Thursday, 24 April 2014

#24 Parliament

"Make a big fist now", he urges
My own drowning in the grip
Of generations

You sidle, stomp,
Shake your shoulders,
A veteran performer
But still up betimes

We have been told your story
The intricate knit of land
And prey and you,
And watched you land, sighing,
Laughing, snapping, pointing, shuffling,
Shifting from foot to foot.

I feel you echo this
On my fingertips,
Watch, incredulous at fortune,
See you duck as the image-maker
Blinks and beckons
"Come on, boy!"

I release you to your warden,
Still in awe, grinning,
Head spinning;
Wishing, wishing, wishing.


Photo by Carla Keen

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

#23 Non-Verbal

The tiny, tanned woman
By my side
Stretches herself impossibly wide
Her tattooed ankle eye-high.
I avert mine.
She sighs - a small sound
But penetrating.

In front of me, the tall blonde
Bounces, upright and proud
Loudly gasping, slightly smug

The man, Spanish by his accent
Grunts rhythmically,
Punctuating his thumping beat.

On the way in
A stranger's nipples shouted at me
I smiled politely,
At the back of my mind:
They're quite like mine...

And now they're speeding up
The blonde is lost, mouth slack
The man jackhammers
Leans into his stroke,
She arches her back.

My fingers are frantic,
Faster now and slippery,
I mouth my own obscenities
Wondering bluntly
Who will finish first.

And then...
Oh, relief.
It rushes through me
Cool and pure
I let my breath out,
Drowned briefly,
And heave myself
Back into action.

I adjust the volume,
Pleased I've found the track,
Reflect the gym's a funny place,
Pace increasing,
Face flushing,
Mouth firmly shut.

#22 Continuo

There are some well-known birthdays and celebrations going on today. I thought I'd commemorate someone else instead.

You probably didn't mean to be
But you are always Christmas.
I hear you and it is 1979,
My legs swing beneath my wicker
Dining chair and I jiggle
"Again! Please?!"

The virtually imaginary hero
Peers and swerves through pens and paper
But my ignorance is bliss,
Jinking in my pelting sled
To the chime of ice bells
Bedecking my fine steeds

I bank to the spray of bracing breeze,
Glee streaming from fingertips.
Glitter under moonlight.
Later yet, you guide us through
The anatomy of my abiding love
While my brother's namesake
Gambles a trade of wits
Against a desperate predator.
"Again! Please?!"

And now, with music flying
Light as a feather, I am hunched
Over the dark, heavy scent of compression,
Its precise placement
A tiny triumph of paternal approval.
Even today, where I can click
From desire to possession
In thirty-seven seconds,
The miracle doesn't stop.

Again please - more
Soaring and sinking in
Memory's waters,
Forty fumbling towards me,
I am twelve and seven and four
And you will be the one whose name
I recognise but can't remember,
Better known in a tumble of glass notes
And snow. Always snow.
Again, please. Once more.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

#21 Do Ye Ken John Thorn?

So I've been reading about Norse poetry forms. Probably safest to say that this is "inspired" by them (and some rune theories) than strictly any one old form...


Fourth night finds this fellow
Bellowing brutishly:
"Give me glasses to gulp!
Wenches to woo wetly!
Heavy heads to hammer!"

She sheds her shift, sighing
Wonders why work wears thin,
Men mere miasmic meat,
Girls giggling glib ghosts,
Cretins curtain corners.

The thickened throng thins out
Hearing hollers ahead
Leaves lingering louts late
Exposed, everts her eyes
Catches catcalling clod.

"Oi, oi! Oi! Oi! Oi-oi!"
Fellow flails fetchingly
"Cor!" he crows, calls "Crumpet!"
Approaches avidly
Bounds, bobs, beckons blowjobs.

Finally: a fair fight
Jeering jizz-gesturer,
Lolloping lickspittle
One warning to withdraw:
"No, nitwit - now naff off."

He, hopping, hardly hears
Leers like a lackwit loon
Reaches to rap her rump
Thundering, thumps, threshing;
Ground grinds the gormless git

Clog clips his cloaca
"No, no, no, no, no, no!
Try touching temptation
With awe, witless wanker.
Respect our responses."

Ponders pragmatism:
"Always ask, you arsehole."
Strides off, satisfied, smiles.
He humbly hobbles homewards,
Mends manners, mind, and more.

#20 In Place of Truth

I keep telling people that "I don't do sonnets" (or rhyme, or comedy, or iambic n-ameter). I thought I'd give it another go, this being the month of poetic challenges and all:

You ask me what I'd like to do today
I know I should just tell you all my heart
I find it very difficult to say
That I would like to spend this time apart.

I love you, dear, with every breath I draw
You light up my existence, this I swear
But sometimes I need peace and quiet and more -
It's only solitude that I can bear.

"Give me one day!" I very nearly cry
I gather up my strength to say out loud:
"I cannot miss you when you're always by"
But it turned out that I made not one sound

I wandered lonely, drowned in company
My cowardice had triumphed over me.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

#19 Orrest Head, Windermere

Poetry's no good
When the landscape writes its own
Lines against the sky

Mere colludes with
Fells, sun, and horizon to
Scour me with beauty

I'm eyes without mouth,
Ears without fingers, and a
Soul with no outlet.

#18 Dove Cottage, Grasmere

Layered in darkness,
Quilted in authentic falsehoods,
The house waits for us
To stand, hands folded,
Blink and coo,
Gaze without touching,
Grazing a palimpsest of lives

We are only the latest
In a long line of poets
And doters to pay court,
Breathe against the glass,
Glance at the stolid heart
From which so many images fly.

Stuffed with sweetened
Morsels of truth,
We dawdle, sated
To the daffodilled wayside,
Set our sights high,
Over layered landscape
And wind back,
Dazzled by speed,
Leaving the dark house
To its centuries.