Friday, August 24, 2012



Spiders in bubbles plumbing the depths
of a new medium. Looking up from the bottom
the stars aren’t stars, they’re water-striders.
And me? I’m walking on the surface of my mind
like a very light-footed telescope. An antelope
who’s just woken up from a dream
of a touring ballet company run by lions.
I’m sitting on a skull of rock close to the river
like some bare-footed prophecy
eating locusts and honey in the wilderness
that doesn’t know whether to make heads or tails of me.

Anxieties of surviving the way I am mingle
with lyrics of longing to change
like the metamorphic passage of the river
flowing by me like the not so Milky Way
of my mindstream trying to clarify itself
in the course of its own running. But it’s
as hard to part the waters with the wind
as it is with a sword, and I’m not looking
for any anomaly of nature to lead me to the Promised Land.

And I’ve been to PsychoBabylon and back.
And I had no eyes, I was blind, and I had to
follow my own Orphic skull up out of hell
like a song someone was whistling in the dark.
You live too long with ghosts, you start
asserting your wilfulness for all of them
and pretty soon the seance turns into an exorcism.
The fire that burned of its own accord,
stops crying like a candle and begins scrying
which way it’s going on any one of these Roads of Smoke.

I’m a pilgrimage of one to a shrine I’ve never heard of
who would like to walk part way with you,
heart to heart until you couldn’t tell
the new moon apart from the full
and like the snaking of this river
around these islands of birch groves
falling like pencils the beavers have chewed through
down to their stubs, we realize inseparably
it was always the right door to enter by, the entrance,
not this inseparable exit that keeps
stuffing the mouth of the oracle
like the three bells and all’s well of a seashell
with oceanic starmaps as to where
we’ve buried the lost treasures of our hearts and minds
that we’ve been looking for as if they weren’t
hiding out in the open where they’ve always been.

The hidden harmony of deep love is the dark bond
that ensures there can be no discontinuity
anywhere in the bubble-blowing multiverse
whether there are spiders on the moon in diving bells
that look like Schiaparelli’s canali on Mars,
or the peculiar scars on a third eye with a detached retina,
or a neuronic crossroads in the roots of a nervous system
waiting for the wind to show up whirling like a Sufi
to tell it which way to go to transcend its spiritual vertigo
like a computer message from earth to a space rover
exploring the possibility of finding love and life
like mirages gathered around the house wells of a deserted planet
witnessing the return journey of life like a prodigal
to the first threshold it ever crossed over with a smile into exile.




Feel lost sometimes, abandoned, a loser
that’s been fighting a guerrilla rear guard action against myself.
Light years of shining and I feel reduced
to these colours and words crawling across thresholds
that recede like inconceivable farewells into the past.
No human touch, but three goldfish named after
the Greek city states of Athens, Thebes and Sparta,
in an expanding solitude that’s all womb, and no embryo
however the stars swim through the Milky Way upstream
like salmon to the creative wisdom of their sacred spawning pools.
We’re all sharing the same aquarium like a life support system,
a lifeboat that knows it’s a shoreless life
so it’s highly unrealistic to expect to be washed up anywhere
except on the moon, there’s always the moon,
where the mad go berserk in the shadows of its tides.

There’s a pettiness about my wounds, though
several go deep, that makes me feel like a creep sometimes
when I consider that I’m alive enough
not to have been finished off by them
and God knows what I owe for the wisdom
that’s accrued to me like a shipwreck on the bottom
that’s being used as an artificial coral reef.
Sometimes I feel my heart’s being swallowed alive
like the virtues of a noble enemy
or a frog in a fetid bog of waterlilies
crawling with snakes like the radioactive wavelengths
of black lightning experimenting with flesh and blood.

Every poem I write, another sail, another horizon
I’m going off the edge of like the flat earth of a lily pad
down a black hole with more dimensions than it can fathom.
Even in spring, autumn’s always approaching
like some orthodoxy of decay with a silver stake,
a thorn of the moon, to hammer into the heart of the scarecrow
that got mistaken for some kind of vampire
after standing guard over the harvest so long
through all kinds of tempests and turmoils
even the crows admired him safely from shelter
like a street drunk in the tent of an all weather overcoat
from the wardrobe of a Salvation Army bin
with straw padded shoulders that made him look
as if he’d been crucified like a sacred clown just for the fun of it.

I preserve my self-pity like fireflies I’ve put up for the winter
in a canning jar where they’re all dogpaddling for their life
in a red tide of pectin running like a bloodstream in the light.
And I send my imagination out like a dragon on reconnaissance
to search out what everyone else is missing
so I can plot this airlift of self-healing metaphors more accurately
than the dandelion seeds I’ve been sending out lately
like parachutes candling in the manes of the lions of the sun
to ease their suffering as if I couldn’t be whole again until they were
even in the way we all fall to earth, some on good,
some on bad soil like Icarus scattered on the wind,
and some like me, into the uncharted seas of awareness
like a rogue star sent into exile by an albatross
that makes it impossible to tell from one day to the next
whether it’s a blessing or a curse, or it’s me that’s hexed
the way life seems to advance as you get older retrogressively.