Poetry Blog by Adam Whitworth

Dangling Koan

 

     Consider one in ages passed who didn't return 
from a journey, nothing more known. 

In the dark, in ringside seats, 
legs dangling in a grand canyon.

     What can we say of the person?

     Having considered ourselves dead,
          we may be better equipped to live.

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December's Poem

Something of the night is in the new day

  mystery, a little darkness, the unconscious 

    approaching the table now I can see

      faces ready to impose an immoral deal

        but shards of day must also pierce the gloom

          those clear consistant lights we carry through

            in this way the tables are overturned 

              and every one upset is a fair pr...

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Sia

her eclectic deaths
     tell of a spirit 
          atuned to renewal

a mark of the beast for every one
     in mass graves covered well

     never does she excuse the enemy
          she diminishes the defeat

           this scarred landscape to labour in
                her aim a green butterfly field

those who come after peace will learn her ways

and so grey cells are reima...

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By The Book


And the moral of the story is...lost before we begin!
I say begin- the early chapters of this book have failed to survive.
We could make a hobby of assuming what they held, 
but don't expect real answers. Oh, and how does it end? well,
the last pages are not yet published, not yet written. 
Nor sprouted from the seed. Plainly the book is written
in a languague none of us understands.
Let's ...

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Love Remains

 

That's one small step hewn out of stone
a plinth for my reaching figure alone

xxx

Beckoning unto one who isn't here
as one not here beckons to me alone

xxx

One giant leap out of all proportion,
one size fits all I understand- am I alone?

xxx

To say it over and over with
flowers; poetry; with moondust or tears alone

xxx

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Missing

That's one small step turned to stone,
a plinth for my reaching figure:

beckoning to one who isn't here
as one who isn't here beckons unto me.

One giant leap, and unpractised,
one size fits all I understand

say it over and over with
flowers, poetry, with moondust.

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Work In Progress

Deeper By Night


my wish ing well dee per by night
the moon a pen ny tum bling in
through cease less re vo lu tions I
lay as un con scious on the floor
some one laid a coat o ver me
the old in tox i ca ted rogue
up to my neck sink ing dee per
I hoped to wake un a ware of
where I lay be fore the thick et
of par tic u la ri ty has
me pinned in place like a spi der
or fly on the web just to praise
the old...

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A Poem Between Friends

I believe our skies hang heavy with stars 
while watching treetop flocks lift into blue

moon walking at night it all makes sense 
dawn's damp show how my watercolours bleed

now we are grown and there is no more
echo from any door slammed long ago

over and again I sift right from wrong 
let you say once more they are all the same 

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Refugees

 

Who are they? Those who tresspass against us.
Why are they here? In the dream it is I
treading down silly wire fences
and it feels good. I follow 
where only clouds can freely go.
In the dream all the people
who feel good are treading down fences,
pulling down walls to make bridges.
They feel good, being good.
They follow where harmless clouds roam.
In the dream I believe there are ...

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Refugees In Peril

There must have been a refuge


here we are, are we not?


Blessed refuge in time of disaster,


humble land reached at rising flood.


And the power of one blade of grass!


Reverberate long, our heaving hearts,


from dreadful days of drought.


Our histories describe us all as refugees.


Our wits or prayers confirmed


fleeing flames; sidestepping storms;


here resolution is built, ...

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Much

 

Don't expect so much
     if Sun puts beauty fair before itself
          high into a sky of fading stars.
When is a windfall left to maggots?
     On a morning like this, 
don't expect too much.
      By fair
 rivers giving up their secrets
          easy as flying salmon-  look who work
like bees, to outstare their hunger
     any morning like this. 
Breath betide breath, well
   ...

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A woman is like a white

 

(a meditation on the poem of the 
same title by W.B.Yeats)

A woman, her love, is like a white
feathered one; far-seeing gull or royal swan
or more, for beauty, the tender dove,
entrusted to a vale swooped beneath the storm:
the furrow of a ploughed field below the blasts.
And there she bides, unnoticed, no-one has noticed
how long. As in her place as a stone in mud
yet, astounded, ...

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Swami Speaks


How much brass neck and bare-faced cheek
does it take to think you need not review
your beliefs and behaviour?

to stand just like those
with brass neck and bare-faced cheek
without uncomfortable embarrassment
is the problem

I have attended to the great ones
producing arguments designed 
to lead to the promised land

but reviewing the day as it is
as it was left yesterday
what chan...

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Fundamental Particles

Spun skillfully a milky way the net cast over the waters 

 


one last sporting throw for all the world in slow motion

 


for the feast or famine guiding hand or chaos

 


it would seem a good idea further back-pedalling

 


read a hundred fictions delivered slowly

 


time suspended high in a cosy bubble 

 


the net thrown finds its crux in a job well done

 


as spi...

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Luck

 

I'll tell you a sad tale 
  so short with an abrupt end
    of necessity I follow the tangent 
      to the pond without relish
        for one lone goose dabbles at the edge
          and flocks who bickered there have flown
I'll tell you of a dream 
  our goose with a set of mallards forms a nation 
    smaller coots feel bold among vigilant eyes
      just as our protection once s...

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The Poet's Christmas

gems of poems practically no-one gets to read


(myself and, I'll believe, a couple of others don't count)


I wished they could be familiar among us


remembered and valued discussed let alone read


be careful what you wish for you said


(thinking, I believe, of religion)


a lifeless orthodoxy squanders


the spiritual hunger common to all


point taken I feel I should wander home


t...

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Butterfly



You


flung open 


wing-like


curtains


found mountains 


filling the morning


and all the grubs feeling


obliged to climb


through the unforgiving world


you are


hammered into shape 


withstanding 


love 


the essence must be 


swept up with inconstant winds 


settling 


ghostlike on petals


yet roaming and away


many-faceted eyes 


made to share  


this on...

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Old Poems


     Sentimental notes1
          pennywhistle blown 
carry so far as the whim prevails
     a recreation of the centuries
around and around stray frag ments 
     whirl'd high in
constant cloud meet
          wishing to hold em and keep em
favourites 2 
the horizon
     only I must stay

 

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Trump The Roman

 

sadly I return to ancient Greece
stand with artists and philosophers 
let us speak once again
sadly because the law-makers
sculptors of the age
turn instead to imperial Rome
though the line of Athenian geometry reaches further
an emperor has declared himself a god

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Horror

 

It's hardly a matter of going into the wood
more a matter of not leaving it;
       children, stay away from the edge.
Hitting the concrete means death,
and should you hear the iron shriek
       please move deeper if you can.
Our growing understanding 
of towers putting trees in the shade
       spreads a dread of becoming 
petrified by the horror, and those unable 
to return with ...

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Nine Line's Wonder

 

I don't mean to be bleak
old feet find the iciest stones
slipping up the mountain
to begin again
blueprints understood 
hand me the spanner
my work ethic intact
for a session of mending
enemy engines 

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Mulling It Over And Over

     Aesop began mumbling a long time ago: 
"Determined to care
  f o r

rather than care  a b o u t"
     similarly, the Idiot Soldier who ran through Archemides:
"having come this far"
     Pliny The Elder:
"the public park in clement weather"
     then also The Younger:
"where I count the blades of grass"
     the Pied-Piper, if he ever existed, would surely add:
"I must count them"
     and King ...

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Work In Progress

We Are Them

 

     They are poor old creatures washed up from the sea
-best not look- or might they be waiting...
who can say... the last word of the comedy
     to hurl themselves through the waves, and end it?
Either way nothing to do with us.
One tries a word-search puzzle, one drifts off in the shade.
     The ebb and the flow
          a gentle tide plays.

     We accompany ourselves with gr...

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Love's Creature

 

       WHAT on earth is that in the mirror?
One day he sees a chained slave
the very next a crowned king
next day...who can tell the heart of love's creature?
       It is his truelove who keeps his heart
and she who shows wisdom 
putting by a little as seed-corn
where the grass is always greener
and no foot treads.
       There out of sight a spring pure
and clear begins to bubble
...

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Work In Progress

Old Beacon Wood

 

From any angle you'd make a painting
where there is a lake in the woods
and when the drought comes and the lake is dry
stroll slow over to breathe the dust
nothing is likely to disturb your soul
where your lake lies low in the woods
beneath a gathering in the treetops
recite the old verse through the hush

From my position the sun is hidden
reclined by the lake in the woods
and whe...

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Poet And Poetry


Twigs snap in the woods
a beginning for any poet
within the likes of you and I

     but the poet is idling

          unrelated episodes by the hundred-
          weight, light-hearted; rivetting;
          don't make up a life

               poetry concerns itself with life

monkeys have sensed smoke
guessed at its cause, investigated
and raised the alarm

     yet the poet loun...

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Brexit Update (August 2017)

 

We view the prospect before us
with the uncertain mood of our weather clutching
all kinds of lucky charms in shallow sleep
we stormed away from the mainland
now all our fingers are crossed 
that we don't wake up up
to our necks in deep water

Our seers are forecasting like mad
but who can really see around corners
no-one here would like to 
find themselves adrift in a slo-mo crash
...

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Work In Progress

A Figure Stood

 

It worries me not I seem a scarecrow 
     only the odd wind fluttering my suit
          sunsets I've seen at the old riverbank
               and faraway lights on the other side

colour draining slowly from the landscape
     when day ends his project and turns away
          in the gloom melancholy is mine yet
               the very next day I'm inclined to paint

and sometimes...

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A Gambler's Song

You lose again 
the money you borrow
that ghost to your doorstep creeps 
tomorrow
firmly held beliefs 
are sunk and hollow
where shallow seas become deep 
tomorrow

Birds in the bush will chatter 
tomorrow
will they lose their love and weep 
who's to know
on fancy's dressed-up day 
ol' tomorrow
that moan that holds back sleep 
rhyme of sorrow


Where the fugitive runs
there you'l...

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Manifesto

 

I vote with my feet


carrying the creature


from the sterile house


to a living environment


those like me who capture spiders in a plastic cup
to take them out of the house
make one great group in society
another great group has other ideas
and so society is split


we move through the same space


like thoughts in a head

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Passing By


What is it about these streets
I walk every so often?
I could be anywhere in the land.
I could believe these were the streets I grew up on.
The pause of deja vu sameness must mean something;
why the feelings raised to intense?
Is it just the acknowledgement 
of connection with other people? just here
I could believe we're all the same:
putting the same stuff into the same bins,
kicking a...

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Far Out

 

Ship. Oh Ship.
You have no rudder.
I know not what to do.

Neither do I 
have an anchor,
deep, deep is the blue

There are no lights
to show the coast.
Who will lead me through?

A dark moon 
lies wrapped in cloud,
deep, deep is the blue

I shall have
a tale to tell 
with the dawn in view.

The hole in 
my keel grows wider,
deep, deep is the blue

Then so long 
as I l...

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Attention

 

You love it for its short life-span

not a statue you'd pass a hundred times

then look up and notice

but imagined light painting Rothko

on eyelids warming up for the day

and Dawn heard giggling

in the hushed approach of rain

-or so the distant peep of a whistling bird insists

you just strive to keep the dream whole

but grateful again your pen is put to paper

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Ground Nesting

 

When all the animals that could leapt up
to play our icons of virtue,
and all the animals that could dived low
that each might rise again at will,
the lapwing turned to grass and her eggs stone.
Through her field we stroll unaware.


     Like thunder enraged beasts colour the air:
all-round heroes of Aesop.
     I am the invisible one, my call
a ricochet of the north wind.
     I a...

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Proem

When dawn comes round  
conversation resumes 
in the treetops.

Locked in dreams we are insects in amber
as surrounding manors declare themselves
before a wing has tried the air.

Long we enjoy a certain latitude
who fares ill or who fares well 
shaming our practised indifference
little chaps with big ideas will tell
who is itching for change and who is found strangely 

mute.
Just ...

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Adam's Humanity

 

Allow that the least atom may be separated from all else:
this was my position.
Darkness, or rather nothingness
in every direction,
and every second identical.
As my fears that I must be asleep, drugged, dead or worse
shrank like stars of the morning
I knew their fate to be like mine
and emptiness, darkness or nothingness
was not really so bad!
It was now I saw as if with eyes
a br...

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Exordium

The sleeping world responds to visions
with the slightest movement, and that is enough.

In hibernation the bear feels a cub
safe in her embrace and thinks no further.

The sleeping world weaves a moral sampler
layer on layer: a tangle with no end

"...the organised narrative is the orphaned child of a wish..."
colliding, ever-dying echoes illuminate a moment.
The moment's prayer to las...

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Towering Factory Gates

 


     A bus-
the dying term omnibus suits better
but let that be- 
     having right of way,
detains us.  
     Passing faces occupy
the stream of changeful feeling
suitable for drama on wheels:
     anger frets by nameless sorrow, 
saintly patience breathes...
     silently beside indescribable love.
Humour writes in dust,  joy stands by pain.
     These disciples of the clear exp...

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For Me Gardening Mam

 

     Here is a sneezewort


grateful your crazy-paving's cracked.


Determineded by sun, determined by rain.


     Similarly me-


your light words drift over us both


(who naturally heed not a word)


a few notes on the old piano sketch


avenues of heartache, or belonging.


     Of magic? Maybe. No more than a hint


of choux pastry scent by the garden path.


This way a sneeze...

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Bedtime Of Doom

 


The day has dawned and darkened,
there is a comet in the sky.
Hast thou, firmament, then harkened
to one troubled soul's cry?

Figures on the temple steps;
some statues, some moved 
by a maddened God or thought's hand;
helpless as domed rooves snap off
and tremors all around
bring structure down to earth.
Red brick rips from blue brick
thus
 body-parts, vicious-jawed dinosaurs
and...

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Foundlings

 

In a land lost in silence I recall


    the weak and poor creatures safe in my hat.


My idealistic heart, like yours, was pleased 


    to be crawling for crumbs to feed them.


Where do such abandoned poems point us


    when at the last line we all fly from here...

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Polyester Fluorescent Workwear?


   
      If things were so spun that I 
dressed my lady I'd gaze on an Aztec princess.
A summer's warmth her eyes radiate! Jade and gold 
catch the light. Charms and tokens of love 
sparkle in earnest. Silks and feathers shimmer;
bring motion to emotion in my view.
For my life as backdrop I am ecstatic.
This is the picture to die for. 
     Back here in this flat world, England 2017, 
s...

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love

Contrariwise To The Newest Wrinkle

 

Paint us now a heavy horse
     pulling through the mire.
Sing the praises of our land
     plough beside proud spire.

See her clear- the misty dew,
     time's own ghost of white.
Alight her here nearer still:
     lone owl of the night.

Leave one girl in her spring best
     leant upon a gate.
Held in twilight reflection;
      our own fine day grown late.

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Always Mistaken

entry picture


Sometimes, often, 


seeing a shaver across the street


a step and a style his own


I stumble at the power of resemblance-


he could so easily be our Daniel.


And here I buckle, stabbed once more


for I realise my mistake: 


Never again can I greet Daniel. Yet,


I'm almost raising my arm


crying across, hello.

 

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Land Of No Return

 

How do we compare with
   these figures of myth: the man, the woman?
They are conjured from a whirlwind
   yet their hair is immaculate,
and while hunted by demons 
    they keep their languid stride.
They may not ever understand one another,
   but agonised quests lead them to meet
      and there, faraway, make their pact.
Alas, none has found the power 
to return;
   to enlighten ...

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We All Agree

 


The guitars roared like jets, just ask Mark.
The guitars quacked like ducks- ask Maria.
Don't ask me since I have cut my hair,
long nights were too short, we all agree there.
The wine poured in like a river, just ask Julie.
Money straight through boney fingers- ask Linroy.
Don't ask me for something to share,
long nights were too short, we all agree there.
We talked like inspired guru...

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Pastoral

 

All for one surpassing flower 
     I'll sing a thousand songs;
I'll let the minute roam the hour,
     the whole wide day beyond.

Here I'll leave the bloom unshaken,
     my heart a ready vase;
until all my breath is taken
     and shared among the stars.

This much- the imprint in the grass-
    where I have stood so long,
let harmless twilight come to pass,
     there is the ...

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Love Begins At Fifty

It happens we meet late in life

The suspicion is an onside Sun leaned in 
a few paces closer this day, 
ensuring our faces glisten
in a good light- how could we say?

We are without claws to catch the promise

Certainly we may 
refer to a spectacular blue sky,
as all clouds are urgently called away,
should passing juggernauts threaten
the suggestion of a grey day.

Basking in our c...

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love

A Consideration

I drift to the moon, resting oars 
above deep water, floating miles above 
critters that skitter about the seabed.
As good a place as any to think.

My hand aches to snatch rare berries
from a privileged babe, coddled
child of piracy and injustice sure 
to further tresspass as his seasons turn.

But I have two hands; one closed, one open.
One is hard and one is soft and 
one must work ...

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On A Good Morning

 

    Under my pillow the whispering heart of Simone Weil
expresses sweet love better than I could ever hope to.
Please don't wake me only to face the day empty-handed.

    Under my pillow beaks Mozart among the nightingales;
sweet message of the soaring song at last loud and clear.
Don't wake me for surely I will come away with nothing.

    Under my pillow the fierce red eyes of the ...

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Dave D Poet Rhumour on Refugees In Peril (Sat, 25 Nov 2017 08:51 pm)

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