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John Marks on Charlie
1 hour ago

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Moonlight on Untitled
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3 hours ago

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4 hours ago

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John Botterill on This Exquisite Pain.
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keith jeffries on Charlie
5 hours ago

Charlie

 

 

Yesterday, after 13 years of unconditional love,
Charlie allowed death to overtake him
He’d been slowing down anyway:
The old ticker on the blink,
Arthritis in his legs and more.
The old trooper staggered on.
Out with me on his final night,
We plod through the wet grass:
Making our time last.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAII1Ls3iBQ

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Alchemy

Days pass unenlighteningly
In the other room 
Mourning in outer space
Meetings on Zoom. Buried near enough.
Splendid unknown unlnowns assist me 
You, who hardly know me, prevaricate,
Intimidated by the gravitas of life,
Soldiers, the saddest of alchemists,
Turn a trick on the front line
Turn wine into water, blood into hell;
At the summit of the shroud, 
Above clouds, tattered prayer fl...

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Synaesthesia

 

Let’s keep the light we’re given
When our store of words is fled
Empty as a music box
Or a box to house the dead;

When the bridge between living and dying
Has crumpled into the dust 
Of a Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie*
Then all of our days are cussed.

We dream in tints, and think in shades,
When the gates of the new Jerusalem 
Appear then quickly fade
On the brink...

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A Sufi Saint contemplates his imminent dissolution

 

Goodbye my Sufi friends and you, my lover;
Nothing now exists to connect you to me
Tayyar is honourable and full of good intent
I will rise from the trap of the world
I will ask you to be my servant in paradise
You are my dancer, I am your poet, we can laugh
Together on days when I taste the rain-drift-clouds.
When you sew I can watch you and fall in love~
Again I remember our fir...

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CONQUEST

It was a bird who brought the news
Of the fall of our city.
Its impregnable walls breached
Its streets and palaces running
With Christian blood. 
You'd rather freeze than be conquered
I will freeze in another sea.
Another city will be better for me.
So many late-Roman artefacts smashed
The sultan prays east, not west
Our death sentence is written˙
and my heart is dead and buried.
This ...

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Otto's lament

“Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted"
- Sylvia Plath's epitaph

O! daughter dear, on this mid-western afternoon,
When I can see all the way to Sacramento, I cry
For you, Ariel-blue, in all your golden-girlhood,
Too lovely for a life of pettiness and strife 
You caught a boat to England, never returned.
No Nazi goblin me, an extraordinary Jew like you,
Beautifully...

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No woman is an island

 
I can hardly speak but I will try.
My brain falls silent, still;
It is the dying of the day
A ferment of tenses
Leads me up cul de sacs.
Where my vision lingers
On a shimmerin
Moonlit-figure.

My mood mirrors
The sparkling frost,
Loss upon loss.

I've gone now
Suspicious of the silence within,
Outside all is wild,
Clouds scud the colour of blood.

Sunshine soaks the sk...

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Raindrop

"After-comers cannot guess the beauty been."‘Binsey Poplars’, Gerard Manley-Hopkins SJ, 1879

 

 

the emptiness of moonlight
strikes me dumb
shadows flicker like an old film
cats eerily call, each to each,
cats yowl, strike a pose,
frozen, with fur mantled by shadow;
so much idiosyncratic beauty given to us –
see the clouds scoop across the face
of the moon as the night-sky spe...

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Winter tree

 

The hen bird sits squatty on a branch
Feathers fluffed up against the snow
The late November light declines
Thin straggles of light, like Tibetan
Prayer flags, amid the skeletal trees
People hunch up, faces down, hurry
Into the electric-cave they call home.
For me anything is better than this self
Deception. I am defamiliarized, glinting,
Illuminating inner correspondences, lonely
P...

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Popocatépetl

“How, unless you drink as I do, could you hope to understand the beauty of an old Indian woman playing dominoes with a chicken?”
― Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano  
 
 
the room  is crowded, sultry 
sweats with frustration
the functionary loves his power
to make people wait hour after hour
some need to register births, others deaths,
they sway and smell of drink, unimportantly;
...

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A Litter of Roads

“I saw the years of my life spaced along a road in the form of telephone poles threaded together by wires. I counted one, two, three... nineteen telephone poles, and then the wires dangled into space, and try as I would, I couldn't see a single pole beyond the nineteenth.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar 
 
Farewell To Deputy Manager Eric
Sacked from his Official Post
As Govenor of Roads
...

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Beloved City

Roll up
Roll up
BeeLoved City
BeeLoved United
City United
Roll up
Roll up
Manchester changed the world: vegetarianism  feminism trade unionism communism.                        Upstarts shared ideas above their station,                          every snotty street-fighter of a radical volte-faced the nation.                  Brawlin  n buzzin in Manchester streets                        mil...

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O! hear the silence now

"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport." (King Lear, 4.1. 37–38)

Veils of disguise,
fall from my eyes
I have the virus today.

Will it drift away?
Stay positive?
Spit out
signs and wonders?

No!

This ground will remember me~
like winds across the ocean
like dolphins in the sea -
Right in my core
nestle
things I can’t recall:
a silence pre...

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The Wild

With the golden eyes of a pharaoh –
This lioness extends her paw to me -
I am not deceived. I am just walking prey.
Her forebears brought down rhino –
Under the sweltering skies of the high veldt:
Lithe and supple, fleet of foot,
She covers this northern turf
With ceaseless leaps and bounds.
Her loyalty is only bounded by her pride,
Affiliation is to the death.
No treachery in her wo...

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And so she goes

Splashing through rain to hospital 

to where my heart lies weeping,

I hold her hand as she lies sleeping,

and so it goes, and so it goes.

My mother wears the ring she wore

more than  seventy years before,

a girl pledged to a sailor-boy,

who'd lived through war,

survived, a vision in her eyes 

and so it goes, and so it goes.

This orphan made it home to her

to build ...

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Taliesin

 

An old, Welsh witch once said this:

“Taliesin, don’t be sad if you’re alone
On Ynys Môn you have battled mightily
Despair will bring us no advantage.
No man sees what supports him
Courage is invisible. Study The Mabinogion.
God will not violate his promises.
We must suffer in Gwyddno’s weir
Where our stand against the invaders
Will end in defeat! We must learn how to fail.
Bei...

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Identity theft

 

Staring at the red candle,
remembering the smell of patchouli oil,
mixed with the Red Leb, from all those years ago.
On Saturday 4th July, 1846 the London Daily News 
extolled the virtues of this peculiar
Indian oil in preventing moths.
Nothing to do with hippies, except India, 
and olfactory-based imagined communities from the past 
that have a grip that lasts. 
Ad agencies now ...

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Savant syndrome

"This tenderness comes as a surprise
Drinking where the riverbed was dry
Trees in the wind trembling with love." Sam Beam
 
 
Mabinogion -  idiot savants
Sent the hot wind of endurance
To inflame those who saw
Seas, skies, mountains, people 
Yearning to drive out  the barbarian 
The plain-faced Saesneg and return
To Arthur's court all the delights
Of celtic cultur...

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St Sophia's cathedral, Constantinople

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – JS Mill (not Edmund Burke)

St Sophia’s cathedral in Constantinople,
Ecclesia Sanctae Sophia,
Surrounded by minarets.
Built in 537 AD (nearly 1500 years ago).
The patriarchal cathedral of Divine Wisdom
In the imperial capital of Byzantium, Constantinople.
It is the largest church in the Christian east.
...

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On the edge of the world

 
Trepidation on this beach
Mires my mood
New Year has many tales to tell
The future a hostage to silicon~
And heavy metals. Nuclear too.

 
How can we give our children away so cheaply?
We must make our stand here,
at this end of the world.
Bioda Roe is king of the sea, 
a relative of the seal
whose long dives used to fill our imaginations
with bubbles.  No more. Plastic saw...

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