in which I realise how to grow spanish shawl

The pram rocked with the child’s cries

To the blue sky above, to the migrating birds

Who flew past the little blob wailing and

Calling like a romulus into the empty

Suburban quiet. The absences grew

 

A  groundcover spreading over space,

Grew a garden around the lament

Grew music in every blank spot,

Made a language of replenishment.

We suffused the silence with reassuring

 

Nonsense seeping warmth into dark nooks

Blood ran through roots

Requiring watering, daily, to keep alive.

I tried to be your spanish shawl

Wrapped you up warm, carried you

 

Sat, laughed, chattered, cajoled

You so that you thought I would

I could, save you

That day

When you became a child again.

 

Covering ground is back-breaking

Trailing tendrils set out bravely.

A peopled polis is born to soothe

A howling fear. The sound of a garden

Grows in absentia, struggling to create

Something in the vast expanse of time.

 

 

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when poetry departs, I turn to Glass

It leaves me berefit

Of words.         it’s an emptying out

Abandonment

A poetic slur.      an illusion appears

Opening a cave’s mirror

To a mind      furrowed

Burrowing in ideas

Glass ones.        then solid relief

Hera holds a lily

Afloat a mandolin, pure notes

Drop poems like fresh milk

In my robust tea

 

 

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and worked until the day was done

that’s my song

as the days grow longer,

 

to follow each thought’s

silent talk

 

the garden’s invitation

a realisation

that time is on my tail

in a game of catch-up

with the natural

world.

 

there’s bird game,

grubs eating buds

the meadowpatch

extension on my mind as

the soft day’s shadow

slips past unnoticed,

 

until I rest

at last.

 

moon smiles,

my work’s done.

 

 

 

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There is no poetry

Except as we insist

For we must.

 

No poetry

In the universities

Of bureaucracy

Though you can

Study our poets

 

Our lyrical jarring

Smashing rhyming

Word worlds

Our melodious singing

Farting whispering voices

Our compositions

Crying for another

Way against

 

The horror.

The poet

Of the particular

Has laced words

Quarantined

From death

Abandoned words

 

Ebola words

Deep beyond print

 

Ebola

Comes to screens

As colour

Black, white

And cloth so bright

There

Should be

A bondo dance of brilliance

Instead of grief

And Africa’s mourning.

 

Weep then for possibility

A truth

Of this age

Any age

We are

Tainted by language

Long lost to the living

Inaction, inertia. . .

 

 

And Poetry waiting

 

 

 

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One Sparaxis

Bloomed its self upon the pavement,

Under the melaleuca, A wild gesture of freedom

Flower within flower, Two become one

That stopped my steps, My careless scatter

Of corns in the coarse untendered soil

Grew gaiety, Grew bold.

Well did I weep

To see the mowers mow you down

A motorised man with goggles

And earmuffs and you were gone And I did weep

Not as Wordsworth, for nature’s natural

Transient life but for humankind, my kind’s

Careless indifference that did not see

Nor care for One Sparaxis, the equinox bride

Drowning bare.

 

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Maggie and Me

Among the plants an encounter:

Black-speckled feathers hopped

Into view and paused to hear

The sound of person down below

Chatting to tree and bush.

 

This day it was maggie and me

Who stared at each other across

The path your cool appraisal’s

Look of trust knowing I would not

Start or move in suddenness

 

But look away, remembering Frost.

“Two look at two.” It was you

I met one winter’s day with book

In hand instead of spade and

Understood that turning page

 

Would take me further to somewhere

Else. That now I stand on solid

Ground where maggie lived and I

Have found the call of line that formed

My heart, waiting for garden all this time.

 

 

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