Poetry Blog by Adam Whitworth

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Andy N on Unrhymed Sonnet (3 days ago)

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Belinda Sue Kiser on The Benefit Gig (Wed, 31 Jul 2019 06:09 pm)

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afishamongmany on Memento Mori (Sat, 27 Jul 2019 05:56 pm)

Unrhymed Sonnet

 

Sunvivid atomlight, whirled around in blue.
Let a body of wisdom accumulate.
And grow, nurtured in each experience;
one unique basketful per unique hand.

Mementos of years, bones after the feast-
collected knowledge to lock in dusty drawers.
But wisdom, as love, will not know itself caught
so think not to break free, all being well.

Sometime, for the sake of good hungering
shall ...

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As I Rambled

 

In these lands, at once familiar and deadly,
natives now for the first time explore peace
having long sought to channel the storms.
These lands, deep and inspiring, 
have been shaped, are still,
by the prevailing wind. 
Having gained at last this small understanding,
natives may choose to benefit where once all was warfare. 
They may view the bones, broken and petrified; 
generations...

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Crux

A song made a visit today.
In the yard, children whistled and hummed.
Such was the power, I was transported for a time.
No musician was there to catch the theme,
light as soap-bubbles on the air.

A poem made a visit today.
A rose standing clear of thorny briars.
One I had passed many times; what moves the heart today?
No poet was there who'd memorialise the thought,
simple as a love of ...

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Commute

 

Up before the alarm;
money in the bank.

Close to silence, formless day
concocts some kind of brew.

Something of value,
held in the glare of a star.
How could I lose sight of it?

Door flung open: I am leaving home.

Today's motto rubs me up the wrong way
you can have it if you can pay for it.

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Memento Mori

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I have a Glass Skull.
You with eyes to see
a busybody bustle about
know that nothing can be hidden.
And how my mystery remains intact.
I have a Glass Skull
or snowdome that's been smacked.
You'll clearly sense combustible ambition
in shows of electric activity but,
for what exactly?
I have a Glass Skull
as documented in high definition,
filmed and followed on-line,
tapped by dete...

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A Delicate Bridge

I

With the silver in their hair some have found 
treasure and not through sheer luck.
For my signs long have I peered through windows 
but beyond me through walls they look.
With a breast that harbours surpassing dawns
uncowed by night, sweet for growing rare,
yet familiar as day to these spirits
beyond the thud from my raucous funfair.

II

Today a flock I've come to know vanished.
...

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Beauty In The Scales

 

On finding his fish
the mechanical fisherman
schooled to salute
inclined to dream
the mechanical fisherman
drips from his eyes
looks no further
on finding his fish

On finding his fish
the mechanical fisherman
rooted to the spot
rocketing through ozone
the mechanical fisherman
laughs away his aged scars
recalls his smoothed soul
on finding his fish

 

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Dream Will Not Wait

 

Everything about you is strange. 
That is, interesting for its own sake,
pressing itself upon the whole body 
of your attention and imagination. Do you see 
the shiver move over tall grass, compelling
evidence a love-lorn god pursues his tryst.

Moving like an astronaut on Mars,
a foreign coin in your hand,
anyone might run after you as if
trying to catch a balloon before it floats ...

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The Benefit Gig

 

While seeing familiar faces on the morning bus
I wonder how they might benefit from my poem
for I'm sure a poem should benefit the reader.

The day will come, as will peace on Earth,
when I'm able to hand out copies 
but at present, I'm the only reader.

I often feel, not only that a poem 
should benefit the reader,  but also
it should be written for that purpose.

Sadly I am the ...

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Mutualdisappointment

 

Of course
You could climb for the apples of a tree
Consumed by fire in 1663
After
The long, long dive from pink Aegean clouds
Ingenious plumage falling around
But
You should run with a scream at these answers
Across that bridge rudely smeared on canvas
Until
Inhabiting the paralysed spider
A businesslike wasp has stung for her larder
You
At last see by your own light the cloaked ...

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More About Clouds

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If all you can have of Helen Mort are her poems
what do you say? I'm puzzled. 
Do I learn of her or of myself? 

I take the hour's perspiration
gathered into a drip. It tickles me.
I take with gratitude the cooling breeze
that which propels those silver unicorns 
and other fantastic beasts.
For shape-shifting clouds pass
that's a fact. Specific to the day
unless...

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These Days As Ever

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In Celtic knot-work bordering on life
innocent animals tangle with dragons.
In thickening crowds, as far as I can see
it's the mood portrayed in loud tattoos.

It's the lamb torn by the wolf's jaw;
snakes aloft in the eagle's claw.
How many like me would race away at that 
silent bell: a straight line out of the maze.

 

 

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Architectural Movements

 

Hands up
all those who have an idea
how cities of the future will be.

Cities of the past we know.

Shelters made good
from sheets of corrugated iron and strong plastic. 
Streets runnning alongside
filthy sewerage streams.
Citizens facing such hardships
any kind of crime should be expected.
Some degree of madness is
almost impossible to avoid. 

Connoisseurs of tears
need only...

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Shake On It

 

There is yet much to see
within the darkness of a tomb,
so much to discover between two atoms.
An awesome universe of consciousness
separates you and I. Discussion continues;
argument, but not agreement.
Fantastic discoveries, proofs, but no agreement.
Insights, epiphanies, revelations. No agreement.
We, not blind to the crisis, see far 
when we close our eyes, imagine
fine times of...

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Wayside Episode

 

By the edge of the road
I stopped and sat down,
at the bottom of a mile-long hill.
I mean, it was the height of summer
no shade and my hangover disabling me.
My sweating stumps could get no further.

Why should a brown Austin Allegro
roll to a stop 50 yards ahead?

Perhaps 10 minutes later 
my pulsating plates of meat 
were persuaded to shamble over.
A white-haired man sat eating...

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A House In Silence

 

In your dark house, you should know,
the moths have gathered around a flame.
One by one they'll accept the challenge:
destined to assay closer, and closer.

An unremarkable moth has chanced 
by a window in the wall, by day revealing 
all you could want of the world,
but now sheer and simple as a mirror.

Here he learns more of the flaming wick
than all his brothers combined. 
Fram...

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Beheading 

 

I hear disturbed air
protest, sharpened iron moving too fast.
The sensible world in apology
lends me all it has. So blessed,
I am thankful, beginning
an elaborate fantasy.
Wielding the blade myself
I am Shiva, the destroyer,
my curfew by nightfall
savagely enforced.
The eyes of tigers still fiercer
crave those remaining proud.
And by the smell of evil
they shall be hunted down,
...

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The Nature Of Love

 

You could say there's a rune drawn on a leaf
thereafter follows a new season

 

    No art prospers in the valley
    where eyes meet like rivers.


    Only the tumbling waves 
    have a palette for rainbows, 


    droplets sparkle as facets
    of the rarely won gemstone.


    Only the tumbling, babbling waves
    overwhelm all questions.

 

    Not for me, nor the hone...

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Words To A Playground Tune

 

There is a time
as good as any
to start afresh
a man
as poor as any
holds a key
killers
blase as any
flip a coin
yon harpist 
blind as any
claws the heart
the poet 
cold as any
lives once again
there is a time
as good as any
to start afresh

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Pueblo


Pebbles in this river-


smooth as skin, every one!


Shall we check further downstream?


No need. These pebbles have been kissing.


Tuesday, kiss. Wednesday, kiss.


Have you no prophecy for next Friday?


Pueblo, these waters swell


with more tears than your own.


Cast your line further now.

 

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Before Too Long

 

Like nothing
more than an intelligence

my moon, diminished,
pales before the galloping van
of smokeblack horses. 
It's my turn to reach out
as if I could help: I can't help it.
The site of the slaughter,
before too long, will be a sea of corn
like any other. Little beasts peep out 
after the storm. Golden apples
silently swing, growing silver
by dusk. Figures begin to walk
march, q...

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Maia

 

Not yet flattened by the gravity of a dark world,
throw yourself into space, invite diverse colours
to assemble around you. You have assumed 
a central position. It may not be the best attitude 
but it will your own.

Mayfly brides are traditionally heard
"Soon there'll be less of me to cuddle."
How could there ever be less! Sweet darlings!
We glean little of our own destinies,
only...

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Knucklebones

 

one's mother had died
another was calling from hell
such inventions they needed for a day off work

one couldn't find a clean toilet cubicle
another could fly like a bird but not land
these were some dreams occupying their nights

one counted magpies and looked for more
another was glued to the news- for the cricket scores
topics worthy of speech

one was a band of housemartins we...

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My Two penn'orth

 

Today, let our pursuits be anything
but trivial.
Poetry can twist and shout, cajole and flay;
not ours.

This time let it be the small-minded
spirit of self-interest
that is homeless. Should it not be 
the most generous genius
settled at the heart of our craft?

The hour has come
the soul has waited long enough.
We breathe the air 
of Buddha, of Socrates:
Acting accordingly our...

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By Yourself

 

For every beggar you passed by
you should raise ten gallons of water from the good well

For every minute spent in pampered extravagance
knowing you could but raise a finger to ease another's plight
you should spend a day ploughing the good field

For every act of secretive and shameful violence
that you have added to the mountain of injustice
you should flatten and smooth and mainta...

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Powers Lost

 

Who has strong arms that gather the warm winds,
clever fingers that weave them through your hair?

Where you look
who throws diamonds of sunlight wide across the sea
or where you sit
holds a lace parasol of living leaves above 
just as you may wish?

Whose, the enchanted path you would choose to walk?
And whose, the soft cloud playing pillow for your dream?

Creatures left over fr...

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WHAT?

What- genuinely new under the sun-
is heading this way? 

Born of intuition, born of wonder,
rumours grow, fit to burst.

It is said to be an animal, a relative,
a bird some say, a sparkling unknown 
one-of-a-kind rainbow creature.
Catch it and it must speak they say.
Miss it and... well, our stuttering ways
are not so bad.

But what could it tell us?
What difference would there be for...

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Chiaroscuro

 

Your writing, drawing I should say, is not
at all bad. You portray, I should say embody,
movement and drama. 
Your knife carves me, but peaceful, in high relief.
You lines become etched on my face as I age.
But why do you take me for a subject?
I feel you laugh at me and curse me.
Your love, I should even say your presence, 
is strange: it could go unnoticed.
Shadow, will you never l...

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In Tune

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I love the silent guitar

Like prophets we can all see a maestro 
pick up the guitar, give his genius free rein

In silence we are
as sure as peace on Earth

This is an optimistic and positive faith
our eyes fill with dewdrops, the music flows

 

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A Dog In The Picture

 

Halfway up Church Hill truants sat
overlooking the school.
On small grounds passed up big chances.

Lying in the grass among busy bees.
Constriction stamped on freedom's face
or vice versa. Sweets in place of food.

And then the head-down stump home alone. 
The usual way to go, unremarked. 
Punctual as hell, no problem.

Depression attended for those journeys.
And now, as appoint...

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Help Me Make Sense Of This

 

You may not pass with knife turned against self.
This may be my one chance to save you.

The afternoons thrown into a dry well
invisible now, have built a tower
underground like a missile in its bay.

A power you don't remember 
remembers you; turns your knife 
into a key; turns the key within the lock.

The evenings shot into the dark, their aim
truly betrayed with this meeting o...

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Fever

 

With fear and trembling I awoke

My ship, a mediaeval sea-burial, burns.
Illustrated sails are ash to the clouds,
the entire hull whale bones on the sea-bed.

"But you are mistaken." she said
"Look darling, we see the light 
in the crow's nest from here."

With hot tears welled these words I spoke

That is the Moon.

She just smiled and nodded.
Smiled and nodded.

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Just Put Your Lips Together And Blow

 

You realise how many people hate them
when you grow to love the bagpipes

    count all the feet beating a sharp exit
    when the hour demands a fuller bag.

Then let the officious shrink on rails
as sweet tones unveil hills greener than green

    and find grace notes yet inexplicable
    following your fancy deeply in tune.

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Brooklands Lakes

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Pause at the small lake 
    like a goldeneye indulging chicks.
Born to songs the air conducts through branches.
Beside those perfect ripples  
    beloved of impressionist painters.

Look: amid those reflections of clouds
    wends a walkway over the water.
This pathway is a life-long journey.
And taking in- bathing in- the lake,
    a form of prayer.

Sunlit ...

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Regular Occurrences

 

She suffers with her dreams.
In the shipwreck, there's a limpet
on the rudder. Holding fast, that's all.
Becoming fluent is painfully slow.
And as normal as split ends.
She suffers with her dreams.

Upright as a queen,
she's all that makes me king.
But lain beyond the grey boundary 
she's prey to envoys from the years,
muttering ballads fraught with discord.
I hold fast. She suffe...

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In The Stocks 

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There is a man in the stocks.
Ostracised, exiled. What you will.
Following dusk I visit and we talk.

There were love poems I was made to see
heartache believing buds by spring
made to open

There is a man in the stocks.
I imagine the torment and wonder
how he survives. I cannot sleep.

I am unsure of much he would say
it is like the irrepressible echoes
of classic texts.

"I ...

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Flash In The Pan

 

OMG, there goes another one.
Spectators are asked to step back in amazement,
warp necks for one more firework display.
A whizz-bang over before it can really amaze
needs little bravery to turn away from.
People, turn your eyes to heaven thinking
to dive into the infinite 
that has held us all this long, for the stunning
mystery of it. And should a star move into view
what can you do ...

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Haunting The Boundary

 

from your uncharted expanse
birds sing
I have ventured 
to assume their meaning
and as far as the eye can see
I have a mind to people hidden lanes 
with numberless thoughts on each leaf

come from your unread expanse
parachute into my formal garden 
even
appear behind me like an emerging mole
I am reflecting upon your stillness
musing on the foreign tongue

aim at last from you...

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Championing The Unlikely Hero

 

there's the tennis player between points
perfecting conservation of energy

(factory/warehouse operatives 
practise comparable economy)

I know
there's the scream of bodies stretched beyond endurance
roars of victory 
if victory comes
we all know well from every bulletin
but the hero of this tale 
has no facial expression
and no response for the baying crowd
only between rounds
...

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My Little Discovery

 

All I have found is a book of poetry-
    for adults. So rare. I overhear
        Scarlatti battle the traffic;
            dust covers every word.


I must find a niche for myself-
shaken by laughter so close to sobbing.


Enclosed in the tightest space-
with the freedom of the cosmos.


I'll give my full attention
from my privileged station.


Ready to absorb and be 
absorbed rec...

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Lines To Copy

 

A common destiny, burden and shame.

I have been unable to make my visit at the best of times.

Weird shadows in an unfamiliar garden took my attention.

I drank when I could have served, spoke when I should have listened. 

The day of days has been and gone.

Now I whisper, slower; as silence in a hightening gale.

As an unattended statue to those who rage fiercer.

As beautifu...

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We, The Uneducated

 

Accept the term with good grace
after all, when we make a stand
or sit ever closer together, God knows 
it is not to display our erudition
world-beating talents or mathematical savantism.
No. We paint our portraits in simple words
Rembrandt van Rjin in colourful crayon.
Duty roughened hands grasp good and evil
and light perfumed candles in silver candlesticks
-in our minds. So much s...

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Situation 1


Nearing the zenith all is clear
our leaning tower of Pisa 
ready to crumble and tumble
but we step up into the light

And we celebrate where we are
playing with the giantism
of our mute and intense shadows
well aware they're biding their time

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Always Blue

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In the good garden of England 
the sky is always blue, except
as rain begins to thunder down
and lightening must see you through
the good old garden of England 
byways from orchard to meadow lead
each pretty one to their tryst, please- 
no fence rear up where love should grow

And the heart of the garden of England
quite unable to say just how it feels
the mind of the old garden of...

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There And Then

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There we were to see the sights together


tuned to the Abbey gardens, ancient wall 


in bits, resting a while for photographs


on a timeless stage our holding of hands.


And then thrilled by the violence of the rain


finding shelter in the Abbey gatehouse


among others fastened in the shadows 


poor petitioners amazed where a light 

...

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Cosmic Cause

 

"I think that one must be in love with me"
said portly Earth of dazzling Sun
"Every morning that brazen face appears
and I believe watches me 
all through every day"

"I'm sure this one must be in love with me"
said portly Earth of mysterious Moon
"I've woke to find this shy one 
loom over me as I lay- 
any closer and merge we must"

At the time agreed 
dazzling met mysterious, S...

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Tricycle

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I am the eldest and esteem myself 
fit to vie for kingship.
In retrospect I see
the swagger foretell the downfall.
Proudly I reached for the princess's hand
and reach no further in life.

The second brother, never my wing-man, 
always a cur, calculates further.
His moves well planned, his touch a strike
spider like, with one day dreams
in lieu of success
he may settle under a ston...

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Chestnut balanced On The Highest Peak

 

Precision instruments of introspection
fall away. Flakes of paint. Failed butterflies. 
Grey-faced boat-sheds return to gestures,
their loose doors an invitation
.

All the people we were, their cries,
drowned within their sorry sea.
Who should be the ones to survive
no one would believe.

That fat caterpillar that curls within an ear
tastes the words so hungered for
but sadly fumb...

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The Piper's Song

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I'd play the recorder 


for nightingales


who'd fill the canopy 


and enjoy

 

And consider the night 


bright with marvels 


until dawn should loiter 


no more

 

Scars wheals soothed healed


tomorrow save today


here a balm for my wound


only

 

These beliefs shan't spare me


composing tears


however I give


the flute all my air

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The Start Of Something Big

 

For the sake of speaking one of us claimed 
we are more under the thumb now than ever before.
For the sake of argument one of us claimed
the word society now carries 
loathsome connotations about social insects; 
each one of us must live on their own planet.
Quickly making my excuses I slipped away.
Of course I was in a fog, unused to the territory,
not knowing from where the wind mig...

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