Haiku #637

637.

Autumn’s coolness comes;
I pinch myself, love how might
I go on. I do.

Tristessa

Strong hearts
Do not require taming,
Unmetallurgic wild horses
Never found comfort
In sodden-straw stables.
Your father brought home
For the old kitchen table
A brace of dead pheasants
Bound by a cable.

Through turbulent moors
And rubicon rivers
We felt there reverting
A timeless deep raging;
From scorched summers burning,
Briar-berry and bramble,
To winter’s bare pantry
Where salt pays for aging.

Together, five or six moments,
We felt more or less able
In the heartbeat of angels
To outlive the lengthy assailing,
(Daily they’re planted,
We later discovered)
Of all modern things
People now take for granted.

No one here has ever seen
Our grey-green seas
Deprived of life and motion,
The fossils would make a commotion!
No one observed those orchard trees
In the entirety of their devotion
To imparting the knowledge of apples,
And no one here speaks,
For our mouths do not open
(Unless for a token),
So I remain unable to say
How much one singular moment takes,
Though without you here
This feels like forever and its days,
Restrained by constant motion.

An Exhumation

There were traces of me,
Some burnt vestiges
Found under mulch,
Detritus in strata, then debris.

I didn’t look very much like me,
But the finders were keepers
And they all disagreed.
They could have just left

The stagnant shell of myself
Where I’d slept all those years;
My mouth full of moss, and behind
My green eyes, fern-flooded ears.

After their initial shock
Discovering me in those woods
For a while I wondered
If they could return,

Yet they did, armed with candles
And prayers and books
With scripts I’d unlearned since
There’s nothing to read

With an ego interred.
After they repatriated me
Within the appropriate earth,
All the towns seemed different,

New, not shiny or imbued
With ores, nor for once subdued
By saddening flags and blankets,
Whose seven colours draped

And sometimes secured
Our feelings, through sombre times,
Thankless times, where we found
The end of heaven.

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.

Cloud Poem

I caught a glimpse of the lady
I would love eternally,
Retained in the shape of a bather
In a photo reflecting the sea.

The sacred four-horned oxen
Walked on stones in my heart,
I prayed I may evaporate,
And fall into her arms.

As my quiet prayer was calling,
Deathly forests distracted me;
From clouds I started my descent,
Ended in your memory.

In one such forest’s fated clearing
A brook of crystal waters dried,
A spring to feed the falling prayers,
A place of rest for a bride.

The clouds merged in to mountains,
Mountains gave birth to the sea,
If only longer I’d waited,
And brought an end to all misery.

Just Passing Through

A charm of ardent finches
Passing through my garden,
To destinations far-flung
I will never fathom.

On fat and seeds they feasted,
A peanut holder emptied;
Toured a moss-floored hut
I built, but had me pardoned.

They gave a fleeting glimpse
Of nature green and golden,
Before at swifter speeds depart,
Quick as dreams unfolding.

I wish a Goddess orchestrating
These finches on the wing,
Would rest on this poetic fence
Before the storm begins.

A Resurrection

In the corner of my eye
I glimpsed a fragile butterfly,
Did you see it too?
It turned into an earthquake,
I didn’t know
Quite what to do.

Underneath a raindrop
Sleeping on a leaf,
I found a missing compass point,
I found a burning heath;
Dharma in a rainbow’s breadth
Ninth wonder in a sheaf.

In the corner of my eye
I glimpsed a resurrection,
Did you see it too?
It turned into a moonlit moth,
And now I know
Just what to do.

Across The Glens

Across the glens
And through the trees

In Monarch antlers
Pollen breeze

We’d meet with love
And remedies.

A stagnant pond,
A ferrous stream,

By dreaming frogs who
Spoke in croaks of

Folklore and their journeys,
They woke a whisper of moths

Under mossy lichen-logs
Where we sat, held hands

And fell asleep in folds
Of wisdom and each other’s

Loss as if in blankets or ferns.
No one else could understand,

There’s no one quite like
You and me, for compassion’s

Company, not a single queen
Or king or woman or man,

Across the glens
And burning land.

Sea Poems

I.

Somewhere on the sand
I wrote your name
With my driftwood-stick soul
And sun griddled hand.
The second time I visited,
It was washed away again.

II.

To find sea glass, I need
For the sea glass to exist,
And to exist myself.

III.

Marvel in greens,
A million different greens
In the sea and seaweeds,
Colours of good wishes
Stored in your emerald ring,
A life’s cargo jettisoned,
A series of jades and viridians.
Clouds play with their
Unwed fingers absent-mindedly,
For in clouds are formed dreams
And so we see the shapes,
A tortoiseshell, a carapace.
There’s a pillbox there
Encrusted with an
Ennui of barnacles,
Bulbous carragheen
And thongweed spleens.
Grown men used to stand here,
Shivering midwinter
In mushroom-coloured fatigues,
Sharing reused cigarettes
And the substance of regret,
Cleaning their muskets for
An invasion which did not exist.

IV.

One day my thoughts too
Will be as immaterial
As the bladders of archaeopteryx
Once imperative and cawing
On this lonely coast,
Evolution’s spindles
Created a curlew out of you,
And then a kittiwake of me.