All 38 entries tagged Writings

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January 05, 2006

Meditations on a Pot–plant

Palm fronds
In the afternoon
Cast shadows like fingers
Reaching for something.
Who knows what the shadows
of plants want?

January 01, 2006

Hypolyta's Lament

What use is speed?
When even Atlanta had to cheat herself
To get a man.
Bears the weight of a heavy heart
And you’ll have that.

If I were to loose a breast
I could scarce be less feminine
And still unable
To draw Cupid’s bow.

Never a Nymph
And while for my own sake
I would not change
My warrior’s arms
Comfortable legs
And the height that lifts me
Above the multitude
For those lithe limbs,

I keep finding that
The world loves an independent woman
From a distance.

The Sepia Poems

Jan 9th 2002


You cleaned out your filing cabinet today
And found
You showed me the snapshots.
Black and white photographs
Of you as a boy in India.
Spot Daddy in the rugby team photo

And you again,
The car you drove,
The speedway.
A few old girlfriends
You met before Mum.

Pictures of Mum
In 70’s glasses
And uncontrollable hair
That you scrape back into a plait on work days

Captured in black and white
All those long years
Before I was even thought of.

It’s a strange feeling
Finding the people you have known longer than anyone
Are the people you know least of all.

August 13th 2003

Sepia II

You have to train your eye
To see past the overtones
Of “mummy” and “daddy”
Of “Responsible parent”.

Your mind starts adding in automatically
The wrinkles and damage of however many years.
It’s hard to phase out.
You keep seeing and recognising
Noting what’s the same, skimming what isn’t.

You have to notice the differences
And put aside your feelings.
Not “That’s my mother”, but
“That’s the girl who will someday be my mother.”
So much thinner…

Then one photo stands out.
With this I don’t have to force my head around the idea
That this is not the 40something woman
But the 20something girl
Dressed up for a 60’s themed disco
And posing for the camera
In exactly the same way
As one day
Her daughter will too.

November 2005

Sepia III

I look down and see my mother’s legs
In part her contribution to my chromosomes
My height and hair and half my face.
My hands and feet: my fathers.

And they were once me.
Naïve, lovesick, cold and wearing stupid heels:
As stupid, lost and fallible as me.
The mud on her shoes from the Town Moor
Or Exhibition park, not Jepherson Gardens
The Lake on campus or a Leamington back garden.
They lost their way as many times as me.
You realise that, and you start to see
Adults as people too
And still feeling their way, uncertain.

If that is the case,
Why shouldn’t there be, someday,
Some far distant day,
A girl or boy
With my long legs
And half my face
Sitting on the top deck of a bus
Writing poems about photographs
And parents.

December 09, 2005

v – Vetriano

Bend her back
Light her cigarette
But not yet
And let your hand
Creep up her thigh

Not to wonder
That the charge
In the air
Like breath
On your neck
Is there
Like iron filings
A tang of copper.

Fingers slide over skin
Slip in
Feel her quiver
With some emotion
You shiver
To feel.

November 26, 2005

Two more Jazz poems

iii – Foggy Day

Silver shadows
Spray painted fog
Acid in my throat

Finger clicks
Bass licks
Trapped in a mist
Lying low,
Shifting slow.

Take the paper off
Accidental paint clings
A frosty outline
On wood beneath
A sharp sprayed line.

iv – Early Riser

Teasing strands of
Wet hair straight.
Roast coffee brewing
To the bubbling jive
Of morning.

Grey sweatered
Thinned out
With paper doubt
And lack of sleep
That keeps
You sane.

Dew still settling
Sarah Vaughan
Crooning as you
Paint your face
For the day

November 25, 2005

End of Day

My mind shuts down
Of its own accord
My eyes too.
The pen still scratches.

Must write.
Get it down,
Get it out.
The mind shuts down
Spills out the reels
Of shot film
From behind the eyes.
The dark room
Fills with today’s rushes.

Tomorrow it will all
Be cut and dried
Preserved, edited.
Tonight, today’s memories
Are tangled threads
Of imaginary celluloid
Spilt on paper
And they can be anything.

November 22, 2005

An Arabian Knight

This is an antinarrative lipogram - ie one letter from the alphabet has deliberately not been used. Guess which letter...

You have heard the following tale before, I know. The tale of a renowned prince of Arabia, and that beautiful and talented lady who married him. Her name, I need not mention, for I am certain that you know to whom I refer.

It all began one winter night, when the daughter of the Grand Vizier got hitched to the prince. The prince, who had a rather peculiar hang up (which you may well remember). He had become convinced that all women, without exception are lying and deceitful (a prejudice engendered after catching one wife in company of her brother-in-law, and we wont mention exactly what they were up to. You will already have deduced it, no doubt.) After that unfortunate event, the prince could not tolerate a wife long. Truth be told, he had them all executed the day after the ceremony. Except for one, the aforementioned lady – and you know her name, though I have not yet mentioned it.

That very beautiful and talented lady told our hero a new tale every night, and every time, broke off the telling before dawn with a cliff hanger ending. The prince, dying to hear more, put off her execution for longer and longer while he remained enthralled by the genii and the lamp, the magic flying carpet, Ali-Baba and that cave which only opened to a certain word (you know the one, don’t you.) Adventure followed adventure, tale within tale until finally our prince relented and had the executioner fired, meaning the queen could finally go to bed and nod off for a change. The prince, however, continued to find fault with her plan, having inevitably fallen headlong in love with her, and by that time he (naturally enough) had a very different activity in mind…

November 19, 2005

ii – Time after Time

Chance, I hit upon
A song long forgotten
Or perhaps never really known
Lyric-less but singing
Like arms opened

Hard cities
Harder loves lost
The strange familiar
Look in every colour eye
Shy and yet un-shy

Hanging notes
Dropped to float
Travelling back
To the hand that bites
The heart that feeds it.

i – First Frost

Sultry Angel Eyes
Fog outside
Hot fire in crisp
Green-grey air
And my dark hair
Partially in my eye

The view like country
House and garden
Waugh, Vetriano
That Poliakoff one

A moment is a moment
Both here and there
In frost-filled air
Strains of saxophone
Just as much home
Then as now.

November 18, 2005

The Leech

It battens on
Sly insidious
Tugging, sucking at the heart
This leech-like thing, love.

Pull it off
Its maw still clings
And you tear at your flesh
To scratch it out.

The only way it seems
Is to burn it out
Cleanse with fire
But still you are sore.

Or wait for it to satisfy
Itself, feeding on you
Till you are drained
And it drops off of its own accord.

And yet, I have a mortal wound
The sickness of a poison dart
And the pressure of too much blood
Makes my heart race fit to break.

So here I wait
For my leech-lover
To share my sanguine passion
And let me breathe again.

February 2021

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