If only this were all -
the sink, the hearth, the stove,
occasionally the bed;
but outside
a stallion with a bright mane
and treading on the air
is passing
and from his look I see
this will be
no hack-and-jacket ride,
but a wild hunt
with life itself the quarry.
- Fired by anger
and the drive for danger,
at last admitting of
a self-immolating hunger
I go -
but you can not see
in such a ride
the suicide
of everything in me
except an emerging


Sitting alone in the room
I grow

silently, like some green
plant renewing.

Osmosis is slow - almost

yet I know I now fill

of four corners - could lift
the room's

objects without muscle

Silence waters my thought -
gives the mind

levels of green beyond
seeing - any

moment may be a flowering -
some gracious

invincible seed able
to spring

from under brute boots year
after year -

a filigree strength smile
from the centre

of bruising - pure colours

the world like song, articulate
and teasing.


You have given me
a sword;
little by little
have tempered
the metal
with the blows
of your words -
with your anvil
of anger
my dread
of your danger -
spilled cauldron of anguish
chipping each day
word by word.

Word by word
suffering assumes a shape;
you have sharpened
the point to
exquisite grace;
o my Inquisitor,
what is the name
of the race
that your Torturer
runs with me?

My silence outstrips him
where speech
would have tripped me:
exhausted, yes -
scourged, yes -
scoured to the limit
beaten to the finest
finish, to the most
subtle metal,
word by word
the sword that
you make of me


She stands,
at the road's edge.
        Since morning
she has fallen fathoms -
dropped like a plummet
through net after net
of care - she walks
on eggshells and talks
of nunneries;  the corn
is cut about her -
O cradle your arms
and catch this creature,
      for her feet slip
on the world's edge.


In the heat
my bathing costume hangs

from the ceiling hook
like a joint of meat.

Scarlet and black, brushed
with the bluish glaze

like putrefaction it attracts
that gad-fly, imagination

I think of Rembrandt painting -
recording the slow rainbow

of decay day after day
from suppurating sides

of meat hung from his studio
ceiling - the bright blood

pooling to black on the boards
below:  congealing.

I watch him arrest
this death-process  -  see

his artist's thought caught
by the vivid spectrum

of disintegration which
hangs from the hook

like a book before him
and make it immortal.


I do not like you
     coming through
in your pyjamas
          to wash
your mouth out late -
     you disturb
the curve of my earth
like a man with a gun
my sky-full of birds -
     scatter them
these words
     I try to control
guide their flight soaring
     against clouds' white -
punctuate heaven
     with the pattern
          with the rhythm
with the lovely drawing together
          of the poem
that in my head
     their passing wings
possibly might make.


Glad not to sleep
I lie with your arm

 - thrown anchor - lead
heavy over me - quite still

until cramps creep up
my limbs making

my movement wake you -
sea-deep down

you mutter to me, pull me
onto your God-strong

chest, my breasts crushed
into your ribs - place

of my genesis I left
when beckoned on

the Sistine ceiling
my validity unsanctioned

ever since, my parity
questioned through history -

love - how glad I am
nightly to slide back

into your side - re-assume
the pharisee-certainty

of your identity.


You have taken away
my rôle, now that we

no longer roll.  The strings,
puppet-master, by which

you put me on my back
lie slack.  I am an

abandoned lady.  For years
the routine was the same

delightful, bouffant, undress-
-me-game - then the quadrille

beneath the sheets - a perfect
partnering of feet, sweet

through each dance.  Alas,
time has made our strings

grow slack; my rôle no longer lies
upon my back.


How does the iris
of an angel's eye
end on my table
gathering cigarette-butts?

Day after day stubs
pin down the butterfly -
and nicotine
stains the pure blue.

If I had left it
in the shop
where the ship
of my imagination saw it

I should always
have had that
pure blue drop
to return to -

always it would
have been angel's eye -
blue sky - butterfly
uncaught, immortal.

But I brought it back.
It can break now.


The hart streams down the hill
hooves scarcely touching
rushing grasses
the hound at its heels
boys running  shouting
their unskilled killing cry
exultant at this sudden find
- the harsh barking
throwing up
of the startled head
- flight down the spinning wind
o nothing faster -
unbearable beauty
of this bounding creature
swift through the hedge
into the wood
where it stood
nostrils ablaze
small, noble
straight out of history

and somehow  -  crowned.