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slowly …
slowly …
surfacing
from sleep
buoyed up
and up
on bubble-dreams
stains of dingy dawn
drip
through the black
and stream
through fissures in the blind


a thoughtful mind
has gagged the Sunday clock
its hands
and solemn face
today suffice
to portion out
our spans of life
slice
by slice
by
tick-tock
slice

 
You lie close
still closed
and creased
beneath the sheets
your only sound
the gentle tides
of breath
- as somewhere
in the mire-maze
of streets
a pack of sirens howl
and blue/red lights
scope out
small tragedies and
the carrion of death
they race
to charnel-houses
where great minds
chance
and balance sheets
decide
whose dignity
shall be preserved
- and who shall live
their dignity
denied

 
the sky coughs
and splutters rain
on pigeons
puffed and tucked
against the cold
their gaudy iridescences
taunt
glowering clouds
with flourishes
of purple
green
and yellow-gold

 
a greasy drizzle
slicks the rooftops
bent-backed
in supplication
to the day
racked
and stacked
to the very edges
of the world
grey
on grey
on grey
on grey


fingerposts
of spires and domes
point the way
to vain and vengeful gods
their shadows
smother streets
and homes
and lives
and call the bluff
of those for whom
one life
can never be
enough
and cannot see
these tribute towers
of sacred stone
and blessed brick
can no more feed
the starving poor
than heal
the dying

drowning
sick
they whisper
listen
come
we are the word
the way
the light
and you will live
forever
- all else is wrong
and only we
are right

 
yet even now
they shrink
- reflected
in the one-way mirrors
of the corporate halls
behind which
fat-rich men
rub sticky hands
and send
endless dollars
chasing round
a shrinking sphere
with ease
- just one click
to bypass
poverty
ignorance
disease
fear


late revellers
numb with sound
and drink
and barely dressed
slink homewards
stepping stiffly
round the whorls
of litter
herded by
capricious winds
dervishing
by the sleeping
beetling

black ranks

of cabs
and public toilets
scabbed and tagged
with words
and names and signs
no one but the writer
understands

 
here dreams are sold
in lines
in rocks
in wraps
in pills
designer anaesthetics
antidotes to life
sucked up
by the score
from the
fucked up man
with eight-ball eyes
and a conjurer’s
sleight of hand
 

and
on the corner
painted nightgirls
stand in wait for
endless tricks
dead eyed and
needle limbed
exchanging comfort
for the dull cocoon
of another
and another
and another fix

 
the school
breathes easy
lost in a luxury
of quiet thought
young minds
may never feel
streamed
steamed
stamped out
as statistics
primed with answers
for a world
whose questions
are a different kind
of real


the paper-boy
chokes doorways
with a plague
of news and views
of how to feel
and what to think
- and statesmens’
sermons

shrivelling
to lies before the
tacky ink has dried
 

buy this
wear that
must have
you cannot
do without
the message shouts
out into
blotting-paper brains
of wage-slave workers
chains them fast
to unfulfillment
- scrimp and scrape
save and spend
no freedom
no escape
no choice
no end

You sleep on
a child-smile
skips across
your face
- parting lips
escaping
in a sigh
- a message
from your
other worlds
shut eyes seek
small treasure
in dark places
of the memory’s
slow decay
- pleasures
faces
trapped and wrapped
in tissue
of days past
and days to come
and go
they hum
along the silvered threads
of thought
secrets
no one else
can ever see
or know

 
these eyes
that watch
your easy peace
your innocence
your rest
your fragile beauty
could bathe you
with a rain of tears
enough to make
a moat
no fears could ever cross
and float away
each raft of troubles
each pain
each little war
each loss
 

and you will sleep
through kettle song
and wake to scent
of coffee
rich as earth
and strong as sun
and feed on
honeyed muffins
warmed with love
- your day begun
with gentle birth
from dark
from night
from dreams
the private sunrise
of your smile
your touch
your kiss
make this
poor soul
concede
that here
right now
within this space
is everything
I need.

 

 

◄ An Experiment!

Another . . . ►

Comments

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David Blake

Wed 6th Feb 2013 19:10

Wow, very good. The short lines compliment the language perfectly. Shows just how quick thoughts can change, leap around and wander.

Kenneth Eaton-Dykes

Sun 7th Oct 2012 12:25

Nice one Anthony.

Is this a sample of what goes on in your mind before you jump out of bed.

This wonderfully expressive work is a compelling sophisticated read,describing in suptle metaphors how we spend each our days while at the same time possessing the quality of unmistakable clarity. I think it's worthy of recognition.



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Isobel

Sun 7th Oct 2012 09:23

This is beautiful, beautiful poetry. I read it before but didn't know how to begin commenting on it without sounding trite.

It reminds me a bit of Under Milk Wood, the different scenes and scenarios you paint.

I love the way the poetry flows without being a slave to rhyme - the way rhyme seems incidental.

It is a long piece, which may have put some people off reading it - I wouldn't cut anything though.

I love the ending - but then I would, wouldn't I? The poem is bleak throughout, which mirrors life in many ways. The only thing that makes life sweet is love - though some may find that thought unpalatable for whatever reason.

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Harry O'Neill

Wed 3rd Oct 2012 21:34


Slow, sleepy, just woke up, indiscriminate whack at very nearly everything.

The thiness slows the reading appropriately.

I recognise the protective sentiment, but can`t shake off the feeling that the ending is selfishly a bit smug.

But well worth reading.

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Andrew Brown

Wed 3rd Oct 2012 12:43

This journey takes us through some dark places via some wonderful language, and I'm so glad we get that ray of sunshine at the end.

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Francine

Tue 2nd Oct 2012 01:36

WOW...

What an incredible read! You've packed so many intense emotions into this (as in An Experiment!), and it flowed really well.

My fave parts:

'a thoughtful mind
has gagged the Sunday clock'

'You lie close
still closed
and creased
beneath the sheets
your only sound
the gentle tides
of breath'

'drowning
sick
they whisper
listen
come
we are the word
the way
the light
and you will live
forever
- all else is wrong
and only we
are right'

'here dreams are sold
in lines
in rocks
in wraps
in pills
designer anaesthetics
antidotes to life'

'the paper-boy
chokes doorways
with a plague
of news and views
of how to feel
and what to think
- and statesmens’
sermons

shrivelling
to lies before the
tacky ink has dried'

'in dark places
of the memory’s
slow decay
- pleasures
faces
trapped and wrapped
in tissue
of days past
and days to come
and go
they hum
along the silvered threads
of thought
secrets
no one else
can ever see
or know'

'your touch
your kiss
make this
poor soul
concede
that here
right now
within this space
is everything
I need.'

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