She wanted to come in

She wanted to come in, I know
But she brings with her
Mountains of rock
Valleys of snow

While I stumble inside
On a pebbly beach
On ankles like rubber
And sand bag feet

She wanted to come in, I’m sure
She did, as she stuck to the door
A speech of what more
And where else and when

She wanted to come in with her
Old iron plough that cuts out corners
From the walls and the windows
And leaves tea stains on the carpet

I simply just had to cut a tunnel through the ocean
Cast a magic potion and dance the night away in Goshen
With the Israelite slaves and the Egyptian boatmen

She would topple my totem pole and rob my tomb
She’d recline like a phoenix in smoky gloom

While rivers roll and the stairs are lost in time
She simply wanted to come in
But it was just at the wrong time

When she speaks the truth

When she speaks the truth
She shines like a lamp

She is restored like an old master
And you see the person you love

The perspective of a new road
Is shared with you giving you hope

At the apex of the perspective
A stone boulder becomes like clay

You woke up today about to set off
But she’s not there

She is frozen in the mirror-glass
Another past has caught up with her again

She came to me

She came to me with her shoulder ripped
With blood pouring out into life’s last flight

Rising near to the sun like a shield of courage
Like one who had lost her wing of wisdom

Who had worked all day in the factory of hardship
Whose transfusion of love rocked her like a mountain

She came to me like a shadow movement
Waiting for night to leave the chains of history

She felt the earthquakes that come out of her heart
She stood on her line ready for the highway

I know that you grow

I know that you grow in my soil
I know that you spread your leaves
I know that you inhibit other growth
This is how a weed can turn into a bird
This is how love produces her work
This is how words find strength in the earth

I know that you grow in my soil
And that the garden begins to die in your shadow
That as you fly away you leave him weakened
Competing for food with his white throat
Exposed suddenly to the great sunlight of love

I’m the mistress of the stranger

I’m the mistress of the stranger
In the room above the river
My hair flows like a current
In dark and twisting water

I live six flights up
On a cold forgotten landing
I look across the city
Like Britannia standing

With the bed and chair and table
With a black cat curling
The walls have flaking paint
The floorboards always creaking

The stranger comes on strange days
He comes with many strange ways
There’s nothing to identify
There’s nothing to get in touch with

I’m the mistress of the stranger
Like the moon across the river
I watch the bridge for danger
My eyes begin to quiver

The stranger went away one day
And death came to the door
I heard the stair were creaking
I heard the scrape of claws

Speaking like a father
Sounding very savage
I heard a peel of bells
I wondered who got married

A silence then engulfed me
I’d lost all sense of time the time
The stranger is returning
For the night, the dark, the wine

“L” shaped you

Underneath
Underneath that other you
Underneath
Underneath another you

Triangle you
Percussion you
Inca you
Maya you

Your soul

That he dissa-
Pears into you
Inca you
Maya you

On you
The “L” shape
Of the other you
Where you disappear

L shaped you
L shaped you

Close up things

Sometimes I feel I’m on a rope ladder that I have climbed up too high or climbed down too low
That I’m carrying a bird in a pocket of my mind and that I nearly drop it into a piece of a dream
Stretched like skin between the rocks of a cave
That all my childhood days were empty like abandoned coal trucks linked together
That I wake up in one each day without an existence
My eyes would play with the close up things that my eye could reach
Close up things were like a family
This was my family before I learned to cry

I cried it all out
Alone or in anger alone
Yet some of it was stuck down deep
Like coal in a deep mine
So I drank it out
I drank until only my bones were left of me
I drank until I was quite sure
That no one was there

I searched thru the bathroom

I searched through the bathroom
I didn’t give up hope
I searched in every corner
Until I found the soap

Please don’t leave me dirty
With that I cannot cope
Please before you leave me
Leave one bar of soap

I stand naked in the bathroom
Where you came to grope
The bathroom too was naked
Without a bar of soap

Love it meant nothing
You only want one thing
You didn’t want to marry
You didn’t want a ring

Now before you go away
To widen out your scope
Please let me clean myself
With one bar of soap

I cannot love you with your love
Your love was fast like dope
You cannot love me with your love
Your heart’s not made of soap

I cannot cleanse you of your sin
And change you into gold
Made from love and kisses
Before you can grow old

I make you an immortal
Like a skeleton in a grave
I’ll cleanse your bones and stop your moans
If you can be brave

I can make you wholesome
I can give you hope
If only you would leave me with
Just one bar of soap

Childless in the Museum of Childhood

Childless in the museum of childhood. The museum attacks us like a sparrow hawk. So close to love – but the zebra gets up and walks down the street. The explanation for your choice was lost like a web in a burning barn. I came close to you but the hinges became like earthworms in tubas. Once again the wings of dragonflies fill my pockets, you hug your dolly to your bosom like a grenadier guard walking in space. My pretending friend of childhood is here, she is living in the doll’s house in the darkened corner. There are so many shadows living here in the Museum of Childhood, they cannot all belong to Peter Pan,

Childless in the museum of Childhood. Love do you go in without your pocket money? How do you feel not knowing how to place the blame? Do you feel warm wrapped up in the heat of your tireless anger? What do these childless eyes say to you? Are there pterodactyls in the skies of your dreams? My friendship is a ship of the line going into battle; my body is to be divided as the spoils of war. My face is the face of the moon over a blazing dolls house. My body has been given to the silversmith for a salver, you place your empty cups on one, and oh, you’ve placed your empty cups on me in the Museum of Childhood.

Take away my head-covering see how tall my antlers are. Why should you go childless in the Museum of Childhood? Why should you hunt me down with the weapon of your mouth? The summer has compressed us into the Museum of Childhood like two sardines between its heatwaves. My heart is darker than an African woodcarving, sweeter than a black morass of wild blackberries. Is your heart white like clouds of milk, are your arteries blue like oceans, is your soul divided amongst the exhibits, it is painted upon the faces of dolls and is written on the sides of the toy buses, it is printed like alphabets in bright colours. In a glass case within a glass case my flesh is scared by broken glass.

It is so calm in this great hall. Let us sit here like two best friends. Let us remember the games we played and find new ways to play them. Let us make a den for ourselves in the girders and stay there all night. Like two good children let us go there to do our homework. Let us fall out over the last cream cake, then kiss, and make up. I know I am old now but I know this one thing here in the Museum of Childhood, it is wrong to be so sad.

1999

Your Secret

Your secret lover, the one who drinks the moon, has stretched an acre of magnetic fields between us. Do you love your secret lover like a god and listen to his instruction? He has led you through blood and bruises and broken your heart in two. Yet still you call him god and believe he is true. And now he possesses you again and turns you against mortal love. What plans has he for you? What tortures will he impose upon you? How will his possession of you be expressed? And your beautiful hair, how can it ever be free? Yes, your beautiful hair, how will it ever be free?

Look at him – is your secret lover the masked figure of a Greek tragedy? Is he a devil wearing the facemask of a handsome god. Are you now like the maenad who danced in the woods? Will you be asked to tear wild animals to pieces? And would you kill the jealous human males who spy on your wild dances from the thickets?

But I heard your speech, I heard the speech of the strange spirit on your lips. I feel sharply his distrust for me. May the true God see his illegal activity and may he shudder.

Girl, carried on a gooses wings into the sun at last. Pour out your love upon my soul and let your beautiful hair be free to shine.

1999