Is self-awareness the same as diagnosis?
Are dreams symptoms or manifestations?
Just lately there has been regular levitation
with increasing ability to rise above situations
or step lightly into another dimension
through a literal sphere of consciousness –
which is in fact a flexible paper tube.
Is intoxication dangerous?
Is imagination terminal?
Not only are these experiences thrilling,
but also make dislocation enjoyable.
I am lying in a meadow of my own making,
sipping beer at the festival of living proof.
Perfectly balanced in my tipped universe
I have seldom felt happier upon waking
and been so willing to surrender to the night.
Today, midweek, I is garden chillin’,
no pesky mean metal mamas mowing,
they is the weekend boys.
Nope, jus’ I and the big blue sky
and hey what even?
That old girl Sun is open for shine.
Then what do happen? Dang.
Those flaunty sparrows tip the Tit and Jay
I got seeeed!
Moly, that the end of peace fo today.
They get so close me is movin’ up!
In I’s own gardin! Serious.
But this not the main deal yet –
Well bless I’s odd socks
if the entire ‘nature thing’ begin
make the biggest darn racket ever:
they bees bumblin’, they crows cawin’,
old man Slug chewing on me lupin…
I’s gardin so loud the world is rockin’!
Well, think on it. Be churlish to vamoose.
This some kind of party, maybe?
Nature doin’ what Nature do pretty best.
Me is coming out, creepy sneakin’
from under I’s pot. Segments wavin’,
fourteen hip dancin’ legs groovin’ at a time.
Get with Nature’s freaky beat,
Coz, man, we is the party, bro –
we is the real deal.
Tellin’ you. Come on down I’s gardin bro,
Givin’ it some WOODLOUSE WELLY!
Two bitten lips are evidence, I fear,
of ancient panic hidden in a well,
the bucket drawn when you are far from here,
and I must hold this precious citadel.
These aching shoulders are to be my guards,
which carry and preserve life in our home,
we set a place, and eat, and speak few words,
and clatter through the silence, quite alone.
The doors are bolted shut but I’m afraid
my love is broken into, undermined,
by Loneliness – a muscled retrograde,
who stalks me yet with purpose undefined.
I’ll close the curtains on declining light
and count his eerie footsteps through the night.
Mother lays me in her long black hair,
whispering her loola loola to me,
semi-dozing, travelling don’t know where,
keen cat’s eyes track the way before me.
Midway orange fascinates my eyes,
kaleidoscoping there to soothe me,
stars plotting silly pathways through the skies,
advised destinations all evade me.
Through the night I wheel the constant ground,
with arteries of darkness to sustain me,
thick beneath, deep asphalt cushions sound,
and insects unwing destinies around me.
Thought free and unassailed by humankind,
cruel clarity of day censored behind me,
my road tonight, pursuing peace of mind,
drifts shifting issues all beyond me.
Attic ulating, up the words I climb
in slippered undulating rhyme and
stop, unlock the heavy door, a key
to sticky notes before, and there
in chests the best are laid, the odd
and old and folded, saved, unsaid
they fester in the gloom, their spell
a chrysalis too soon. Ah what to take
and plunder? Through asundered parts
I blunder, scattering pasts in tissue
screams, all tip and topple, broken
dreams in dust and dappled light are
held again, and one, it might not
be a pretty thing, will be a moth
and from my midnight pen take wing.
(Son, your plastic helmet has fallen
over your eyes and you struggle
to point your sword and hitch
your armour and hold your shield
and the ferocious dragon is coming).
Mum says the dragon won’t get me
but I’m not so sure. She always
says things won’t get me, but
The hoover bit me once,
and a verruca HURT MY TOE.
(I watch through the window
and wait for the battle to unfold;
drawing up to your nearly three feet
you swipe at the creature
but now it flies at you again).
Aaaagh! This fiercest dragon has spines.
He is a purply, orangey, scary blue,
with eyelashes longer than pencils
and my- brother’s- disappeared
inside the house real quick!
(You glance towards the house
and I back into the shadow,
trying not to interfere.
Who was it said you should
fight your own battles?).
If it just stays still, I can jab this
flaming long tongued dragon
with my trusty sword and
it will never come into my garden,
not into my garden ever again.
(You roar and run towards the dragon.
Its red jaw yawns and I put my hand
on the door handle, ready,
but you thrust your sword
and in a fit of pique the creature
rears up, sheds its tail-and is gone).
HA! TAKE THAT! dragon. I knew
you couldn’t beat me. It’s always
always going to be this way? Get it?
Me and my sword; you and your
dodgy breath and pointless tail – bam.
(You turn towards the house
to give me a triumphant smile and wave.
It seems you knew I was there
all the while).
Mum, I got the stupid dragon!
(With your lovely open face,
your inadequate armour, your thin
plastic shield, there are many
terrible dragons waiting:
raging and relentless. You know
I’m pretty useless with a sword,
But, my dear son, please call me
if you ever need a hand out there).
If you live in a city you probably know
there’s a Bony Boy living where nobody goes,
he’s as thin as a match as his diet is poor
and he lives in the gap of the escalator.
He peers at your toenails, grafittis your feet
and his language is too rude to write and repeat,
his fingers are slivers that slip underneath
and he nips at your ankles with sharp little teeth.
The mean Bony Boy is a fidgety lout
with a liking for eating the things you spit out,
having crammed down misfortune and bad days and glum
he chews on the carcass of discarded gum.
Enough of my prattle, I’m surely a fool
to expect you to listen to something so cruel,
I don’t want to scare you next time that you ride
A group of children, accompanied by their teachers, waits outside Saint Thomas’s church, eating biscuits and chatting. The church is due to open at 4pm, but the huge wooden doors remain locked. The RE teacher, a big man wearing a black shirt, makes a phone call, shrugs, and eventually guides his congregation away from the church, the sound of merriment receding into the dusty afternoon.
Sparrows peck for hope
at Thomas’s sandalled feet:
finding only dust,
they gather its providence
and fly heavenward.