Sunday, 5 August 2018

If I Thought You'd Care

 

(An ode to a medievalist's struggle with sharing a passion for monastic and ecclesiastic architecture! Credit to the Cistercian ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, West Yorkshire, for being an inspiration for yet another piece: your beauty has a lot to answer for.)     

 
I’d tell you she’s older, than countries,
if I thought, for a moment, you cared to share my raptures;
of how she keeps me there
with no more
than the heat in her ancient bones,
how she breathes life into me,
with only her sun-soaked stones of yellow,
and reddening hue, I would want to tell
you, and only you, how her crockets
sit against the sky,
in an azure, sunset, as I taste
the wine, an elixir,
that creeps, deep into my heart,
filled with something burning,
in this place of quiet calm;
where the grass,
grows,
between your toes and time has always stood still – I would tell you
how it looks, for all the world,
just like the window sills,
are in reach from the buttress tops, and how I know,
from countless leaps, they are not – not least to me,
to climb inside,
after hours, on a summer’s night -
or sit, atop her walls,
and capture all of the details too
small and too far away,

envious of the birds that
roost and play, up there, on her broken tower,
I would tell you, hour on hour, bottle on bottle,
on a blanket,
laid where history walked,
how she could expel my tumultuous thoughts, time
and again,
with vaulting that runs like arteries and veins along the
aisles of her roofless nave, topped
by a Romanesque crown,
her dog-tooth arches,
staring serenely down at heavy columns, and tiled floors, turned to dust,
I would tell you of my aching
lust, for the way the light caresses her at dusk, and the stars,
seep through,
the last of the milky light;
the way it lands, tender
and slight, on the jagged edges
of her ruined splendour 
in approaching night…if I thought, for a minute,
you would listen; I would glow, and show you
how her windows, still glisten,
for me,
in the eye of my mind; her walls still painted,
and colour-rich, through even the tiniest find that reminds
of what once was,
and beguiles, with what is still there…
oh, for you…I could talk
a painting with words, on her,
if only I thought you would care.
   

     

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Whoever Put The Stars Up

  


Whoever put the stars up, was surely thinking,
of this,
of nights in endless purgatory,
of moments forever missed, surely of times,
with a need
to look
in eyes, across a vast and impossible space;
of longing to simply hold a hand
with all this gentle grace, passed on,
in cherished touch that lets the bad things out…
the aching and the fear,

whoever put the stars up, let them be in no doubt both
far and near, they
are there
to share
when no word nor image is enough,
bodies of celestial treasure,
bound and tied with love, and bounced, from
heart to heart,
gaze to wanting gaze,
the only thing that
carries the gifts, that have no
other way
of getting there or here…from me
to you,

look up, look up and know,
how I wish on them too. 
     

Soul's Mirror

   
Come, place a mirror,
up by my heart, you’ll see secrets it carries
inside. Therein, all reflections of you, are
held, rocked, abide. What colours you
are today, tomorrow;
a chameleon-light responds,
connected to my sinew and bones, pulling painfully, with
lengthy bonds, 
and strong, 
that sit,
in turn, attached, from soul to aching soul,
glittering places, bathed,
in something ever-gold and set apart,

by things it thought it knew,
come…place a mirror, 
all there is to see
is you, 
turning
in a chamber
that dances, when you shine,
throbs and beats with truth, when honour,
pours 
all down the lines of every thing
that is,
and explodes with cherished joy, 
that sits in dark and silent pain,
in moments that the sky
between,
seems clogged with something
thick, and freezing cold,
a wall of icy
bricks I question, and you pretend you did not toil 
in earnest
to place them there - I take them down,
one by one, 
again,
so you can see the mirror, reflecting your own face and heart
and soul, and being,
and I hold it up to you. 

Mirror of my soul;

what cracks yours, breaks mine too.
    

Sheet Space

 

This silent space at the edge of life,
somewhere between, the sleep & twilight, when all
of existence is questioned and slight,
that is where the exquisite dwells; wrapped and bound
with every cell, breathed into being by
the rushing in shells, collected
from a distant
shore… Now, more
than ever before,
a dream-scape in sand and these sheets,
entwined across the hips of sleek, and salted,
summer skin,
the sound of heartbeat, drawing
in, and the scent of pleasures just spent;
paid like pennies for candy floss,
sweet, and soft and tickled across, tender
and sun-caressed curves, moving just as
graceful as
the fluttering,
early birds, so fresh,
and glistening,
like morning dew;
a long embrace denies, the sunrise-golden hue of the horizon,  
the halo cast aloft…
No matter, in night
and devilish things,
we are still too lost.
    

Between The Stars

 
It existed,
between the stars, they said,
empty,
and full
of not much,
void and simple,
time imprinted, at the end of ever
being.
It
was
unseeing, they claimed,
blind, and deaf, and dumb,
a lonely hole, unlit, un-speaking,
no mouth,
no ears,
no tongue.

But you and I, looked up through night,
and saw the stars were not selfish
with light, and the moon,
she was
more generous
still,
she shone across its vast expanse, as if she had
a room
to fill with glow, and gentle haze,
the whole world
of living could see,
and she seemed to cast a gaze,
a moment,
down, at you, and me, and all that space -  
through-out the blackness bright
 - what swam between
the stars,
was filled with love that night,

gentle, pale, and beautiful,
the whole world’s evening sight,
was a beckoning vision
cast by souls, beyond the chains
of life,
they moved between the stars
on beams,
of future and
forever, reminding us that
distance does not, negate being together in time
nor fast in truth,
no circumstance too much,
as they reached across dimensions,
and we stretched our fingers out to touch
them all
with tenderness,
and in unison,
exult and mourn,
ever glancing at the crimson of, the fast-encroaching
dawn;
a time we knew,
letting go was due, of visitors
from another place; a time we made
ourselves safe,
in a castle built of arms.

Wrapped in calm, tear-stained face to mine,
as they receded,
across the  livid sky;
you rested your weary head a time,
and I whispered:
“it was only a gift…”
And there, was born, a new morning,
on our soul-dance,
and a kiss.
    

Stations


what crime? I asked, the first time,
when shoved up to the post, and is it mine?
do I stand here, in lieu of you?
I can hold that pain a while if it means
you won’t hurt – come lay it all
on me. but tell me that’s my purpose,
for it means my soul can see, you intend me
a temporary martyr; we’ve both shouldered
that before,
and Lord,
I know it’s worth it, when you’re too beaten to
bear more, and though disgraced,
I will be redeemed,
as you always, in my eyes,
ever a holy beam and honoured,
in love, and longing, and light,
my sacrifices, willing then, flesh offered to the bite, the sting,
of every blow delivered,
each one landing, taken for you, and though you see me
shiver – keep them coming, master,
strike them all again: rather me than you tonight,
set braced against this pain.
make me your guilt and penance,
and for your sins, shriven,
as ever I make you, for mine,
so desired and forgiven.
our greatest sin is only following,
only feeling,
only falling,
so lead me to the post, my love:
I believe,

and it is calling. 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Complaints Department

     
A very British apology, but I’m sorry,
you see, 
I wish to complain:
it’s about the way your lips insist
on pronouncing
my name; about the way that your tongue,
strokes, each sound,
and every letter
rolls around in your exquisite mouth;
the way it tingles my weakened spine, and the way your
coal-eyes, burn relentless, into mine,
I wish to protest about the loss of time, I suffer daily,
recalling your touch:
about the hours I recollect
your precious fingers,
exploring too much…no, too little - it affects concentration,
I chew on my lip,
walk the wrong way in the station,
smile at nothing,
ashamedly wistful,
hissing & whistle, unheard in my blissful, middle-distant haze;
missed train -
just gazing into memory and tasting your name
on my own tongue,
I swallow it down
eager and feverish,
impatience abounds –
I must get home to object to the sound
of your breath,
and your whispers,
that all loop in my mind,
the constant replay of your growls and your sighs,
…it is inconsiderate,
I think you will find,
to be in my dreams as I walk through the park:
I am not asleep,
it is not yet dark, and it seems now
I’ve forgotten the way – I object to these
enforced delusions all day – to reminders of you in a
scent or a sight, that steal my attention,
try as I might to work,
or to travel,
to hold conversation, when all I crave is satiation in
your arms,
and our own secret realm –
behind the front door, where everything melts,
and you wait,
as in a puddle,
I drip
my belongings, and a waterfall
of rain…

“Excuse me, sir,” I whisper,

“is the department for complaints?”

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The Dark Time

   
I saw the dark time
when it came again, my love;
I always see. Though you dip, and dive
and hide it from me, like a swallow in a midsummer
sky. I hear the dark time in your silent sighs,
I know its presence in unseen eyes; and there,
was a season, just passed,
of rain. Of thunder-clouds, that made you
roll in pain, of such undetermined kinds;
you laid you down with an unquiet mind,
and I felt it,
my love -
I felt the dark time, when it came again,
and the voice inside me called your name across the shining
night sky;
who came there, walking, close beside
a soul so heavy, as steel? Was I, and all the depth
I feel
to comfort you
to release and sleep…and to watch you dream. For no matter, the dark
times, ever, my love…in you

I will always believe.

Lighthouse

   
Buried secrets lay,
I know,
in the earth, at your feet,
locked and kept, in a treasure chest, from me,
stowed away,
like pirates, at sea through tempestuous
nights;
galleon, rocking, in the pale starlight,
and the sight, of land,
up ahead,
waves crashing, and a sense of dread, all hanging from
your life and limb…
But if I call you: ‘dock, and let me in’, I can make a harbour
of my arms,
you can shelter here, until the waters calm, and draw me
a map
to seek,
all the mysteries of which
you do not speak; and you can trace
the roads
on my skin – marking the place you should begin
and all those you must etch with an ‘X’,
sweet gems
and riches blessed, with the sacred
sign of a kiss: here lies,
under this,
a secret of the earth,
and the name of a god,
called out through the deepest fog,
to light the way,
it will clear and brighten the darkest day, and reconnect
ships that have gone astray in
confusion
and angry storms…

on the horizon, a silhouette will form,
a touch and an honest caress,
a lighthouse,
in the darkness, for solace,

in distress.  

Life, the Universe and Everything


Look down for a minute, from your solitary star:
there are mines there, of gold, I know,
but they are worth nothing, when you get to them, if you are haggard,
grey, and cold;
if your body stiffens and your soul is sleeping,
I promise nothing shines for miles,
even if you’re sitting on a moon-rock pile, with the cosmos
in twinkling
sight,

see: all that space-dust, will make you blind,
to anything but a sleepless night.
Endless space, only makes a cage;
if you never wipe the grit from your face, and your tunnels
are all the paths you can see:
the next piece
of glittering gold, there in the rock
to chip free and bring fortune,
like a river’s full flow;
but fortune is a wheel and a warning, you know,
she is a fairy,
of malice and spite,
who throws many a king from the greatest heights, with her clacking
touch, of bone,

Forget-Me-Not,
the simple throne, of the kingdom you already survey:
everything touched by the break of day, and the rise of temperate stars…
all you lay your eyes upon,
or embrace in tender arms; is an empire yet.

Look down…
I will leave the runway lit,

bright, like the jewels in your crown…

and at the end of the path, I’ll be waiting,
spaceman,

when your rocket-wheels touch down.