Revolutionary Sky

Skies with deepening greens,
It seemed our worlds had
Turned upside down; seas
Became skies and the skies
Were the sea. No longer
Walking a coastal path,
But somewhere else, no
Erosions, a few other walkers
Enjoying the weekend air,
A jogger in slow motion,
A cat in the woods carrying
A defibrillator pack on its back;
These sights still exist somewhere.
In those clifftop woods we passed
By houses being built, an estate,
With huge Buddhist statues and
Tannoys set to play meditative
Canons while we counted beads
On our japamalas. Then back to
The coast, a dip in the cliff,
A ghost village, where miners
Lived with their hopelessness,
The seams stretched out
Under the ocean bed and which
Are now like cloud-tunnels
In a revolutionary sky.

I found you in a lounge where
Purple wallpaper was decorated
With motifs in black. A room
For the living they called it.
No wonder I felt uncomfortable
In my own skin. You wore a dress
With a crinolette made from
The wishbones of whale and
Eagles’ nests, and overlaid in
The very same purples and blacks
As the patterns on the wall.
You shifted into blueness,
Then exited without a trace;
In my waking day I’m found
Wandering these apocalyptic
Streets and revisiting a sky,
Still here underneath its weight,
Just where you left me.


I massaged your back,
And the shorelines of my hands
Reached pebbles shaped like
Hearts, smooth and
As timeless as arts
Of bread-making in Assyria,
Where your aunts
Tandoor-baked Lawasha,
A delicate knead
Under knuckles ringed with
Garnets and wrinkles;
And reaching further still,
To the cave paintings of
Cueva de las Manos
Where human handprints
Abound and surround
A rhea’s three-toed foot.
The pebbles amassed
Themselves into stones
Which in turn composed
Into rocks and then cliffs
Over the minims and clefs
Of millennia, until
A whole coast emerged
Within your deltoids and
Trapezius, everything
Formed and reformed like
Disciplined ghosts
Of well-drilled archers
Who died fighting for Priam
On shores just south of
The Dardenelles’ mouth,
Where turquoise
Beaches of glass still
Shimmer, the same glass
Delighted the necks of
Ilion’s women,
As bright as Cassinian moons
In Saturnshine loops
In a distant, limpid river.

Poem For Lovers

A fondness for freckles
And inner delight,
Fondles of fronds
Reckless and unfurling
Through my fingers,
We dream of brushing
The hair of forests,
Thinning into copses
Summoned at night.

I’ve been indulging
In the beauty of you
Again, you cupped my
Face and we translated
Pages of love from
The annals of an
Underwater citadel
Resurfaced, relieved
Of its curse and I am
Following the curves
Of your new anallobars,
Mid-Atlantic island,
The storms may lay blame
But you are the lighthouse
And you are the goddess
Of safe passage,
Swallowing the sight
Of your fires in flight
Until our demitasse
Spoon-shaped souls
Blew froth from the tops
Of mocha-coloured seas
Into our blood, the
Moon was tugged by
The lip of the world
And we were filled
With its unflinching
Unfaltering image,
A surface bruised by
Wandering men’s footsteps
Now entwined
In the eternal search
For each other,
Like scuba divers
Gasping as we prised open
The shell and the silence
Of a fabled pearl.