Thursday, 25 July 2013

Blues for Miss So-and-so

Junk food shops and midnight men's clubs
Skunk dealers shudder in the doorways.
Bleach scarred brickwork under floodlights.
Couples laugh over street-cafe kebabs,
Fat-Turks at fruit stalls argue the toss.
Police cars flash epileptic in heavy heat.
Boys with tanned gypsy skin in denim shorts
And Russian tough guys in pink T-shirts strut.
African ladies gossip at the bus shelter,
Shoulders shining in the summer night.

You talked so much, so well, about art.
You could discipline the wind with jabs
From your polished lense's shutter snap.
You could conquer the light of angels
Grip refractions between your fingertips
As the clouds parted on city gravel.
Headlights on the metal, sun on street-signs,
Rain in the beer glass, the smooth turn
Of the subway tunnels in a dying rush.
You talked so much, so well, about art.

On the canal surface absinthe spooks are cast,
The night-thick waters are met with the moon.
Stars strain through the wine-soaked clouds
Breaking like softening ice caps burn.
The frictions of morning trains pierce the quiet,
The sound of freight cars on metal evoking hope.
Strange air in the city summer. Stifled breath,
Passing through your teeth dead like poison.
Street lamps flower across the red stones
Bright pockets of furncace cinders in the dark.

You thought you had me settled, my soul
Just paintwork on your perfect canvass smeared,
Another blend of flash refraction,
Peering needy in your fisheye prism.
Like all men, another Brechtian mouthpiece,
Imprisoned, blocked, in egotistic noise.
My words you scripted in their ready poise
Finishing my brushstrokes before my paintbrush moved.
You thought you had me settled. You were wrong.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sonnet written while travelling through Argyll

Sun-brightened blues infuse the summer shores;
Refining winds meet blood embellished earth.
Green juices flower into dark wooded forts
On bedded fields regaled in toughened cloth.
Relentless forests line the crowning crags;
Round kingly hills, the kingdom's riches reach
Steadfast with memories carved in stately cracks
Where history's current sings as rivers preach.
Each grief's a birth maturing truth from loss.
Deserted thirsts by death replenish need,
Like tideless sands enjoy the curse of floods
Reviving luscious leaves from dust and heat.
We're not the root but leaf. Not wave, but stone.
The planet's fuel. Just trimmings of the sun.