Inundated Is Not Quite Overwhelmed

Inundated is not quite overwhelmed
But a piling up of syllables
Like parcels at the door in the hallway
Inside the threshhold, under the doormat
Date-stamped, demanding to be unwrapped
Lest their delicate paper clothes be saturated
By the sudden bursting of a pipe in the plumbing.
And all the gifts and well-wishes
All the bills and monthly subscriptions
The bargains bought on eBay and the postcards from afar
The money-back offers and hand-delivered love-notes
Are flooded by an urgency that will not wait.
The stream of time asserts its indifference
To all the chopped-up categories of your life & circumstance
And the blood of one’s being rises up in a bloom
That irrigates and suffuses and will not be refused
And overwhelms – no boundaries unbroken,
No corners uncovered, no dusty dead dreams left dry.
And all the demands and delays, datings and dotings
Are drowned – in a slipstream of sound and spirit.
Bloodwaters in an emergency that unblocks the gates
And I dissolve in the immediacy of this flow
Of the Word spoken speaking and the sound
Given its very human location in this Universe around.

I Hear About These Ocean Planets

I hear about these ocean planets
Where water may be kilometres deep
Where don’t exist the coastlines of continents
No shoreline at all, no waves gently lapping on beaches.

No shirr and tumble on soft sand
No suck and tidal tug of broken shells
No constant fingering at the edges of estuary
Just the sphere of shimmering and surging and still sea.

I hear about the primordial forest
Where the air is unbroken by birdsong
No sudden liquid eruption or casual chirruping
Where the movement is only of beetles and dragonflies.

The flit and rustle and stir of wing
Humming and droning and murmuring
The swarm and coruscation of chitinous flight
But no cool cadence of evening song by a bird on a limb.

I hear of some meditations within
Attention drops below covering clouds
In the rare atmosphere the silent mind dwells
And extends all around until circumnavigation complete.

I hear from some forest far below
The walk and stirring of the Lord of life
When by a pool ripples up the one clear note
On resplendent wings I now fly to draw near the source.


For Who Might See

You – did you know me when
I fell into the ageless well within?

And you – did you watch me while
I lingered before the flame
Of my Beloved’s smile?

Perhaps you – you saw me dance.
Did you taste the kiss of who
I touched in trance?

Maybe you – in your eyes I recall
A fleeting light:
A moon between clouds
On a stillborn night.


The Sun Trip: Suicide In Space (1980)

It was the flight of the Icon Tester.
I was taking it for her first run.
When I thought of how I missed her,
And flew into the sun.

The video hummed by my side,
The technician’s hands were wrung.
He said, ‘Look man, you can’t commit suicide,
We just can’t let it be done.

That Icon Tester’s brand new,
It’s worth a heavy sum.
And top-grade pilot’s are few,
We can’t afford to lose another one.

I said, ‘You try and stop me, for
I’m looking after number one,
And life’s not worth living anymore,
I’m making the final run.

My wife died two days ago,
And life’s no longer fun.
And now I’m going to join her, so
Say goodbye for me to everyone.

The pain I felt grew more and more,
But the instructions couldn’t be undone.
The last thing I saw was the white of the core,
As the ship and I melted into one.
5 -7- 80

No Still Life

This spirit then.
Licentiousness of the artist.
Overture, sheer determination
To give meaning to possibility.
A film about Picasso.
And now, dying lilies in the vase.
Where does the life reach to in them
As they are withered by the sun,
That once drew them forward in childhood?
Each parched petal a thirsty tongue,
Purple flame, dog-earred, panting.
Reaching out to the atmosphere in hope.
My body itches where my shirt
Tucks into my trousers.
Picasso wore a belt, white trousers,
Red shirt. Blinking eyes unbelieving
That he must make his own universe.
Ideogogue, circus master, well-formed
Rehearsals in canvas and the necessity
Of paint to pronounce and punctuate.
Sheer fortitude. Restless and responsive.
No still life.