Friday, 20 January 2017

"Come." (Revised)

On 24 November 2015 I posted my long blank verse poem, "Come," which discussed how cultures can be destroyed by internal rot and mass immigration. Like several of the poems I wrote around that time I came to feel the verse was too rugged for its own good. I therefore revised the poem in September/October 2016 but have only got round to posting the revision now. I still can't say I'm completely happy with the poem but it is probably better than it was. The revised version has been posted in situ and can be read here

Thursday, 12 January 2017

On Death

For the reference to Ezechias see Isaias 38 and 4 Kings 20 (Douay-Rheims).


Death, you are everywhere; you have claimed me.
Your long-toothed mortician is always strolling
The busy streets, thrusting a hand of friendship
To such-a-one and such-a-one who by
The time they hobble to their lodging know
Too well the crusty leprous wart upon
Their wrist portends the whispered midnight meeting,
When the veiled clinician with his piercing eyes
Will cast a pall across their withered faces
And barely-pleading lips, and with a lurch
Unmanning all the stubborn struts of place
They’ll hurtle horrified into a soot-black
Otherness where neither span nor compass
Provides a measure to define their state.
Their bodies heaped upon a flustered bed
Or slumped like thrown-off clothes upon the floor,
They’ve gone into a glade where none who tread
The path’s unctuous mud can follow – yet.

Oh why then, why, should Ezechias beg
The Lord that, sick to death, He drag him back
From midnight’s poising to depart? The tock
Of fifteen years was granted, sweated with
Anguish that summer’s drowsy, fly-pocked stream
At depth was flushing by in dailiness,
Until once more, his face pressed to the wall,
A hand would seize his elbow and require
He turn his eyes to parley with the doom
Prevarication had trumped up in terror.
How blessed are those whom death took cleanly young!

Therefore young friend, spared now, one day you’ll know
On waking that unwelcomely besieged
By these pains and those pains you’re fit to die,
That ill-health’s ashy skin, ebb energy
And slacken-mouth despair are preludes to
The pitiless denouement of extinction.
Be it dog, absconded ram or palsied man
Fallen in briars, those carcases will rot
To stenching muddy molecules; and if
There’s any glorious rassemblement,
It’s only after Physics’ glossy strings
Cut by the weaver have snapped back to allow
Your plummet like a splay-limbed infant slipped
From the goodwife’s hands. Oh friend, sundered in
Extremis, pinioned against death’s gate,
Sorrow’s quittance beckons; go through, why wait?

© March 2014

February Rain Storm

Painful as a knotted flail
   Beating on skin,
The punch-whistling wind
   Numbs your chin.

The spume-spinning rain,
   Glittering like glass,
Hiss-dances on roofs,
   Noxious as gas.

The bare-masted sycamore
   Wallows ungainly,
Flinging off finches
   Like souls in the sea.

The dirt-dark clouds
   Like heavy sponges
Daub across fields;
   Lightning lunges.

© February 2014