wish

As if by chance a wish appears,

The dance of promise and relief

For those who pay their way and wait

In solitude for years, and brief

It floats from fingers tightly sewn

And swift with absent thought is blown.

Homo sapien’s last gasp

This is homo sapien’s last gasp

Upfront it leads the pack

Doesn’t care for

These new identities

All this adaptability

Homo sapien doesn’t

Recognise change

Or its own evolution

It’s lost and afraid

Grasps on to its status rock. 

Lashes out

Rattles

Its own offspring

God knows

This is no revolution

This is homo sapien’s exit

A thousand generations crash

Into their own past

Witness the birth

Of its children’s child

Defined by its survival

And its parents’ inability

To recognise

We’re two different species

Fear and hope

Walking upright, forwards

Along this tightrope.

By heart

Perched on tiptoes, filled to the brim,
Then, just in time, the drawing in

Of milky heat and daylight din,

The birches, like old urns, displayed

The awful truth, cracked and crazed,

Of beauty to poem to memory made.

Static

Is compassion wedded to memory? In a tangle of synthetic I hold on to the flashes of static when it’s too hot for layers and wonder if solitude is not the nurtured child of forgetfulness and pride.  Sometimes I need a jolt just to make nerves meet and remember.

The wolf is an industrial complex.

I am a girl.  I wear a red coat.

I am simple.

I am a wolf.  I am naked.  

I am industrial.  I am complex.

I am an industrial complex lurking in the woods and I would eat myself, in a word, whole.

I am a noun and a static verb.

A catch.

I run wild and engender terror and fear.

I am oil.  I am a weapon.  I am waste.

I am feasting my eyes and I would swallow us both, whole.

I am wolf with teeth, claws, and paws.

I am a hopeless cause, dependent on you.

A lifelong sentence, this dreadful vigil, waiting for the woodcutter to tear me apart or

pull me out whole.

Before we have a revolution

Before we have a revolution can we just be very clear

about who it is we’re fighting and what it is we fear?

 

 

 

Count out

Birthed in debt
accounts of regret
child to calculate
mouthfuls of abacus
bites and scores

The birds were everywhere

The birds were not afraid of the guns,
the squabble, the cloud, the gaggle, and cast.
The call of the cuckoo carried on
between each and every deafening blast.

The brown owl ignored the racket of fire
and the kestrel attended her nest unmoved.
The swifts circled the skies still higher
and the stork returned early and proved

as indifferent to the thunder of guns as any bird,
the parliament, the murder, and mutation,
all flocked to stump or wire undisturbed,

a noisy, irreverent congregation.

Otherwhere in Song…

In Spring, I finally hear them. Green tree frogs.
I’ve never seen one nor waded into their bogs,
or the odd swimming pool, or the marshes and creeks
where they croak, incessantly, like cicadas, for weeks,
(only when they’re silent, the sun might hide behind
a cloud, can I really hear the din). I should find
hundreds of them, the whole choir. Now, they’re gone,
the heat’s dried up the little brook. There’s none
in the garden, but still I look and see the sun cleave
a path through the weeping willow. I must leave
everything behind and listen. Barefoot, I tread
with nothing but the ghost of singing in my head.

Autumn Twilight, Dwelling Among Mountains by Wang Wei

At last! New mountain air after rains.
Autumnal moon pours through pines.
Spring rushes over stones, crystalline.
Ruffled bamboos return noisy bathers’ glee
as fishing boats release lotus flowers’ full glory.
Be still, my friend, and stay with me!

You can read David Hinton’s translation of Wang Wei’s poem and Carol Rumens’s commentary at Poem of the Week here.