Douglas Clark: Two poems


Love is a morning with a candle;
Linen red from a night's weeping.
Where in these short rushes of remembrance;
A voice?

            Region of logs, coals.
            Not gas, electric, but hearth's heat.
            I would warm.

It is a voice.
By the starways listened,
By the windows leant and pondered,
By roads returned.

            Is her breath now fading,
            Yes, words; make brick my motto.
            Hands tremble, waver,
            But cluster to the blaze.

            Barbequed chicken, a steakmeat.
            So the spit as carcass turning.
            Perhaps there exists a reminder,
            Myself; burnt in the market place.

In the absence of death, soliloquise.
The explorer,
Touched the world,
Woke it.

            Faded breath,
            She chose in amnesty, to withdraw.
            Women have little hearts,
            Never go back.

            But crackle on a cold evening;
            I could stare for hours,
            As coal eats coal.
            My love a dynasty.

Caress the dark round,
Here is questing,
The white sails beating seaward.
His relic is the ocean bed.

            Brick for a tomb.
            Maiden; roast in fire.
            Our history a name,
            I would be joined.



1. Hopscotch

still alive?
            another year.
            another century.
            another millennium.

where is Khidre?
            chasing love.
            chasing love.
            chasing love.

love is dead!
            so am I.
            dead from the neck up.
            it don't pay to be old.

is there anything but love?
            bread and bones.
            bread and bones.
            the many stars.

will I sleep forever?
            and a day.
            and a day.

was love real?
            the only real.
            thirty years.


2. Ring a roses

who is Khidre?
            Green Man of the Sufis.
            eternal trickster.
            slayer of the Dragon.

who is Khidre?
            lover of the Unattainable.
            every poet who ever lived.
            dawn on the bedroom window.

who is Khidre?
            sunshine and shadows.
            a bottle of wine. a barrel of beer.
            swimmer into depthful eyes.

who is Khidre?
            an idea in the afternoon.
            ever-young pretender.
            atheist in Love.

who is Khidre?
            the nightingale and the rose.


who am I?
            an old man in the evening.
            unending mania.

who is she?
            who ever loved will never die.

3. All fall down

            face of Nefertari.
            queen of a dark loving demi-monde.
            Jewish Glasgow.

            fox tongue chewing on serpent lip.
            red-curled Gael.

            whistle at her bones.
            cute acutest brain.
            tough little hero.

the horseman trilogy?
            over and done.
            written out.
            it's the after-time.

            Fritz dead. Ferdia dead. Ludovic dead.
            I need a kitten.
            to outlive me.

            a light in the window.

            no words without love.
            no poems to be seen.
            the family history.