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Poem by David Caddy

Eyewear is glad to welcome David Caddy (pictured) this week. He lives and writes in rural Dorset. Founder of the East Street Poets in 1985, Caddy was director of the well-known Wessex Poetry Festival from 1995-2001. He is the editor of the literary journal Tears in the Fence, which publishes good poetry from around the world, and is open to a variety of poetic viewpoints. I recommend it as a place to send work, and also a place to find work.

Caddy presents the monthly Internet radio programme, So Here We Are: Poetic Letters From England. His latest books are London: City of Words, a literary companion from BlueIsland (2006) and The Willy Poems (Clamp Down Press 2004). He regularly reviews for the Use of English magazine and Terrible Work online magazine. His next book, Man In Black, is out from Penned In The Margins this November. I look forward to reading it.



Shuffling The Icons Shaking The Trees


1
Black is this year’s white and light born
yonder to appear as beyond nature,
the head shakes to see the make-over
the old marks, the winkling out and infill.

Willow and alder wild-eyed from neglect
by watery sensations and psychic home
with preLatinate logic in our clothes
in this parade of nettles and overkill.

Sticky with sap, smell of quince,
bloodsucker head spouts, daintiness flies
into an inferno of electrical dependency.
Dim groups disassemble looking for eyes to see.


2
Oak is ancient book and index.
Spin and governance barely show
such splits and coves and touts
that crackle with stunts and fire.

A world to go out into to become
without and within hearing
without mediating the immediate
holding it all inside.

Curiously hidden behind shadow
strident tightly wrought words
replete with intent to awake
into recognition and mission.


3
Shuffling the Tarot, they hold,
fold, entice with letter and face
knowing that escape is no escape
not this day not this time.

The operation’s a gentle gnawing
on the chain, a bone licking tendency
to follow a prescribed order
and gain some respite from movement.

When young he copies out
his Donne from memory, muttering
in private disputation, wonder
of the addressee, boldness of argument.


4
On Sundays we visit the church of poetry
not through habit, through pressure, want.
New neighbours block off martins nests
and gunmen range to hunt in rovers.

About a doing, a making and a making do.
Bring up from the dark those amputated
those dormant, smoking fields and scrags.
Bring up from the dark those nameless people.

I am speaking of a ghost of a form
of expectation, the thought of thought
that drives legs and arms and eyes
to respect and ask for a journalist.


5
Those that know the ruin of empire
the moral core stretched to recoil,
farm handouts on nil return
slope management shot through.

Slept, crept, kept, wept, under attack.
Water supplies dip to unholy holiness
map, plaque, flak, crack.
Sometimes the threat is real.

Silence and binary logic wails
with disinformation, innocence.
The near homeless squint and mumble,
admissible as flint and lock.


6
With enough tension to fuse and decompose
to partially revitalise the chemically blown
from Farnham, effectively repopulated,
to Stickland, well-heeled and footloose

to the old-fashioned old cold table top
wood bare for lurch of calcium
Davy’s kindling deoxidised, sway of sulphur,
isolate of vitamin D, crazy, genuine.

More rackets to drug the market focus
the ostensible tap, tap of Tesco,
plight of village poorly sourced
craving to decode silence, bussed to charity.


7
The ear takes soundings beyond
masters of grammar and taxonomies
each scented petal has a name
that I bestow and cultivate around you.

Each balm and bane between us
lies to afford a presentation, a show,
a moment that is ours alone
thirsting to find new home.

Matter comes alight out of measure
our immortality’s a space and shadow
a quiet shuddering on earth’s face
the light is of light, I know.


8
Coda: Lady Jane Davy


Jane was as much under uterine dominion
to compose, recompose fluoric acid gas
as is graceful and pleasing
whether oxygenated, intoxicated or berated.

The first ever to fall victim to algebra
ascertain with greater precision
the nature of acidity in relations
and be geometrically led from virtue.

That combination of associate ignition
not yet a breach but a positive expansion
lit fuse after fuse far beyond
the string and glue of bound leaves.


poem by David Caddy
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