Birth days

Birth days

This day I left the womb, the warm waters, to swim
through so many unwanted places to reach a semblance of calm.
The rain has stopped,
and the winter-bare trees reveal a misted horizon. Empty.

We will have summer here, and the waters will shrink
to a trickle, the skin of the earth crack,
and we will long for something else. Perhaps a storm,
perhaps only the quiet weight of a dog’s head resting in my lap.

Black is a cold smell of dead fires and the deepest leaf mould,
the refuge of dark things and the whispering of winter wind.
The bonfire is over, the sparks settled somewhere
out of sight. A new constellation is born.

Words can be red angry as red meat on a slab.
He tosses them out like offal, and I wonder how he can live
with a mouth that never tastes the music of opera,
never wish to be the sweet song of a bird.

The sun juices pictures from trees, open meadows, the restless sea.
There is too much light, too much I don’t want to see.
I sit with you, waiting for moonrise on the stone bench,
where the summer scent of roses lingers.

The beauty beyond

The beauty beyond

Diamonds don’t cry,
not even when they are cut, shaved smooth
to suit our facets.

The dream came from the east.
I know, because it had pink sunlight
draped over its shoulders.

She left music in her footprints and spring flowers,
made cooking pots and medicines,
so they erased her.

Sun, egg-yellow blob in the sky,
skin-tingling, and the earth rustles with gratitude.
I wait for the first roses.

There will be blue again,
lake water reflecting nothing more sinister
than spring clouds, scudding.

From this, forests grow

I wondered if the Oracle would give me a cadralor today.

From this, forests grow

The garden shrinks,
cringes from the snapping of the cold,
bubbles with mud boiling from worm holes.
A wren calls in its fierce voice,
and for a moment, winter listens.

There are always shadows,
even in the crook of your arms, and tears are never far.
You smooth my hair from my face,
gentle as that lost look.
There. They fall.

For some, the threads are tangled,
and worship is tied to the kite string of abuse.
Their hands tangled with caresses
strike purple bruises
across the same trembling skin.

Show me how sleep is not death,
the coloured mists within the darkness,
and walk with me where we were happy.
Look with me for the prints of our feet
beneath the fallen leaves.

Sprung from crawling, rotting earth,
petals curl and unfurl to elaborate the rose
and the music of its scent. Remember that,
when the ocean sky roars and pours only bitterness—
stormlight and sunlight are cut from the same cloth.

Beyond the clouds

The Oracle at her best (maybe), with Odilon Redon.

Beyond the clouds

Beyond the black and the purple lines of the sky
(watch them stretch and clear),
shine the singing diamonds,

scattered polar lights
(from red, green), dropping here in veils of silver
to envelop the skin of the meadow.

There is always an afterwards,
always a sort of spring
(though the winter bites deep,
and the seas heave with drowned sunlight)

Always there is a moon that soars
through bleak skies
(moon or memory glows, the turves shift,
your eyes shine again)

dimming the brittle sharpness
of diamond-light,
beating with the same pulse
as a (weeping) heart.

Still running

The Oracle always has words of wisdom, not false hope of insincere comfort. The truth should be enough.

Still running

Run through all the days,
the nights with stars above and mist below,
fly the ocean-earth with the owls.

The pain is raw,
and spring will be bitter without the roses.
Their petals fell and none will ever smell the same.

The sun was soft and sweet,
the stone warm enough for lizards,
butterflies fluttered among the falling leaves,

but the ache is for the beauty lost,
the beauty still,
and perhaps the beauty yet to come.

Night falls on the countryside

Painting by Franz Marc.
This poem came from the first selection of words. The Oracle didn’t need any more than that to show her disgust for certain ‘traditional’ leisure activities.

Night falls on the countryside

The grotesquerie of this tapestry,
moon-silvered and sordid with blood
and flesh, torn to rotting meat.

She spreads her soft silver and rain-weeps,
but such a blanket cannot warm dead bones,
and the smell lingers beneath leaf mould.

Forest heaves in sorrow beneath the moon;
even her spangled gown is shot full of holes,
bleeding starlight.

Before you go

The Oracle knows.

Before you go

I watch the wind with its petals blowing,
across this heart with an ache ever-growing;
be still my friend, I’ll not be going.

The wind that blows cannot chase the light
in the rushing clouds, they shine too bright,
your trusting eyes, in the dark of night.

Mother and friend, captain of this ship,
I am always here though the last light dip
and dim in the waves, I’ll not let you slip.

A thousand things still you have to know,
and a forest of roses I’ve still to show,
a sky full of music, before you go.

The star in the sky, the pear in the tree,
I’ll be lavender, thyme for the honey bee,
and I’ll guide you home, where you want to be.

Coins and other sides

Coins and other sides

There are stories too sad to be told
to be sung by violins
shouted blue as a painted sky
and though we stir the bitter dregs
we find no sweetness.

Shadow is the other side of light
the dark juice that runs through the green trees
that outlines the softness of feathers
the silence behind the whispers
the sharp retorts.

Wind draws mist veils across the sun
and whips the storm clouds
driving ship-death upon the rocks
stripping golden leaves
and scattering the year across the mud

but there is always beauty
in water diamonds
bird music
the eternal light show of the universe.
Even when there is too much sadness to bear.

Listening for the echoes

Not a cadralor from the Oracle today. A short, sweet and to the point message.

Listening for the echoes

To stop this frantic race and soar
with the unthinking grace of a hawk,
to run where the stream runs, unquestioning of the end,
to board the ship, knowing there may be no return voyage,

is a wish that pulses in the too-human blood,
that surged with our first infant cry,
that falls in wind-whispers from every broad-leafed tree,
tongued in imperatives by the turning-season storms.

I would paint my path in bright colours and follow it,
had I the talent, but being no artist, I send my heart
in the wake of kingfisher and the white scut of deer,
and with my silence, listen for its distant echoes.

October thoughts from the Oracle

Must we whisper? Has sleep grown hostile?
The roses were plucked by the storm in the night,
their petals are sinking in the mud,
a rank smell hangs in the damp air.

The dream memory aches, you and I together,
in our place, wrapped in ourness,
lying on sweet meadow stalks beneath a blue sky.

To shine with the sleek shimmer of feathers,
the unconscious beauty of the smallest bird,
to sing with such a voice—we try,
leaving symphonies in our wake.

We watch helplessly as the sun sinks
and search for the pigments to retain its splendour,
wear diamonds because we cannot reproduce a dewy field.

I would live honey-drunk, full as a spring lake,
sail petals like boats on its unruffled surface,
and have you always, a presence,
warmer, larger than life itself, within reach of my hand.