To A Troubled Soul

Welcome to this shelter.
I work here, at the shelter.
I’m not really kind:
I let this place be my conscience.
But that’s enough about me-
It’s supposed to be about you.
I won’t ask why you’re here:
Tell us when you’re ready.

Welcome to our facilities:
Lounge, telephone, quiet room
With a box of tissues.
The government gave us a grant;
We all hope they won’t withdraw it
Telling us the date we close,
Like they’ve done to other shelters
Only just this year.

Welcome to this refuge.
No-one needs to know you’re here.
It’s all safe and confidential:
You can trust the staff.
This feels like reading out a pamphlet;
Fire regulations next.
Is it just a job, I wonder?
Is my heart engaged?

Welcome to our haven.
We’re not allowed to get too close,
And that’s convenient for me
Because I wouldn’t want to.
Hope you get your problems sorted,
Go back out into the world,
Leaving room for someone new.
Now, there’s a grim idea!

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Absent Birds

channelled from Ino

 

Where did the wren go?
Where did the swallow go?
They both ate the cherries
From the prefab tree
And now they’ve gone away.

Come back, Peter-
You saw the exodus from Rome,
And then you went away,
The wren perched upon your arm,
The swallow in your pocket.

Swinging freely on the swing
In the cage, from the age
When everybody left.
Now they should come home;
Now they must come home.

 

 

 

 

The Music Student

A mandolin is thrumming:
Strings taut, buzzing.
A ping of finger flicking string:
Dull, like hitting a clay drum.
He feels a brake holding back his fingers-
Wants to move them faster,
To express the throbbing music
He feels in his throat, strumming;
Vocal chords vibrating fast.
“I’ll hum it, then I’ll play it,”
He says, feigning confidence.
His fingers feel like slow motion-
Cannot capture it.

 

Blue

Reposting this poem from four years ago, which is dedicated to the DKMU’s pirate egregore Old Zalty.

 

Blue: deep, cobalt, aquamarine;
I went inside the steep wave, ocean blue gleam.
Sapphire keen, sharp, opened out cliffs,
Icy water, choppy, jewelled- blue lips.
Sailed home, wave gone; blue pills, drug.
Came home to pale door, sky blue rug.
Royal, ultramarine, the short light beam,
Navy fringed, powder blue:our dreams.
Into pool, deep, full, I dived.
Veins thin, blood within half alive.
Arteries needed too, so it lives.
Marine blue, all to you I give.

Visual

Thick lens,
Opaque glass,
Curved like a lens shouldn’t be
Bends the light,
Pulls it in
And bends the way I see.
Pebble glasses,
Dark sunglasses
Separate the world from me.
Laser beam
Much too sharp
Cuts right through-
Kills suddenly.

Daisies

Every year at this time the purple michaelmas daisies are in flower, and we have St Michael’s day dedicated to Archangel Michael. I am re-posting my poem ‘Daisies’ which used to be at the front of the blog:

Don’t kill the daisies by cutting the grass
Let it grow over the street
Let it grow over my house
Let it grow over my head
Don’t kill the daisies by cutting the grass
Let it grow over my life
Let it grow over the world
Let it grow over the real

Ecology Biology (Channelled from Ino)

 

The otters did not learn

How to build the dam the beavers built,

Yet otters and beavers were often lumped together.

The wren did not learn

How she could be a bigger bird,

Yet the people made no distinction whatsoever

Between one songbird and another,

Tiny birds or pheasant-sized;

All of them were lumped into one pot:

One pot for cooking, or recording

On old-fashioned tape recorders,

Whether the song was a tuneful one or not.

 

If I take an animal form

I know that they will take for granted

Everything that most expresses me.

They will not heed my contributions;

Will not deem that my advice

Is something to be taken seriously.

So I stand in the farmyard lane,

Where meet the feudal world of fields

And modern days of information trails.

I’ll have to look more like a scarecrow:

Frighten miscreants into sense

Before they die, and blame me for their fails.

 

 

 

Deep Sofa

I lost something in the sofa.

Not a remote control:

Something abstract, part of my mind,

Long ago I was writing about

How I lost it in the sofa.

Why did I never finish the poem?

Did I ever feel I’d found it?

What was that precious part of myself

That was lost in the deep sofa?

Blade

for Valentine’s Day, here’s a love song I wrote a long time ago:

 

The blades of grass cut me so hard

As I look at you, my love.

The forces of nature are sharp as your wits

As we track up the hillsides

And fall into pits.

Nature’s a garment, and oh, how it fits

As I look at you, my love.

 

The river rushes down to the sea;

It will take us along, my love.

If we must move let me travel with you.

The sun blazes down watching all that we do.

Promptings and messages drop with the dew

And we must reply, my love.

 

Blades of the reeds are piercing my heart

Down here by the lake, my love.

Cupid is aiming; he catches my eye.

I want to be with him because he is high.

But he shakes his head and returns to the sky

And leaves me with you, my love.

 

The blades fight a duel to split us in two

And make us a pair, my love.

Reedbed and pasture are shelter and food,

River moves slowly while lake waters brood.

Your answer all over the sky will be strewed,

So what will it be, my love?

 

 

 

Collaboration

Ibiza

I beat ya

I punched ya

I lunched there;

Beer paunch here

Yacht launch here

Reality

Branched clear

Into sand.

Holes in dreams cast

Like a net fast,

White ship mast

Take me back to land.

 

Majorca

I thought her,

She slid here

Through grid clear

Dust to dust

Perpetual holiday.

I loved her,

You dubbed her

On your CD

On a black sea.

We’ve been there, see.

So experienced!

Feel the realm of sense

Like an angel in a play.

L.A.