BLEAK, GREY DAY
Bleak, grey day. Dolorous green of the disheartened trees.
Amiable enough, but troubled. More empty awake
than I am asleep. My imagination barely habitable,
as the houseflies cluster between the walls
of an abandoned house of life somewhere to winter
like little nuggets of coal in a coma of black dwarfs,
the negative of a starmap in a galactic dark room.
Big sigh. As if I were weary of understanding why
I keep being exhumed from my garden of earthly delights
like the collective unconscious of flower bulbs
to bloom in this cemetery of archetypes as if
I just came out of sedation in a morgue without a night light.
This is the nadir of my insight into the other side of the mirror.
A heavy bell to bear instead of the feather of light
I hoped to keep aloft on my breath like some semblance
of a songbird that hadn’t had its spirit crushed yet
by airing its innocence out in traffic to the beat
of the speedbumps of roadkill that thump like the pulse
of something momentous it can add a melody to.
Slow motion evanescence of things in the room
and me among them, viscous as the windows
on the verge of glacial tears, glass blown chandeliers,
beaded veils on a widowed lamp’s bronze umbrage.
True Briton’s Lodge, Prince of Wales Chapter across the street,
in a third floor forest of cheap wood panelling,
makes me feel colonially false to my imperial origins
and then I remember how much I prefer
the perishing of wildflowers at this time of year
to that of flags that mythically inflate their lifespan
in inverse proportion to the diminishing echo
of their booming voices fading into the Lanark Hills
like the kind-hearted consent of an eccentric to the pace of doom.
Shabby mystic of a day, a mendicant fakir slumped
in the doorway of a bank holiday that’s done away
with the benches of the moneylenders in the temple
where you could buy sacrificial doves for next to nothing
that meant about as much in the great scheme of deception
as the cries of your children mean in the maws
of Mammon and Moloch. Why go looking
for the key to anything before you’ve discovered the lock?
One moment you’re spurred on by Altair and Deneb
to break a wild, white-winged horse bareback,
and the next you’re a bicycle tethered to a parking meter
with a fire hydrant for a water trough. And you
have to conclude you were bucked off without a parachute.
But, hey, I’m making the best of it. I’m rubbing
my firesticks like the antennae, if they have them,
of fireflies in a firepit of the draconian ashes of Chernobyl.
Things are beginning to glow in the dark like comets and stars
flypapered on a boy’s ceiling sixty years later as the light
catches up to his ageing eyes that left home a long time ago
as if there were something more to know about suffering
than the charnel house that was under my nose at the time.
O Mummy! O Daddy! It’s dark in here and I can’t
see my way out by the ashes of the starmaps you left me
in this cold furnace of a heart kindled by the coffins
of old books on the occult you told me not to read by myself
I haven’t opened yet like nocturnal flowers whose time
hasn’t come to bloom in fire, whether I force the issue or not.
If April is the cruellest month, September’s got to be
the most foolish as the maples set fire to their leaves
like poems they never want to read again to the wind
blowing on the dead branches of their sky burials
as if there were red-winged blackbirds still singing somewhere
on a green bough apprenticed to a honey locust tree
that whispers like a wounded voice coach it’s time
to forget your thorns like the hands of a clock and blossom
among the bees that will marrow your bones
like the motherlode in the pods of edible pulp fiction
with flat twisted smiles in the hives starclustering
into bee balls for warmth against the weather
when the new moon of the black queen stops laying her eggs
and the sweet things in life are as inconceivable
as the plagues of tainted pollen in the candle soot
of a black mass sacrificing virgins at the autumnal equinox.