Saturday, September 30, 2006

First interview for a teaching post in Swansea



Oak panelled kitsch,
portraits loured from the walls,
( there were thirteen in all )
a pair of councillors shared a private joke
others shuffled papers,
business like, professional,
one slept peacefully,
like a dormouse in a teapot,
unheeded by his neighbours’ vacant stares.
Only the chairman fixed me to my seat,
with an incandescent glare.


His birdlike secretary
flicked a single sheet of paper
across the glistening divide.
What was the question?
Not ‘What the fuck am I doing here?’
What was my reply,
with one eye on the sarcastic clock,
the other on the gothic ceiling,
vainly searching for the sky?
I forget, but guess what?
The chairman’s nephew
claimed the vacant slot.

The picture shows Swansea's Guildhall tower. You might remember that in another poem I referred to the fact that Hitler had earmarked this for his regional seat of government when the Nazis successfully invaded. It's true. You can check it out. He was a really stupid man, who never realised that he didn't need to invade at all!

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Promise



Do not have fear my daughter,
those black shapes
are only priests
who pass in the night,
those burning eyes
are only stars
wandering in the sky,
the blood which
flows from my breasts
is but the milk
which you must drink
to revive yourself.
Do you see the fires
coming from the distant mountains?
They are the angels
coming to carry me to heaven.
Do not have fear,
the man with the gun
will help you.

The first in the cycle of six. Nearly 40 years old, this poem. How far have we come in all that time?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Government Inspectors Cloze



Never trust an expert though
an expert’s always right.
The thing about all experts is
they’re creatures of the -----.
The best work of an expert
is conducted out of -----.
You can always tell an expert
‘cos they’re frightened of the -----.
If you’ve listened to an expert,
you know that black is -----.
Experts raise you up and up,
then drop you from a ------.
Experts lead us into war, but
have you ever seen an expert -----?
Experts tie you up in knots
and their knots are always -----.
Never challenge what an expert claims,
because, like wolves, they ----.
When considering the views of experts,
when you get right down to it,
the government and its experts
are always full of ----.

This is a cynical, if light hearted participation piece in which the reader, or audience, is expected to fill in the blanks. The picture is the venerable Lord Hutton, a man who combines the attributes of three wise monkeys in one person.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In praise of the zebra



Hold your breath.
Scan the horizons.
They’re somewhere in the haze,
as still as death.


Test the sullen air.
Listen with your whole self.
You may not sense them, but
they’re watching. Over there.


Even now you cannot see
what you are yearning for
amongst the blur of lines,
in the shadow of the baobab tree.


The grass begins to move in waves,
Dust devils twitch and tantalise
the restless tourist tribe,
the waiting band of slaves.


Remember when the light first shone
and the land rippled as one,
you grabbed your Pentax, but
too late! Too late! They’d gone.

This works on a number of levels, but readers of Le Carre will detect an extra, hidden dimension. You might like to know that I was born in Nairobi, Kenya, but that the family came to the UK when I was six and I have never been back.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Luxembourg Gardens



Wish I could walk
through Luxembourg Gardens
where I could walk before.


And did those feet,
bare, blue and swollen
from the long marches,
rest upon a mantlepiece,
contemplating the situation?
Perhaps we all suffered
from sleeping sickness
at the fire’s edge -
our faces winding
up the chimney
and out into the streets
from which they came.


The dogs, they howl
at midday,
perched on sweating
heaps of garbage,
heads back,
impatient
for the mad axeman.


At night, they slink
into alleyways,
while the litter
burns across
the avenues.
They watch
lines of people
fleeing like animals
from the hunters
close behind.
They cringe
at the strange, loud sounds
and weep
for lack of air.
At midday
they live again -
what
can it all mean?


Last summer
the blind could feel
the way here,
but now
it is lost.
They are led
by friends.
Their faces have changed
from the inevitable
to the fearful
question.
But what of the blind dogs
who lack ‘friends’?


You say
my hands are rough.
They are lacerated.
If you could see,
you would know
where I was
last night.


You ask
where my dog is.
It is dead.
Things are very hard
on dogs now.
Some of them
are luckier
than others.


It has started
to rain,
( Oh let it fall
on the seeds
within us ),
meaning a breathing space,
time to withdraw,
go walking
dogless,
where I walked before.

Late post today. Excuse? I was rivetted to John Le Carre, 'The Mission Song'. Could not put it down until I had finished. Le Carre is one of the angels and I don't know how he can get inside my head, but he does it every time. The poem is one of that aforementioned cycle of six. By my count only two more to complete the circle.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Touched by genius

I’m on the floor,
asleep under the piano once more,
rapt in sheets of sound.

Poised on the stage,
sax in hand,
clean off the page.

It can’t start again.
I tell myself and then
the music rips the walls apart.

Where did that note come from?
Whose scream of anguish or ecstasy
came floating into the dream

on a river of tears,
on a bed of thorns,
scraped out of metal
on a bed of petals,
at the moment I was born.

Can’t keep my wings still.
Is this what the Red Kite feels
tilting with air?

The dolphin,
as it leaps sunwards?
Explosions everywhere,

Reverberation,
unearthly sensation,
unexpected destination.

I’m on the floor, under the piano.
You might think I’m dead,
but there’s music swirling in my head.

Another great night in the company of Gilad and friends, playing in a tango ensemble called Tangents. Warning - Art Fishel is coming your way soon!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lucky



Cat knew
With her electric skin,
She pushed back
The fringe of darkness
And her phosphorescent eyes
possessed the will
To pin one
Like a butterfly.


And so she sat erect
Or curled up
Out of second sight,
Highly gifted,
unapproachable,
elect….


Until we glimpsed
Her sleek, black fur
In a swathing light.
Though dead,
Cat seemed so neat
In the mirror
Of that night, her last
Ecstatic stretch of claws
And ripple of momentary fright
Snapped
With a thump and shiver
Of delight.

I keep trying to surprise my readers , so I hope you didn't expect this. On the news front the demonstration went well and if you want more information you can go to


http://respectuk.blogspot.com/2006/09/blair-tme-to-go-live-report-no-12-more.html

or

http://mancsagainsttanks.org/pictures

Friday, September 22, 2006

Street Party


Dance in the face of your oppressor.
Dance on the face of the dollar bill.
Dance till all the guns fall silent.
Dance until the hawks are still.
Dance to the rhythm of marching feet.
Dance till dancing fills the street.
Dance to stop the Cruises flying.
Dance in the names of both living and dying.
Dance with the innocence of youth.
Dance with the defiance of the old.
Dance knowing dancing is the truth.
Dance to drive away the cold.
Dance to keep the passion burning.
Dance, for every step is learning.

No blog tomorrow. Break for public duties. We are going to die in Manchester. The plan is to totally surround the Labour Party Conference in the G-Mex Centre and at 2.15pm stage a mass die in. You probably won't see this on the news, so I'll take some pics and post them as soon as I can. This photograph was taken by 'Bob' on one of the London marches and can be found at...
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/03/336369.html

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Coming of Age



Like this -
we stand, side by side
in long, black sheds,
which spit out
so many dead mates
per day,
and when HE says so
we jump to it,
caress the stinking metal,
soothe it.


The factory
was a prison,
until they smashed all the bars
and butchered the jailers,
in one day.


That day,
when my kind machine
had put me to rest,
my mate came up and said -
Seeing how it’s a special day,
me and the lads
we got together,
you know what I mean.


Leaving the floor
was like an operation,
an amputation,
which lifted away
the pain,
but from time to time
the stump would ache
and ache.


Sure enough,
they were waiting outside
looking at each other
in anticipation
of my eyes -
and it was a bloody watch!
A watch to time
my slow death by,
a bloody watch?
But I smiled
and said -
Thanks lads,
thanks a lot.


An obsession
is not a mistake,
it is a device
to help you
to forget.


Later
when they were stuffing my face,
and later still
when I had drunk myself stupid,
I could hear it
ticking inside my head.
I knew that it would soon be
too late.


A forgetful man
blots out
fragments of his existence.
They never
commit
anything.


The flic
swaggered through the door
calling his cognac.
I saw
the white holster
bouncing past my face,
and I called out
in my stupour -
Is it real?
His teeth glinted
maliciously -
Do you really want to find out?
I stand up -
Of course, let me see.
The lads -
Go on, go on
it’s his day
today!
I took it from him
playfully.
- I shall execute you
I said,
childishly,
and lined him up,
my hand steady.
He smiled and raised his glass
to me!
He was still smiling and ticking
when I squeezed
with all my remaining strength.
It was that simple,
my short story.

A return to juvenilia. This was the second of the cycle of six which won me the English Medal almost 40 years ago. That makes three you've had so far. It's like looking at the work of a complete stranger. I think the central idea was OK, based on the report of a real life event, but as for the final structure and development, it makes me wince. Is honesty and openess the best policy, I muse?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Perceptions


Thus ...

Mad Thomas cut a fine figure
in his sombre blue uniform jacket
with its Merchant Navy badge
sewn precisely in the centre
of the top pocket.
His shoes always gleamed.
He had a persuasive smile
and a soft, soft voice

... we came ...

Mad Thomas lectured
to us students
in the Meadow Lecture Room
until
they sent two porters
to carry him out.

...to learn...

Mad Thomas gathered together
flocks of visitors
to Swansea's Guildhall
(Hitler he commented
had chosen it
for his seat of government.)
and conducted them on guided tours
until
they discovered that he
was in the wrong institution.

...the value ...

Mad Thomas lived with us
in the Aquarium
bought us chips
at Sketty Cross
and drank
in the Vivian Arms
until
we were all barred
for singing Die Rote Fahne.

...of insanity!

Believe me, this character existed and did all of the things described. It was my second year in the ugly, lovely town. Some of us, once we get here never leave. Why should we?
The photograph is from Alex Thomas excellent website Swanseacam which you can fnd at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/alex.thomas/swancam.html

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Judgement Day


We are the voice of Reason!
We are the fist of Justice!

We are the voice of Justice!
We are the fist of Sanity!

We are the voice of Sanity!
We are the fist of Humanity!

We are the voice of Humanity!
We are the fist of Reason!

We are the voice of Martin!
We are the fist of America!

We are the voice of Nelson!
We are the fist of Africa!

We are the voice of the killing fields!
We are the fist of Asia!

We are the voice of the death camps!
We are the fist of Europe!

We are the fist of Belsen!
We are the fist of Ramallah!

We are the fist of Guantanamo!
We are the fist of the disappeared!

We are the voices from the Past!
We are the fist of the Future!

This is a poem to be chanted, preferably by lots of people.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Eco Warriors




“Fighting vehicles and artillery
can harm the environment
and pose a risk to people.”

Well blow me!
Almost sixty
And I’d never thought of that.


Such a simple idea you see, it
Would never occur to the likes of you and me.
Scientists can now make weapons green,
Extract the lethal lead,
Reassemble the pieces and it is said,
Convert explosives into shit.


So remember, if you’re capable,
When it takes your brother’s head clean off,
That insensitive shell
Was completely biodegradable.


Report in the Sunday Times yesterday reveals that BAE
Systems, one of the world’s biggest arms manufacturers
and dealers is developing ‘green’ weapons! The quote is from the Ministry of Defence.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Travelling

A voice travels
Through darkest galleries.
Walls cannot block out
Even slight
Whispering

You take a man,
Lock him away
From the light,
Gag hin, shackle him,:
Beat him, shroud him,
But still
His voice travels
And finds
Companions,

Thousands of miles
Separate us.
Obstructions
Have been placed
Between us,
But somewhere in this night,
Floating over the ether
That voice travels
To greet us.

Time
Divides generations.
Histories
Can be rewritten
Time and time again,
But voices
Once thought silent
Span ignorance
My friend.

In all this time
I'm stranded here,
Rooted to this place,
But your voice still
Reaches.
You can't stop it
Travelling
In the end.

In 2003 Paul Robeson Jun. toured South Wales to launch the exhibition 'Let Paul Robeson Sing' which celebrated Robeson's long association with the Welsh Miners and in particular the occasion when, banned from travelling from the USA, Robeson broadcast live across the Atlantic. There was a wall at the exhibition on which hundreds of people wrote appreciative comments and this poem joined them on the wall.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Barricades ( 1968 )



I hold your face up
to the firelight.
Flickering in your eyes
are the shadows,
hands of dying trees
that clutch and fall
for barricades.


I hold your faces up,
your weeping eyes:
flaying hands
that clutch and fling
cobblestones,
your feet,
that carried you
to the next line
where you stood
waiting for the first wave
to hammer fear
down your throats.


Now you lie here,
the shrieking of street fighting
silenced with the daybreak
that bares
the carcasses of streets
for vultures’ eyes
to feed on
‘L’OBCUR ENNEMI QUI NOUS RONGE LE COEUR
DU SANG QUE NOUS PERDONS CROIT ET SE FORTIFIE!’


Hope having seen the fires
will ever carry torches
through the streets -
I see them in your eyes.

This poem was the third in the cycle of 6 previously mentioned ( see ‘The Day of the Flags’ in the August archive. ) First published as a cheap duplicated pamphlet( 6d old money ) and sold out in the midst of the demonstration against the Prince of Wales in Swansea after his Investiture. All day long I was followed by 2 members of Special Branch with nothing better to do. Hey I can do immaturity as well! The pic is an unaccredited one taken during the French May Days of '68. Gold star to the scholar who can identify the quotation in the poem.

Friday, September 15, 2006

On the slopes of Etna



Sulphurous air,
like lead in the lungs.


Ragged sheep skitter,
kicking down


a crackle of small stones,
haloed in black dust.


The shepherd’s stained finger
tests the blade of the wind.


No need to rush now,
nowhere to go.


He lifts a bottle from his bag,
tilts the head back, ready.


One green gymnast gyrates
on a basalt stage,


then, as a shadow falls,
the lizard takes fright,


pirouettes away
into a hiss of steam.


Two figures lean,
indicating beyond the snow,


where the jagged skies
observe them quizzically.


Down in the village,
three in the afternoon, the crusty waiter


snorts in his sleep,
dreaming of hot flesh.

K recently went on a Ramblers' holiday in Sicily and this is K with the guide, just above the snow line. You see, I don't just do misery!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ivresse

The bar sways, faces vanish in the haze
Of foolish smiles. Can’t stand canned conversation.
Can’t stand without a wall to lean against.
Can’t understand a single word you speak,
But incomprehension is not my style.
Tough it out from the bottom of my glass.

Stagger down High Street, avoiding black glass,
Wander where the world ends beyond that haze,
Beyond the shimmering sun, in the style
Of Monet. The art of conversation
Lost. In the mad, blurred worlds I strive to speak
Find a cause, someone’s war to rail against,

Confront issues. Am I for or against?
No help found in the fortune-teller’s glass,
No comfort in the subtle spells she speaks,
No solace in the incense burn, the haze
Of promises, a strange conversation
With a woman of some substance and style.

I can do dignity. I can do style.
I can swim both with the tide and against.
I can do stand up straight conversation.
I can play tunes on the edge of the glass.
I can make sense when the sober make haze.
I can bid the four winds be still and speak.

Hush! Be still! Listen to a wise man speak.
Learn all the rules of intercourse with style.
No obfuscation now - cut through the haze.
Stop resisting. No use kicking against
The siren song. Liquid caresses glass,
Lubricates thoughts, kick starts conversation.

Alcohol constructs sweet conversation,
In serpent tongues it bids me boldly speak
The fluid crystal language of the glass,
Confidence aligned with mocking style.
You and I alone, a whole world against
Our charge towards the comfort of the haze.

Limping conversation, shambolic style.
I dare not speak, for you may turn against
Me and my glass grow darker with this haze.

A draughty sestina. My partner in crime, Kath, berates me because my poems are "unnrestrained misery", so perhaps it's time to mock the self again?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Walking on the edge of the world




“Watch with glittering eyes the world around you.” Roald Dahl


Gorse and heather slope
down to smooth granite.
Slabs slide effortlessly
into a flat calm sea.
The sea merges into the sky
One blink of an incredulous eye
and they are one.


A solitary seal stands sentry
At the mouth of the bay.
A falcon patrols the precipice
In the company of choughs.


Windsong, birdspeak,
The conversation of seals,
A confluence of souls.


You on the edge of your new world.
We on the edge of ours, striding out.


One blink of an incredulous eye
And we are one.

We celebrate Roald Dahl's 90th anniversary today. Did you know he lived and worked in Wales? The picture was taken on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path between St. Justinian's Bay and Porth Clais.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I suppose you think this is funny?



On the white skins of Merthyr,
Afghan poppies bloom
Merthyr boys run for their lives
in Helmand doomed.


“I suppose you think this is funny?”


Refugees in their own homes,
unseen, walled up, caged in,
thirsting for justice, Jenin.


“I suppose you think this is funny?”


Baghdad streets reconstructed,
GIs fly the skull and cross bones,
build suicide bomb proof barriers
In free fire zones.


“I suppose you think this is funny?”


Lebanon carpeted,
cluster bomblets left for toys,
Bliar takes an overdue, well earned break
away from all the noise.


“I suppose you think this is funny?”


Men in cages,
guilt by association,
trial by ordeal,
citizens of the wrong nation.


“I suppose you think this is funny?”


Racist attacks increase.
In place of peace,
Prejudice is stalking.
In place of community,
Fists and boots do the talking.

The title is taken from a conversation between the Bliar, soon to be ex Prime Minister and Ian Duncan Smith ex leader of the Conservative Party. Duncan Smith had come to present him with a report on the increase in anti semitic attacks in Britain, Bliar was bemoaning the cataclysmic splits in New Labour. Duncan Smith had lost his job as Tory leader after a similar bout of back stabbing and blood letting. The picture shows children of the Dandees family surveying the wreckage of their home in Jerusalem after if was bulldozed by the Israeli Army.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Circles of Plastic

The bards have turned to plastic.
Stone suits song no more.
Our culture is elastic
When our values hit the floor.

A Gorsedd circle towered
Raised up by many hands,
By credit cards empowered
Thanks to bankers from foreign lands.

Such compromise is worth the cost
To gather every year
Where Taliesin’s words are lost
And drowned in English beer.

Last year, the National Eisteddfod was discussing replacing permanent Gorsedd stone circles with portable circles of plastic ‘stones’. They also agreed to allow alcohol on the Maes for the first time, but curiously non Welsh brewers seemed to be far more prominent! This year, I am told , they have been and gone and done it!
The picture taken on the walk yesterday is Coetan Arthur.
Coetan Arthur is a Neolithic burial chamber lying on moorland above the cliffs of St David`s Head. It dates from about 4,000BC and consists of a huge capstone supported by a side stone. Originally, the tomb would have been covered with earth. The name translates as `Arthur`s Quoit` and, according to local legend, King Arthur played a game of quoits with the tomb`s capstone. It lies to the right of the coastal path, behind rocks, just beyond the promontory of St David`s Head when approached from Whitesands Bay. Wouldn't it look so much better in plastic.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Old Woman Framed in a Window




"The man who had lost his name was listening, down in the
canyon, under the dry creek bed. He was always listening."
Ursula Le Guin - 'At the Springs of Orlu'


While we whispered in the morning,
watched the day as it was forming,
stiff and shapeless, without warning,
she was always listening.
To truths released in stupour,
to gossip, lies and rumour,
without a trace of humour,
she was always listening.

Behind the half-drawn curtain,
searching out each source of hurt
and in the shadow of the certain,
she was always listening.
Pale Madonna,
bride of dessicated lack-love,
watching catlike high above,
she was always listening.
See the pearls of water glistening.
Hear the swirls of rainfall hissing.
Know that somewhere in that mist....
she is always listening.

Back a little late from a stunning walking weekend in Pembrokeshire. More of which later. I have chosen as an illustration this superb portrait by the artist Judy Somerville, 'The Old Woman and the Toad'. Look her up and if she gives me permission I'll keep it on the blog for you to enjoy.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Knock on the Door



Here’s a knocking indeed.
The dog recoils in fear,
An unknown hand on the door.
Who’s there?


Does the liar draw near
In his ravenous need
To give the lie once more
And lodge it safely in his lair,


In a diminishing store,
A dormant weed
Waiting fo the sun to sear
All tender shoots of care,


Suck out the very air,
Destroy the seed,
So truth no more
Can flourish here?


Listen.
I stand outside.
One word from you.
A turn of the key
Then you’ll be safely next to me.
No more to dread you see.
I’m not the one who lied,
Stealer of lives,
Shrinker of dreams,
Porter at the gate of hell. No,
I am come all wrongs to heal..
Look in my eyes. You can tell
It’s me, clean cut, wholesome,
In uniform as well,
So unlike that last one,
Who dropped in, uninvited,
The barefoot, bearded one
From Palestine.

This is quite a complex bringing together of ideas. The title is taken from an Irish folk tune and has both the element of always being ready to welcome the stranger, but also a hint of uncertainty as to what might be on the other side of the door. Onto this I paste references to Macbeth with the associations with violent and hidden death and then the promise of Revelation 3 20 all juxtaposed with the knowledge that today's knock on the door is often followed by the door being kicked in as the anti terror squad bursts in.

You'll have to wait a day for number 60. I'm away to Pembrokeshire for the weekend. Back on Sunday!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In Memoriam ( His Legacy )

Friends, citizens, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Bliar, not to praise him;
The evil that he did lives on with us,
Government marked by blood and bones,
So let‘s bury him deep…. The idiot Bush
Has told you Bliar was a genius:
But he’s a simple man - it’s not his fault,
So slavishly did Bliar brown-tongue him.
Here, under leave of Prezzer and the rest,
(For Two Shags is an honourable man;
So are they all; all honourable men)
Come I to dance at Bliar's funeral….
Friend to none, treacherous and unjust:
But Brown swears he was a genius;
And Brown, we know, is an honourable man….
Black bags bear his tribute home,
His cronies rob the general coffers still:
Did this in Bliar seem genius?
When that the poor have cried, Bliar just grinned:
Compassion should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Beckett says he was a genius;
And Beckett is an honourable person.
You all did see two million march to Stop the War,
He looked the other way and clutched his kingly crown,
Which he would not let go until the last: was this genius?
Yet Blunkett says he was a genius;
And, sure, he was a far sighted man.
I speak not to disprove what Blunkett spoke,
But here I am to speak what we all know.
We all did loath him and not without cause:
What then holds us back from our merriment?
A judgement on these brutish beasts,
Who surrendered up all reason…. Bear with me;
My heart is bursting with such joy,
And I must pause….to nail the lid down tight.

There has to be good news sometimes. 8 junior ministers have resigned demanding that Bliar should go now because it's damaging the party. I would have more respect for them if they had resigned years ago because of the damage he was doing to the world, but one does have to be grateful for small mercies. Apologies to the bard for disfiguring his words!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Adele Bloch-Bauer II

Facades, decorative, aligned to fool
The eye, disturb, draw away, deflect, then
Innocence, blinded, sees not the hidden
Depth beside elaborate distractions.
Remember the antique Pleasure Beach where
One dimensional cartoon figures stood,
Through which you poked your face, tensing before
A flash which froze a startled expression
And caught you at the wrong moment, deadpan,
Without all your sparkle, quite passionless.
No golden brush in evidence, no hint
Of fire beneath the finery. You were
The one he came back to. No other flame
Burnt quite so brightly before extinguished.

The 16th Klimt 'sonnet' out of 16. There are more portraits, but 16 is a nice number. I don't know what was going on here. Adele was the only one of his models that he painted twice and there could not be a greater contrast between the first and second painting.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Woman in Hat

Prompted by the stinging story my eyes
Revealed, you sought to pierce my grey disguise,
Enticed by acid etching on my skin,
You longed to penetrate the pain within.
Death by proxy grips like an icy word,
A whisper not intended to be heard,
But once released on unsuspecting ears
Becomes impossible to clear.
I felt it fall away, my hopeless smile.
The clock’s hands raced pelmel round the dial.
Its restless fingers drummed the final mile.
I never understood life’s clever joke.
My innards twisted with each word you spoke,
Craving the final fiction, one last smoke.

Here's a Klimt for all you smokers. I'm looking forward to the day, not too far away when smoking is banned from all public places. A small victory, but a step in the right direction. Incidentally, I am not opposed to those who wish to commit suicide in this way, but surely it's more effective and quicker in small air-tight rooms!

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Dancer




















On my return to The Garden, I wear
A simple cloak of flowers to cover
The knowledge I have learned. The others there
Arrived after us and have yet to taste
The fruit. Their limpid faces, hollow-eyed stare,
But do not see the obvious answers
To common questions we all know we share,
But dare not ask, fearing the unwanted.


I step lightly through forbidden pastures.
The scent sings, zephyrs play gently with my
Hair. Sweet tastes pulse through my lips until they
Seem to burst with life. Soft light fills the sky,
Caresses my skin, fills me with a force,
Prepares my limbs to float, to dream, to fly.

Back to Klimt! Just finished reading Camilleri's 'The Terracotta Dog'. Well worth a visit if you're a detective fiction nut like me.



Sunday, September 03, 2006

Prints in the Snow

( Llyn y Fan Fawr Boxing Day 2000 )

We drifted up the hill
To where the lake lay hidden,
Folded in its side,
Following where the raven
Pointed, etched its wing
Against the upper slopes.
We leaned breathless,
Intent as the winds’ restless
Voices played Chinese Whispers.
One pause
To snap the icicles,
Frequent turns to scan
The Beacons change,
We left our mark
On the unwritten snow,
But the wind’s sharp pen’s
More powerful than words.

The original photos from this walk have gone missing, so you'll have to make do without the snow. It's just as beautiful.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Serena Lederer

Surrender now to the mass of upturned
Faces. You can’t pretend a sea of ants
Streams past the park, filling the avenue
With sound and colour. Hope against the dark
Once mocked, derided, pilloried and spurned
Now beats against your ribs in breathless pants
Of anticipation, as marchers force through
Freezing air, one infinite rainbow’s arc.


High up, safe in a warm hotel bedroom,
The moon in your mirror, like a lodestone
Draws in the source of light, the powerful
Confluences of the day just ended,
The dormant fires of once lost dawns to come,
A scattering of starlight in your eyes.

The traditional London demonstration route passes along Park Lane. In the course of the great 2 million strong anti war demonstration hotel residents, in evening dress, clutching champagne glasses could be seen on the balconies of the hotels observing the riff raff below.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Free Fall




















Nothing can restrain your spiralling through
The ice edged air. It sighs, sucks and snatches
Impotently at sleeves. Gulls wail, keening
In the self sealed ear, so many voices
Slipping through into endless night until
Even siren whispers solve into one
Sharp slipstream, hissing, exhilarating,
Shy eyes slam shut against revealing sight.


Yet, defying all sense, one startled stare
Freezes dark, deaf rock, waiting there below,
Such heart stopping certainty, even you
Must know at last - nothing has no limit.

Sticking with a theme today. Both of the last two poems came from the same place.