We got stories
Flung at us at night.
Implying our shadows.
Fictions were just that.
I throw my own tales:
The real childhood fictions,
Where silences maliced the air.
Unacknowledged truths which guzzled away
At the raw remnants of folk’s hearts,
And were so powerful
That only a child could tell.
Words copulate with things.
We force this on them.
The leaf here
will never move,
will never sway,
but, in our minds, off of the page
it impregnates reality:
helps us humanise an alien world.
Our universes give birth to meaning.
Love is the name of everything.
The people constructed,
Through winter’s silver birth,
the illusory Solstice
standing still, reflecting.
The same old Spring.
New life chittering.
Time to slap the baby.
With the sound down on the telly
the scroll repeated how an onboard device
may have caused all those deaths.
And silently, the newsmen
and politicians talked. It was impossible
to readjust the volume. It felt like sacrilege
when the silence of the screams would be desecrated
by the everyday sound of professional guessers.
When I could finally move I went into the kitchen,
put an unopened tin in the microwave and set the clock
to 30 minutes. Then watched the timer and waited.
This year’s last leaves,
and in their tens now,
the whisper of a breeze.
the stark tree, now,
a fragile chandelier.
These little deaths
in a cycle of renewal.
And this October
some Autumn trees are yet young.
At the Boys Brigade annual display
I was a Dalek. An alien life-form in
a metal skin, this time made of wood though.
I got to scream “Exterminate!” at laughing families.
I then soaked up those families applause
as I left-wheeled,
in a thick navy jumper and grubby haversack.
The highlight was,
from behind a backlit screen,
pulling sausages and a step-ladder from a patients stomach.
You should have seen it, mum.
Invisible lighthouses in daytime
in the haze.
Hours I’d sit scouring the far island,
hunting, eyes squinting,
sat in the sand, knees hugged to chin.
But at night, familiar winks reappear
just where they should be,
rhythmically sparking the dark,
lighting me up inside.
I smiled thinly
grinning him down
from the peak of his wife’s affection.
for so I was,
I climbed a vacant chair, a throne,
merrily thumping straight-legged.
The joy, mine alone.
pub-rushed and boozy,
on coming home sat in a seat
heated by someone else’s arse.
We all bounced our secrets around the room in silence.
Razored through the rub,each considered mark
an artist’s insinuation,
stretched sinuous, black,
sure as coal.
Asserting primacy of
image over word,
and in stark revenge,
I approach a
Rothko in a room.
the brush of a pen,
and thumbed into
red to print,
a sentence as horizon
to barely visible hate;
a swept wash
of pale skin, nibbed
to puncture and relate,
delivered to paper
than any artist could wring from their mix.
It’s unclearthis pic
when it went
from black and white
Its filmy gloss
got gradations of grays
A forgotten beach
and unfamiliar happiness.
Me in an ecstasy looking up,
clasping your big hand.