Monday, 10 June 2013

A Poem for Auden

When I am older and my body's withered
and in the cold I shall tend to shiver,
will I sweat with the scratch of a woollen jumper?
Will I roam the landing with a swollen bladder?
Will I still feel as spritely as I did at twenty?

And to have loved just once, would that be plenty?
Or is it number that counts, and how frequently?
And will my face be wrinkled as a giant ear
from all the listening that I've done, from all I hear?
Will I still be as gay as I was at twenty-one?

And will I look back on all the things that I've done
and say, Now that was a life - I sure lived the one!
Or will I be an embittered old man, looking to my first-born:
Son, don't follow in my path. Catch the sun. Keep it warm.
I shall be different. I shall remain the same. I'll not dither.

I shall not be hard as a consonant, the typewriter's mechanical
sounds. I shall be soft as sibilance. No tyrannical rounds shall
boom and blast and blast and boom; I'll be hush as noon.
I will gander with whimsy and with each glance look anew.
I shall wonder serenely as a river that carries the view.

Wedding Song

Originally written on January 30th, 2013

On our wedding day
I would let you dance
with your ex,
and I wouldn't bite my lip.

You're the one for me,
free bird, no leash
for you, no cage -
to not put all Heaven in a rage.

I love you:
here's to safety, and a latch key;
here's to radiator bleeding, child
feeding, and a love never to go 


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Get Your Bite

You blinkard fool,
no bloody God made you;
your body's there to find you.
You swim out to your body's truth.

You do not own yourself:
your self is lost, most
never find theirs;
children swell with pain, nerves flare.

That's how you know you're real:
the pain, the heal. Your self
is floating out there, buoyed in infinite ocean. 
Your spirit is your compass. Love the potion.

So fix your fickle fragments to your frame:
your body yours to discover, yours to tame.
Tigers stroll gallantly in your soul's night.
Find your stripes, light your eye. Get your bite.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Deepest Shade of Green (500th poem!)

the days are long and clean
                    and hot.
they skip a bright blue plane.
the evenings unfurl for hours
with tongue of lavender flame.

     and after this is said
                                                    and done
 would I repeat it again?
to simply have been here with you
is the volta, the refrain.

but that is not enough for me,
and, baby, it never will be;
for how can I possibly go on
                                                   without you
                                            here with me?

I want to fold you up in me
                             and give you time to sleep.
I want to be your sun, your moon,

                    your deepest shade of green.

My Friend Mohammed

My friend Mohammed
is the loveliest guy:
he once told me that Bambi
always makes him cry.

He works at a fruit stand
in the market, the palaver's
one he really enjoys. It's just off the Strand.
And every Sunday he helps out his father.

My friend Mohammed follows
the Five Pillars: faith, dedication,
charity, fasting - a pilgrim; he knows
he'd always be happy, even on a ration.

He often makes jokes, his keen sense
of humour: at the market, he says,
'What will it be? Two pannets for
a pound? Don't Mecca fool outta me...'

But his Uncles in Luton
are very unhappy: they don't
speak good English, and
the whole town's quite crappy.

He says, 'They'd leave if they could
but everyone's there: their wives,
their daughters, their friends. They would,
but try moving on forty years - their heavy lives.'

My friend Mohammed likes to pray
at the Mosque, whenever he's not busy.
He says, 'Come see for yourself, come lay
your assumptions before God - or is that too easy?

'Allah is all mighty and all good -
it's just a few morons left in the Dark Ages.
Your people had their crusades, this
is the same. Nothing bad lasts. But I'm no sage.'

My friend Mohammed has lovely parents:
they're not Pakis or towel-heads or niggers or blacks.
But they cook for me no longer. They're holding remembrance:
their boy died last week in an arson attack.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

British Columbia, 2006

I remember it,
luminous as yesterday.
We'd seen the Buick
in the garage
and then we sat outside.

Total darkness.
The fire pit was kicking out its heat,
the eight of us
painted by the fluid glow
of warm orange flame.

The stars were beating down
so gently, beaming down
from history. A coyote sang 
from somewhere in the distance,
the firs were watching us, silent.

In the darkness
of a moment's light,
in the lightness
of a moment's dark,
this memory's inside my heart.

This memory's inside my bones,
distilled to marrow, in my rings.
The starlight, the fire; time zones
melt away: just one patch of the earth.
I sing, take it under my wings. Soar the surf.

Social Network

Note: I wrote this poem almost exactly two years ago, but I found it randomly today!

I don't want to 'like' your comments,
witticisms, tweets, et cetera:

heartstrings are not digital,
hands are not
digital; mouths 
are not digital.

I'd rather not view 
your photos of Alaska -

but tell me how you imagined
being down there
in the water
amongst the whales;

tell me about the peaks, the caps
the bears, the beauty,
the waste...

Or don't tell me
at all.

I don't want to make a connection;
I want to feel it.

I could sit with you all day,
and we could do nothing
but feel everything,
and chuck
our computer screens

into the deep

Modern Shakespeare

I'm a
Renaissance man:

I'll be
at the Renaissance Fayre

pissed as a gnat,

as a hare.