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POEM IN MEMORIAM FOR HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

  In Memoriam   The storm has taken down the tree, which stood seventy seasons by four, to leave the arbour restless, without a roof’s rising crown, almost without a floor, so skittering leaves flood about, revealing lost acorns; the forest is aghast, forlorn; a tossed tempest grown out; it is horrible emptiness. There is a legacy that lasts past loss, the quick torn apart - roots only deepen to be flown.   September 8, 2022
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New Poem

  NEW POEM.... On Circus Road I sat down, in NW8, so I knew what I was doing with a resonant trope, circling the tightrope tighter, after seeing my heart doctor, not my heart’s desire, no, on the six month anniversary of the cardiac implant for a broken heart; we cope, when we do, like Wendy, taking cocoa; or like Yeats, lamenting the circus animals who got away. The young actor from Mad Max: Fury Road cycled past, a baby strapped to his chest. I was happy to see him ride. I have eight years maybe, or thereabouts, to keep on going. To make a go of it all. Standing up to endure feathered stallions on a curving weathered saddle, as if starring in the big show. Or not. No point in acting up, just to make a symbolic exit; there’s time left to write more, if not better, and finally grow adult enough to love-glide, part barker, part swan, all heart. SEPTEMBER 5, 2022

APOCALYPSE NEW

I am back here from some personally challenging times, health-wise, including having a three-wire device implanted into my heart, a large blood clot on my heart, heart failure, and Covid twice in past two months. But enough about me. Recently I went on my first family vacation since the pandemic, and it was truly wonderful to see my brother, sister in law and godson. To swim. To even sip a bit of sangria. Anyway, since I have been gone, the Ukraine war has increased in ferocity, and tens of thousands of people have died in the battle between Western liberal freedoms and the alternative autocratic vision; we have a European drought the worst in 500 years; polio back in London's water; Trump a martyr to the FBI and likely to be the next president; a China threatening Taiwan; and the worst economic slump in the UK in over 27 years, leading to severe fuel shortages, and a crisis for families trying to pay their bills, with inflation at 10% and rising and 5 quarters of recession on the

Poem day before my 56th birthday

Poem day before my 56 th birthday   The perfect poem is out of sight, around the bend, Part optic fibre cables being laid underground, Part cherry blossoms staggeringly impermanent, Outrageous as Stravinsky music in the air,   Part finely shattered, gold-re-joined, Satsuma vase, Part so-brazenly broken national laws, Part of the world as it moves around other worlds, Part so personal it embarrasses even itself,   Part cruelly stern as a witchfinder general, Part wonderfully iconoclastic as a witch’s brew, Part cat sleeping, part cat leaping, part paw, Part mouse that got away; part all the pain   We ever knew, and then some, and then some more; The treasure under the floorboards under the stairs, Is being written for someone else’s birthday, By someone else; won’t ever be written, to be true,   Because perfection is the enemy of any friend To what is troubling to imagine, harder to rephrase. That won’t stop me from summoning this one up, Stolen from the mystery shelf where languag

SNOW, NEW POEM

  Snow   In Hampstead for Warfarin blood tests I meet a lady with a cane at coffee after who lives near Keats' house, whose mother knew Louis MacNeice;   whose husband, post-pacemaker, jumps from helicopters to ski; and I recite to her the poem 'Snow' about the sudden world, particular,   indivisible, and we speak of books, how at Easter, she hides them in her garden for her grandchildren, like chocolate eggs; and then she leaves;   and I reflect on the world of strangers, the world of blood, atomic, riven, how this April the coldest winds are being driven to us from Russian forces;   how the white snow looks like surrender being torn up into a polyglot roar of refusal, anger, and civilian defiance; how I am thankful to the invisible maybe   of creation for more hours in this flurry of experiences, talking, being vulnerable, less dead than I could be, than others are, as snow unseasonably becomes real.     Ap

new poem

PRE-OP SPRING DAY IN MARCH 2022 It's been too long till spring -     is false. It's here, in time. just as it always was, a thing     like a wheel or a poem, rhyme; that is, it has its schedule,     takes its turn, happens as it does. Still, the sun climbing trees, I'm full     to bursting with light's to and fros. All is event, like thought, argument,     war or love; like a pacemaker device, implant I fear to have, spent     hours returning like a general to their tent. It's life itself that surveys     maps, terrain, future battlefields. Nothing less than this glorious day     of impractical miracle-sun, big yields, obliterates memories of lockdown, shelters     underground, darkness that preys on mind and heart-valves, those skelters     that turn about like unlovers, May's dancers around the burgeoning pole.     I'm alive, for now, pre-op, thoughtful, re-reading The School of Donne , again,     to be reminded of a deceased friend to look at a brilliant