Poetry Blog by Dominic James

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Dominic James on Moss runs greener in the sun (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:20 am)

Brian Maryon on Moss runs greener in the sun (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:16 am)

Big Sal on From any balcony around (Thu, 26 Jul 2018 07:51 pm)

Big Sal on Badger (Sat, 28 Apr 2018 01:38 am)

M.C. Newberry on Badger (Thu, 26 Apr 2018 06:52 pm)

Laura Taylor on Badger (Thu, 26 Apr 2018 01:04 pm)

Graham Sherwood on Badger (Thu, 26 Apr 2018 11:50 am)

Big Sal on One of these days (Fri, 13 Apr 2018 11:44 pm)

Tom Harding on Ted Crow (Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:36 pm)

Stu Buck on Ted Crow (Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:06 am)

Ballade Villon

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I saw François tonight as he stepped on the grate
   in a cape of leather tongues cut from the shoes
of frogs – those lily pond lords – to celebrate   
   punishment by the sharp-clawed lady whose
   curse, laid on a husband’s sweaty haste to booze
has of late dried up, but our poet runs on
to escape the sink of the rue Saint Antoinne
   in a player’s rank and borrowed hose, sword on hip,

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ballade formhistorical figures

The dolphins seemed unfriendly

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No sooner had we landed when, at a loss,
we struck out for the islands. not by airplane –
wheels on the shallows – but in the drink, again
cast off into the Med, each a Pangloss –
ebulliance deranged – sailed for Paxos,
island of the  shotgun, Easter rain
whose white chalk gulleys and a firefly lane
lit us home through the olive alleys, moss.

O’Hara was right to remind us of Pan,
the gr...

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old mythsPantravel

Moss runs greener in the sun

On all the things he’d lost and found
he turned around, and let them slide

he ran the old belongings ragged:
possessions, mind and jacket.

What good possessions anyhow?

Now that time was on his side
the world was in his pocket.

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material wealth

From any balcony around

Mountain boundaries are like the rocky shores
and clouds lodged there break like the waves

so any balcony around that overlooks a shore,
looks on the sea, the sky covering the world

which is not a copper bowl, that is to say,
is infinite, and so, as we look at the sea

and wonder where it leads – that is,
what is in store for us and which way home –

so to look upon the wrinkled c...

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I gently turn the badger’s head,
tuck in a leg and roll him over
comfortably, it appears
he resumes a sleeping posture.

I might have stroked him thoughtfully –
my bare hands – and slowly felt
the softness of his yellow pelt
to get his real weight and measure.
Instead, I scooped him with a plastic sack
and rubber gloves into a bottle green
recycling bag:

hefted this yeoman of the woo...

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Ted Crow

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Lugubrious crow
cocked head, marked down, set apart
from others of a feather, croak
a slow delivery, once overheard
The whetted beak, hard-rimed
for eyes, plucks out the cherry perfect
words, sinuous and tough,
can also skin a badger.

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On leave

There is no velvet at the front,
you’ll find no chairs, no fabrics,
seldom see a cooking pot, and

bars of scented soap seem drastic.
Out on patrol it’s hard indeed
to pass a day as God intended

when our lives are made fantastic
by sudden shocks which temper us,
make us strong, if frantic.

Then back at home, we’re castaways,
standing in white, fitted kitchens
with the business of g...

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Thelma and Louise

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He was hurting me

    but it’s all Texas

Shoot  the radio:
   the Police radio, Louise.

You have a talent
   for this kind of thing

I believe I do.
   Just go.

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That Tennyson

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“That fucking Tennyson.”
           I caught myself muttering
as I walked along. “Yes,
that fucking Tennyson,
           he can organise a sunset
and flake gold better than I can:
and Emily Dickinson,
           with her yellow children
           at the bars of a gate
closed by her sodding dominie in grey.
And Yeats!  That fucking Yeats
wags an ageing tongue at creation
and leaves me ...

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One of these days

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I tell you Puss, I tell you
dozing in your mushroom punnet
no booze.  no booze, no fags
is dull, I’m bored and cannot
hack it.  One of these days
we’re going to take a cruise
to somewhere, dull:  alright
but in another hemisphere
and we’ll stay up all night
downing hooch, alarming rats
and kicking back on grass
and cat nip.
Good times.  All ahead full.

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Man and Camel, & others, animal

I first read these lines, Mark Strand, in the snug
of the Falcon, in Stratford 'pon Avon,
a "scholars' room" off the entrance corridor’s
deep and darkly smoothed flag stones: the ground floor
should have smelt of sweetly stale wine, ginger
roast hog and crackling only at this point
in thyme it did not.

                               I came from Sheep Street
Oxfam, via Shakespeare’s birth...

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Anything but see the day
these 12 nights past, by half past three
a coward in his underpants,
a yellow room; yellow painted
golden drapes, prints framed yellow
and on the wall a poster of the irises
by the ginger madman who awarded
Gaugin with his ear:

Wasn’t that another sacrifice to love?
The irises are blue tacked above
the table beneath which lies the suitcase
that he eyes from ti...

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Madame Fortuna

Lift the flap, duck inside her booth,
settle in to lamp light, honey,

seeker after truth:  pay your dues,
let the tea leaves rest and stew

put your palm in hers. When she looks
into your eyes  La Fortuna sees the future

smiles in your beaker, fog clears,
here is  a handsome stranger: wait.

Disappointment.   In her view the visitor
is just you, alone, stranded in the dark.


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Beethoven SOB

deaf sonofabitch
always close
to going
over the top
and very close
to not coming back
the one composer
whose music
makes me cry
an ugly
noisy sort
I am a cold fish
fully grown

he must have been
as well
to make me fly
like that
who else
can express
storms in the
that is a world
of silence?
Deaf sonofabitch
Try clavier 5
symphony 6

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Thirst for Light 3

Take the first deep summer's draught
that rises from new leaves and stems,
full measure of the perfumed air
along our green, abundant paths;
since day will find its way for us
breathe down the sunlight - gulp it in-
and for a trackless hour or so
simply enjoy the season.


I'm trying mat-size rhymes on the theme of light for a beer mat competition. too expensive to send in a  series o...

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Wayland's thread

A take on the the Song of Völund from the Norse legends, Wayland being the English version of our elfish king, who flies away at the end of the tale: though, I see him more pinned to the rafters of Nidud's hall. These are dark tales, but they have original ideas and blood in their veins.   Comments welcome as ever.



Though still I make the custom rings
in red gold and intaglio,

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norseNorse Mythology





Smooth flies the pallid sea

and undercarriage wheels

reaching for the tarmac spit:

if I was a bird - I mean -

if my aircraft were organic,

a beak would rise

a tail would drop

my wings curl-to like potters' hands

shaping in the vortex – clay -

the solid air below.


If I was a brick – I mean –

If I were merely hurtling

through the jolly, m...

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