“And so it ends: thankless and without fare”

“And so it ends: thankless and without fare”

And so it ends: thankless and without fare,
A simulacrum of friendship that speaks
Only in professional dance and act,
Where you play the part that communicates
A song of respect and honest ranges.
Branded with names, branded with a black soul,
An aura surrounds you that speaks your curse
To all fine men and women of this land:
To fair forewarn them of your blackened gall.
But those of spirit innocent and free
Hold testimony that you have not failed—
Unrecognised by bold social tensions
But adored by those you protect, inform:
Yes, their care returned emboldens to try
A life in which you live, and do not fly
In fear to shrouded pandaemonium.
To hold such weight and never know, that is
Indeed the paradox of innocence:
To mean so much, and not ask in return
For anything but your time and presence.

 

“Exeunt! Exeunt! Hosannas to my love”

“Exeunt! Exeunt! Hosannas to my love”

Exeunt! Exeunt! Hosannas to my love
Follow, follow! Let us cast off the stage
And speak, not act — no shame, no shame, exeunt!
O masquerade of priceless love bring forth
Princess parade pared to finest echo
Glory, glory as we embrace the streets
And freedom holds our kindred hands to see
Such sights beyond the pallor of the moon
Great girl, we walk bestowed with passive sighs
Yes, yes! You are the essence of our faith
Leonine, leonine — grand-crested, bold
Future rose, erstwhile glimmer, present lamb
Who dances of concrete dreams now made flesh

Exeunt! Exeunt! We leave for pastures fresh
And cast our shawls of silken night aside
Follow the priest of modernus, exeunt!
Aye, we are nubile yet, await the day
When we are wed in harmony of soul
Glory, glory as we discover sight,
Our hopes abide the climes of racing Time—
We hope our forms will yet warrant appraise
Entrusted to wingèd eohippus—
Yes, yes! That is the paradoxical—
To grow yet wise, and pray to keep our youth
A fallacy of the young; grim once old
But dancing still in fleshly, concrete dreams

Exeunt! Exeunt! Awesome boones to my sweet
Leave, leave! Lest your engendered breast is pierced
And lack falses our path beyond the bornes
O sorrow, fate! I feel you now, you cur:
Let it known what fickle fiend you favour
When it is Autumn bloom upon the globe’s room
The stage is you, the stage is me: so how
Can we find space to flee?— O spirus fate!
Conspire to force old age; ensign of death
Runs black, half-mast, it sits upon the bow
Of schooner pale, with steersman blind — ’pon waves
Of seas that dance in material dreams

Exeunt! Exeunt! Hosannas to my love
Follow, follow! Let us cast off the stage
And speak, not act — no shame, no shame, exeunt!
But the costume does not remove with ease
Instead it empeaches joyance contained
Glory, glory beyond the universe’s planes
And the ’straints that shackle spirit withall
Now greet sights once met in moontide slumber
Great friend, with visiting cheer and tinctures
Yes, yes! Wash away such thoughts of fleeing
Serpentyne, now slither thither, wither—
Future rose, erstwhile glimmer, present lamb
Who dances of hidden dreams now made flesh—
And writhes in litany ever out of sight—

 

“I once crossed through Cumbran vales”

“I once crossed through Cumbran vales”

I once crossed through Cumbran vales
Host to slinking fog and unseen underbarrows,
Where Summer wanes to wind
Amid widow’s fingers push’d through umber soil.
I walked in towns beside gaelick ocean
And plucked strings ’fore unsober crowd;
A ringing pixie did take my hand
And return a kiss ’neath castle ruins.
The woods answered when the trees we crossed:
Where bluebells grow, and friends get lost.

Shard of lightning cracks in the distance
As water fills the dale;
River-break and bridge collapse, Callaszag’s domain—
Sunlight thrice a year, but Autumn pays its due.
A time to walk in auburn youth with young pixie girl,
Spirit-sister who grows old just as you,
With whom you faced eldritch music, afeared;
With whom you parted when the ground turned frost.
The woods answered when the trees we crossed:
Where the mist does slope, and friends get lost.

Romantic land of lakes, I knew you just:
Chaos addictions and sins of lust.
And ruthless hikes up promontories vague
In harried gales, when love was fresh;
And carried guilt when bonds did break,
Celebrations of a well-spent youth;
On indulgence and synaptical separation I do treat:
In serpentine forests did we break.
The woods answered when the trees we crossed:
Where the poets wander, and friends get lost.

We knew her, Lucy: her hair was foxglove
And her round cheeks smiled even in sorrow;
We planted mushrooms, walked grey streets at night,
And never did I know if she was truly real.
She died, and left to us an elusive memory
Of girl-child caught too soon by listless haze.
Her brother passed soon after—
We didn’t chance to say goodbye.
The woods answered when the trees we crossed:
Where the hills whistle, and friends get lost.

I passed the vales of Cumbran rain
And eventually travelled on my way;
No more wet valleys and whispering brooks,
No pixie girls amongst bankside trees.
But often my spirit wandered, and saw those crags,
Those windswept peaks where brothers sat.
Now all have left, and only ghosts remain;
People, memories — but ghosts all the same.
The woods will answer when the trees I cross:
Where the daffodils murmur, and friends get lost.

 

Alas

Alas

Not to be so rude as to cast a shadow on Man,
There nonetheless comes a time when he sees in himself
The Dane — young Hamlet — and manic in health
Declares his woes to be the tragedy of life—
Sees himself stare back in the cold, silent knife
And quotes on his own what he himself wrote,
When he was Shakespeare lamenting,
Drawn brow, and full of bile in throat.
He deceives in himself a contrivance of fate,
Augury defining his actions, ability to respirate;
But Eliot said he was not Hamlet at all: a mere player
Who danced until the curtain did fall
And then was heard no more.
So when thinking of old Yorick’s skull,
I pitch another young man who held an exhumed brain case’s hull
And held it to the wind in the lines between pages,
Who dug with a brute who recovered in long, delirious stages.
No readiness to speak, no strange oaths to adhere—
This hollow existence led to his mind discohere:
This post-modern man never received his dead Father’s call;
He lay still on the floor, and claimed that was all.
All his speech and physical custom was not as he perceived,
Words came out silent or from behind tortured tears;
Misunderstood man, young and infirm,
No braver than Hamlet, and by no-one believed.
So this is Man — to be eternally capsised, never reprieved
From crushing weights upon the crest; so We bear our cross,
Both young and infirm, caught between youth and adultery’s loss.
We take our blame and cast it forth: for no man hath yet
Taken the frame of the crucifix, not like He—
Man is yet to be.

 

Two Poems: The Burden of Angst, and Extradited

The Burden of Angst

 

To play protector,
   or to live out the role—

To separate
             the instances

     Childhood from maturity,
     a lifetime yet of doubt.

Save the smile
   from the burden
             of angst—

Which is to say,
         we hold back
             Authority’s loving hand,

and embrace the future
   as if it were our own youth.

 

 

 

Extradited

Bricklaying.
Building a path
Extradited.
Soft, lingering spit
A neat, messy little package.
Never returned
Arc welding.
Holding the line
Soft, lingering spit.
Never returned

 

Song of the Tyrant

Song of the Tyrant

 

Look on my works

 

Whilst dreaming of a winter’s day
   Sometimes a tyrant thus would say:
My citadel is much too bright;
   Subjects, quash this ghastly summer light.

But at any rate or time of day,
   The tyrant to himself would say:
I know my subjects love me not;
   And left, my conscience, here in entropy to rot.

And so to seek his state of mind
   We his memories must find:
What happened on that summer’s day
   To force his fragile humour out this way?

But beyond the rationale of past,
   Still we suffer ’neath his sadist cast
      And, in fault, leave good action to the bitter last.

 

A Distant Wave

A Distant Wave


A distant wave to validate
The thousand daily murmurs,
To enrich a curse shielded
From sight, and brightly
Glimmering windows I mean
To discover—

But caught, entrapped by
Rapt attention to
Every expression, and
Every distant stare that
I keep as my own

To fly and have flown:
Left to become overgrown.
Alone, a falcon, offered
A chance; not taken.

Enamoured, curt — soft now,
Neither ’tis here nor thither—
But caught aware in
The act of self-defiance.

In our chests beat
Black stones, we
Strive on little but the want of.

For kindness — a distant wave
That speaks spears to the
Nears and fars of those

Black stones.

Rhetorical thrones,
One for you,
Come by.

Affix those locks, tied so tight—
Walk a while; remain with me, in light.

 

Black Spots

Black Spots

 

Walking through black spots, wind:
Sun-palmed trees, wrath of the beach—
The water beyond could drag me down;
Toes cling to sand for dear life.
We noticed the shadow of our friend,
Standing in the black spots,
Dragged by the wind,
Just thinking—

Archiving lists of gates and looms
In a library filled with sand—
Worried only by the leaping of beetles;
Vines, barrels full of beer, bitter.

Damned, deserted, upset:
Heralded;
Welcomed;
Abused.

Lost to the sea, drunk on a lilo, no horizon left
And swimming back to the dense streets of the city,
Where people scream, holler, revel—
And the feeling is mutual
When you say you don’t belong—

 

Paroxysm

Paroxysm

 

Tower block collapses in the distance.
A lonely high-rise, condemned.

One side of a fifty-pence piece smiles.

You told me to be there at three,
But the roads were piled with the cars,
And the bodies:
Set off too late, and I could do
Nothing but stand.

Fires begin across the city.
Soon, the countryside burns, too.
The petrol that soaks the streets
Lights up in a line—

The sky is beautiful
And blue.