Things to Remember about Living and Dying

One, that they both are action verbs
grey in inaction, nothing in traction
and too little thought is given
to the song you sing sauntering along the beaten path
that it ebbs and flows, with no preset direction.

Two, is that they are two, be it
on ceramic tiles, locked inside a waltz,
or spinning out into the green grass bullets
atop the wars of earthworms,
beneath the peace of stars.

Three: heart, body and brain are flickering
constantly, though stone may be the face.
Do yours not? Call yourself imprisoned
when love and hate their tails untangle
and thoughts no longer torpedo
across the fluttering page.

After this, is that these things weigh
much lighter on your skin than on paper
much brighter on your days which meander
sideways steeped in soil, smelling and scenting
much more on the way, with more on the way.

Five – remember how the fingers of your hand
tremble with all the joy and terror
of being lifted off the land.

Six, is that the world will never carry you;
it was not built for you, it was not built
at all.

Seven, is that heaven is a dog
because she lives in the same time as you
because he breathes in the same air as you
because they will match their step with you, and
are good for that reason enough.

Last is the dappling shade of the leaves,
of people swimming through evening walks
groping the wind for conviction; they are
Living and Dying together with light
receding and rippling out of your sight.

Subversive and Exotic

I don’t know what you mean by
‘subversive’ and ‘exotic’ – words
dependent upon where you are.

You stand beneath the waves,
forcing my hand down to reach,
so you don’t have to move one bit.

I don’t know how you feel
any breeze there
or anything at all.

A world partly-formed,
upon which you are standing,
is one of brief impressions.

I do not think I know you
and your coral-crusted heart,
so masked by barnacles.

Do not think I know your thoughts:
thoughts subversive and exotic
to someone who can breathe the air.

Paradelle for the word ‘Lacuna’

I trace the mother of my favourite word.
I trace the mother of my favourite word.
They live between unseeing white columns.
They live between unseeing white columns.
Mother, I trace the word of my favourite
Between white columns they, unseeing, live.

I seek the father of my special sound.
I seek the father of my special sound.
Buried they are on the ancient roads.
Buried they are on the ancient roads.
My ancient sound, I seek of the father;
They are buried special on the roads.

A silence travels between then and now.
A silence travels between then and now.
Dusty desert paths are swift unfurling.
Dusty desert paths are swift unfurling.
Then travels between silence and a Now
swift unfurling, dusty desert paths.

The paths of the mother and father
Are unfurling, unseeing between
Columns of my favourite sound, swift
And ancient white between the desert roads.
A Now of silence travels, buried on the word they live
I seek, and I trace; special are they of my dusty Then.

‘One drop more’

Hail compassion – for urging us to ask for one drop more;
Hail love – for ignoring us to suckle one drop more.

Persons made of steel and glass who look away from rust:
They are sore for polish, so they must save one drop more.

People don’t mean anything by spitting out their feelings;
They are as the rain at core, always promise “one drop more”.

Lyric lines are stretching truths across the desert gravel,
Long mirages slowly shore their blue by one drop more.

Boats are never bound to care for controlling the sea;
They just offer oars, neither less nor one drop more.

Workers pick up hobbies not for more but lack of time,
Writing helps them savour from the hour – one drop more.

Not born for buffeting by breeze, the statue of a man
Who himself roars odes to gales, demanding one drop more.

I’ve been running low on a limited tank of love
Never reaching bottoms, always squeezing one drop more.

Inside a House

I lived inside a house that could not wait
For lines to finish, pouncing fast on words
Left dangling there and choking – lost in care
That lived in bricks that could not tolerate
The spates of thoughts migrating now in herds
Of stomping wildebeests, their hooves all bare
Of fear; and bucking back as if to taunt
The steel and glass with strength, like captive birds
Of prey, thrashing, smashing in the lair
That crumbles within calculation, gaunt
Mid-air.

Hearing Noise

I used to need a soundproof window shut
Against the fusillade of shouted grunts,
The hives of onomatopoeia glut
From parks reclined, from greening paths. The brunt
Would fall upon the glass that now can cut
The wind in swinging open. I stand, confront –
But also let slide pass, the wounded past,
Allow the gusts to brush immortal grass.