Regret

In the ear of one Goddess
There is a hidden cave,
And there within as men confess
The ground is golden paved.

I left a doubloon on the lip
Where cave and daylight met,
And on departing, memory slips,
Redeemed by one regret.

Marginal

I walked through a wall of existence,
Still breathing, still believing;
Brickwork little resistance;
I caught myself in a mirror,
Where the new tide goes out
A sea-tongued oppressor returns
To burn the littoral villages,
(All the villagers succumbed to flesh or fled),
Terrorises forgotten margins
By a finest thread, then departed.
The sea is in my stomach,
Within the acidic ripples
Briny anatomic micro-organisms
Breathe and live and cling
Like bivalve molluscs
Balanced on an edge
And I am the ballast
Between life and death.
These unseen beings which cling to me,
Surface only to surf on waves which begin
With servitude to this nude existence,
Yes, beyond the ellipse and bells
Of life and of death,
Where everything we give
Is received by an unrivalled sea,
Effortless are the divinities in
This efficacy, these elegies
Where the sea says her prayers
With whitecap-rosaries,
Seaweed petals and confetti of squid,
Their ink so black it could forge a night
And blind these biting gods,
Ravenous on the rocks of their follies.

Dead Sea Blues

This dead sea,
Or sometimes dieing sea,
My trilobite soul
Buffeted by bilbously
Deceased bodies
Endlessly,
Keeled overboard
Under a peerlessly high
Wilderness sky in
Terrorising blues
And refracted perilous green.

Halcyon blanched to moccasin,
Pyrite turned to stone;
Starlight down to calcium,
Seahorse in my bones.
A sun beneath the ocean,
Tarpaulin drapes my heart;
The sea’s relentless motion
Returned to where we start.

Umbilicus

Constant reminders
In my body’s retirement
Of your indelible
Indiscretions
Dissolved into me,
My skin the sea
Filled with your molluscs
And a coprolitic fossil
Of your movements,
Your impossible
Puzzles and befuddled
Cryptic sentences
Like lugworm trails
Where the blight receded,
You see his sand-cast there
But not his burrowed body,
For flesh and form
Took leave long ago,
And all that remains
Are contusions.

Emerged from your gulf,
Urgent as a siren
Until the giant waves
Rewound, every mole
A continuum from times
Of settlements in iris,
Unfunny jokes,
Inverted laughter,
I made no demands for
The complexities of your
Shell-emptied nautilus,
Salvaged from a sea-bed,
Thrust up through a hole
With samphire-weed and poison.

Seagulls squawk and spiral
On a Fibonacci horizon,
I do not own a hair on my heart,
I do not own a thorn-seed;
I was born on Steppes of Despair,
And that is where I am mourning.

Seven Abysses

Should you go to descend
Those infamous seven abysses,
Beware of the bones you’ll find.
I am not one for spelunking
In karst dolomites of my mind.

Endless mineshaft’s metal cage,
Canaries for the gasses;
From Flemish sellers
Brought those birds, sold by
Old oblast-men with molasses.

Rattling seven strata through,
No safety gear, no time for fear,
Down to a sunken pool;
Its secret waves will gently spool:
Thoughts are born in here.

Arriving in your evening light,
Sunsets seen renewed!
There’s no such thing as death
I said, collapsed on our bed
In a miner’s welfare cottage.

Damoclean

Lifelong I have walked in sole-bare shoes,
With the trapdoor of my thoughts
I am going through,
Like an inverse Damoclean sword,
Like a parapet above a bamboo pit,
Each stake sharpened
By your silence as wide
As a black hole’s gingival abscess
Or a behemoth’s grin.

I walk with a shadow
Owned by self-sabotaging indiscipline,
Infrequent in me, your company,
I trod the floorboards while you
Flossed your wolfbane teeth
With cider-froth and
Complacency.

Only lately,
That lateral door’s secured
By love,
A love that endures
Longer and more fast set
Than a Trappist’s bloodstone whetting,
More than the Gordian knot
Where once we tied to dogwood
In this self-same moment
An ageing satrap’s ox;
And I, my love,
I will no longer drop.