Pilgrimage Plus One …

Month of the dark-sun day

Is come and gone;

Excitement and pilgrimage are over,

Faith may still exist,

If just a little paler than before.

All hope is left behind.

But I am still surrounded by the masses,

The now-uncomfortable neon buzz

Of people’s expectations hemming me in:

Pressures, white-noise and demands.

My hair-trigger patience, screwed down too tight,

Stretched so fine for too-damned long

In denial deference to their suffocating presence,

Their petty wants, the ignoble trinkets they

Think to need, those truths they believe they do not,

The hunchback minotaur shadows that,

Drip by drip, stain their pale-limbo souls,

the noises they make – insect clamour – without speaking,

While they invade my precious spaces, steal my breaths.

This be new-hook moon territory, and

I wish to be done

With the all the demands they impose.

So We Came …

Image result for walsall fans JPT final

So, after the million-and-more

Worthless words, we came;

The faithful and the free

To be weighed on

The Scales of Reputations,

Under the Pointless Arch

And the anonymous gaze of

Distant strangers. Came

To the northernmost fringes

Of the City of False Wisdoms,

For the trials, and

After the assembling, the

Crowded, stalling, winding journey

The excesses:

Of colour and clamour,

Of favours and flavours,

Poise and pose,

The raising of voices,

Candles and sacrifices

Of fish and fruit;

The exchange of coins

For tokens,

Standing,

Sitting …

To be finally judged:

Noble, inspirational

But wanting.

 

Such Glib Honey Promises

I threw a lot of pendulum-golden time

At the creature that bodied something like a man,

That wore a crooked mask which made him seem a friend;

That rode my burdened back, stole my very breath

While saying he would shorten distances,

Show me how to make giant trees artistic small, be by

My side when dragons appeared threatening unholy violence,

Dig holes on which to build diamond futures.

 

They make such glib-honey promises,

These fake-silver-tongued goblins, but,

Feeling no remorse, learn no redeeming lesson …

Get left behind – when god light dawns –

Chewing on ancient curse-dust

And the cracked, dry bones of albatross.

The Roles

Doubtless Destiny’s ether-gears are turning,

Blocks sliding, rearranging themselves into new shapes,

Aligning in different planes; invisible wheels

Inexorably rolling, skies stretching and burning.

Cradles have swung, shrunk, disappeared:

For I’m comfortable sitting in seats now

That I once could never have reached …

Around tables where I was the very active opposite of welcomed;

Feeling awkward, contrary-wise, where I was once at home

Yet relaxed in territories where I regularly trespassed and poached.

I have half-glimpsed many different faces

(Glimpsing me back I would have to guess)

In midnight-smoothed waters, and I force a smile

As I begin to realise I may yet be willingly playing –

And sooner than I know it –

The roles I once set my heart and face against.

The way You See Them

 

Hot feet, impatient to eat the miles,

Get past – over, through, round – the

Heart attack jams on this

Stretch of cold-as-business road.

Runes, signs, lines

Whispering at me

“Blue open skies

Are nothing but lies,

Friends will make you weaker …”

But the technology that,

Yesterday, was going to be

All I’d ever need:

To get ahead,

Stay the pace

Is strangling my soul,

Selling my secrets.

Things are always

The way you see them;

Until they change …

Or you do.

The Moon Is …

Unblinking, coal-gem ringed,

The moon is a leopard’s stalking-death eye:

Cold-hot fixed intensity

In the star and cloud printed

Flung wide and far cloak of a sky;

Stretched full-tight on the cruel tenterhooks

Of heaven’s Frames.

Claws that have known blood (and will again) –

Sheathed and still in predator pads –

Rest in balanced pre ambush assassin tension

On civilisation’s compromised horizons.

Twitchless attack-habituated tail is iron disciplined,

White intelligent intuit-whiskers gauge the air; dividing

Life’s remaining brief clocks

Into ever smaller periods

Fearfully From the Trees …

It was dark when he got home. Home after travelling a new journey. A journey that was baulked by diversions, slow drivers, an old man who wasn’t able to judge distances and so, frustratingly decelerated every time a wagon came in the opposite direction; a woman in a SUV who had blazed past them both, leaning on her horn; traffic signals that stayed annoyingly red for his lane of vehicles – whichever lane he was in. The radio traffic updates  had been no help: warnings coming on too late once he was in the serpent of dying motors. That or not at all. The GPS system was malfunctioning, the map keeping spinning and – at best – recalculating.

He took a beer from the fridge, suddenly needing it as the intense concentration of rush hour driving began to ebb away. Passed straight through the house with a grunt to his wife (sitting watching some detective repeat on the large TV). He had made it home. Now just needed to relax. A fraught day. Computers at work locking him out. Share prices falling. The kidnapping of hostages in an out of the way café half way around the world. At least some of them, he was certain would end up dead: when, inevitably the forces of law and order decided to free them. That they would not, could not, could not afford to negotiate. The precedent it would set.

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