Adam and Eve

So. Here we are then. Just us. Just us two.
 I see from The Writings that you came first:
me second, made with a rib ripped from you.
Is that the way it is to be? Cast
forever in the backwash of your sex?

The Writings are such patriarchal tripe.
explanations come from genetics
which give women conceptive bragging rights.
The egg came first, was followed by the worm,
and, for goodness sake, it is the female
of our kind in whom our children grow. They nurse
our milky infant kin. Man’s wriggling sperm
is swallowed up. We are incidental.
Whatev. What’s hers is his and his is hers?

Hmmm. It’s good to be held. Hmmm. Your skin
is soft. Hmmm. I feel safe in your arms.
Hmmm
. My love . . .my hope . . . Where do we begin?
We’ll know. Instinct will kick in. Feel my palms
cup your shoulder blades. Feel my upturned hands
placed here upon your breasts. Adam, your lips.

My lips. Eve? Allow yourself. Understand
that this is what it is. There is no script.

Skin. Soft skin. At the faintest touch, or brush,
I’m taken to a rising springful place.
My eyelids fall, involuntarily
and as they do my arms and hands adjust.
Feather fingertips leave shiver traces
and silver stars spill down behind my knees.

Eve, Eve, this has never happened before.
I do not know where we are, let alone
where we are going. What is all this for?
Adam, Adam, we’re in it now, we’ve thrown
our stone; we’re jumping in, surrendering.
Adam, husshh. This passion is a tide
we cannot turn. We must give in. Rushing
waters pull us just one way. Besides
I can’t imagine it’ll be that hard.

I have to disagree. Ha! My mistake.
Hmmm. I feel, no mistake. It’s pure pleasure.
It feels good. Is it all for me?
  It’s ours,
to do with as we wish. To give? To take?
To touch? To feel. Accept? Firmly and far.

Dressed neither in the turned-earth things we’ve said
nor in the future’s hearth-black silhouettes
let’s speak and hear in jumbled blues and reds
met here among the hyssop violets.
Adam, Adam! Let’s dance in purple blurs,
viridian, red, fawn and cobalt blue.
Let’s swim in tangerine and lavender
butter creams, barley, hops and honey dew.
Wrap us in a summertime of being
imbued with primrose-jasmine spells. Hold
us to your gleaming-scarlet stem, heaving
and breathing breaths of rose-quartz crimson gold.
Adam, Adam, let me to Kingdom come.

Oh you. Oh you. Oh you. And I. Are one.

I love you, Adam, man. You are my home.
I love you, Eve, and love this loving hour.
Together, we are finished; we are whole.
We have grown, come of age¸ flowered.

Eve – you shine like morning Sun on water;
you have the beauty of a cloudless sky.
We share this emptied moment afterwards,
a touching, thrilling a single source of life.

My darling one, your breaths are softer now.
As are yours, my sweetness. I love you, Eve,
and love this precious time drawn close and calm,
time spent in the lea of our desires
It’s time I wish would last eternity
a timeless time of blissful certainty.

(for two voices, set before the Fall, from a very long poem I am writing called ‘body+blood’. Posted here for Emma on our 23rd wedding anniversary)

My Mother’s Day

My Mother’s Day

Nights are the worst: dark acres of time are
unfilled with anything but low noise
as cars burr along the northbound carriageway.
Mum is cold, anxious in unsettled grief.
There’s no point getting up: without him there’s
nothing to do. Days see diversions but
now, why does sitting there beat lying here?
Wide awake in darkness she heard herself
say: “Dada?” and reach out her hand. He used
to take it and warm it. This cold, Dada-less
night, as she reached for him again, he
warmed her again. The sheets softened, the noises
dissolved and she stopped thinking. She felt
him, she knew he was nearby and she slept.

Westminster People

Beth

Westminster People

Look, over there, it’s the Village people
bursting through doors of burning perceptions,
lost in the trappings of process and protest,
spinning in self-serving circles of wishes,
prowling, confusing and failing to listen
with convictions they want to believe in.

With convictions they want to believe in,
look, over there, it’s the Village people,
prowling, confusing and failing to listen,
bursting through doors of burning perceptions,
spinning in self-serving circles of wishes
lost in the trappings of process and protest.

Lost in the trappings of process and protest,
with convictions they want to believe in,
spinning in self-serving circles of wishes,
look, over there, it’s the Village people,
bursting through doors of burning perceptions,
prowling, confusing and failing to listen.

Prowling, confusing and failing to listen,
lost in the trappings of process and protest,
bursting through doors of burning perceptions,
with convictions they want to believe in,
look, over there, it’s the Village people,
spinning in self-serving circles of wishes.

Spinning in self-serving circles of wishes,
prowling, confusing and failing to listen,
look, over there, it’s the Village people,
lost in the trappings of process and protest,
with convictions they want to believe in,
bursting through doors of burning perceptions.

Bursting through doors of burning perceptions,
spinning in self-serving circles of wishes,
with convictions they want to believe in,
prowling, confusing and failing to listen,
lost in the trappings of process and protest,
Look, over there, it’s the Village people.

Listen to people in burning confusion,            
bursting, believing, protesting and trapped. 
Look at their wishes, their circles of want.

March 2019

Centenary

Dartford 11nov18

Silence falls on the sunlit square of turf
outside Dartford’s library. A soldier
with a rifle, all plinth and age-stained bronze,
looks on. Poppy people stand with closed-eye stares.
November colours shuffle in the trees.

The silence is the thing: the unfilled gap
between. I think of dugout silence,
the fire step, the Woodbines whiled away;
the rat-lice trench-foot days that screwed the minds
with silent screaming shells of wasted fear.

I think of letters written to and from;
the scareful hope of waiting for the post;
the silence in the reading of the words.

I think of silence in the unlived years;
the stories that cannot be forgotten
because they did not happen. I feel cold.

I walk back up the hill to where young George
is playing Sunday morning football. There is
no silence here. Teams of boyish men
criss-cross open fields, fighting foot-to-foot,
attacking and defending, launching volleys,
and firing shots on goal. Then, as a cloud
bursts, an arch of rain-refracted light
crowns the shouts of peace and freedom.

péage

No prayers nor bells: we shoot in scuttling shells
up and down the line. We go and return,
passing Arras, Béthune and Neuve Chapelle,
the Bois de Noulette, Messines and the Marne.

From Calais, past Flesquieres and Verdun,
with only the Alps in mind, we hurtle
through demented days, dusks gilded by sun
and black rain, in skirmishing battles
of the road. Through grey-day pallor we see
the brown, wide-open acres where they fought;
and sense the eerie emptiness reploughed.

At night, headlamps flare and brake lights bleed
sudden fear of hasty death into my heart,
spearing the tensioned tedium like a dart
whose aim is true, then redirected, then gone.

All around here they died for us;
now they lie under stones etched and erected
to the left and right, at Mametz and Loos;
at Langemarck, Vendhuile, Cambrai and Lens;
on either side of this paid-for auto-route,
dotting countryside, cresting horizons.

Between Le Touret and Richebourg L’Avoue,
on land once used by field ambulances,
thirteen thousand men of no known resting
place are remembered. It’s ground holding
my great uncle Jack, too. There, inside a fence,
under mown lawns, lies John Wesley Davies,
31, of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

Further on, teams of gleaming windmills now stand
where once cold trenches were dug. In place of mud
and bloody hell, turbines mourn in silence:
generating clean warmth, dry light, hot food.
These are monuments also: testaments
to doomed youth on euro no man’s land.

In volleys to and fro, we, the fragments
of dead men’s shattered futures, pass fast and
glide, stuttering only at péage
queues. In our comfortable distress, our health
and holidays, our years, we have the breath
they did not have. In our petty rages
we drown the fading echoes of their cries,
their tender patience, their lingering goodbyes.

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet

20070825_rozwed2_1138

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
are of imagination all compact.
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold—
that is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt.
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to heaven.
And as imagination bodies forth
the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
a local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
that if it would but apprehend some joy,
it comprehends some bringer of that joy.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Act Five Scene One. 

Peak Green

peak green

Peak Green

I see Young George in the kitchen window.
He’s playing keepie-uppie on the grass:
kicking and flicking and watching in stoccatoes
of concentration. He’s changed since last
time I saw him. Before, he was scoring
self-commentated goals and finessing
his celebration routine. Now, he’s grown
across the shoulders, in calf, chest and crown.

In June, the youthful year, warmed by soft rain
and dowsed in sunlight, comes of summer age.
The earth has nursed pale primroses, impish
bluebells and bright bloodwort; now come
dog rose pinks and bold shades of fern and sage:
confident adult greens that banish
winter browns and show no fear of autumn.

for Sarah C and John K, with many happy returns of the day