The Poet as Archaeologist

May 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm (history, literature, philosophy, Poems, poetry, sociology, Stories) (, , , , , , , )

At midnight in the fields of my humanity
I break the silence with a prayer and
stooping on warm ground, cast my coat.

Beckoned by history’s scent, and watching yesterdays,
I begin to collect half answers with a trowel,
for to be fixed and shored would be
to shroud some other light.

In ancient caves I measure gritty bricks and buffers,
unblocking obstruction with a pick,
contemplating potent questions pitted by the night,
without dislodging criticalities.

Complacency is crushed against
the monolithic walls I climb to harness
crumbs of wonder; the sting of straps
drawn tight upon my wrists, borne in good faith.

My ageing ropes are not taut, and not precise;
endeavour challenged by verticalities.
Oh those worthy comrades strung from ropes close by
swing a tantalising rhythm.

At dawn, with arms of love, I drape about the roof
and rafter-dance with mighty beams caught by earth,
refracting sharp from off her face, to
fly me respectfully onto shoulders of toil.

From this place I witness men and women
bending to practicalities they task themselves to shift,
and though their masters quit, they stay
to build and banter still around this busy tract.

Daylight strikes and sceptics lean upon the gate;
my voice quieted by the human tide
I descend unsupported columns, collect my coat,
but string commitment to the citadel of return.

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The Spirit of Accord

March 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm (history, literature, philosophy, Poems, poetry, politics, sociology, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Conjoined by circumstance, we were as twins,

collective fate upon respective dials;

you docked your pirate ship inside my lines

and blocked me with uncompromising sails.

.

To square the round we drew our swords to fight,

inflicting wrath on anchored minds with spears;

decisions ground with sharp wit edged with spite,

in altercation boxed the other’s ears.

.

In case you tried to sail I slung my stones,

and what I strove to build you ran to spoil;

you flared your nostrils, stamped upon my bones,

I danced on pins to pitch my burning oil.

.

You curdled coffee with your sour grapes,

my rancid comments rattled down our time;

but now you’re gone I miss our fierce debates,

it seems as though your voice was also mine.

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Bear

February 27, 2013 at 7:55 am (history, literature, philosophy, Poems, sociology, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

In the high street you turn from Ursula,

that small wreaking bear in a fine old coat:

well worn dichlorobenzenated reminder

of an otherwise wasted life.

.

Up and down she pads, from dawn to dark,

claws clicking past embarrassed charity,

rather proffering that magnificent maned neck

to the limp lasso of wet and greedy punters.

.

Her hunted life is heft and loaded into BMWs,

to be stuffed and tipped back latersore and sober,

that fabulous bear coat torn and taken from her,

the remains of its wilderness scratching at her back.

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Hand Recital

February 8, 2013 at 10:53 am (philosophy, Poems, poetry, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

These two hands are both my boundaries and my open gate

raised up to signify life and catch my breath, and as I ponder

they take the pen to write, dipping sotto voce ink,

and hearing hidden passion with sentient finger tips.

.

How these two friends push and press and work together,

folding over dough in pas des deux parenthesis,

gathering to cup a warming brew or comb through hair,

iced blue in deep snow pockets, in summer – full red and ripe.

.

Comfortable in prayer, who would judge these anguished two

for uncommon deviation; a desperate grab in tightened times?

Ignited in knuckled protest, closing angry fists as if to fight?

Look down then to your left and to your right.

.

My industrious two return to sew and knit and thread

and wrap and cut and spread and meet and reassure

and weave between expression and caress.

And when you go they’ll wave and wipe, go mix a cake.

.

Each day they pick and pour and weigh, these two hands.

In doubt they shift and shy, but regrouping bear me up,

my loyal retainers, remaining after fair has faded,

brushing ebb and flow as time is plucked and dropped.

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Ride

February 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm (philosophy, Poems, poetry, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , )

So mounting life we’ll screech and ride and burn

careering round the country without lights

we’ll roll our bikes get up and spit and learn

 and dash on through the dark dragging our rights.

When we are younger helmets guard our thought

as down those lethal hills we shift and fly

our heads are strong our muscles flexed and tort

as hairpins bend and buzz us round and by.

Chicanes defied we leap our faith and nerve

and pay no heed to riders left or felled

unhindered by the boulders and the curb

past flags and friends as though we are propelled. 

When whipped and lapped by attitude we swear

at step and crossroads, brake and all but chunder;

footfaulting in our sudden wheel of care

we grip the bars to stop us going under.

 

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The Sound of Guns

January 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm (history, literature, philosophy, Poems, poetry, politics, sociology) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Parricide is not pretty,

but in a time of swallowed splinters,

there emerges a new confidence,

and no one is safe from

the absolute certainty of the Crack.

.

When anger is awake and ungoverned

the Almighty Metal Guru draws near to tease.

The wheel turns as young wreakers and hoakers,

already tucking boredom in their belts,

dash through familial barriers

straight into the Crack’s improbable deathhole.

.

Suddenly, we are all prey:

heavy weights flailing and falling

past previously pitted lives

towards our own bloody demise.

.

Unable to climb smooth surfaces

society begins to fester,

scraping the walls with botulinal nails;

kicking itself with blister boots.

.

Oh, those ugly days of lost heritage;

elders supping tears together, whilst

so many futures are crossed

by the star thin silver reticle

of the Almighty Crack.

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The Inside

January 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm (literature, Poems, poetry, Shropshire, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , )

I have done a lot of thinking

about the inside of things.

.

Today I built a dome

one foot square

and solid snow.

.

Inside were the animals

I would have made

if the snow didn’t

get stuck on my gloves

and crumble in my hands.

.

 a moose

and a mole

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The moose had long, strong legs

and an intelligent, wet nose.

He put his head down

into the snow

and nuzzled

until he found a piece of green,

then chewed thoughtfully

whilst contemplating the upstairs window.

He seemed surprised

that humans

have such long legs

they need windows that high up.

.

The mole poked his snowy bonce

out of the tired ground

and peered with blind eyes

upon the bright sky.

I think he was glad

I would have made him.

.

I have thought a lot

about the inside of things.

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Fire

January 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm (history, literature, Poems, poetry, Shropshire, sociology, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Marking our winters together,

first up in the morning checks the embers,

so any vital signs might be rekindled.

.

Failing that, I journey out to fetch the coal,

perhaps a well seasoned cherry log, our treat,

odour – vermillion. Slipper shod round to the shed,

contemplating cold patterned leavings in the snow.

.

I consider the teeth clenched path; you warm in tangled bed,

then, lamenting the lazy left last time bucket,

slide down to empty tinker crunch ash,

playing the ice orchestra and wishing above all for wellies.

.

Darling, the clinker hill reaches the sky,

in far off spring we will push it down

to the ditch below the snow line,

between where we live and the cows.

.

Swinging up to the house to scrunch last week’s news,

I lay morning sticks crackling from an orange string bag,

then sparingly, the coal, but leave room for breath.

Striking a match I turn on the life support, a tender touch paper,

sharing the conviction that our winter child will thrive.

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Oh Henry!

January 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm (humour, literature, Poems, poetry, Stories) (, , , , , , , , )

Oh Henry dear, what have you done?

I always thought that we had fun,

unwinding, zapping dusty ground

under beds and round and round,

you’ve never let me down before,

I’ve always had a dust free floor,

but now you’ve silted up inside

and when I looked I could have cried,

you used to be the cleanest here

but now you’ve lost that crown I fear,

you’ve really made a frightful mess

I hope we don’t have fussy guests,

for underneath your shiny smile

your belly bag burst and left a pile!

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Mother

January 9, 2013 at 8:25 pm (history, literature, philosophy, Poems, poetry, sociology, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

When this apple tree is axed and carted to the yard

its old leaves stripped, its twisted branches cut and carved;

when birds and errant squirrels are summarily dismissed,

and mistletoe is torn and puckered lips unkissed;

somewhere beyond the function of its analytic brain

beneath the anxious beating of its heart, the alignment of its grain

we will get down to the nub, that grande dam the tree would be,

except artful years bore sweetest fruit contorting destiny.

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