the millions their bare bodies hard and miserable

how they disappear on the horizon

how the dizzying darkness now takes my speech my tongue

Ovid it is all just too much

Ovid I say

bring paradise.

This Fall Into The Gutter

This endless swaying of the green treetops

The beginning of the world

The tie and the bridge and the tongue burning

The hare and tortoise race

Madness

Howling men and screeching spitting women

Children hanging from trees upside down grunting like stray dogs

I swallow the oceans with all its creatures and life

I switch on all the streetlights and then I switch them off

I hound all the bars all the shops selling skulls and bones and flesh

I eat 200 cats and 400 rats and 600 bats

I eat every strand of my hair running wild

Through the shops closing shutter

And now you can imagine my fall into the gutter.

How The World Sulks

in the heat

like an animal

it’s too much

these dull periods

too heavy

makes me think

of life as garbage

rotten fruit peel

waste excreta

mud dirty napkins

and soiled paper

all this and then the noise

see how the vehicles go screeching

down the sky

and the birds how they fly scared

hurrying home

and the faces of the people

O it is just too much

the way the windows look

any moment now

a shard of glass

could turn you

to a piece of blobbing

blood and bone

you will go down

like everyone else

you will feel like a lame blind dog

you will smell

and you will

lose yourself

in the ensuing chaos

there you are

I see you

your bloodied body

almost gone

no arms

no legs

no torso

your face

fading away

your eyes

beginning

to close.

It Is Too Silly

of these buildings

to come visiting

across the garden

when childhood

and youth

have gone

when middle age

has taken residence

in my body

giving me hypertension

now it’s that rocket

in the middle

of that garden

that knocks

on my mind

reminding me

of my boy glimpse

into the atmosphere

the world beyond

the sky

I could not see

well it’s that same world

where I’d like to be

O woe is me

I’m an old monkey

hanging from a tree.

My Mind Has Bitten

on a big thought

with that in its mouth

it has slumped

heavy

in a corner

the thought talks its own talk

words grow out of it

building

collapsing

my mind desperately tries to reach someplace

divided in itself

disappearing

under its own weight.

 

The above poem is from my second book Circling the Sky (2013).

See The Dream

won’t go

see the sparrow

sitting on the grass

hopping onto the railings

and then over the grey road

to someone’s kitchen window.

What I’m trying to say is that

it is better to know this

when the heavy evening

having lost her happiness

comes to you

there quiet in your bed

it lays down in

the dark with you

then you know the meaning

of sorrow

the day changing its clothes

bored

and the stars racing in the sky

having outrun your sleep

see how this world drifts

unmoored

and when you wake in the

morning

the sparrow comes and

tells you this

then how easily

the whole thing

becomes a song

just like that

how the planes of joy

crisscross the sky

how the mind once again

comes home

and dances

delighted.

 

The above poem is from my first book Reeling (2012).

Now This Hot October Day

is bad

it will not let me think

it leaves me here

sitting stupid

and sad

I will not have this

I think of trees

and remember the time

I first encountered

a squirrel

and my wonder

at it

in the cool morning

behind my house

where I stood on

ground covered in golden laburnum

and the squirrel

grey fluffy cute

with black stripes

climbing up the tree

pointing into the blue sky

I look at the birds flying

small black ones

in flocks

and I know

I am one of them

I feel what they feel

I feel the wind on my body

and I know I am home

in this vast dome

and now as I write

the squirrel runs out of sight.

All Day

I thought

and turned

into glass

by evening

the world

couldn’t get

more mischievous

than this

I thought

and realised

that you didn’t

really get much

not even sleep

which conjurer

of black airs

broke nothing

into this

I wondered

all night

till I turned

to stone.

 

The above poem is from my first book Reeling (2012).