Sunday, 22 September 2019

Frost-locked all Winter*


The key in the lock now turned
But it was hard in the turning
Slow and cold
But the time of turning was promise-filled
As light and warmth and birdsong
Filtered through the slowly opening door

We wait for Spring and Spring comes
Stays a while and then gives way to a fiercer fire

Before the frost-locked time returns
There is a vibrant interlude of red and orange
Deep earth-tones of beauty to be beaten back to wood and bark

But for now I’ll stand out in this season's showers
And wait for its full flowering



* From Christina's Rossetti's poem Spring

Equal day, equal night

Light to equal darkness is two dozen hours
Half and half, fifty percentage
Split right down the middle
That seems very fair not to have more of one or the other
Light or dark, day or night

When there is more light does joy rise?
The desire to go outside, be revealed as awake and alive
The birds singing from their branches and nest-making
Reminding us we can fly

When there is more darkness does sorrow increase?
The desire to stay inside, hide, hibernate is what many creatures do
And I am not of the earth like they?
Called to sleep the sleep of renewal

Equal day, equal night
Flight or rest
I like to think that I am woven in with heavenly matter
Sprinkled with some stardust that glints
Like stars twinkling even on into the darkest of nights ...

Monday, 9 September 2019

Summer Slow Fades


Summer slow fades towards a cooler clime
But oft throughout the day there’s bright sunbursts
Clouds may linger longer against its shine
As bees work hard against their winter’s curse
As summer slow fades towards cooler climes
There’s fullness in the air of ripened fruit
There’s early Autumn flowers in their prime
And trees heavy with leaves and deeper roots
As summer slow fades towards cooler climes
There’s memories of longer, sweeter days
There’s the knowing that it is now the time
For ghosts to vanish into summer’s haze
The seasons grow, they glow and on we go
The sun stays in the sky and winds still blow

Sunday, 28 April 2019

I do not have you close by

I do not have you close by
And you did not have yours near
Either

And neither are we broken
We are hard
We made it and lost it

Because we would not let
The self tremble
In the evening breeze

No

Moulded it into stone
Round and hard
Un-smash-able

Yes

Tired [we are]
Tried [we did]
Tread [soft now]

Love

Sweet-lipped waits
Waits and sighs
In the fading light

But our hearts have flown
We have reaped
What we have sown

We have buried our treasure
Deep within
And inside

Him

The unexplored galaxies
And our undiscovered space
Swirls on and on




Monday, 11 March 2019

This Poet's Prayer

The exiled poet's words fell between concrete cracks
To incubate in darkness for unnumbered days
No one to count time passing
No one to add up the word-truth of the man
Who wept himself into his grave

A
Century
Of
Rain
Fell

Snow
Came
Down
In
Torrents

You were well and truly buried



O how we now shiver in this biting cold



But today unearthed
Your remains gleam in a certain kind of light
A heap of warm embers glowing

May they now grow hotter and burn within the bones
Of the living
May they now raise the dead to new life


~ From the top of my ruins I say only this ~


Bless, O Lord,  those bones with your unquenchable fire
To burn and burn



["I regret only this perhaps,
That I shall not be given my own grave,
Such as I have requested from my friends.
So what? Have I missed anything on this earth
With Words? I have waited for everything until
My heart is broken as great organs break.
This too - who knows? - will happen to my grave." *]


[[And so it did **]]



* Cyprian Norwid, A letter from America, 10 April 1853



** On 24 September 2001, 118 years after his death in France, an urn containing soil from the collective pauper's grave where Norwid had been buried in Paris' Montmorency cemetery, was enshrined in the "Crypts of the Bards" at Wawel Cathedral. The cathedral's bell heard only when events of great national and religious significance occur, resounded loudly to mark the poet's return to his homeland. 


Please let the Discourse Begin *

I read a poem by Cyprian Norwid today that so reminded me of one I wrote years before discovery the supreme genius of Norwid. His poem is called 'A Meeting'. The title of my poem 'The Power of the Word' comes from the title of an academic conference on poetry that I attended, which deeply depressed me.


A Meeting

Rubbish is swept away and every chair
In the vast hall is dusted. Great men come in,
Sit down with a scrape like swords sheathed, and then
They announce - what? That all of them are there.
And they sit and they sit – until somewhere
In the world a madman discovers steam,
A mediocre artist nails down a sun-ray,
And some untutored dentist with supreme
Skill saves man from his supreme agony.
The Academies keep silent – all the members there. **

(1851)


The Power of the Word
The academy is gathered Suited, ageing men going grey Growing into texts, so bending And swaying like overbearing trees And those listening, lost in the forest The frost settling on the ground The cold biting, the dark deepening

The care is only for ideas 
Those of self and others who have threaded Thought-waves of a similar ilk Into a silver-surfaced mirror reflecting The one image of manifold unafraid Man's folly Singular Wisdom waited a while and then left, weeping As she locked the door to protect those on the outside
(2010)

* 'End of discourse' is a phrase used by Norwid at the end of his poem Bagatelle (1) 

** 'Cyprian Norwid - Poems - Letters - Drawings' translated by Jerzy Peterkiewicz

Friday, 14 December 2018

Humanity

Humanity, no longer wrapped
But exposed
Removed from the womb
Of personhood  and remembrance

Humanity, no longer housed
But outside
In the cold of eviction
And forgetfulness

Humanity, no longer clothed
But naked
Exposed to the deception
Of all that is in the Idol

The Idol of humanity
Turns and turns
There is a beast
There is a harlot

There is wanton destruction

But there is a Lamb
Slain
But wreathed in victory
King of all Kings
Lord of all Lords
Standing, standing for war

Standing for Man
Standing for Woman
And her seed

Bloodshed inevitable

O sin in the flesh
Is killed only by killing flesh

Sacrifice embedded in humanity's heart
It beats, it beats
To forget
[that sin in the flesh is killed only by killing flesh]


It is finished