Poetry Blog by Adam Whitworth

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Somewhere someone stands by twilight.
A short road mazing 
to sleeping or waking
confuse, confound, spiral, snake
it will mysteriously, magically, suprisingly
consciously or not
be taken.

For the moment there is time
-the air stills and shadows merge.
Time to be tempted by crooked future promises
or, not immune to the charms of the past,
whistle slow the breathless notes of memory.

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Blindfold Regiments

But we have forgotten.
Archduke Ferdinand can't explain
Passchendaele or the Somme.
No evil Hitler or monstrous Nazis
weilded weapons of horror
blunt as a caveman's club but,
the toxic flames of inhumanity grew tall.
There are reasons but,
we don't reach for that can of worms.
There are many to blame
shame on them all but,
sleeping dogs lie.


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A tale Of The Riverbank


the queen of the lake is

the double of forever

enthroned and emanating concentric waves 

of awe confused with fear

fairly apportioned by humbled onlookers 

from the magic circle's edge

they expect evidence of change

a new perspective after movement

swan-neck greening over time

lake water less than pure

reflection less than perfect

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Journey To The Centre Of The Skull


and the habitual process begins
the rigmarole
clothed for a particular day
this particular sky

make the age old choice of a changeful mind;
to be comic or tragic

but all this sun shines on for good or ill
may as well be the paper-thin fictions
of a swiftly forgotten novel

for changeful minds dwell 
in their element
anywhere else but here

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alien silk balls
insects nurseries 

dot the underside
a child could see

who chanced upon that heap
and lifted up

a rusted and rotted
red wheel barrow

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Letter To A Young Poet


Don't you worry
sanity could never be enough.
Raging against a northerly gale
and not blown off your feet
neither will your words be heard
but don't worry, this is poetry.

Don't you worry
there's no one right answer.
Raging waterfalls of hair,
echoing canyons focussing...what?
Before and after hell can reign
don't worry, this is poetry.

Don't you worry
silent, unhurried truth...

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The Follower

The news comes down from ancient Athens-
a follower of Dionysus, dressed to kill,
is unaccounted for. So,
what efficacy in the search;
some insight shone might stop her?
Rich generations or poor 
civilisation or civil war
can't put her in a cage 
or through a mincer.
The aged and crippled wish
just to live a day longer.

Growing noise makes music 
impossible but not obsolete.
The noi...

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this haiku I find

curled inside an ash guitar

reaching for the strings


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Little, pathetic, countless moans

seeming sunk ocean deep,

no way to trace them or proof

they ever existed but

profound and accumulating

certainty this must be

the regal tale the Earth spins.


Tiny, sorrowful, hopeless cries

they could not be lost, dissolved in some ocean,

nor even turned away from

by minds such as ours.

They are caught in the net of stars


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These Days #7


Here we stand, in running shoes.
These days pass like bullets. Near misses-
snapshots taken at the speed of light.
What might be around the corner
vivid pictures come to us all.
Take the morsel of contemplation-
when some blessed bell sounds. 
Then that's it. Let's go.

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Who run the darkened world
but vendors and customers?
Fanfares come over the treetops, theirs
their writing carved in stone.

Am I assumed to go to market?
Then turn back my muse, my genius
my unbelievable guardian angel.
All turn grey as the speechless ones.

Who, spying, run from tree to tree
as if their shadow isn't perfectly clear?
Exemplars all but eluding me
meanwhile I hav...

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There's a thundercloud sweeping earth with shade

a man juggling a hammer in one hand 


     Irises grow wide and tall 

in spring, and mid-winter 

ice on a wren's garden bath 

gently tapped to crack


There's a moody wave bites the granite face

darkness and stillness retire hand in hand 


     Our future steps we sleep to dream

ranged further for the pictu...

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Fourteen Divided By Two


Fourteen silent meditative years passed
before the ascetic returned at last.
The man of common sense, a twin brother
asked what "years of denial had amassed"

Whence in fourteen strides the ascetic led 
to the wider river in its deeper bed
and calmly walked over. The twin brother 
paid a ferryman for crossing, and said

"See! With two pennies I have done what you 
have wasted fourt...

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Before the drama is over

shall we leave for a simpler place

before the level drops lower

can we learn of our saving grace


a way to apprehend beauty

through this forest thick with duty

there is a world we might attain

might recover, ourselves regain


there will be no bells set ringing

but still this work it will be done

already the last act begun


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One is, bewildered, left upright under the sun
while the other, speechless, slipped faraway for shade.

Now those pretty bands making sense of this dumb rock
lead down, like steps, the one who will not leave.

One set in his ways in this age of the critic
reliving the days when poems built up in praise.

Pretty the bands of rock, pretty the rings of trees
pretty your crumbling steps, can...

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English Madrigal


In an English country garden I roam.
Because there my dreaming mind percieves you.
Your place in my heart is all I hold true.

And where do you blossom as a poem?
Where do I find you complete my rescue?
In our English country garden I roam.
It is there my dreaming mind recieves you.

All your wishes like arrows find their home.                                                   
And ...

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 Up The Lane

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Once more- to haunt the country lane;
the hollow and secret bower
of a melancholy refrain.

So fit it should begin to rain,
Autumn send her gloomy shower
once more to haunt the country lane.

We persist in similar vein,
in thrall to a timeless power
in the melancholy refrain:

Set free all sprites to walk again
if only for a brooding hour,
once more to haunt the country lane

And p...

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My Half Of The Sonnet

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I'd give the petals flying 
in the hurricane today
the peace they found in the bud
though it may never be.

The dark side of the Earth
encroaches on the day,
run to my heart for shelter
though it overwhelm me.

In the dohyo, immovable object 
meets immovable object.
All eyes turned that way
discern a kind of victory.

Thru this burning away of evil
giants stand, grow clearer.

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The Stake To The Sunflower

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You might have struggled to escape me
yet your tendrils held me to you.
I was far too implacable for any living thing
though strangely bound to you, sweet-sight.
How could I not recognize you as my wife?
We were as one standing for summer.
Now you see me, by fractions, 
fly madly from this child's bow.
Yourself carried off: 
a fine subject...

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Through The Willow Curtain

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There was no pond when you came here

you have stood and your tears have pooled

now I stand by though summer may call

choosing the site as most suited

You are the willow bending over the pond

and just as time's appointments are meaningless 

to you, I'll be your close correspondant

but forgive me if I obtrude, understand when I recede


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First Light Echoes

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That which ought be
with a turn of the head, appears.
With a blink o' the eye- right there.
One step forward. There.

Who is not familiar 
with the powers of the angels
second nature- you'd know it 
with your eyes closed.

For who has not awakened to 
their revelation in dawning light,
birdsong nigh perennial wisdom

and dew-fresh the simple gifts given...

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We are all authors
rabid shorthand relates the feeling
just before the lightening strikes
We are all artists
painting the runaway wagon
ravenous for time to eat
We are all builders
balancing skulls, no mortar
leaning tower, such a view
We are all inventors
I'll show you if you show me 
wild ideas saving lives  
We are all explorers
our trail of breadcrumbs sniffed out and gone
what t...

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We May Break Even

The friend we have to consider
    settles his accounts on the last day
        it is the worst possible time.

'Today's the day' his good motto
    bright eyes shine on
        a glittering stream of todays.

His darker eyes raw from seeing them
    love; tragedy; cavort like little devils 
        along lanes of fading recollection.

what should our likeness expect to find ahead

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One Autumn Twilight

A gong struck once holds the attention forever 
and ever in the meaning of moonlight
describing the limbs, drinking 
doubles in a dry land and 
moving as statues, silver the hue.

We are communicating at last
through music and poetry.
Bark and croak of howling beast
should persuade us no longer.
Above the din, on the highest peak
we make our home.

Days made sweet blending
pure minut...

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The Greedy And The Hungry Went To War...


guilty and innocent were keeping score

one step into dark, one step into light
a dance macabre betwixt wrong and right

to the boil they came together and cried
the greedy fed on fears, the hungry died

how could their minds murmer lest we forget
while trampling to oblivion their debt

the greedy and the hungry went to war
weeping and wailing grew just as before

one step to th...

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Fool's Ghazal

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Ascents most extreme scaled only by fools
he returns; he returns not; O the fools

The finest, most elevated branches!
There perch incessant songsters! And the fools

In this limited form they face the void
blue eyes closed the better to see, the fools

Prepared to take flight? Then loosen your grip
encircle the rock with this flock of fools


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The New World Requires

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the new world requires smooth elephants
hirsuit elephants go back into the earth

your eyes abhor an emptiness
people a desert with figures

the new world requires hirsuit elephants
smooth elephants go back into the earth

arms severed long ago reach out
to you the phantom hand of peace

the new world requires smooth elephants
hirsuit elephants go ba...

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In A Free Hour

Crime follows crime until the gods intervene

all my free hours I wonder

who and what these gods are



Day follows day without a break

this much at least I know is true until

stark as the eclipse a free hour steals in



A runner unaware of the race

signals the smooth ways where possible

one of many I could believe flying



Impossible to catch such ...

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For You To Judge


A town like this 
whole skies passing over

those words
had a need to be written
they don't satisfy me
I know they don't satisfy you
they had a need to be written
being written
they are satisfied

I have seen the great poet
go down to the sea
hurl a great weight of verses 
into the greedy waves
it would take so great an effort
to ensure they float
an effort too great for fles...

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      when we see that
      we are still afflicted
      but we are happy

      For the life of me I can't say
where it came from but, this fragment
made a home in my head today.
A teardrop of honey
in exquisite slow-motion, yet to fall.

      "When we see that"
I imagine THAT in capital letters.
Jesus Christ, the incredible itch
wondering what 'that' is.
Then again, that cou...

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Mama Fado

Before now was
      a song: 

You go to the graveyard to talk to yourself
      by black night remembering stars

More have sailed away
than can ever return
you have loved them all
and your love still burns

More still remain children
while trees around them grow
lilliputians of emotions
yet you love all you know

That love caught up with a miller
as he set out to sea
his sails ...

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Atlantic Cliffs

A poem can not be read slowly enough
no safe passage into dear reader's care.
Extreme as Ireland's Atlantic cliffs 
where shadow and light like imperilled life flit:
the places words snatched by shrill winds collect.
It is there we must direct our steps, only there
signal moments caught from passing time,
occasional anniversary cards dry in drawers.

I have a prediliction for serious trea...

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A Letter, As A Dry Leaf


And there is a time to imagine:

through drought to finis.

So long on the parched plain,

the city of the earthquake becoming

real as myth; silent and still.

Time to feel spent sorrows fly

drinking in the desert, the ruins,

of  sorrow multiplied. 



Unable to imagine a future

in stillness a wind prepares to blow

in silence, of anger unaware

beside a grai...

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Sheep May Safely Graze

I don't judge the flock born to this hillside

but lay down my burden to get the outlook.

So it is with the heart up the hillside and down

I stop to hear, even falteringly repeat.

It has been shown, it is believed, 

It would only be my own heart weighed

and climbing up become falling down.

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The Crowd  



Waits, noise and mess its camp followers.
The crowd is
always waiting, waiting for a festival-
music or literature even.
Awaiting the mardi gras, the revolution
the carnival, some kind of orgy.
A requiem for someone known to all.

Of course none of these things can help them
but, what could do them any good?
All our children rushing to enlist.

We have tended a patch of land

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Of Changeable Weather


     Outside the box the river I know snakes.

Crawling over the earth, days send
their shadows to the east
sit at last, drunken, leant upon a bench 
exhaling laughs.

     Inside the dreams are small, familiar.

Days, like words, made up of meaning
make sense by the sentence;
a necklace of pearls strung together
effort's reward.

     For the time being all is not lost. 


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The Leap


How the porpoise was drawn into the seas

holding a pace seeming stationary

and, bagged on a shelf in a store of years,

who would believe: love is perfected yet.



Moon-proud a sillhouette over our seas-

a second sight at the antipodes-

curving like the rainbow before she fades

just as never was: love is perfected yet.

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metaphysical poetry

V. S. Naipaul 1932-2018

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At the house of Mr. Biswas

we'd evesdrop: a bond between us.

On moonless nights like this, I swear

we had a light leading us there.


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There falls an almighty darkness
in this most voracious of cities
but one side of the mind is not yet victorious.

Being on the eve, all that is plentiful is hearsay-
new dawn carried off by black knight;
students of fashion seek martyrdom.

But like clockwork the day breaks
glittering, aircraft set their scars across the sky
a show of power 

as empty 
to the universe beyond the...

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At Present

There is light at the end of the tunnel
and it is light these eyes were made to see.
My self I have imagined, reflected
in countless frames busy with wild designs 
to my left                                            and right,
likeness after likeness for company.
Portrait of the times each step of the way
shadow caught astrals, they reach out, would speak.
How many would change their luc...

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metaphysical poetry

The World Of Slavery


Five minutes ago I learnt of a man
child of a child, windsock of an airfield.
The world of slavery is robust thanks
to him for both slaves and slave owners hang 
in his family tree. Y'see, children of slaves 
do become, sadly often, slave owners.

Red herrings swallowed could burst the guts
of infants born to slowly fade and sink,
but this world of slavery is robust 
for there's a c...

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Anonymous plays his outstanding tunes 
outside the concert hall
unencumbered by laurel or crown
anonymous beauty grows enrapt on the green
christening the field Elysian
satyrs, staggered, remark in their dualmind
remembering the vow humane.

For sweet hearts torn and modern minds shredded 
in machinelife anonymous donates red blood,
gives higher love where low quotas are imposed.

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All ThezeDreamz


     Dropped into a transparent sky;
carried far more than sight could bear;
tied to the last migrating bird;
these dreams spilt, from vagrant hearts all.

     Coalesced to a melting sun-
the daze of rare celebration.
Or taken individually,
starcount the ways to be explored.

     Written light in pencil, no more
than faintest echo waited for.
Like breath of air these words that ...

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Just So Much


I don't know the names of these flowers...
but wait, that is the road back.
I found myself here when I forgot
the royal road and the mission.
Camouflaged, a cat brushed past stems
certain of an afternoon's handful of things,
one being-  these flowers reject names.
I'm pleased to know just so much 
as some darting creature bound for rest 
when the closing sky suggests rain.
A flock l...

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The Lot Of Us


No need to confess
hair infused with smoke
hand red and burning 
from slapping a snowman hard
and all these hours late!
Once a man stamped a boot on the moon
the rest of us need no name
no need to confess
from Beijing to Bogata
the cakes are disappearing.

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The Poem:


May be read or unread
that is not our concern

bloom spontaneous in hermetic mind.

May be misunderstood
or diluted in time
no matter

restoreth a most ancient faith
by a most novel innovation.

May wield the harsh weapons 
of a vengeful orphan

distracts a fool from his folly
installs a world unnoticed.

May be a phial of stage blood
to stain the sea red


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Look- all is reassembled in a year.

For a pastel fleck comes the bee, the thorn.

But seeds who still wait lay frozen by fear

under the wheels of a machine. Unborn.


Look- flowers are walking, summer to spread

across so fine a landscape warm and green.

Yet more- and on a pitted tarmac bed

to sun, from shadows owning them, will lean.


How shall I honour them? Mod...

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The Last Giant Tortoise

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You don't understand, do you?
It's okay...
we'd lie under a crushing trove by now.
You're the dead man walking. Slowly.
Lonesome George, you are the last of your kind,
the cut already made. But you don't understand,
do you?

Going back to sleep an hour is a long time.

"Upon a hillside, sheep-dotted
a shepherd and soft flute player 
enacts the old tale without end

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It's An Optimist's World


Of the utmost pliable nature
I picture an enduring surface
the skin of a planet.

Between intolerable molten core
and absolute void where chaff may disappear
ouroborus; mobius; this surface
observes all and only the laws of Pi.
Wrapped around as on a bon-bon
its intricate designs kept clear and shiny
by all who feel entitled or obliged to care.

And here is water, somehow,
not an...

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Praia Maria Louisa


So long do I study burning sand in my flameproof palm yet 
certainly I know it must slip through prodigal fingers.
Through floors of taverns 
and the centre of the world as easy.
And the gate between two stars; 
the void blowing shining galaxies apart.
So far, it will be true at last- none of this ever was.

Clear streams chime on smoothed rock.
Hidden birds proclaim blessed...

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