Little Mjölnir

A hammer I found
On a tall mound of earth,

Only man-made,
So little like Thor’s.

I swung it at mountains
Of old washing up,

I heaved through the trees
Of ancestors lost.

The townspeople laughed
As I toiled and I huffed,

Its handle unvarnished,
Its corners were scuffed.

Look at him missing,
They sang and they coughed,

But they couldn’t see
The meaning of moths,

Shattered my ego,
Departing the docks.

A Penitent Thief

Out on a limb with
A twelve foot drop,
A man stopped by
On his way to the shop.

Ravens for feet,
Rain in my teeth;
My blood in the mud
By a road that’s beneath.

I can see further
Than I’ve ever been,
Flooding the fields,
A tide’s coming in.

I looked through your eyes,
The eyes of my lord,
And I was appalled
By all that you saw.

A blind woman cried,
Malodorous skin,
A crowd on the roadside
Makes bets for my sin.

My ribs became food
To nourish a thought,
Out on a limb with
A twelve foot drop.

Plot Thickens

Laid myself across the tracks,
Liked the feeling of not coming back;
Vibrations down the line.

Engineering of my fate,
Wheels through ribs I’d lately wait,
But then, yes, you found me.

I’d wait, love, if I could,
Until you had unhooded my blood,
But the train is surely resounding.

I am terrible with knots.
The world is full of circles;
Yet only straight to a plot.

An Unrestarted Heart

This road is the road of my death.
I stood motionless in its lucid waters
Where parallel to the ocean

I speared a neon fish.
He admonished me with a fossilising
Shock of ages, waged in his eyes

Which were tiny, glaucous opals.
He once danced and shone
In shoals unknowable as stars.

I am opposed to my own taxidermy.
Standing in the sea leaves me thirsty.
The sky is perforated by jars

For storing a catch which is ours.
Lobsters, swordfish, octopus hearts,
Once the muscle is stopped

It’s almost impossible to restart.
I witnessed it only once, as a boy,
And mythology claimed it for herself.

How far we had journeyed.
I envisioned my existence
With gulls and oppressive seasalt air

Which stripped the elders of teeth
And their ability to remain human,
Their silence as fragile as chalk,

And it corroded all moments
And customs, the colours of
Spring summoned in my lover’s hair,

The jigs of tradition around
A pole each townsmen bore
To the beach with such gravitas

Commensurate only to their souls;
The saline air froze time,
Woven into their hair, banded

Together like a comet’s tail,
Like the spawn of the golden eels
Which are reeled in by fishermen

With the sun tattooed into
Their ganseys. I too will be spry
And fry, live and die,

There is nothing starker.
For now, I arrive and I cry
Behind my steering wheel,

A harpoon through my hope,
Ego skewered by a dart
Outside an unlit supermarket.

Melt Like Butter

Butter on its own
Isn’t much to write home about,
But melted in the middle
Of a croissant, on a
Crescent-shaped plate,
At a hotel morning room
In the early fabled light
Only found in Istanbul,
Is transcendental.

And now I’m writing home,
Meditation on its own
Won’t fill letters from heaven,
But meditation on a lotus
In the eye of the dharma elevates
The breath and the floating moment
Into something translucent
As I meditate, alone,
On a parcel of butter.

A Dose Of Gothic, Part 2

I looked at my pillow,
My pillow turned red;
I called a physician,
He said it’s your stress.
Your pillow was white
As a ghost in a bed,
If I’m not mistaken
Your ghost has since bled.
The ghost of your sanity,
Do not be misled,
She called out profanities
When shot on the bedspread;
Then the ghost of your pride
Who ate her own legs,
And the incumbent bride
Without any flesh
Or corporeal content
On shoulders so slender
Bereft of her head;
Is it no wonder
Your pillow is red.

I gripped the night-doctor,
Foreboding fuelled dread;
I shook him for sense
As he cut off the phone line,
My voice and mouth wed.
I washed the case for a week and a day;
The more I washed, the redder betrayed
Like a Sun on Blood Moon or
Bald eagle days, I lost myself
To a dark disarray. They found me,
The officers, odd notebooks in hand,
With the doctor beside me,
His gunsmoke criss-crossing
This smouldering land,
My blood turned to white,
My last soul unmanned.

Traffic Light Soul

At a traffic light, roadworks,
The jamming pressed their
Collective thumb-horns
For those cars tailed back
From a year before I was born
In scales of a summer storm.

I did not know I’d end up here,
A tear in my eye where
Many lost worlds formed,
Places I’d seen with cathedrals
And parks and riverside scenes,
Caught like a fly in my eyelid.

Someone exited their vehicle
And tapped exasperatedly
At my window. I wound down
The production-line glass
And noticed for the first time
A kitemark for British Standards

Engraved in the corner;
These days, it’s an oxymoron.
I found myself wondering
Whether my soul had already
Dissolved, or whether a steady
Dripping away occurs through

Various stoppers and plugs,
Like prayers, like rosaries,
Dogmas, dharma, traditions.
These days in my country
The scientists have deserted,
Prophets can be purchased.

He was still shouting,
The man in the street
Using expletives.
I wound up the window
And drove away but not before
Drying my eyes, foot on the clutch

Finding first gear,
Revving the engine,
Rain matted hair, lightning beats,
I smiled for the first time
In so many years,
Running over his feet.

There Is A Version Of Me

There is a version of me
Seven steps ahead,

He implored that I should follow,
Spinning a spider’s thread.

He led me over marshes
Where mallow-long laments,

We toured the northern caverns,
Where habit-froth ferments.

I asked him, where are we going,
His resolute manifest mute,

Without reply, I remained unknowing
Of purpose to his shameful route.

For he stole from me my compass,
He stole from me my hope,

And all the things that I should be
Are buried on those slopes.

If you see me wild and wandering,
Unarmoured man, who once was kind,

You are not viewing me, but him,
My grave was seven years behind.