The Nightwatchman

Alarm in the distance,
A kettle of noise,
The Haddocks are woken,
The widow has poise;
A light in the window,
With sleepyhead sight
Orange from street-lights
Parry and toy.

Dogs are in mangers,
Fallopian heights,
I am the nightwatchman
On this new estate’s blight,
Built on hopes
In choleric graves hand-held
A paupers’ mate,
False-shamen cradled,
Done-dusted whoremen
And shoremen of late.

How words and meanings
Conspire to change
With time,
Like just deserts,
Fathom and Guy,
Dependent on favours,
Curried and climes,
The bailiwick is easing
The willow in rhyme;
Hell for leather,
Whatever the weather,
You can pitch on my crease
And I will not decline.

Several hours later
These policemen arrived,
Sombre and Sober,
Notepads with lines;
They’re taught a falsehood
Between black and then white
On the unturned pages
Of this error-strewn night.
The thieves long-dissolved
Into brightly-hued dawn,
I woke from my slumber,
Mute sigh, with a yawn.


Communion

Rain within rain within rainfall,
As snow that once thawed
Within picturesque scenes
In a bauble unbroken
In cold winter dreams,
Inside a teardrop forests find,
A teardrop containing final skies
And faint heartbeat.

No more the fish,
No more the season,
An old empty dish
Devoid of all reason.
The rain became snow,
Water to ice,
Reverse upward cats
And dogs within mice;
Umbrellas my friends and
The looseness of frogs,
All it takes for an ending
Is to lift up the fog.

Pawprints In Snow

Snowfall,
Incorruptible,
Unpreventable
Flurries in melodies
Of white so composed.
I have no further claim
To a snowdrop’s name,
In damson-greys
A pre-dawn light,
For the sight of your
Unfolding
Spindling
Quintessence
Is the same feeling inside
The Roman frontiersman
With bones and sinew of ice
And the kindling world
Which is capricious when it comes
To obsolescence,
And her calcified husband
Have ever since felt
Under sandals
And Mercury’s frozen brogues
Also in caducean whiteness.
Bald white, furrows of white,
Cathedrals of trees
And choirs of sprites,
Unfurling burrs of fern-fronds
Have their cowls bowed down
In homage to such heathen genius
Of seasons long lost;
Icicles for arms,
A tetrahedral white,
And penuries of frost.

All things start with love,
For much like the snow
There are hundreds of words.
A crust of slush-smothered snow
Collapses from a rusty Lada’s
Rear window.
Snowfall, a sky-bound
Unicorn’s fleece untossed
Onto holly, and spiraea,
Mint and sage and mosses;
Chicken-wire befuddled and bent
In the shapes of dead clementine drunks
Observed from Moscow
Across to the Khanate of Kazan
Guarding crystal-lined Urals,
From St Petersburg to
The opulent gems of Tashkent,
The meanderings of memory,
A time that roared and went
Into spent exhaustions of
The walkable Volga.
Pawprints and clawprints,
Adipose and strange,
A chasing of tails,
A lifetime spent in shadows
Yet adamant for this existence
Did happen,
Did take place,
Much like a thought
In the cavernous yawns of today,
From where fell one or two fathoms
Destined to thaw, retreat
Down a chasm’s wake,
A singular, ever-unique
Snowflake.

Forest Lodge

The past is a lonely huntsman
Walking on shards of ice,
Those sharper endings present,
How winter ways entice.

I found a dampening cabin
Beyond that gated path;
I couldn’t explain what happened;
I could not find a start.

But whatever you might imagine,
The truth would bruise your heart,
The curtains dank in ambers,
Shelves all empty and dark.

A sign above the doorway,
Inscriptions fading in moss,
I read my name spelt backwards
And woke into my loss.

Ballad Of The Lame Duck

We travelled together
To a country pub,
Twice down the lane
And called ‘The Lame Duck‘.
Hillsides abounded,
You could roll Cheddar downward,
Seats of stone
Beside summer-westward.
The riverlet rilled,
Smells from the grill,
A rusty sign twinged
With sounds of relief
As we entered a darkness
Devoid of belief.

On your thumb you twisted
An emerald ring,
And down in my heart
I heard your soul sing
Songs of sufficiency,
Songs of lament,
Funerary orations
Deeds, necessary, and
Seed preparations,
Epitaphios Logos,
Stored within an amulet.
You turned to me and slowly said
Do not be sad that I am dead;
An eye for an eye,
A tooth for a bed,
Cat got my tongue
A seventh judge said.

Many more crossed
The same riverbed
Before you stepped into
The last wildnerness.
Wide expanses,
Better unsaid,
I roamed alone
And into the red.

Aphelion

Snow falling on the sea,
I noticed how snowflakes floated awhile
And then we disappeared.

Somewhere out there is Sun,
But sunlight is not for everyone
Down here.

The lathered cabesters returning
And a chacking huer’s thirsty
As he conducts the fairmaids home.

How beautiful the ocean
If only from a skiff,
How beautiful the drop

If only from a cliff,
How beautiful the missing
If only we may live.

Somewhere out there is Moon;
Aphelion wilderness
With a little less gloom.

N.B Lathered, Cabester, Chacking and Huer are words from Cornish dialect. Fairmades or Fairmaids is an old Cornish word for pilchards.

Vabbe Verbena

Vabbe Verbena,
Contro il recinto ora appoggiato,
Dove stavo pulendo le finestre
Al Palazzo della Verlina.

Ho salito acutamente una scala
Sopra i salici che piangono
Perché sono nato peccatore;
Abbiamo tutti i nostri inizi.

Abbiamo fatto l’amore fino al tramonto
Giorni di merletti e pigrizia,
Rosa svestiti e servizi da tavola
Di insalata, primavera.

E sebbene il mio cuore stesse battendo,
Tali momenti sono ancora fugaci,
Le lancette del tempo sono indifese
Carta da parati preraffaellita che si scioglie.

Quindi non importa, mia cara,
Per la scala che scivola, cade,
Dove tutte le mie speranze sono state deluse
Sul Palazzo della Verbena.

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.