In The Small

dragonfly

With savage shell-bone pride

Members of the dragonfly tribe

Carry a beautiful storm miracle

Below their flexible armour cages;

And aerobat on flicker-shine wings

That flatten the earths corners,

Bend the skies straightways up,

Fasten the sun in time and place.

Recognise the magic, please,

In the small hum-drum things;

Catch some contentment from the

Small, pleasant pulses of joy.

 

 

Photo: courtesy of www.bendigocc.blogspot.com

30/8/2013

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Britannia?

Not impressed,

We have no respect

For your no-atmosphere,

No adventure, plastic-history majesty.

We stamp and grind our filth,

Coarse, guttural words, accents

And pack-rut scents

Into your sacred corners,

Set fire to what you believed

Were permanent thrones;

Laughing, chanting, mocking

In the toxic happiness of

Thick smoke blossoms.

Because we are here!

Because we are young,

Because we dare,

Because we can!

 

28/8/2013

The Same Old Morphine Drum.

Blood and blind faith

Were never going to be enough

On the long, harsh, decision-deferment slog;

We must have known it all along,

Carrying this indigestible truth

Silently inside every one of our

Bones, lights and souls as we

Hoped and cast charms to close out the world

With hushed fires and rough, loud whiskies.

But,  oh my, too, too soon

It’s tap – tap …

And, even at this remove,

We shake and shiver

While toad-skinned smoke

Writes its glib falsehoods.

Desperation is playing

The same old, shame-old

Morphine drum that beats no retreat

Then repeat, repeat, repeats and echoes

Around history’s full compass.

Behind dirty lilac curtains

Of spinning, cowardly clouds,

Even the sun weeps.

Truth will be brought to the table,

Perhaps,  another, future-distant dawn.

 

24/8/2013

Drops

             I
From the spinning
Circles that cross
Heaven and Hell,
Down the skies,
Between the branches,
The iron routes,
Across the leaves,
Between the rocks,
The weeds and brick dust;
Un-noticed they
Fall and run:
The too-casual
Drops of history.

  II
This is the placid hour
Of the fumble-flying moths.
 Day’s-eye stars are closing;
The honeybee’s purple
Pincushion, nectar and pollen palace
seaholly

Is become medieval slate mace.
Clusters of early autumn berries
Constellation-spin above:
Monochrome peace
Has come to visit.

23/8/2013

The Businesses of Destiny.

Leaning heavily on the crooked ash staff he had picked up at the wood’s edge, the old man put down the firewood bundle and looked back down the slope towards the brook. The sun was rising somewhere out of sight, pushing pale orange and pinks into the lightening darkness where a three quarter moon seemed trapped in the stag headed oak.

 Where three heavy crows gripped topmost branches with clawed feet and stared at each other murderous purpose.  One at each edge of the tree; the third, in the centre,  looking nervously: first one way then the other as if deciding what to do next – meanwhile playing for time.

Solitary and grey a slow moving heron glided gently down to land in the long grass and buttercups at the bank of the stream, long spear bill ready immediately to deal death.

Perhaps these were portents, perhaps just nature’s way of spinning out lives of God’s creatures.

Rumour had it that the king, Richard the third of that name, had spent the night in a local church praying for success in the conflict that could not be far, or long away. What he prayed for beyond that was anyone’s guess. Peace of mind?  Death of traitors and usurpers? Outriders  from distant parts had been quartering the countryside for some days now; purportedly foraging, but on occasions stealing – if truth’s bare bones and empty larders be any sign.

But rumour? The idle rough chatter that had the miller’s goat poxed by Beelzebub? That had the daughter of the family that lived by the stepping stones impregnated by a shape changer? He smiled a wide smile, revealing spaces where teeth once sat.

Then his expression changed. Became grim, tighter. His own foolish son, taken by the braggart’s  glories  and stories, had left without goodbyes to join some ramshackle archer band or other; though for -or against – which side he knew not. Nor cared. The life here and had little effect or asked for nothing from distant monarchs. But he had loved his son and would feel the loss, more than just for his strong back and assistance with the pannage … and hoped he would return, rather than leave – or worse, be killed or maimed in battle.

Hobb the Lame, one of those travellers  who passed through the valleys to lend a hand occasionally was an old soldier and told of the privations of life in an army; the bullying, bouts of hunger and plenty, inaction then terrifying battle, justice and injustice – and injuries that left a soul craving the death of the wracked body

For himself, he needed only food, shelter and a few more years of good health; while kings and princes knew nothing of him or his way of life. As long as taxes be paid, and church attended. The change of crown would make not a scrap of difference beyond, perhaps, a different face in the tithe payment rooms.

There came, then, across the pasture grasses a new breath of wind. Gentle it was, but unmistakably there. One he recognised from his live-long collection of summers here, always here in this same spot. The playful but insistent first fingers of autumn’s approach. That lifted the water meadow flower blooms and set them dancing giddily; reminding them that their days were now numbered. That they needed to make the most of sunshine left to them, sunshine and warmth that from now would be lessening day on day. The wind that gently prised early-set thistledown from tall, drying  heads, spinning it across the low face of the sky, spreading the light promises of futures beyond frosts.

This was the change-of-season gates getting closer. High, round edged clouds rushing into the sky confirmed it, their edges blazed by sun’s torch rays, their bellies big and still darkling.

This was the wind that would sneak into the nest cups of swallows in the byres and stables, to chide the parents, bringing them instructions of journeys they must prepare for – and make. That would send them on their way to who-knew where.

The wind that would slow the saps of trees, a little more each day: the gentle latch-lift that would bleed sugar colours into the high leaves in the rookery.

His gaze lifted a little: to a distant hill long-connected with stories of a poor man meeting one of the Old Gods; a story he had shared with a passing merchant two days past over a mug of ale. How would it be, he wondered, before he could prevent the slow thought taking hold, if we could change kings as easily now as we have changed gods in the past.

This coming battle, if settlement were beyond reach was the business of kings and such, those few who could read, write, reckon and believe it meant something. His life, that of his neighbours was a different reality.

He looked back at the gibbous moon, disappearing in the light of a new day, thinking how fitting: the year is coming to the third season, whether we would have it or no.

The world is always moving on; changes in all manner of things are the businesses of destiny; think what we may.

DSC_0065

 

Fool-Takes-All

Dragging grudge-fossil boned,

Battleship-anchor, chain-jointed carcass

In hopeless pursuit of sleep’s

Elusive dryad dancers;

Through the glades, along the rides

Of silent, silver-filtered, star-starved

Low Moon Forestlands.

Aching, desperate and needy

Stumbling, heavy-hearted, heavy-eyed;

Robbed of breath and energy,

Chasing mocking shadows-in-shadow.

I mean only to join, befriend,

Embrace the gentle faerie waltzers

Who skitter away, giggling at my plight,

Leaving only teasing waymark arrows that

Point to the trip-root, winding ways that

Lead to Fool-Takes-All, here-too-soon

Exhaustion’s Dawn.

 

Morning everyone …

16/8/13

A Cosmos Apart

Distant strangers, a cosmos apart,

We crazily crashed, fell and coupled like

Old earth’s young gods last night.

No need for secrets, false modesty or masks.

No need for mercy: asked or given.

We felt the colours released in

The depths of our innocent souls;

Tasted sweet explorations with

Glorious, long pent-up trust and abandon.

Carried each other on and on, then further,

Testing ourselves to the glamour’s-honey limits;

Pushing and pulling one another to stand,

Quivering at the edge of the rainbow abyss.

Then, with complete faith, held

Each other, body and eyes, trembling

Before the please-don’t-stop releases came,

And we slid -eternally joined – down the

Liquid-malachite-pleasure slopes of the

Paradise-peacock’s splendid eye-to-eye tail;

Between the stars and the furious silences:

The endorphin-loaded passages that stretch themselves

Across the boundaries between

Adrenaline and exhaustion,

Need and satisfaction.

14/8/2013