In The Hydraulic Power Station

Walking down Narrow Street
Tall thin words
Climb out of our mouths
Like flying cymbals

I glimpse the dark flowing river
Through a letterbox
It’s high tide and the waves
Crash against the creaky wood

A violin scare like a centipede
Fits between us
It jumps into the river with a splash

You are plagued by the weakness of the moon
That floats in your blood
Like ice melting in hot water

The diminished chord of your eyes
Encloses a yearning
That envelopes itself in your pale flesh

On the Thames walkway now
I’m like a riverboat tethered to you by a long rope
I can’t get near you
I can’t get away from you

This dotted line of love
Is weakened again and again
By a heavyweight of teachings
That swings to-and-fro in our air

From a broad sweeping view of the river
Down a narrow fenced walkway
Your thoughts are channeled
They pinpoint a point in the perspective
Like a single crochet jumping up and down

The pubs we pass by
None of them suits our purpose
Like smoky clefts in the rivers ribs
Sudden orchestral sounds amid the silences

In the hall of the Hydraulic Power Station
We take our seats
The church organ of your voice
Starts from a whisper and rises
Like an angel into the vault

It’s here I fear
that I fear that my own music
Rides faster and louder like the high tide
That your little song is an Ophelia in the water
It’s here I realise
That the beat of my song
Flows around your rock in silent fury
That you stand immobile
Like a colossal limestone statue
In the ebb and flow of the tide
The spidery notes of my feelings
Carry you on a byre

I am self-contained
Like a ship on the water
Floating in your dry dock

At high tide you are safe
Behind the river walls
While my crow’s nest of dreams collides with meteorites
You face white as porcelain
Your eyes brimming with floodwaters
That returns to their secret channels

On the hydraulic station spiral staircase
You have to try the locked door
That overhangs the void
You climb to the rooftop
To see over the city
And there you take flight
With gull-like thoughts

In the hydraulic station
You slip between machines
Like an art video
Conveyed like the twine of DNA
Twisting out into the air again
Becoming a face blown like paper
Into a fourth dimension
Through the drone of machines
In my imagination

In the hydraulic station
Though I look for you
You are in front of me
On the winding staircase to the roof
In the basement installation
In the hall of machines
I look up to you
Like Paul the apostle
At the blinding light
I look for you
You blind me with
Biblical words
You shimmer like the moon
In a silver cup of water
Your eyes are buttons
Sown to your past
Leaking tears from a great sea

In the hydraulic power station
Great greased shafts of steel
Trumpet of piston
In church lights
Working song
You are its lost beating heart of loneliness

You are its warm blood of isolation
Living in this past
Almost as past as the past
You are its flesh of history
Its bygone times appear in you
You appear in its bygone times
Of existence and non-existence
Of separateness and knowledge
From the wild you are there
In front of me
In touch with only your voice
In touch with only your eyes
Missing like an orphaned runaway
Real like the bars of a chorale

In the hydraulic power station between
Real heavy machinery
You oscillate like a star