SELECTED POEMS 1967-68

Muse


Such good friends are we
    are I and she
The devil and I
    just she and me
We talk of this ... we talk of that
Yet always laughter breaks our chat
We hate each other
    I and she
With a love enduring as none can see

1965

Birth


Cursed were sons of yet unborn
Cursed were faces still unknown
Fiery fountains grief and pain
Howling muse is come again
Seeing doom around around
Seeing masks in sulphur gowned
Incestuous combinations sue
And crawl from womb in bloody gore
Chew the cord and loose the host
Of image making whore

1967

Animal Farm


Scuttling herds of arrogant cows
Parade their wares around the town
Cat's skin stinking with rabbity fur
But a pat on the arse don't produce no purr
Unfeeling eyes of a python's mould
Curb the bit on stud stallion's hold
Long thin thighs of whippet fame
Offer brief chills of the thrashing game

'Our hardened hearts bleakly pursuing
A secret place where none can share
Face upon face so sour reflecting
A naked wish to be elsewhere
Unyielded love chews soul destroying
That open smile from yesteryear'

1967

Portrait


Sudden vision of green and pink
little fox tongue chewing on serpent lip
Mottled teeth of sharpness acrid
pointed each to a cramped mouth
Eyes all ginger brown beguiling
soft and warm when nature trusted
Curved and deviled lashes glinting
barely shielding a candle's glow
Head all fuzzy bristling sternly
unsuppressed by lotion's glue
Eyes and chin and nose transparent
shimmer shake and curl all through
Lips so tight they can give nothing
saving hard for years before
Bottom bouncing     legs a'flashing
legs a'swinging to and fro
Cheeks all curved and dimpled open
nests of fur and sweat bejewelled
Softly giving never taking
scarce for fear of hurting more
Vanished long and long forgotten
'cept in dreams of yestermorn
Loved young leaves youthful ever
pray senile ashes drag a glow
 
1967

Poem 1


wattled wippen wylin women
claw at sheltered souls
to chew and spit
the broken meat full fleshed
used out the bloody bone

Poem 2


Words of electric
flicker so rare
follow dream so barren
cannot care
Emptied sombre sound
thrilled with moment's flair
mourns unyielding
the silence of not there

1967

Chances


Chances lost and chances taken
Castles strong and walls unbroken
Strength without of utmost bonds
Holding softness weakness chained
Freeing none to none unfreeing
Holding all to all beholding
Breaking each and every one
Amongst their dreams

1967

Vision


Homecomings     heartcomings
Long winter night's roamings
White snow squelching on the great paved step
Bird tracks flecking the dog toed ground
Yellow light seeps from our window
Where a shaggy black nose squirms
Howls     for just one chance
to place those soft saucers
( in marvellous white snow )
and even chew a rabbit
And over all the gentle moon
gazing down     crispen true
through familiar branches climbed each one
and dappled now by white snow
And the white snow squelching down the path
as we set off for the town

1967

Barb


I met Shelley this night
And he smiled on me
For my dream is of right
The way life should be
The soul floats on love
And leaps high to the air
Shield it not with a glove
In flight soars its flair
Joy must take its chance
On the barb of the heart
Youth is gone in one glance
So let hurt play its part
When song no more gives
Caliban has his say
For in truth love lives
It's the poets who decay

mostly for Browning

1967

Sonnet


The heart stirs as a spaniel at stone
Leaps a whoops head high in the air
That meeting of eye casts a flicker unknown
Revealing still thought yet so pure
Black bundle of paws bowling all free
Charge clean from lusting through nowhere
Home smiles clad with a welcoming rag
Must unearth some stain somewhere
Unease beneath but a bubble on top
Untouched     unopen     unsure
For what's beneath should never be taught
No pretence but it's always there
Living the dream don't look to the side
High head intent chasing flare
Quickening glance     sharp snap     try a bite
Don't awaken     innocence beware

'Let the days come as months
And the months come as years
For the exposing of depth
Marks the roots red with tears'

1967

Monologue


Pursuing these plastic statues
That writhe and twist in your rhythm
Colouring their hair red and their garments green
For a devotion
My words a solid mask of dullness
The spirit fallen
The heart broken
You      you are my life
When I know what you are
Time stops     I live
And the heart is so good
I do not hold your hand
I do not touch you
We sit in chairs
My legs pointing
Yours reticent folded
So happy     we search each other's eyes
And smile and laugh and love
Each other
I do not touch
You do not touch
But we dance between our bodies
As the laughter takes us
And the words flow giving
In some dream even taking
And the wet brown mist
Touches me
And we laugh to hide the beautiful pain
For our souls skip in the air before us
Fragile tender raw
Screaming as they touch each other
Gay we sit as our silver tongues
Caress and cut our secret parts
We would give each other everything
If we could
So instead we give nothing
But ripples in the air

I dream of holding you loving
And your arms unclenched
And your head on my shoulder
As we hug and squeeze in joy
At being together

When a part of yourself
Lives very far away
The little left amuses
In drawing happy moments
And seeking
An eye here     a bottom there
Help to smooth
But never your thrill to the heart
Only a shadow's proxy
As a moment knows you
In some stray face

With them
At night     in the dark
I just pretend they're you
Then it's alright

1967

Verse


The words that race from lips
So fast they can't be caught
The depths suddenly plumbed
When rhythm's lost in thought
The knowing all and being all
Of vine leaves worn by right
Wake the everyday futility
Of penetrating night
The searching for that reason
Through the pursuit of the heart
Before innocence is overthrown
As the goddess plays a part
The oneness of our love
When myself returns my sight
That experience so exquisite
Immortality's bite
The chasing down the years
Catch the magical in print
Before the age old suffering
Makes memory extinct
Bodies loved must minds unlove
Can kisses not unite
The meeting of us lovers
Cast in virgin light
The unknowing of what they do to you
The unfeeling of all that hurt
Humanity is a stranger race
Communication inert
Soft dance thru the midst of them
Side stepping from their fight
Intent on the life's pursuit
A dream born by right

1967

Woodlands


The lack of a song in the soul
Is the cause of a celibate curse
The loss of spring in the vine
Taints the rhythm of verse
The freshness the thrill of before
Is repeated as memory plays
The records the hope of young heart
Relayed thru some innocent face
But the fire in the heart is all still
The wine to the head no more
What was there by right in the past
Is dredged from the depths as a chore
The pen so easy skips its beat
But whereof is its reason
Are all singers doomed to play mechanic
When love moves on in season
Drinking pubs dry is an art my friend
To which I have given much attention
But when the old body says no more
Must seek out a new direction
Face the world stick out your chin
Go out and sniff at the sun
And as for life that wondrous thing
Pretend it's just begun
Love and women and sex are no good
They only cause you pain
So be a boy just ten years old
And summer come again
You and I we played by a stream
Watching the horses trot
Those were the days of bracken green
Before the trees were cut
The lawns were great for a croquet bash
But I preferred the woods
There's something magic there in the green
In silence with the rooks
Nettles and thistles and midges that sting
The smell of a festering pool
Are lost in the image of bird in tree
Come to conduct his school
But the horses best I remember the meet
The height of black and pink
A chestnut pawing at her bit
A silver tankard's clink
And the fox we chased along with the car
Long hounds stretched in pursuit
Low hedges chopping up the hunt
As hunters changed their foot
And then the fox was away in the wood
The hounds had been too slow
We weren't to get our taste of the brush
Not for a year or so
When life's gone foul go back to roots
And find who you really are
For there is no sense in living out
An act for fifty year
If you give love then you'll get it back
That's what the fates decree
And sometimes throw in as bonus
The love that none can see
But where is the magic to forget the past
And repair the damage done
Must the record ever stick its groove
And the tankard drunk on the lawn

for Robert Frost

29 October 1967

Review


Didn't see the hate before
Didn't know it was there
It's a hell of a shock to see what's writ
Was ever a soul so bare
But what's down there is but half the truth
The easier bit to rhyme
The magic that dances from silver lips
Is saved for a happier time
That purity the saving grace
Was smashed in the hammer blow
God grant it was only squashed flat
And the recovery's been slow
You can't be bad without plenty of good
Or else the mind is torn
But you seem to have played for keeps
And ripped the soul you adorn
Can't believe it's really true
That it's ugly and spiteful and trite
I always believed that underneath
The heart was warm still bright
The horrors are weighted so high in the mind
They can't be looked at straight
Verses only chew at the edge
The centre insane in state
The neurosis is known
The pattern well read
But how to be surgeon
Inside your own head
To be told you were Pound
When talking of Cecy
Was a warning that sound
Betrays fallacy
The silver tongue was my sport in the past
It took me through everything
But when can I ever risk that dance
And whisper words again
Somewhere deep is a heart I know
That promised in the sun
But the hate was so deeply set at the start
Nowhere left to run
You carry the cancer for twenty years
And try to be sweet and true
But God knows the moment you turn from heights
The filth eats right through
The only hope is to stick to the same
We really should never been born
We give you your moments of magic and mirth
And love you in spite of the scorn
Separate in ourselves
We love all the world
And hate it for what it has done
But the art that is bad
Is to break down and howl
Revenging for what was torn
The spirit of Shelley is there for us
And the fun of sleek old Cat
Thank God that Will he knew it all
What Burns instincted at
But the hate     the hate
Am I too late
Do I start where others stop
For I know that life is but ten years old
Before the trees were cut

1967

Odyssey


When I may write of her
That made me that I am
My rhymes need no more run
Her self enough of flair
I paint her picture not
Scribbling another's face
The reason for this waste
Unknown lost but sought
I knew her in a moment
When our eyes met the first time
A trance yet twenty yards away
As met fate sprang my mind
To read there's something there
To sense that all's not words
As the need for finding breaks
The hunted with the hounds
Is not the same as meeting one
Was sprung by birth to stars
Yet I may not write of her
That taught me I was real
Could the beauty be all mine
A reflection of myself
But that's not true 'twas there
Your poetry in the night
As you laughed and spoke till dawn
And I worshipped at your sight
I hear your voice no more
Yet I seek it through my life

1967

Perennial


The comfort of a well filled page
With rhymes and rhythms perfected
The exact word      the clever phrase
All earned the accolade 'Master'
Another world of measured graces
Where dictioned voices uttered
Classic tones without complication
Of thinking Freudian lovers
A Great War fell down on sheltered styles
And revealed much more in beauty
That a gentle heart and a rustic sense
Could not suffice as poetry
For verse to be a preserver of language
The receptacle of civilised dignity
Is to ignore the blood and the fire of the times
There's no purpose in obscurity
Better to practice the monosyllabic
Encourage the new propaganda
Than measure the shock of the Peasant Revolt
With words designed for Miranda

1968

Morning


You in the dim morning light
Laughing and staring
Your hair fluffed and shoulders bare
As you listened in the morning
To a mind racing its patterns
With no understanding
Appeasing its gods
Mouthing its prayers
And you listened in the morning
As the cool hard floor
Touched at tense fingers
Beckoning in the dawn
And you spoke of a someone
Who perhaps loved a someone
But you were so young in the morning
Who taught you this game?
But was love in the morning
As talked of another
And the eyes told of wonder
And tongues trapped together
As we prayed to our own gods
To tell them we were there
And you in the morning
As it went away
 
1968

A Retelling


Philomel     the most favoured of poets' songsters
Are your treacherous heights so impossible to scale
Do you mourn unceasing over the cruel rocks
As white horses eternal prance at your feet
Do you stalk the cliff tops solitary
Despairing your grey sister's presence
Or do you sing of the lost little children
Who thrill ecstatic to some fresh magic
On first mimicking your high call
And black savagery of blood on blood
As you help prepare strange vengeance
On a barbarous intruder     roused by Springtime
To dare taste toast by your fire
And the sad voice searching the woodlands
As you seek eternal
The white horses dashed on the foreshore
The blood seed cut by the knife

1968

Yuri Gagarin


The wing clippers at work again
Oh Daedalus     Do they not torment you?
Flourishing youth overflowing the sky
Now plummets as a stone
And your golden craft revealed
As but a fragile dream
To the workshops and the nurseries!
Construct us another charioteer
A fresh young face
A bright eyed seeker
Let the mould be firm set
Strain your technique artificers!
We'll have no more of these fallen heroes
Magician!     Inform the crystal spheres
To mute their close knit harmonies
For here's a lusty child come
To shout your fame

27 March 1968

Triad: The Magicians

I


We came from the beginning we
Striding hand in hand
Over the green friendly lands
Pausing in the silent vision of the night
To chart courses and name wonders
And question
Before yoking the stinking oxen to the wagons
Trudging onwards toward the distant hills
We made our way
Joyfully

Lying on our backs in the sand
Toes amusing themselves in the water's splash
The great heat of the Lifegiver
Swept through us
And we dared not look His face
But kept careful watch     secretly
Timing His movements and those of His minions
That we might know His power
To usurp Him
One day

And the Mother was angry and distrustful
At our ignorance of Her constancy
As we stripped Her of the lesser jewels
Returning Her temples to the black depths
And leaving Her only with that
Which could not be taken away
Her presence in the night
But we watched Her
Carefully

And our magicians became learned in all ways
Pursuing secrets where they found them
And they played their toys
In our palaces our homes our hovels
In bringing forth the mysteries
And letting all taste and know
That we were not as inferior to these deities
As our prophets had instructed us
In their wisdom
Unwisely

And stealthily     most cunningly wrought
We constructed our god
Of equations and reactions and repulsions
We ordered all that was to be ordered
And balancing chance and clockwork
We made the mysteries
We created the perfections of numbers
The affirmation of the dualities
Our uniqueness in the substance
Although the edges perhaps disturbed us
For here the tempos
Frayed

And for our God we built most marvellous works
Structure upon structure
As our society was bent to His image
And complexities and absurdities abounded
As from His simple tools
We aggrandised ourselves and strutted the air
Relishing our condition
And He watched playfully
Leading on our theoreticians
Encouragingly

And we were so arrogant and assured
That we had no need of Him
And banished Him
We ourselves were the masters of all
For had We not constructed him in our image
And were not Our magicians unsurpassed
In their construction of fresh powers
As they pressed on furious
To the ultimate revelation
Of Our Godhood
Incarnate

And god fled from his temples fearfully
For his closest secrets were at risk
And We hounded him and hunted him
Deep into the psyche     Deep into the cosmos
For all was Order
And his greatest power shown
As the toss of a coin
So he returned to his dethroned Mother
For consolation
Manfully

She was sitting beneath a bush
Scratching herself and drawing patterns in the earth
She looked up when she saw god coming
And made room for him
And they looked up at the sky and laughed
For the Moon and the Sun were both visible
And they looked at each other
Amused for they saw love again
He reached out for her
And took her
Tenderly

And they writhed and twisted
As the heat thrashed through them
Their naked bodies
Coarse against the earth and cold against the sky
Broke gushing warmth and oneness
And they were free
And their beings mingled
As they knew each other
And were each other
Forever

And he rose and held out his hand
And she shyly first came to him
Together they looked at the broad green country
As the warm sun blessed them
And the moon poised her wink
On the rim of the world     watching
Hand in hand they walked into the morning
Laughing carefree joined
And they had no time
For looking about them
Questioning

II


Man was alone in His Universe
He had infiltrated and expelled all rivals
His was the future
He alone bore the responsibilities
And throughout His world
Order would rise     ignorance would crumble
The structure of the millenium was decreed
And His servants would do their bidding
Although functions may adjust
The underlying structure is eternal
He said

Each cadaver its place in society
Each intellect its chosen target
Great institutions     the great foundations
Insidious bureaucracy     the wealth of nations
All were appointed to their special niche
For the purposes of happiness
Unity democracy anarchistic variety
The artistic mentality
Fostered and underwritten
To assure life's cultivation
Supposedly

A sham     a facade     most delicately poised
That vast interlinkage     progressive mankind
For many secrets were left still unfound
We doubt His capacity
To solve in this Time
The roots of Sacred Laws
The consistency of Deductions
The veil of Reality
Knowing how     Yes
But where the daring Why
Unspoken

Perhaps He turned inwards     avoiding questions
Reconstructing the structured
Instructing the ill advised
For the perfection of Utopian bliss
Creating a plastic euphoric Paradise
Where each their own God
Circling through the strata
Of labelled regiments of thought
Snatching at ecstatic crumbs
From some unwary exposer
Ungiving

Decrying His birth right
His mortal nature     His questing
Bowed down by the backbreaker
The fat slug on His shoulder
He must choose His moments for breathing
And for manipulating
The creaking machinery
That gave Him mastery over the unknowable
And the solid rock base for pursuing
Some outward dream
Perhaps?

Are You for the burning of books
The hewing down of pyramids
The unleashing of the sun's warmth?
Or to infiltrate these cold mechanics
Who have no purpose or existence
And to use their tools secretly
To distract them by homespun fables
Of the questions unanswered
And of Your rivals in the Cosmos
Do You want to be alone
Forever

III


The fading years of the Christ child
Close to Pluto
Ever the magician's Saviour
A silver fish hangs in the sky
Alive alert bristling with activity
Of men machines minds
Human and inhuman
Linked twined enraptured
Waiting
Uncomprehending
For the Homecoming
The golden Mothership and her four black sons
Soon to float from the depths of Space
Into the warm welcoming grasp of the Sun
The return     the first homecoming
The release of our one bloodseed
Floodtime
Our time...

for Rilke

1968

Camelot


a lost little boy scrambling the sanddunes
his dog beside him
bounding pawmark to pawmark
then over the last ridge
and there
the sea
deep blue eternity
with an occasional white ripple
and the waves beating the foreshore
the empty arc of golden beach
curving into evening

and there on the sand
a small dot
dancing
it's a little old man
a baldheaded gnome
with goblin ears
dancing with his stick
round and round he goes
patterns in the sand
shapes grotesque fantastic
shapes
drawn in the sand
with his walking stick
the little boy follows
hopping in time
as the little man twirls
swirling his tale
as he spells his shapes
pictures in the sand
and the little boy learns
as the tide comes in
of a blonde goddess
who rode horses
and even now
was splashing in the foam
with tight blue jeans
and a gilded body
she eyed the horses
and did everything wrong

the little man etched
her beautiful spirals
the tears flowing
for she'd loved him so
and he'd only seen her
one dark wet evening
sitting at the local picture show

and black widows weeping
tears and tears
for a young man prancing
a tribune's path
and the black widows weeping
tears and tears
for a tribune of the people
who spoke his part

and the little boy followed
hopping in time
as the baldheaded gnome
jigged and danced
in the fading sun
furiously scratching
to finish his tale
as the water crept
slyly up the shore

the gold headed girl
and the whole world weeping
she wouldn't take love
for she needed it so

and the young man with a vision
dreaming and doing
a stranger in his country
for he loved it so
standing for his people
a wisp of glory
love thy neighbour
a long long way to go

and black widows weeping
tears and tears
for a tribune of the people
who spoke his part

and the little man weeping
for he had promised the moon
to pay her a visit
and sing a sad tune
for tight blue jeans
and white horses in the sand

a great man spitting blood
crushed by metal hooves
ripped by the cavalcade
shattered for his fame
and the black widows weeping
tears and tears
for a tribune of the people
who spoke his part

with his pointed ears
and his walking stick
the little man twirled
and spun upon the sand
as he etched his tale
while the waves beat in
and the little boy followed
hopping in time
with his dog beside him
and his head bent down

and the black widows weeping
tears and tears
for the great young man
who spoke his part
and made them a dream
for to act their part
but was ripped by the cavalcade
crushed by hooves
for loving his neighbour
a long way to go

and the little man cried
and wept his tears
for a blonde goddess
who even now
was splashing in the foam
with tight blue jeans
and a gilded body
who did everything wrong
and the little boy followed
hopping in time

and the black widows wept
tears and tears
for a young man prancing
a tribune's path
and the black widows wept
tears and tears
for a tribune of the people
who spoke his part
ripped by the cavalcade
crushed by hooves
for having a dream
which hadn't been thought

and all was silent
and the little man danced
furiously scratching
to finish his tale
as the little boy followed
hopping in time
with his dog beside him
and his head bent down

the little man wept
and the little man cried
for a gold headed girl
who wouldn't take love
for she knew herself
from where she came
that the black widows wept
tears and tears
for a great man's blood
shattered for his fame
for having a dream
which hadn't been thought
a tribune of the people
who spoke his part

and the little boy followed
hopping in time
with his dog beside him
and his head bent down
as the tide came in
and covered the shore
occasional white ripples
on the empty shore
as the little man cried
and sadly went home

the little boy watched
and patted his dog
then they looked at the sea
and trotted off ---
alone

1968

Love Sonnets


Envy the boy with his girl in the park
So young self assured arrogant intact
He floats in a dream secure that she's there
One twitch of her eye he's walking on air
Look after him girl say all the right lines
Dazzle and dazzle but remember he's blind
Stand straight there before him look in his eye
Give him your picture then you'll live till he dies
Be gentle be kind don't force his young sex
He'll come in good time it's his head that's erect
Tell stories tell magic create him your art
And always before him Oh warm his struck heart
You're so far beyond him but teach him in jest
There's jokes writ in Heaven he'll never regret


Oh boy you're so glaikit did you hear what I said
When I'm talking me for you It's clean innocent
I've never told anyone the loves I've told you
You've just seen a part of me Don't believe it's true
Oh I must look after you I wish I knew why
There's something inside of us It's just another lie
Must be love but do I want you --- let's off to the dance
I could spend half my life with you But you've no chance
It's all unbelievable I could do with a man
To feel out these worries in the palm of his hand
Let's off and I'll show you the worst dives in town
The hard men the negroes they know me around
I'll give you a lesson what matters in life
It's giving and giving and loving the rides


Suddenly you're pressing you're trying to break through
To gabble inanities that you're the same too
You're great as a companion but keep in your place
My god if I don't watch it he'll be pawing my face
And all of those stories and all I told true
Yet he's given me nothing not a word bloody fool
This is really embarrassing he's just not my type
It's gone please don't spoil it Nothing lasts twice
Remember the good times I think I'll go away
It's weather for the beaches the boys go there today
Nice to have known you but you see I'm so busy
I must help my cousin Oh she's ever so pretty
But it's funny there's something it hurts to remember
He's got something on me My look at that feller!


Talking talking talking the tongue of a snake
Darting rounded sharp practical Talking
Who ever had so much to tell --- confessional
All the fathers in the world listened those nights
And forgave everything for it was so beautiful
Look beauty live beauty but being beauty untouchable
The words meld crystal patterns
The warmth smothers envelopes surrounds the world
And the voice plays by instinct the purest notes
Making its peace meeting itself in absolution
As the unspoken response approves loving eyed
The innocent yearning so deeply buried --- And now
Permitted their hour to create truth on Earth
Love so simple so sweet an existence of self


Oh love love lost unattainable
And have I nothing to say to you
Just a black space inside with no words
Oh agony Nothing agony Nothing Nothing
And to look at you Yes and to listen
To touch No but no words Oh why no words
You made everything real and now you've taken it away
I don't exist anymore Just a great empty hole inside
But nothing to say to you and I don't want you near
It's good being sad feeling the hole chewing on it
That's what I really wanted anyway the nothingness
But was magic there I must forget your words
Your voice Yourself too close to me Sister
I'll make a temple for you But you're not in it

1968

SELECTED POEMS 1968-71

Incident


A garden of statues
Each wearing an imperious frown
Scowling staring faces
And the white bull came from the sea
Foaming through billows
To the quarry of marble
And the sightless statues staring
Worn by the wrath of centuries
All around is green
( The large house in the background )
And the walks the pleasant walks
Through the lawnswept garden
The bull from the sea at Carrara
Bloodily battering its way
Foaming through billows
As we walked the pathways
With the statues staring
Even a mould of green on the marble
The colour is green at Carrara
And the white bull from the sea
The bull slew us at Carrara
Sightless statues staring
As we walked the empty lawns
Silent at Carrara
Our blood mingled sand and grass
For the bull from the sea
Our blood bled darkly
The great house in the background
We should never have left the warm wooded fire
But we walked the green garden
Walked the empty lawns
With silent statues staring
The white bull came from the sea
Foaming...
 
1968

For Baudelaire


To die in one's arms Maman
To die in one's arms
After near fifty years of loving Maman
We are finally home
And I grow younger every minute Maman
As I waiting the chilly end
I have waited all these years Maman
And now you come to bless my grave
See that flowers rest my head Maman
And look after yourself dear
It's chilly here this afternoon
But it's good to have you near
Now I'm the boy who played Maman
And took your heart and soul
The flowers budded sweetly then
And we were so alone
I tried my best to play my part
Straight from the morning's glitter
But only one fate was mine Maman
Had we loved each other better
You've known you've loved my soul Maman
Please please don't forget it
 
1969

The rose


Die a little every day
The petalled heart plucked away
Erosion of being
The cult of foreseeing
Life spread out     a dissection table
The maker's manual
Read the label
At night in the warmth
Does the flower regrow
Scarlet blood against the snow
Or dying once
Is dead and gone
An artery cut upon the lawn
The morning wakes a little less
Fresh pursuit of happiness
All life runs down     we with it too
So very little left to do
But dying once
Is dead and gone
The heart shrinks slowly every morn

1969

Stonehenge


A landscape of unwanted sounds

Mark the serenity of old stones
No chiming on these shadowy rocks
They stand forever
And did a nation joyfully construct
Come from mud hovels
To erect the sanctuary
Here a people strove the immortal
Clocking planets moon and sun
Watching the watchers
Strange gods awoke the northern sky
Their voice a harmony upon the stations
And they speak no more these humming tops
Their messages unlooked for
A people from the mud
Listened as heaven spun
The cobweb silk of nightfall
They built it

1969

Intrusion



Old wounds
Pawns of a century's neglect
The trees bare of leaves
As an Autumn's passing
My faded heart I bury with the rose
Relics of day's contentment
This house     the carriaged clatter
Oil lamps     candle at the door
Greatcloaks smothering the visitor
Here an intruder from generations
Sips sherry in the afternoon
A refuge from time's momentum
Here where sacred hearts impaled old wounds
This Georgian mansion shelters tapestry
The plans for derangement
Framed in a lonely coffin
I would pass this way at the year's end
Clomping through snow --- up the gravelled path
And ring the rusty doorbell
If you were to come it would be the same
We would rest in the drawing room
Visitors on a journey
Found haven in the world's youth
And if you did not come
I would idle over my afternoon
Playing kings and queens in memory
We have so very little
Red ivy creeps the walls
But all our memory now faded
The heart is buried with the rose

1969

January


And this is my New Year
The white snow furring the lane
Cars trees bushes submerged
By crisp cold snow
This is the ritual purge
Unstained the beauty of evening
Tendered graciously by a streetlamp
The wild era of my past
Is cooled and turns to acceptance
Of a woman loved and lost
Of rejected poems
But mostly of childhood
Memories of homecomings
Digging paths and the warrior's palace
Sounds so muted
That it was an elven world
The morning air stirred no one's grave
And now in this evening
I number my pleasures
Ignore the cry of beginnings
Look forward through shadowed realms
Toward the spire of the church
Pointed against the orange skyglow
The country visits me in this city
Rings nervously at my door
Does not knock for me
But an invitation to country lanes
To frozen becks     the snowy fields
I would climb the highest tree
Ripping hands     scraping shins
To look down upon my country world
That churchyard     will it hold me?
I am spread too far
Pagan with my own people

1970

A growing river


Do I have to make up new words,
Were not the old ones sufficient?
You tear my heart to shreds,
And I have not seen your face these many years;
Yet, to me,
I still rest my hand on your shoulder.
You were thinner than I had thought,
Bone, bone,
turning your soft breasts away from me.
A face set in silent grief
That your heart would not open as a flower,
One of those moments when eternity yawns
Sniffs at us poor mortals.
Trapped by parents and parents of parents.
With all my heart, everything in me is yours.
And your shoulder, bone,
Oh the horror of love.
I am bound to you,
Seedtime passes slowly.
Those eyes that melted, a molten brown,
Liquid yet turned away from me,
Our gods are cruel gods.
Do you shed a tear,
One tear, for the lives you leave behind, lady.
My love is yet a growing river.                      

1970

Meeting


the granitic seafoam murmurs discontent,
this girl approaching through the shallows,
have we not met?
perhaps one darkened night.
or was it the green of woodlands.
yes, her soft bones recall the years apart;
surf spreads out anklets,
spray wrapped limbs.
approaches
dancing to the shoreline,
every springtime an invitation.
rumble of torn pebbles,
the scallop shell;
what brings to the beach at morning.
see --- she returns. alone.

1971

Document


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

        Fireplaces;
        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.
 
1971



Douglas Clark/ Camelot/ Benjamin Press, 69 Hillcrest Drive, Bath, BA2 1HD, UK/ d.g.d.clark@dgdclynx.plus.com