The fissures were dark as the baked clay path
forsaken by water and all the gods
who walk the earth
who hold grim sway over moisture's moods.
Deep gaping cracks,
mouths howling for the wet
to gel the fibers,
find their way to her once smooth ivory face
now scarred .
So we raced her forward, her tribe, her lovers,
her cousins from the mountains.
We found her man singing to broken flowers
and carried him to the wedding day
where she was draped in a foreign cloth
spun solely from the
memories of bees.
Anxious and benevolent priests
blew silver horns
as her marred and glorious head shone
as if a wounded butterfly.
And as they nodded in time honoured fashion,
like the skitterings of small animal feet,
as pale tappings on the doors of dreams,
among the leaves and desperate dirt...
the first drops of heavy healing rain.
Lady Cameron and Cow
Not at first did she notice the
loosening of shackles.
It took every well
she ever called hers
to dry up before the first hint.
But as the bats in her stone house
now called that place home,
prison bars began crumbling.
'Shedding the stuff!" A banner in her head.
Tight shoes from the walker,
barnacles from the gray whale,
unfit mate from the sad young heart.
The liberation of loss was upon her
to stifle the ache
to salve the wounds.
She had after all her rings,
and a fine highland cow called Doris.
Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat
She had some spots
which she refused to change,
ingrained, darkly hidden.
A source of amusement and terror
but only to herself.
Perhaps they ought to be changed
but to what?
Wisdom fashioned by the years,
informed by the socially slick,
wrought in places of spiritual scrutiny?
Conformity once more bustled imperiously,
but champions of the bright spots
as she contemplates her rough hewn secrets,
so she decides on the familiar...
there just aren't enough leopards to go around.
Through the Wallpaper
First many hues and textures
of every love I've ever had
ripping through the gaping fabric
stopping long enough to stab and soothe
with cobweb thoughts
the long since tended yesterdays
frail with inattention.
When rose and thorn both slithered off
came all at once the bright toothed demon
from time beleaguered
snapping at the once strong ropes
secured to better futures.
Chewed them till the hopes long nurtured
in social clearing devoid of hurt
were spat out bloodied.
Ropes and hopes now stained the paper
that stuck upon my lonely wall.
But this parade was never over,
ghouls and tawny dancing bears
bowed and leered with equal focus
till the shards of this good moment
flew all together in white dove splendour ,
brought up the rear of this invasion
polished the present with brightest caring,
then through the wallpaper gone again.
Past the Village
I thought I heard a call
around the valley floor
My name I think
but I'm not sure.
To heed the call is brave
and to climb outside
the mountain walls.
Brave or foolish
if it was the name of another.
I have no bravery to match
no faith to gird the pulp
The causes steeped in young man's dreams
have leeched and drained away.
Passion that once swelled my chest
is brittle as dry stick
This world has sucked the strength
like marrow from the bone.
Yet she rises as a beast disturbed
the morning in her teeth
and everything that I can't be...
Talks With The Sea
Can I really trust you I ask ?
Just out of reach of your foamy fingers
stories dying in mariners' throats
you claim still as your own.
And do you mull and tell or ever feel
the need to share their
drowned and stunted wisdom,
their bright futured hope,
their lovers' quickened sighs.
Fair your shingled gurgled laugh
and fairer yet your wind tossed plume
when juggling you perform,
your calm and strong backed sunset skin.
Sometimes in your briny blood we dance
when dry and gritty air
drives us to your summer palace.
A venerable family friend you are
with loving whispers in your teeth
when straggling cousin,
your tide caressing moon
draws us to a treacherous edge
with unfit partner.
I spin gloriously
in your best and bountiful neighbourhood
I cry in your rock pools for a nearness to God,
fall as a child into your cool limbed embrace
and trust you will be fair.
And what think you of me ,
if ever behind your sad eyed face you do ?
A fellow sojourner perhaps
or just another stolen story,
with which to feed the hungry fish
your teeming henchmen.
The Queen Returns
Through dusty floors I drag
this faded ermine cloak.
Mosaic windows hold back the light
but not enough
The matted, grubbiness shows.
Royal blood ,thin as death's eyelids
slither in my dark bent shape.
This sharp flinty kingdom has lost its friend.
Yet... somewhere, not near,
church bells are fiercely sounding
footsteps clatter in my house of stone.
“She comes ! She comes !”
a cry of hope rings down in the street
and my old eyes now shine in the scattering gloom .
“The queen ! The queen !”
A quickening pulse beneath this hood of shame
and this cast-off robe of offense
discarded on the chilly flagstones,
lies as a conquered beast,
till her feet, warm and strong
chase away this dust of death.
Under Northern Skies
It was a boat like no other
from a rich uncle
in the big city, from Glasgow.
like when the two sided jacket
came from Toronto
Silk... a tiger and an eagle.
Undisguised envy from the others,
...snotty nosed kids .
A gleaming varnished deck
sails as white as sheep head bone.
Miles of string
to give it a sense of freedom,
but that it might still know its owner.
Up the mill dam
the rain as faithful as any mongrel
out there proud it was
knifing through the black,
but still belonging.
My very own falcon.
A friend I could depend on
under Northern skies.
Catch the Wave
On waves of hope and of despair
the spirit, cork-like floats.
On terrible swells and breakers
we glide like any surfer.
Expert we are at not going too deep ..
While I Was Sleeping...
While I was sleeping mushrooms grew
and half mankind or more
went hungry to their bed.
When I was wrestling succubus
bloodless leaves, pale and homeless
fell to indifferent sod.
AS I squeezed uncomfortable pillow
empires slowly grew
in dark and hostile gardens
and while I gasped a dream away
a foreign child
breathed first astonishing air.
While I was sleeping mushrooms grew
and a door in heaven opened softly wide
while lovers listened
with darkness on their smiling lips
and woodland beasts would make no plan
nor know regret.
Wise old men with intact answers
pale and bloodless to their own sod fell
as this blue ball spins in the nocturne.
While I was sleeping mushrooms grew ...
today I will pick mushrooms.
White Bird in the White Tree
White bird in the white tree,
Love in the poor man's house,
A smile on the busy street ,
The truth among the lies
Side by side on this withering path
the answers hunker down.
Behind a cereal box on grocer's shelf,
or in hermit's cave
on a battered island
out of view
from headland's scrutiny.
Hide and seek the chosen discipline
as solutions mock
but happier now with mystery than before...
I am not provoked to chase and grasp.
Side by side on this withering path
the answers peek and call
yet smugness now must dissipate
like morning mist
from scree filled hills
and supermarket aisles
for I have caught the flash of glorious thigh
though sadly battle scarred
the game is on again.
The Windmill Girl
My dark, broad shouldered friends
sit and circle me
with clinging night
their foggy words swirl all around,
words of breath, their story now
“ Windmill girl, gaze eyed at the dying day
when all the world found lovers
finds her tears among the musty flour.
Her desolation ...
her only fierce companion
beneath the yellow ripped sky.
Early night owl on the sill
eyes as big as the thoughts of gods
leads her through the stuttering leaves
past the tree where the robber hung
to the lake where the howling started.
Close by a window where a witch was leering
near the faerie twitching peat bog
beyond that place that no one speaks of
through St. Leonard's forest
where the last dragon died.
And sleeping 'neath a
bush of moonflowers
wearing his life upon his face
and hands that made a wild horse tame
was he. “
Then my dark and true companions
slipped from their shoulders
their cloaks of jet,
let the streams of morning
invade our circle..
as a feather fell upon my head.