1.6.14

Three poems


 STARLIT NIGHT

One starlit night our love-song slipped
Out an open window [that
I had forgotten to make tight]

Slipped out to frolic beneath the moon
And danced all wild till dawn slipped jewels
Like wedding rings on fronds of grass

And back she came-a homing bird
A swallow cross a mighty sea
Back home safe and secret-safe


Clothed in glittering memories


THE SONGS IN MEN’S HEARTS

These are the songs that live in the hearts of men:
First there is the song of WAR that rises,
Boils, and gurgles in the pumping blood.
Sing O warriors cross the dusty plains
Of Troy a shout of joy-To kill!  To kill!
Such glorious joy the blood to spill.
To read the fear in enemies eyes
As entrails spill like treasure in the trench.

Sing the songs of bloody ecstasy.
Those razored words will cut the hardest steel.
Let the axe sing in the morning bright
And swords ring out like bells against  the shields.
The words are hacked into the hearts of youth:
It is a fine day on which to die,
And anyway who wants to live forever?
Ride her hard: Remember to die young!
Go see the world, and blow the fucker up!

Fear is for the others:  Fear is bad!
Hear them screaming for their mother’s arms,
And take joy in the tears of cursed foes.
We are over here, and they are over
There.  C’mon boys let’s do the bastards!
Rape as an act of war is not so bad,
And bashing out those babies brains was good!
Now we rain down arrows from the moon;
We have contracted Death himself to our clan,
Though it must be said he’s mercenary;
He’ll do both sides business for a song.

And deep within the caverns underground
Or in the stars of death, spinning in space;
War is woven in the dreams of hollow men.
Iliads spill out of crooked looms.
Assassins seek the sons of Omeros
Who sing of warriors as idiots and fools.
Their fearful verses drown their battle-crys.
Make burning pyres of all their vacant flags,
And tear their uniforms to tumbling rags.

Then, there is the quiet song of EARTH;
Almost the steady beating of a drum.
A song that drives men home-an odyssey.
A song that sings of warmth and nourishment;
Whispers in the ripples on the rivers,
Echoes in the shimmer of the leaves.
The poetry of forest’s boundless trees;
The murmur of the worker bees;
The stop and chuckle of the bouncing streams
Decanting into endless seas.
The stopped-up silence of ice-age valleys;
The stacked-up mossy grooves of silent peaks
Riven with sheep-tracks and booted trails.
Fuller’s spaceship-earth hanging like a blue
Eye in the immensity of space.
The breathing land-the earth beneath;
The dark and fecund soil that rustles
With the promise of new life.
The patient song that drove Odysseus home
To Ithaki.
To slaughter the suitors of Penelope
And then sit down to home-made cakes and tea.
We climb into her caves to be renewed.
We cross her seven seas to be revealed.
We climb her sacred mountains to be healed.

Then the song that rides men all their lives
When they have reached the right weight of years.
The song of WORK springs into their bright souls
To punch the broken clock of all their days.
To labour for some bastard in a tower
Who leaks their light with every passing hour.
Those corporate donkeys snuffling in their trough
Are fearful of that thing that sets men free.
The endless driving of the gritted wheel
Grinds the gilded amber of their dreams
And hollows out their core.  Their souls
Are frozen like some fearful glacier;
Or river silted with limitless greed,
Grabbing in its gaping maw all
that is wild and mad and on the budding
Spur.  Those that love their work are few,
Perhaps one or two, while millions slave
Like cattle, herded to an early grave.
They work; they save; they work; they save; they work.

Of all the songs held in the hearts of men,
There’s one that goes down deeper than the rest.
The song that fills their mouths and ears.  Oh how
They stumble with its harmonies and chords!
Mischievous boys cavorting in the choir.
Men follow its tunes like stubborn, burdened mules
Led by the halter to the sacred pools
Where flow the words that form the song of LOVE-
The horn-call of the all-encircling feminine.
First taught them by their mother’s long ago-
Clamped like limpets on her milky breasts
Man and boy have sucked from those sacred jugs
All the dark and bright they’ll ever know.

Now a different woman blows his horn.
And tempts him with a bud of sweet red fruit,
Wrapped within her naked turning curve.
She grunts him in his pits and he minds
To mischief in her gently yielding zawns .
White horses crash and the dragon-fires blaze.
Kaleidoscopes of light; cock-thundered.
His fire is  stirred to waking, roaring riot!
The blinding need to scatter-scatter seed!
Then a fork of lightning splits the sky!
A shout spins out! Then turns into a sigh.
Her head lies in the hollow of his hand-
he gently lets her fall into the night.
Out in the rain, his steel has turned to rust.
His eyes weave webs out of the dust for
As we know and trust: all men philo-
Sophise in the embers of their glutted lust!


Now he dreams that it will be just right
And she dreams she’s found her one true mate.
As if they’re stamped with some magnetic charge
That calls each to each across an ocean.
But the world holds all within its halls.
The world is full of hollow men and girls
Who love their toys and bags more than their mate.
From what cold milky flows did they
imbibe such greed? What withered claw planted
Such vain seeds in sterile fields? (As if
Narcissus took up farming for a joke!-
though now he writes the daily news and runs
The BBC!)

ASIDE TO READER: SHIT!  SHIT!  SHIT! I’LL JUST GIVE IN!
THE POET HURLS HIS QUILL DOWN TO THE FLOOR.
LOVE SIMPLY CANNOT BE DEFINED IN WORDS!
THE MELODY IS TOO COMPLEX AND STRANGE.
I’M TRYING TO PULL DOWN ULTIMATE MYSTERIES!
TRYING TO RING SOME ‘MANY-SPLENDOURED’ BELL!
TRYING TO READ THE CODED CLUES, LOCKED
WITHIN THE KERNEL OF A RIDDLES SEED!
BUT COME! LETS ALL TAKE A BREATH AND CARRY ON.


The warriors of love are the singers of this song
And so we gift them this:  A wedding vow:

I stand here in your fire and in your ice.
Treat equally as gifts; your pain and joy.
Witness here the weaving of my word and will
That, in our very essence we’re conjoined.
In the centre of our Selves, we’re One.

As you see:
The song of love sucks in all the rest.
The fact is:  It’s the one men love the best.
Even if the one, that wounds them most.
Fact is:  It’s the song that makes men blessed.


WHO KNOWS HOW LOVES NETS ARE CAST UPON THE SHAPE-SHIFTING SEA? 

Love has garrotted me-
Crept into my room
and, sleeping, slipped the wire
round my neck and pulled,
until my eyes ballooned.
Love is a mafia assassin!

Love slaps my arse;
gives me pointy ears and
a shrill, shrieking bray.
Has he bid Ariel
anoint my sleeping eyes?
Love is that devious Oberon!

Love is a game with balls;
A game of win and lose-
But this is a threadbare ball:
A pig’s wind-charged bladder
Is bejewelled against the sun.
Love is that penalty shoot-out!

Love seems to be my mission
behind the enemy lines.
Special forces or special needs?
These dark mountainous regions
magnetise the needle.
Love is a broken compass!

Who knows what love is all about?
Who knows how deep her nets go down?
Or who casts them out
On the shape-shifting sea?





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