Wednesday, June 12, 2019

from my notebook

Some scraps of poetry and undefined text, from my most recent notebook. If I've posted any of this before, I apologise! I think these are all my own compositions, though there is a tiny risk that I copied out something by someone else.


The mountaineers parted. One
mountaineer went to the
mountain, and the other
went home. He went
to the bigger mountain of
his life, without maps
and without
appropriate skills.


This border country of what we don't understand but have felt exposed to. And back of it, the vast hinterland of what we don't see at all. In the not understood, as on that other membrane the earth's surface, lives almost everything of our discourse and our preoccupation.


"Fine," I snapped, extremely unimpressed
by something so transparently unjust
as was this fine; but fight or pay I must,
and fighting meant prolonging my unrest,
while sixty English pounds would clear my mind
for future poems, if I felt inclined
to write them, or the flowers we find
even in autumn, the aged yet the best.
I would not think of them if I were stressed...


Thistle range passes, so easy to lose the thread.
Dimensions of unknown shape bolt into the bay's blue waters;
fleeing fish ripple brown fronds. A seepage
of chains concealing drastic cavities,
but in the warehouse is a glade streaked with pasture.
One returns, so we'll have been bowling lights
in the lakeside gantries. It's growing brighter,
the woman notices, tired of fighting sleeplessness.
The child, small in her bed, sleeps with a frown,
as if the dream is a dilemma, and peace contains an anxiety
that's lost on waking. She begins to feel
the tintinnabuli are ringtones. She doesn't
want to switch on the colours -- the crowns of bushes
show in the kitchen window as a completed statement.
"I believe none of it," he says, tidying the cubby holes
with the boxes of teabags. "They said we'd all be
dead in twenty-twelve." "Underground cities,
all under the White House ... there's underground
tunnels everywhere ... It's concentrated on the moon.
It ripples across the surface, like a hologram,
it doesn't look real... The whole thing shudders ... You're
a hive of activity tonight. I think I'll go home and put my feet up."


                                    grey sky
   Looking out at the car-scape from Starbucks
the trees are sweeping out of the earth today
   molehills sprouting
I'm excited with green tea
   Arsenal v. Watford
   tracked on the smartphone
  but these are only catalysts
  The feeling is contact
  of earth with earth
 our unity
the good wooden floorboard
          under my shoe
the regular weave of
       my friend's denim
but we can't stay in the
             golden unity represented by this list
indeed we're never in it     because
   to feel is to feel
something else.
  The miniscule dents in the floorboard
 I'm imagining my fingertips
on the waxed wood
I'm not actually touching it now
after all I am writing
But at some point in my youth
 I did     where the words
                stood at a distance, taking their colour from
                                                          the thing itself


     pre horizon
  we were in the
 midford valley
   valley play of
light oh
    chooks train
would have
       are you
          hardly see
          in this hood
 dog was barking
       BOUGH! BOUGH!


Sometimes pence fall from the clouds
how they glint as the evening catches them
and the trenches of the field all gleam with
                                        the leftover coin
but it's never enough to pay.
And sometimes pence stream upward from the fields
                and from the yearning boughs of the forest
Sometimes a person is desperate to give
though it's never enough.
but sometimes
the gleam pools in the happy eyes
  of a family, or someone,
riding high on a wagon of hay
who makes a silhouette
against the vast coin that is rising in the sky


                 in    the   sun-

shine    I    would

have     laid    in    the


and    the    lakes

my    own    white    knees

in    the    rocks        the    lakes


feel    on    the    point   of    return

after    a    long    journey

lay    down    for    a   moment ...    in    the    trees ...


[the back country in Portugal]

From silence
a shoot and tender leaves sprout
through hot soil.
There was no sun in ancient Greece.
The gods' magnificence,
  understood from a city
Only tendrils of the wind
       around brute rocks
and the thickened trunks of low trees,
  who are thinking in that level way of theirs
and the passions of solar air.

Night sky: Venus, Mars
                           red & bright,
the constellations mothed
        with other stars,
the Milky Way
       a daze
like a fossil layer.


Jag börjar inte --
Finns bara tråd som skäras


Even the daisy
    resists your project.
      That resistance is its life.
The only thing you can do to it
      is take its life.


I've slain many daisies, forced with greenstained fingers into the iron soil, to get my nails around the nub of root that is the daisy's being. I would extirpate them. But never entirely, and after a year or two the lawn is once more dotted with sprightly daisies. And furred with their colonies of low-lying leaf.


night     outcrop    reproach    4
whelm    then        arose      cliff
              hull         shake    wrack
            entrap     tendrils,   weeps
   hall          the  arm       stretched
         we   cried          we  kissed
             tempest          autumn




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