To John Donne

This razor that you use each day
Carries both of our DNA.
You would love me even more
When with blunted edge you gently score
The flesh, to know, therein the blood that’s drawn,
Our ecstatic molecules sweetly mourn.
You’ll never guess, I pray,
This razor that we use each day
Carries both of our DNA.

In the room

Once when I was caught
Between life and death
I lied and said
I’m destined to haunt you.

The truth was I was
Too comfortable
The coffee smelled good
And the clouds were high.

Being with you
Was nice and I
Didn’t have a clue
What was on the other side.

So even though
We couldn’t press too hard
I still had my senses
And felt somewhat alive. 

But the lie
Was a constant presence
Why would you want
To send me into the unknown?

hydrographics

skipping and scanning
the hydrographics
scroll the sky
a watery text
curses the familiar outlines
of Van Gogh, Turner, or Monet

Chinese whispers and inklings
vast waterlilies
jet stream like fountain pen
notes and quotes scrawl the pond
righting wrongs, scoring through
the luggage, the passports, the money

still scanning
electromagnetic semantics
overwriting vast fields of blue
procrastinating
correcting grammar
punctuating earth with shade and hue

Sing-a-song

sing-a-song-of-lullabies
a pocketful of earth

keep out of the counting house
for all that you are worth

see them pray for rye to grow
from sticks and stones and broken bones

but keep out of the parlour
the queen is nursing honeycombs

see the people running
through wars that everybody knows

don’t peer inside the garden
the maid is hanging out their clothes

see the people moving closer
with songs that soothe like honey

hear their voices growing louder
and the bombs that drop like money

but keep out of the counting house
that’s none of your affair

keep out of the garden
and keep out of the lair

don’t look inside the beehive
or the bees will keep on stinging

don’t wonder what’s inside the pie
where the birds are always singing

bring

Thunderstorm! Bring space-
Bring me to the edge-
Bring me your lines

Bring flashes of memory
and news from the south
and absorb this humidity

My thin walls and skin-
bring the house down
bring the emptiness in

G.B.H.

Grievous

Risible

Endeavours

Abroad

That

Brought

Rich

Individuals

Treasures

And

Incapcitated

Nations.

Hard Cs

Power always begins
With a strategist – who keeps

Wealth in the hand
That feeds him – heaps –

In his high chair. Pausing only
To throw scraps at the dogs –

He plays, and tinkers, shits,
And smiles and receives

Accolades that trigger
Public reaction – he farts.

The man is receiving a medal
On the other side – for services

Rendered, for keeping up with
The boys in their carts

Vast chunks of public loot
Adorns the walls, his best suit.

Meanwhile someone else
Is trying to live on credit

Having bought some food
And a few gifts for the baby.

Wondering if they’ll effing freeze,
Dry January means having nothing at all.

The debate

Humanity, love, kindness
Sympathy, empathy
At the core.
And outside the ability
To know
That these things are
Vulnerable
To greed, corruption
Sarcasm
And bitterness
Experience and wisdom
Manipulation.
Words
We knew
Already knew
Have always known.

The other
Was just a System
A network of systems
That would frame you
Digest you
Eschew you
Screw you,
But no sooner
Had the other said this
He knew
Already knew
Had always known
He’d backed himself
Into a corner
And all he could do
Was bare his teeth
Posture
Appeal to us to hate
The other.

The Child and A Gothic Education

A Gothic or Romantic nature?
Tectonic plates clash: a marriage that ascends to still greater heights.
Out of the water we climb Mont Blanc.

On the bus we discussed the cost of a Big Mac in London, Berlin, and Paris.  Austerity bites and a clown, chasing away the burglar, opens hospices with the click of a finger and a magic noun.

Half way up the mountain a lunch stop clatter atop rocks that used to be submerged under the sea.  We gasp and trace the fossils with our fingers.  Where we used to be.  Life raft.  I see Victor chasing his monster over the peaks hotly pursued by a writer and her poet lover.  Still wet from drowning.

Spinning out of control we begin to fall through fresh snow.  Off piste, skiers curse and swear at us; our calves burnt fifty shades of hot pink. Then, in a blink, down we hurtle, like angels, towards Chamonix.  The scenery turning to spring.

Ice kitchens and glaciers, chiseled Shakespearean actors, all perfectly pushing pines.  Harmony.

These are the days we are burnt to a crisp or cooled in the dark alpine glades.  On a pyre, many miles north, the monster’s memory blisters and fades.

Bird

Paper weighting stone
Fighting cutting bone
Restless spent despair.

Plastic supper tomb
Thumbs grasping sweat
Hellish rocky lair.

Promethean drawn
Cheque expired fired
Strict father absent.

Hand to feather
Feather to beak
Beak liver repent.

Liver grown septic
Rhetoric mega hectic
Bird’s breast displayed.

Poor poor ultra cautious
Bearing heavy rock
Sick, alone, dismayed.

Rich rich ignited quirky
Nurturing parent present
Throws caution to the bird.

A stone, or perhaps,
A bloody steak revealing
The system’s flawed.

Where the circle’s chalked
Where reason’s hawked
Wealth’s a bomber’s hoard

Eyes’ light extinguished
Mind’s flight relinquished.
Poverty, absurd, swallowed whole.