Structure Inescapable

Fractal Veg

Afternoons of rice and and full and my eyes are darkness,
the inescapable family, a story, a purpose.
I being a boy.
I miss you, green tea in the darkness.
The analysis, bodylast
sputtering waiting -
heart aching for a far blue promised fascination of each other, bejewelled in air sun surface -
praying place of spiders and dreams and swimming peace,
a peace of friends - the machine of who were with me, who sang with upturned and
pouring into coherent

after the first wakeful mornings
when I knew into drowned catacombs and warm rain.
I miss your arms and jokes. Some jumbled memories of words and kisses
and discarded ghee candles lighting a way to -
the inverted pyramid, the arati, the kirtan -
nuclear floated in until I forgot my me
out of myself, out of the real.
I miss you - all of you - throat exploding: now
and world,
hanging from it head fingertips out
to understand the blue glimpsed above is universes.
That sky yawned, miss you, who were part of me reaching for your hands
and wandered golden thread we wove.
Papaya and lemons and starlight - infinite apes faces,
that silly one who had a clawing for awareness and voices, and how you took open
and in loneliness and structures,
withered like a galaxy, and into peace:
I had: a plucked flower. a few returned to me.
The love I call you to return.

The prayer of the cavern: that sugary spiral, its gelling witness star staying in that now,
lunatic under me endlessly on those together
of feet and frogs and me,
eyes wide and fingers -
mother father sister brother inside me, the flower that the skin held me
in an insane limestone flute
tones sinking first, ready to dive.
Those beasts at its heart.
Mornings trillion points of light - lover please hold me -
my lion who ends the world.
Remembered that this earthship the cave
is iron-ringing release
fists knotted and finding peace
I who one night endless points of light skin and eyes deconstructed,
beautiful apes severed branch, tasted cinnamon and oatmeal;
no one recognisable, no one that I was underneath, out in dead time to see, me,
ate with me, touched my shouting, reaching, running,
waiting to receive what I

Rain Thoughts

feather raindrop river

A day of persistent rain, soft and smothery, comfort-cool,
music-box bells and windchimes, a stopped clock,
second hand paused eternally, twitching,
unable to cross over into the future or even to leave the past.

On the way to buy dinner we see rivers twitching down the gutters
leaves carried, leaves clogging, left alone leaves rotting
down and dark into red green depths and drunk into death
and we're talking so softly about joy as the light leaks out
and twilight sets in and street lights glow dull and all that rain
shifts out of focus and turns invisible and spiritual
and almost wholly immaterial, and what's left to discuss is the unreal,
the ethereal, what is promised to us, what we have to trust in -
the return of the fallen leaves on the other side of the cold -
the return of the water from the depths of the world -
even our own return from the end of the road -
because sometimes the journey never ends, some time soon there will be no return
from a sudden darkness.

Sahasrara

At 5am the attic door becomes a waterfall
of cloud-pallor and silver-grey and electricity
flooding me - impossible to think - air full of bells -
and ripples and vacuum and hysteria -

The children wander their unknown dreamworlds
their hands birdlike, warm and light and urgent
as all that brightening pushes its way in
and my skin tautens - I am a kiln - I am a cathedral -

I pray in myself, rats hunt in my cellar,
light presses into me from on high -
with closed eyes I am an infinite space
of many bodies, a mind of mirrors and glass.

My eyes sting, I have to sleep -
but it's worth it to be renewed
at the altar of early morning
and the funeral of the long night.

The Wrong Girl

Bare knees and need on dark wet grass,
our pasts are killing the wrong girl and me -
desperate drunken kisses in our Eden,
we are the bodies in the bed of the garden.

Tongues and voices and unvoiced promises
and need and lust and just a little fondness
and lonely and chanting and prone and wrecked
and terrified, exalted and momentarily perfect -

I strained to hear that hidden choir,
dead-language words about mind and time,
dead futures passed over and left unseen -
the wrong girl and the lost dream, and me.

Whirlpool

we're in this house,
and the rain and the car sounds
and every day hollowed out by

snowdrops, finally, I thought
sad when the woods grow dark
I thought they would never

and in this house we drift
and there's bath time and silent
my son watches the spiralling water

and he smiles and his eyes are
so bright and I forget to disconnect
and I forget that I hate endings

and we're together in time,
just in time for the last spiral
and we watch the water disappear

every day hollowed out by
what we do and do not see, by
what is both there and not there

by that 
spiralling 
moment of love

A Stupid Prayer

Forgive me my falseness
I don't know how to be honest
I've always been so selfish
and I've always wanted to be so special

if anything or anyone hears me
when I whisper to myself at night
in the dark, under the covers,
I hope you understand I had no chance

I couldn't hear you, I couldn't see you
and all my words just fell into silence
for every beautiful feeling
it seemed I had to hurt someone

I didn't know why or how to love
or why I was born wanting to
and if you can hear me, please
tell me nothing is lost

because even though this was a spoiled life
I don't want it to be swallowed
into the darkness before and after time -
please tell me you know me,

you forgive me, you lay your hands on me,
you gather my little life into eternity,
you see through my eyes, you listen
with my ears, you kiss with my lips -

tell me these words aren't useless
as we wander through our weird cities
and sleep all tangled together
and breathe sweet smoky air

I woke up as a flame in a fading light
and maybe I know who I am
maybe it's a vast and funny harmony
but I'm so tired, please will you carry me

The Silver City and the Silent Sea

In a bright house high above the sea
my family in the clouds and me -
blessed mothers, ragged sundresses,
the forgotten sister, scared of caresses,

older ones with electroshocked eyes
and shocked white hair, weeping eyelids
and blackened skin, rumbling voices
and stories of two world wars

and we ran over evening-wet grass
throwing frisbees and dodging water pistols
and bumblebees, hornets, kisses,
catered quiche and mixed salads,

table tennis and babies and and and -
that long gravel path, that short fall
from the highest of those pretty clouds
down to the dark cobalt sea.

I remember, once, parties with children
in older decades, with younger elders,
and now those children are grown and making
babies and mistakes, doing drugs and doing well,

seeing other continents, styling their hair,
every new face collapsing into new lines
and all our eyes glinting with mischief
and sadness / glory / defeat / peace -

and oh Lord, how we sang in our agony
when once we knew that we must die -
and how we tore at our clothes, our hair,
how we searched for you everywhere and nowhere -

how we lost you in those cold churches,
those marble halls and motionless hands
those secret symbols and foreign words
and how we discovered other worlds

and slowly we let each other go,
so fathers and sons apart do grow,
and mothers and daughters sweetly fight
for their image of love on lonely nights -

and Lord, in your wisdom you let us slip away
our blood thins and our skin wrinkles
like fruit discarded after the party
and like clockwork mice we run down -

our circles grow smaller and our voices weaken
until we only eat peas, and read the same books
over and over - we accept everything -
we stagger through time until it takes us -

and watch our new forms dance on evening-wet grass -
children and grandchildren, world without end, amen -
without even a promise, or a dream of a promise
of finding ourselves in those perfect white clouds,

or that silver city, that perfect house
on a hill overlooking a perfect bay,
long gravel paths coolly beckoning
down to that dark cobalt sea.
 

Colder On The Inside

++

I was sitting alone and the house was cold
and it began to rain,
darkening to twilight in minutes,
freezing brushstrokes on the glass.
An office full of papers no longer readable
and a broken amethyst windchime
drained of colour years ago.

+=

The rain turned into sleet and snow
and there were phonecalls in the dark
— Will you make it home all right?
— Do you need anything?
In silence again, tiny blue figures seen
descending from the valley treeline,
all raincoats and walking sticks and boots,
caught out by the storm.

+=

On the clear days, fighter jets scream overhead.
In the spring, rich ancient woods fill up with bluebells.
Now that everything's dead, we who are left behind
must deal with noonday eclipses,
freezing slushy mounds of rotting leaves,
and stark stunning starfields
glimpsed at night between streetlight auras.

+=

I have a son who screams at night,
for no reason but the horrors of empty space —
ice-clouds engulfing the car on the way home,
as strapped into his car seat he watches the road
and the river recede through the rear window.
No reason but cold bedrooms and a sore stomach,
the clinging silence of clothes and books,
the terror of being in such a body.

+=

I'm waiting at the window
for some kind of reason or warning —
something in the rain, before it ends,
to let me know at last
where all of this is going.

==

Doors In The Dead Cities

In between the river and the roads,
day or night, you can see sparkles -
ocean slowly pulsing into tidal river,
transfusion for diseased city, and
in between the movies and the ads
sparkles invade your mind -
split seconds of nothingness -
splinters of dead air and dead cold
whispers of a million words on bookshelves,
a billion chords on compact discs,
a billion beating locust wings,
desert roads in the mind, green blurs
on mountain horizon: trees, fields,
steaming volcanic lakes, whales and herons,
landscapes internal forever -
and lost at the moment you die?
at the moment you die,
lost forever?

You find portals beacuse you need to:
the museum behind the fake technicolour castle
with the prayer wheels and jade knives,
scraps of ancient bibles and screeds,
where they play chants through hidden speakers
between the glowing display cases,
and between floors you count a few empty shops
stuck in the haze of winter and old cloud -
between shops and between hours
you find a space you recognize
where someone sits who died before history,
shaved head bowed before a newer moon,
still pool beneath willow bridge, sandals
placed carefully beside shawl, pen, ink -
knowing something that you once knew.

Between pulses that tell us were are alive,
between instants of stimulus and response,
between droplets of this endless rain -
words, notes, snow, kisses -
flashes of something familiar from long ago.
Between work days and sofa evenings,
in between years of shifting identities -
frozen windscreen wipers sweeping
centuries off eyesight of lifetimes -
strobe flashes and advertising lasers,
glitters caught on river water and
apartment block window fronts,
cranes dancing in winter wind
like weather poles and wind chimes
beside glass-still pool of mind -
in a pure instant between instants
you are bowed down before a memory
that you do not know is a memory.

As if in a dream, there are those
who try to remind us -
in between meals and games and
in between all the sparkles -
rituals built into the chaos:
of sitting before a wooden tray for tea
of kneeling before icons and cruciforms
of sitting with someone strange -
someone of still pools and dead blossoms
someone of dead screens and dying rivers
someone in between the moments
of attention to this or that lifetime -
intersecting universes, colliding realities -
someone we find in the place where we are -
someone who is a memory
that you do not know is a memory.

Like cats' eyes peeping out from the dark -
in between our madness, our fits
of distraction, racing uphill,
looking out over frozen ochre city,
wide harbour, lumpen island and white boats
and sunlight thin and red and distant -
in between making love among the trees,
underneath fallen roots, luminous
emerald moss, tiny sprinkled mushrooms -
in between desperate hours of stillness
heart pounding as nothing happens,
guts wrenching as nothing is transformed
into other forms of nothing -
and all the forms of the mind,
demonic, angelic, ridiculous and tender,
pour into this moment as a billion sparkles
and leave you as empty as an hourglass,
timed out and clear, in between epochs,
waiting for someone's hand.

Between images of yourself
caught on windows, mirrors, pupils -
an old, tired theme of searching,
so sad and desperate and surrendered -
and yet the one last desperate hope
is that in between these ghosts
and false gods, false selves and wraiths,
you might glimpse the doorway -
to the frozen land through the back of the wardrobe
to the unreal city below the lake's bottom
to the magical land on the other side of the mirror
to someone strange waiting patiently outside time,
as if enclosed in a pale moon heaven
that you do not know is a memory.

blue

the man from hope wears an aquamarine tie
for air and water and falling from clouds
for cosmic particles flying relativistic
-- night-time dark water for buried memory
-- then swallowing morning light
-- becoming full, transparent and radiant
your memories are there among the shells
under all that invisible weight
at arms length but unreachable

-- mother never wore any kind of blue
-- but saw it in your eyes and gave it to you
-- you were to become what she never knew
a great water, a great sky
for sinking her old nightmares
lions and tigers and bears and mother and father
-- turquoise shirts and shoes, denim jeans
-- baby laughing through the baptismal rituals
-- and then the slate-grey photos in the dismal rain
the ancient in the peacock-blue overcoat
fragments of a clear sky, an old azure mini
mother's pale face turned to the photographer