Where do they go?
Soaked in grief,
I walked to the valleys
On a road with two.
Hallmarks, a white van,
A lost dog still howling
While as dead as the moon;
There is no end, no, not soon.
For years, insomnia grew
As empathy clotted
In violets and blues.
An empty bed, a job or two.
Some returned later,
Much more as survivors,
Adults and artists,
But all were haunted
By what men might
And some indeed do.
The nightjar knows my window,
Brought to my attention
On a sandless sirocco.
A diaphanous cotton curtain,
Duck egg coloured, coveted
Under an oval rococo sky.
Yellow moon, rarified, rarer
Than blue, gravity carries
Waves of vibrant life on
This town’s fringe, car horns,
A far dog’s bark, moored yachts
With light bulb strings and
Distant bells. I lay dreaming
On my chaise longue beneath
Windows with symbols like
Love unattired, perspiring
Slightly on my lip, I sipped
Some milk in my sleep
And counted the many statues
With their harps and arrows
Until it slipped, transpiring
That you could not arrive in your
Current form, and nor could I
Leave, though love, how I tried,
How I tried and deceived
The seven symptoms of my distress,
Kept apart from the night-princess
With life’s strings I strived to
Contest, I awoke in a sweat,
Only to find I survived instead.
Blue moon, lunar blue,
I held the moon in my hands
And exhaled with you.
You softly said
All we can do
Is this love.
I was bruised,
What could we do
The Goddess’s delight
In quickening tides
And a Blue Moon.
Oceans also move.
They might have tamed light
But the night remains as cold
As the Winter Moon beneath you;
They have remedied movement,
The creatures for morning meat
Are renewed, stock-still with fear;
They have perhaps subdued
Pots on the hobs hubble;
A minority can even make
The horrors disappear,
Wielding their mistruths
And fears – the English language
Always takes the easy route;
Swallows the tongue of the lesser;
They have built institutions
For churning old milk
And turning tempura
Battered out of coastal whelks,
Seasonally teaching our children
How to steal from the foundations
Buried marble, and reaching
In to where a Roman father dug;
Yet the greatest warmth
Beyond physical laws
Of love, is incomplete;
For despite these great sciences
There’s no cure for a heart conjoined
Across two universes.
Through this time of catastrophes
And near misses,
The Tower Of Winds and Hypotheses
Would measure your kisses
As Cyrillic keys pressed
Like notes from a typist,
Pinned to a wall
In a traveller’s room
From Budapest to Athens.
We absorb each other
In dissimilar ways,
The weather-vane spins
With bluebirds in rain;
Possessive apostrophes misused,
A crack in the bath,
A lack of sleep and
An aftermath in blue;
Every village has its limits.
Strange to consider then
How we are the same
As when many months of the Moon retraced
Lands me lost in a Saturday
When I bought your book,
Your anthology, that’s still
I confess, not fully read
Nor, I confess again, much understood,
But the passion and the act
Of guerillas uprising through verse
Had me infatuated.
Same eyes, yes, same hair,
Same faultlines from a post-war flare,
Standing on the self-same spot
More or less in Cambridgeshire
As if the bookseller’s plot
And my unmade bed
Are layers in blue
Of the High Poetess, on her
Alter cloth and within her dress.
If a curse made the earth
The size of a grain,
The universe inversely would shrink again
To the size of the inhabited planet,
Before from the massive mass it sinks.
If I carry my chances in marginal atoms
Why does my heart still roam untamed?
Reunite us on the beach
Held together with words and speech,
Type a letter of love to reach
Beyond the sands of time and graves.
There is less pressure to exert
Determined course of Moon and Earth
Than tour the chambers of my heart.
Untranslatable runes are deeply painted,
Where those who desecrate the sainted
Read aloud: ‘to strive without arrival’
And ‘here he sought and here he yearned’.
I closed my mouth, the world did turn;
One did fade, for the other’s survival.
Claiming to own death,
Ministers and clergymen
Neglect my escape.
Said it’s a phase I’ll go through,
This moment of life.
The moon burned, we bled sympathies
For perpetrators, not the victims in blue;
Producers spewing documentaries
Given a sentence or two.
A fish becomes amphibious
When the new lot beat their wings;
No one else knows innocence,
Toothlessly he sings.
Tell me there are bronze scales still,
Should I list what they did and do,
The dead are photographs on a windowsill,
While the assailing say their voice is true.
They put me in the hollow trunk,
Roadside-dumped me far from home;
They raped me in the second bunk,
I mapped the sites in a honeycomb.
They extracted my teeth,
Converted the legends we rest underneath,
Made palatable into senescence.
Brazier smoke, unspooling a roebuck,
Parole will be kind for the killers;
A pick-up truck, and out of luck;
Beyond the grid live caterpillars
Gorging purple thistle.
Fist-pumps, fireflies in a lamplight,
A night without edge is nonfissile,
Losses form a cancerous white.
A story is born with two sides, a digon;
Truth abstains, falsehood flashes incisors;
Stay away from the bar, creek and siphon,
Unwatched adverts employ fewer divers.
Wolf moon banes flooding,
All mournful life you beat me,
Yet I am winning.