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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Boto

I am (the only)

Sundaughter-child

Of Father Never-Still River

And Mother Daytime Sky.

She of changing mood

And appearance,

Capable equally of

Tempers terrible as storm

And sensitive extremes.

He of deep

Born-again memory

And the silver-shouldered strength

To move mountains

And souls.

February’s Room

King of spiders,

Serene, unafraid now, of death,

Warms his new-fire-bloated body

In the crawl space,

The wall space

Above the dusty pelmet.

Routed winter seems in retreat;

tending wounds in Valentine’s mists

We almost fancy we hear the

Advancing belles of spring.

The name of the old, underground god

Is sprayed on establishment’s walls again –

“Coming to the Rescue!”

Polite, beg-steal-borrow society

Apathetically shivers:

Is the balance swinging too quickly

Towards the goose-step years?

Perhaps he Knows

Free at last from your sanity routines,

On mornings when ankle deep slow-flow tendrils

Of mist ebb and trace the shadow-and-not spaces

Between ghost-of-winter honey bark beeches,

(Making lies of histories and your blind surges of truth)

I swear that I have seen

The dark shield-and-faith lord step out

On caparison’d, prancing dapple stallion

To meet dawn’s damson-moon light;

Though only sheep and bitter ‘daws

Now populate the ruined traces of his castle keep

And dragons be lost, with unicorns, in time’s jealous chains.

Perhaps he knows this, perhaps not;

But still he rides out for his people –

As he always did!

Red, Of Course.

Three full-on winter days

On the cold-wind, monotony yard

Feeding cold blue flames

With colder fuels.

Need to check out

My situation,

My options …

Heading down the grey brick road

Heading to red sunset salvation dreams:

A place in the lottery queue;

Chance to compare journeys, calendars, champions, clocks;

Chance to find pattern and rhyme in random lines and concrete blocks.

Breathe shiver-deep, consider the numbers and companions that

Got us here, the histories that come together now –

In these magical moments …

Sometimes in order to see ahead more clearly

We have to look, hard and long over shoulders:

Chance of a ticket to be there

When we get to face the glory trials,

Stand on the way that other followers have stood

Ready to paint the next steps: red of course!

Never Alone …

Originally posted on Trials and Trails: life and times of a Walsall fan:

We are the terrace tribes,

Every dog has its day,

The scarves with proud, loud voices,

The twelfth man,

The few, joined together

Whose total is so much more

Than the tally:

Making the difference;

The banterers, the chanters,

The faithful following –

On our feet, on our knees,

Going on believing even when

Belief is on the proverbial ropes;

Hoping to be champions,

To not be moved

On the roads to glory;

The noisemakers, wondering (too noisily)

If the officials can see, know the rules,

Have two parents.

We are the queues at turnstiles,

At pie-counters, at toilets, at bus stops,

Always coming back, always keeping on

Sometime-touchline wits and better managers,

Insatiable consumers of statistics and programme notes,

Shirtless in January sleet:

Because we’re on our way,

Even if, for some this’n’that reason,

We’ve got to wait, again

Just one more season.

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