I should probably have some actual poems up here. I will add a few more at a later date
Beached Whale That Got Blown Up
‘The blast blasted blubbers beyond all believable bounds’
Paul Linnman, TV News Reporter, 12 Nov 1970
I left my pod at sea without their say;
no permission to come aboard. I sent
myself aground, my number shouted loud,
their call to come home ignored with intent.
I’m proud. I stand alone and say as much.
Here’s my stranding, the finest ever breach,
an honest signal based on sound advice
I heard and took in good faith. I stay beached
unlike my fellow, found amongst the trees,
rendered breathless and left pivoting there
to swing unfathomed, blind, in brutal light,
jaw unhinged, struggling to swallow raw air.
Up to this point, I’ve held my tongue and clicks,
kept these human ideals under thick breath.
I see in colour now, reflecting how
you do so little of depth with your breadth.
They pack my leeward side with twenty cases
of gelignite, offering me no grounds
to stay. This boom is my last surfacing.
I’ll reach beyond believable bounds.
First published in Orbis #182
Four nights of dossing beside you,
the lurch of your lungs wakes us both.
Your body tells you the wrong time.
You ask if we can leave this place.
I keep my hands at nine and three
for the one time I’ll drive your car.
You sleep, again, while deer parade
the empty roads. I dip the lights
to avoid any accidents,
as if killing you now
would make any difference.
Look, we’ve come this far,
let’s go the distance.
First published in The Interpreter’s House #65.
NB This is a revised version
Godrevy, Cornwall, August 2014
We’ve stopped here every day
this week, for an hour at least,
window shopping the sights.
The lighthouse off the coast
is weather-worn, a guide that
brings us back to our senses.
We’ve loads to wring from each
and every look at this scene,
let it sink in, then leave.
I’ve caught the sun and hold
it tighter still in my skin;
ramping the tension up.
The homemade snacks are gone,
but feeling blue in this light,
near this water, is hard.
Your warmed-up front and back
emerge, all tired from the waves,
sea-salt covered, surf-shined.
We sit and watch you skip
over the wrought ironwork
made by the bladderwrack.
We swear returns and take
a stone per head, souvenirs
discarded once we get home.
First published in Obsessed With Pipework #79 & Mary Evans Picture Site.
NB This is a revised version
The Society For the Preservation of Workings Out
“Failure is not failure nor waste wasted if it sweeps away illusion and lights the road to a plan”
H.G. Wells, The New Machiavelli
Come in, leave your textbooks by the doors.
You can set them aside while we fathom
the workings out of left-behind thinking.
Ramanujan’s papers, for example,
are thick with notions proven to be right.
Sometimes we must wait on the world to catch up.
Best to start your digging down among
the deep backlogs on shelves, root through backlots,
unpick threads and off-chances that’ve gone begging.
Stick with crate-digs, strip-mine all our notes
and search hard for side-tracked ideas;
the easily missed, mis-read, crossed out plans.
Centre yourself, look for ways to fine
comb through half-done, never-finished workings
that lost their minds down cul-de-sacs. Listen.
Help us match up schema on the backs
of fag packets, join dots together
and salvage second goes, unmask hidden
calculations, marginal jots among
palimpsests. Clear the blue sky of close calls.
Retrace these steps, find us something to save a life.
First published in Poetry Salzburg #33