The old cat is sleeping

The old cat is sleeping on the garden chest
The suns not so bad for autumn
The honeysuckle has climbed onto the dog rose branch
The cat sleeps with one eye open

The maple leaves shake in a slight breeze
A tiny fly drifts by the window
The flowerpots are stacked high
The sunflower heads are sleepy

Bluebells

Delicate, beaming mysterious signals
Thumbing it’s nose up at the world
Bluebells

Bluebells, imitate sleeping
Guardians in the forest, colour ringing light
Insects reach out and pull the ropes
Deafened by the chimes, scamper away.

Bluebells, hiding under bushes
Imitating the slumber of creatures
Leaves, a corolla of shredded paper
Peaceful, undisturbed, lazy
Revelling in their hide and seek experience.

Bluebells, playing jokes, insisting
That they are not bluebells
Easily deluded, you begin to wonder
“What are Bluebells?” as you walk away
Then there’s merriment, there’s giggling
Like the sound of falling rain

Beneath the meadow

Beneath the meadow
Was a jewel
Locked in rock
It caused a fool
To turn the meadow
Upside down
Until the jewel
He had found
Then he went
And from his face
Locked his jewellery
Into a safe
And the meadow?
It saw no more
The summer sun
The flowered floor
But it remained
Like a breast torn
Its’ heart gone
Its’ flowers unborn

I Remember the Stringy Roots

I remember the stringy roots, they spread beneath the soil, I dig them up. I remember your grey hair, almost bald, how yellow you look. I unearthed a deep orange chrysalis and buried it again. While roots so white; a living sexual white, whiter than the white of the moon and the earth; so dark, so damp from yesterday’s rain.
And the honeysuckle of your faces as you complained about the talent contest. And the numerous bulbs of the bluebell that popped up like buoys, the earth dust that wanted to touch the moon, how depressed I felt digging through the detritus of life, the broken down green cells, the eyeballs of prehistoric man, the meteorites, the demolished houses that stood here before the war.
Always you must offer me food, I want more than food; I want to be human I am still only a thing unearthed by your garden fork, at midnight, under a full moon. Your wrinkles here begin to grow; they are a creeping plant growing abundantly against the side of the garden wall. I cut them back, but they continue to spread. A green caterpillar squirming, in the clumps of earth, no bigger than a nail clipping.
The mysterious cats are back, you say, the fox has gone, equally mysteriously. When you go into the garden you are mobbed by a single raven. I find a wooden cross underneath the rosebush. I pull the green scalps of grass out of the earth and fork it over. The sweat is pouring off me into the earth. Next door a woman in a bikini reclining upon a sun bed makes fun of her boyfriend. There is a dream like quality in the earth as I dig it, I fall into a trance, a spell. Now I ask how many such earth’s are there, and how many such gardens does humanity have to dig.

1999

The contours of the mind

The contours of the mind
Are rainbow bridges
The feet of the rainbows
Hover above the land
The light in the afternoon
Delineate the dark rain clouds
With the contours of the mind

All the little animals are crying
What are they crying for?
Could it be that the summer is ending?
And they don’t want it to go
A woman wanders into their homes
To reassure them
Then they go to sleep contented

My trainer

My trainer tried to make me
Jump through a hoop
Reluctantly I complied
He thought it quite a scoop

My trainer tried to make me
Stand upright on my paws
And sing from musicals
And open secret doors

My trainer tried to make me
Walk upon high wire with a cone of fire
On my head

My trainer tried to make me
Ride standing on a horse
As we galloped round the course
With explosive force

My trainer tried to make me
Do all of this and more
But I grabbed him in my claw
And bit his head off

Emotions have an engine

Emotions have an engine of their own
What else can explain our confusion?
Emotions and dreams go together
And thoughts find it hard to control them

You are in a primeval time
There is nothing living
The movement of lava
The running of water
The wind drifting wild
Were the first emotions

And now have been put inside us
So we can empathise with nature
They are part of our development
They are prototypes emotions

I’m a rambling, gambling Pangolin

rambling pangolin

I’m a rambling, gambling pangolin
I’m a gangling Pangolin, a trampling dinosaurling, I’m a scaly thing

I’m a charmer and a bit of a performer
The way I march like Groucho Marx with a butterfly tongue

I curl up in my chain mail
Like a medieval dragon in an illuminated bible

I’m a cousin to the Clangers that lived in the rockery
Looking for an ant colony in the African shrubbery

I’m Harold the animal herald on a battle shield
I’m a mouse in armour

 

 

From a droplet

From a droplet
Into a storm cloud
The virus grew
Lightning loud
And struck the crowd
Of humanity
And down they fell
And in their grief
They cried for ones
They lost alone
Alone in rooms
Alone on phones
And video calls
And poetry
For the graves
They could not see

A butterfly
So summer strong
Was directed to
The weeping throng
Of people lost
In grief and fear

A butterfly
That knows not tears
Goes where it goes
Upon the wind
That blew
Across the city
To find a garden
And into a room
Where someone sat
Sobbing uncontrollably

I saw its underwings were black
That it was big and fully-grown
Looking for a female friend
Somewhere in the far unknown
Just how far
Does a butterfly roam?
Yet into the room it came
It knew her grief
But not her name
It knew her love
In scented air
And for that love
Flies everywhere