Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Sunset

April 4, 2017

daughter_in_profile_by_bellarie-d70dfjcSunset

Evening and the sunset’s compress
Soothes our inflamed flesh
And I am stunned
By its sudden incandescent flare
The mud, the silt stretches for miles
Encompassing everything.
We watch the ocean rebound
Its sounds, its historic hiss
Slaughter all other sounds around
Injuring the air and to verify your existence
I grasp your hand. And above the elements
Bicker with one another and the sky
Is turning into a shade of sluttish red
Our cheeks are pinked by the wind.
And the watery colours
Bleed into one another. Diffusion –
A catalyst for confusion, for fear.
And the wind, once a gentle exhalation,
Huffs and puffs with all its might,
Grabbing hold of our hair, hauling us in.
And visions emerge from beneath the waves
Where a ship ran aground,
Where demented sailors drowned
It rises up. It bellows. A black cat shrieking,
Competing with our own blood pumping.
The gulls flee from it and fly, fly, fly into nothingness.

Borderland

March 29, 2017

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No feud is enough to keep me from you
I brave the barricades and the border guards
And you appear so near now. I journey
Through memories in dark and restless sleep
A bleak borderland, a stark, dry terrain
Where suicidal strangers meet.

We dwell within the ancient walls
Of a forgotten country, scorched and frozen,
By turns; haunted by a history of hatred
A decimated island on which matchstick
Children stand, tormented by the sun
And praying for death.

This is a vulnerable state, on the edge of hell
Sandwiched between two superpowers
Clinging to an impossible peace
And all around there are pillars of salt,
Crumbling statues of fleeing citizens
Who dared to look back.

The father says, ‘Son, take this gun’
And sends his progeny off to war
And he carves curses upon stone
Primitive and inglorious
Hit by one calamity after another
We are all crazy here.

A City Segmented

March 28, 2017

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We can never put this together again
Fragments and shreds. A city
Spartan, skeletal, segmented.
Utterly disjointed. Machine gun fire, missiles
Emerge from the mouth of the enemy
It worsens daily

Perhaps they regard themselves as God’s mouthpiece,
Oracle of the deceased or of some great
And glorious historical figure
For many decades now we have toiled
To purge this filth from our spoiled land
We have not progressed

It a fruitless task
And the citizens know it
We crawl like ants across the yawning
Void that used to be tomorrow, that used to be the morning
Over fields laced with landmines
To restore the colossal castles and towers and tawdry powers

The once cloudless sky
Now desecrated by the dye
Of foreign occupation, of a desolate nation
Now as pitiful and forgotten as some dead peasant brat
Daughter of an ancient and useless serf
The flesh, bones and blood: a country crushed

Order displaced by chaos, grace displaced by anarchy
It took some effort
To create such a catastrophe
On endless, sleepless nights I stand right here
A lone partisan sheltering
From a brutal storm

Watching the soldiers
As they stalk the streets
I am betrothed to this decaying
Carcass of a city, knowing
That there will never be
Any other life but this for me

There He Goes Again

September 14, 2016
if_this_is_a_man_by_bellarie

There he goes again
That mad, megalomaniacal monarch
Severing heads and hanging heathens
With on look we could condemn ourselves
One word out of place is treason
And often he executes without reason

He sits on his throne
A sumptuous fest spread out before him
He watches as the executioner does his work
He slurps and slavers as he anticipates
Future killings and bestial blood lettings
While all around him subjects shudder

‘Your Majesty, it was not me’.
They cry. But it is rather like addressing
The indifferent sky. With a gloved hand
He waves them away. He had never had
So much fun. Power makes him high
Power makes him fly…

And his reign has only just begun

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening:

June 24, 2015

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

BY ROBERT FROST

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Repost: Beyond Comprehension

February 7, 2015

When I was eighteen I worked as a nanny. My charge was a beautiful little girl aged two and a half. I loved that job. Every day was unique. Every day was a new adventure. She was a bright, vivacious little girl and her joie de vivre was infectious. We would spend the days playing, making up games and stories, painting, baking, walking in the park. It was the happiest time of my life. There is nothing purer than a baby, nothing more delightful than a toddler. You are pulled into their world. You share every new and wonderful and exciting experience and sometimes you have to share their pain. You are rejuvenated by them. So how then could anyone do something like this?

I cannot have children and, given my various issues, maybe that’s a good thing. And I know that is no one’s fault but my own. Starving yourself doesn’t do much for your reproductive capacity and I think you have to have this thing called ‘sex’ and that scares me so I’m not asking for sympathy, just stating a fact. It still breaks my heart though. I think I would have made the decision not to have children anyway even though it is something I have always yearned for. And I can’t help thinking that maybe more people should make that decision. Having children is not a right, it is a privilege.

As I read about this case just for an instant I found myself hoping that the three people responsible for this baby’s death have a really, really bad time in prison. I don’t like feeling like this and I am wondering if that makes me as bad as them. My mother said, ‘no, it makes you human.’ The identities of the three perpetrators have been revealed and all over the ‘blogosphere’ people are speculating about their fate. The mainstream media have accused these bloggers of ‘encouraging vigilantism’ but their revulsion is natural and perfectly human. They are supposed to feel like this. They are shocked because it is shocking. They are horrified because it is horrific and no amount of supercilious sneering will change that. I am not saying that wishing this trio of killers dead is right, I am saying it is understandable.

Nobby once told me that when the second world war was over, he was in charge of a group of German P.O.Ws who, because they were former SS officers, were kept here until 1949 while they underwent a process of denazification (yes, they actually called it that). He described how one particularly fanatical prisoner deliberately provoked the guards by singing Nazi songs and verbally abusing them. It wasn’t long before one of them snapped. He pulled him off the chair on which he was standing and punched him in the face. He was accused of brutality and put on a charge. Nobby, who was his sergeant, spoke up in his defence saying ‘but they’d do the same to us if they could.’ His commanding officer replied, ‘Well, we are not them.’

Do not permit the incoherence of the moral universe of others to corrupt your own.

Because you are not them. Remember that.

Auguries of Innocence
William Blake

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro’ all its regions.
A dog starv’d at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm’d for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf’s and lion’s howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand’ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus’d breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher’s knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won’t believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever’s fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov’d by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov’d
Shall never be by woman lov’d.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider’s enmity.
He who torments the chafer’s sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother’s grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar’s dog and widow’s cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer’s song
Poison gets from slander’s tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy’s foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist’s jealousy.

The prince’s robes and beggar’s rags
Are toadstools on the miser’s bags.
A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro’ the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return’d to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven’s shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar’s rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm’d with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer’s sun.
The poor man’s farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric’s shore.

One mite wrung from the lab’rer’s hands
Shall buy and sell the miser’s lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant’s faith
Shall be mock’d in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne’er get out.

He who respects the infant’s faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child’s toys and the old man’s reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar’s laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour’s iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket’s cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet’s inch and eagle’s mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne’er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They’d immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation’s fate.
The harlot’s cry from street to street
Shall weave old England’s winding-sheet.

The winner’s shout, the loser’s curse,
Dance before dead England’s hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro’ the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

La Fin

March 23, 2013

1ppy

 

 

This is the Dénouement: the final scene, we capitulate
Paralysed, circumcised by self annihilation. Our sky is starless.
At this moment it is merely desolate,
We are but cautionary tales, standing before a precipice
There are no fundamentals to rely upon anymore
For us anything will do. Pale faces brown. A Queen is crowned.
The patron saint of the damned is advancing, breaching borders
Her empire has tripled in size, its interior honeyed with holiness
Surplus sailors, veterans wasting away to bone
Sucked into the swamp. There will be no revival
They leave, devoid of prospect. We hear their long lament

And we who choose to stay behind
With the calamitous cacophony of the tide
The ocean roars in a foreign language
Dissolving into salt water, we finally yield

The Insipidity of Watercolours

October 13, 2010

I am troubled  by the sterility
Surrounding me in contrast
To the refined skies
Of your insipid watercolours
Dissonant and always perilous

Filled with colours that soften, that liquify
With a succession of vows I stride forth
In your world there is no being
Superior to the daisies
Or the spirit of sheep

Your sheep are omniscient, I sometimes think
Along with your hemlock and your heather
Peeping from cotton wool bodies
White as the sky
They conspire in dimwit disguises

Tasteless and colourless
No one hears them coming
Implacable as marble
Lucid and secluded
I carve patterns in their terrain

Hide and Seek

September 30, 2010

The medicine cabinet is the altar
Upon which I will be sacrificed
Now playing hide and seek
The game commences………..

‘Coming ready or not!’ the doctor screams
As he prepares to invade my dreams
‘Coming ready or not!’ the doctor cries
As he prepares to dissect my lies

‘Oh, Doctor, I am
Not awed by you
Punished for this
Discrepancy
I see, I see
You seeking me

Oh, Doctor, you have
Declared war on me
I will be a fatality
I hear, I hear the incantation
You chant as you move to the rhythm
Of the battle dance

(And slowly it invades
The voice to halt all voices
The tranquillising pill)

Within my body
I hear a fire starting
A door slams behind me
The door to the universe
Remains unopened
The word, so perverse
Remains unspoken

As the you begin to reassemble me,
Celebrating a hard won victory
Over and over, these words emerge from me
‘Over and over, I have been violated by your foot soldiers’
Over and over, your ears close against me
Then you turn, you hiss and spit
You say, ‘In the sixteenth century
You’d have been burnt as a witch’

Amidst the Debris

September 28, 2010

In the cellar of some bombed out building, we wait
Detached only half willingly from the wider world
Amidst a snowstorm of desiccated icing where once
There was an underground eatery. We sit passively
Waiting for rescue. Still and silent as fossils
On proud display in an abandoned museum
And the fixed grin and the suppressed hysteria
Of the Air Raid Warden silences me, eradicates me
We are entombed, it would seem, and these stone walls
Unyielding. The end is approaching, we know that now

We have grown accustomed to the dark
And the one we call Mother Midnight sings us to sleep
She touches us, she caresses us, she clasps our hands
She is leading us to another land, to a place devoid
Of land mines, of bombs, of air raid shelters
There is something wondrous about this woman
She shimmers in the blackness. ‘No one will come now’
She says and wrenches our spirits from our earthly bodies
And leads us through the crevices in the stone
Up through the coal-choked air and up into a clear sky


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