Negative Place

It’s only an absence,
A void
isn’t that how they used to define it?

And there’s no crime
in passing through space
is there?

Unless they do it,
But that’s – different.
They’re
Different.

It’s common sense.
Good old-fashioned common sense.
See?
We’re all white here.
Who? Don’t know who you’re talking about.

It doesn’t happen if it isn’t reported.
It’s illegal to report it.

She’s a liar.
So is he.
They’re all liars.
Probably.

Contempt? Oh yes.

Think about it, but not too
hard.

They were asking for it.
I mean, what did they expect?
Coming here.

Can we call it a resort?
It’s certainly our last one.

All care, no responsibility? No, that’s
stretching things too far.
All responsibility, no care.
Accurate, but not helpful.

There aren’t two sides here,
not if we shut them up.

Do-gooders. Namby-
pamby liberals.
Archaic, trite; but it still works.

Who wants to do good?
We can’t,
not if we let anoth- a
trickle
of people in

think of the economy

Abuse?
No, it’s hard to get good help
is all
Those islands are real shithole- I mean
it’s out of our
jurisdiction, right? (Worked for Gitmo.)
Who’s to say what
constitutes a crime
there?

Refuge? Good one.

Control the dialogue.
Can’t do that? Make it a monologue
a soliloquy – a silent one –
Say as little as possible
for as long as possible
until they all
give up
and go
– Oh.

Poetry round-up – November 2017

Ahem. I haven’t posted a poetry update since September last year, but I have been posting poems to Twitter, if intermittently. Here goes…

 

The library

How imperfectly
these myriad spines
reflect
the worlds within;
Infinities of
allusions
bound to
a single plane.

 

Soft White

This lump
this privilege
isn’t hard-won.
It can’t be felt
or seen
or even smelt –
But man,
can it speak

 

Delicacy

So fragile
a figure –
your fragrance
floating
where you
fled the floor –

a figment only
of my form.

 

Don’t speak

One word
half-bitten
that’s all it took
before the rot set in.
Undone
from inside-out
all
because your fangs
don’t retract

 

Aspiration

You cannot feint the fury of the storm
into a fall
Nor can the wind be wounded with a weapon
or a wall
And yet, unarmed you stand, alone
And yet unarmed defy
You cannot win this battle –
but you’re damned well gonna try.

 

Ride Apart

The moan
of mounting
urgency
throbs beneath –
the last gasp
of a suffocating
clown;
Yet cornering,
you caress
every curve.

 

Whispered tears

The jagged edge
of your tongue
once caught
and cut
my ear
too deep –

I hope it
never heals.

 

Eyelids shutter
the world
corralled
into coral-crisp
conch cries
whose keen
flutters
are the
trailing threads
behind your shroud

 

The boundless bias
of your blush
that urges me
undone
Where sightless scenes
remain my dreams
and you, my only
one.

 

When the cathedral
cave
is empty
save
the trickling
tide
and you.

 

These false hungers
seep into
seconds
second thoughts
devouring deception
till the feasting
is unfeigned
and the hours
truly ours

 

Misuse

When wars
wage words
with weaker
wants
we worsen

What wicked weapons
write
where whimsy
weeps

 

Suspicion

Let’s keep it
dark
and ill-defined
that rumour
that tickles
the back of your neck

until it bites

 

Glisten

Plump droplets
condense
dance
upon the
rotted husk

until

decay
shines brighter
than all
your gold

 

USA

A broken bullet
clipped the eagle
now it spirals
to the ground;
For the wings
won’t work together
and the wound
will not be bound

 

Fool’s Infatuation

The poet did her curse enshrine,
Whose melancholy made her mine,
And thus possessed did she decline,
The Lady of Shalott.

 

Stand

The warning was
indelible
the reprimand
severe
yet still we crossed

and still transgress

for legends
gather here

 

Lovecraft

When each rare
glint
tears another
hole
through the mundane

What formless
terrors
turn your eye
away?

 

I miss
again
the slamming
door
that missed
my fingers
years before
And every
time
I hear
instead
A Miss
whose kisses
I misled

 

When that tremulous
timid
tiptoe
wakes itself

it stirs
the shit
that stains
and stinks
and makes more motion –

Tread true

 

She wrapped the
whisper
in a whim
then worried
it away –
Where secrets
sigh
on silent
shelves
Now all
her dreams
decay

 

Comey

He stares
into space
while the space
between words
wraps the whole
conversation
and warps
the whole
world

 

How do you
float
when the witches
I loved
are drowned
deep
as the falsehoods
tripping
from your
tangerine tongue?

 

You still smoulder
even
when the wind
blows ill –
But borrow my
breath
and be
ablaze

Your fire matters

 

Grave thoughts

It’s difficult to
read you now
The edges worn
to vague relief
But while I yet
have sight
I’ll trace
your name
then join
my love
beneath

 

I’m done with
asking nicely

But I beg you
just the same:

Set aside this
petty bullshit

We share a
love
If not
an aim

Poetry round-up – September 2016

I spent a good chunk of July and August working on our (unsuccessful) house sale, which involved scaffolding, replacing siding, water-blasting, cleaning windows, painting the roof and far, far too much gardening. This didn’t leave much time for writing, and it’s really good to be back behind the keyboard.

Autumn by stealth

How eagerly
we awaited your bloom –
casting sweet
unbidden
names to the wind.
How easily
time bent the
bough;
Please don’t fall.

Irrational pause

Suspend
all that matter
bluster and billow
tamed and trapped
in cheap frames.
Still they move,
as hands fumble
and images

tumble.

Vexed

Untangle please
this knotted gut
and iron flat
my brow –
My worries can’t
be cleanly cut,
but you,
you do –
somehow.

Gene

Smile, so defiantly vapid
and self-aware
one last time
let that thin skein of delight
fray across your face
until it tickles mine.

August 2016

Present Dreams

“Obstruct the rays of incidence,”
the Ancient One advised,
“And bend them to a single point,
until the embers rise.”
I held the glass and watched his words
come flickering to flame –
but as it spread he vanished,
leaving me to take the blame.
If you look upon the ashen shell
or taste these charred remains,
you’ll know his crooked fingers
and the throbbing of his veins.
He doesn’t come to hurt you,
but delights in nasty games –
and when that breath infests your ear
you’ll know his many names.

And so my story issued out,
yet still these children sleep!
So I sit and strop my sickle
while the sultry shadows creep.

If you should stir,
or leave the bed –
or even make a peep –
Well, my games are made for playing
and the Reaper lives to reap.

Divination

This blue isn’t;
it’s clear
where it surrounds
suffuses
the boy
who drifts
buoyed and blown
away, but unable to blow
those last lung-lingering
bubbles that divide
and yet define
the deep, the dreamer
and the day
still floating above.

Sauron’s Equilibrium

The shadow permeates this realm, each eve,
The conqueror of everything we saw –
But see no longer, until dawn’s reprieve,
Revealing once again what reigned before.
Our meagre preparations for the night,
The bolted door, and lover’s dread embrace,
Are lies before the fading of the light,
Which seeps inside and bids our world displace.
Or so the Shadow’s agents would contend,
But shadow can’t in isolation grow:
Without the light, the shadow has no end –
Nor can it shape, nor any substance know.
So turn the switch, and beckon in the gloom –
Let shadows have their life – until we light the room.