guiding light

I would crumble under her gaze
two eyes as black as moons absorbing
the universe and she the centre
me the broken debris of a comet’s tail
breaking apart in every aspect
like a moth caught in a candle flame
the golden ratio disproportionate
distorted beyond the rainbow’s end
where her flock grazed on purple clover
and pitching camp she would weave
stories and willow baskets into the night
that I could ever keep up with her
ah heaven knows I tried and failed
I may as well have been a blade of grass
amongst the many pastures we traversed
she leading, me following, the way onward
never knowing if she loved me or not
never knowing what lay ahead
I would crumble under her gaze
and would now if she were here
to guide me

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

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swaddling

wrap me in your swaddling arms
blanket me with your love
tonight this man is your child
don’t let him out of your sight
for though the moon may shine brightly
there’s darkness behind the stars
and this man is a child and needs you
to guide him through this night

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

Instant Karma for the Human Race (with apologies to John & Yoko)

Global warming’s gonna get you
It’s gonna drown you in your bed
You better get your shit together
‘cos pretty soon you’re gonna be dead

What in the world were you thinking of?
Buying all that trash you said you loved
What on earth were you trying to forget?
Now it’s up to you to pay it back

Well you will all shine on
In the moon and the stars and the sun
Yes you will all shine on
But no-one will remember you

Yes you will all shine on
In the dust from where you came from
Yes you will all shine on
It’s down to you, and only you

on and on and on . . .
on and on and on . . .

(repeat until your dying breath)

on y va!

this city is for walking and yes
we are crammed down narrow streets
leather bags and silk scarves hang in import
export emporiums vying for attention next
metal hooks for cured meats and bejewelled trinkets

we pass through gated alleys into hidden courtyards
that dwell in cigarette smoke blended with ground
coffee and exotic aromas from the four corners
where North Africa meets Far East and promises
lovers will meet their lovers under moonlight

the police sirens will chant a constant on y va!
a hurry up come here let’s go clamorous call
climbing twisting stairs to lowly rooms we lean
on a balcony and I smell your hair but don’t know
your name nor you mine which makes us equals

in this city which is a souk or a caravanserai
your eyes more dark mystery than a fortune teller
I can’t help but lose myself in this story
a humble poet with nothing better to do than
fill the pages of notebooks with his dreams

Spy Story II

I woke in a strange bed
in a strange room.
Beyond the grimed window
a street I never knew.
I turned and met your eyes
a stranger from another time.
Beyond your gaze a fathom
of bottomless ocean blue.

You spoke to me of love
from your ravenous heart.
Beyond the papered walls
a beat was heard in echo.
Your finger placed upon me
sealed my lips from speaking.
Beyond your warm touch
of fathomless origin.

I stood inĀ  a strange room
with four walls and a bed.
Beyond the gilt edged mirror
a reflection quite unknown.
I turned and met your eyes
a glance from another time.
Beyond the motes of dust
a motionless tide crept in.

You moved between space
from here to there to here.
Beyond your moonlight skin
a glimmer of something pure.
You spoke to me of the past
when time had just begun.
Beyond your years of living
a restless soul was sleeping.

I woke in a strange bed
in a strange room.
Beyond the grimed window
a street I never knew.
I turned and met your eyes
a stranger from another time.
Beyond your gaze a fathom
of bottomless ocean blue.

(after ‘Spy Story’ by Vernon Scannell)

Genesis Reversal

On Monday
a last lonely animal was killed
and the last greedy man took his fill
one last supper and one last thrill

On Tuesday
fish and birds disappeared
nowhere safe for them to dwell
time indeed to bid a fond farewell

On Wednesday
sun and stars all quickly dimmed
the waning moon turned to hide
showed only its colder darker side

On Thursday
land and plants began to whither
browns replaced the healthy greens
dusty winds blew hither and thither

On Friday
sky and sea could not be seen
the tides retreated indefinitely
tamed for all eternity

On Saturday
night and day became the same
the last remaining rainbows frayed
and faded to the greyest greys

On Sunday
our silent planet took a rest
reflected on what might have been
if humans hadn’t made such an awful mess

of running such a perfect place . . .

 

one day

one day
when I am dead and gone
I will come visit you in your house

so listen out
for the sound of my footsteps
crunching the gravel on your drive
the squeak of the swing seat
when I take a rest on your porch

I will warm my bones under your southern sun
before opening the screen door with a rattle
look up and see me standing there
as if all our yesterdays
had come again

you will take me to your room
and I will fill your body with heat
the cicadas will talk like typewriters
the moon will wax lyrical
and I will leave through the open window

one day
when I am dead and gone
I will come visit you in your house

the cows in the fields

the man on the train is weeping falling rain
picking his brain like a pigeon pecking grain
he holds in his hand a picture of a key
and hopes that one day a key will set him free

the girl on the bus is eating pie and puss
doubled up with pain but making little fuss
she holds in her hand a broken bumble bee
and pulls off each leg after saying one two three

the moon in the sky will ask no questions why
untroubled up on high by poets bold or shy
its tranquillity is like a flattened sea
you have to admit you cannot disagree

the cows in the field are semi-demi-monde
fishing for eels in the wavy-gravy-pond
they search in the trees for nuts to throw at me
could this be . . . the way it’s meant to be?

IMG_20181010_203006

 

 

that you are

your face
we laugh so hard
your black mascara runs
like liquorice laces
or a tribal tattoo

hello you
let me clean you up
a tissue a tissue
we fall to wiping
revealing your skin

how I love your face
full moon with starlet eyes
open as a window
on a breezy day
without a frown

and not a care in the world
unlike me the worrier
carrying the weight of death
on my shoulders
no hero am I

no
no hero am I
despite what you say
I am only doing what little I can
keeping you laughing

in the face of everything
the tubes the treatments
the surgery the scars
I couldn’t be you
brave beauty

that you are

your name and mine

the storm last night blew
the last remaining heart-shaped leaves
from the poplar trees
and swirled them through my darkest dreams
in which your knuckles rapped upon my eyelids
in which you called from beyond the clouds
my name and your name

and with growing intensity
every last remaining rusting roofing nail
that keeps my house from blowing asunder
jiggled like loose teeth in a crowded coffin box
on which your fingers had once released
the suffocating soil to bury my voice
from that day forth

oh that I would recognise you now
with your hair tangled in windblown knots
and your limbs akimbo amongst the fallen branches
strewn upon the orchard grass
where leaves lie rotting and colour is drained
from cheeks that once were apple flushed
with your lover’s kisses

you are but the ambient past to me
pliant and fluid with a light that glimmers
not guiding or warning or even moving
but still as a mirror on an oaken table
your calfskin gloves neatly folded
heart-shaped leaves from the poplar trees
pressed between the pages of your journal

all substance turned to dust that blows
on the opening of the crackling memory
you offered me no more than you could
the leaf held to the moonlight reveals its veins
as if the blood has been preternaturally drained
and I am left with only an echo
of your name and mine