Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Shape Of The Poem

The Poem is shaped much like the soul,
Intangible, indeterminable, indefectible.
Its remnants echo in mind for a time,
Its phrases turn to tongue for a time,
Its message churns in gut for a time,
Its necessity burns in heart for a time.
Until the poem itself decides it is time.

And so it must be, swarming and settling,
A potent liquid that warms, excites and frustrates.
Leaving hues of colour behind.
And sometimes it ceases.
Its movements undetectable,
Its phrases forgotten,
Its impact swaying,
Its punch lost.

And sometimes it re-emerges
Its movement swathing, swarming,
Intoxicating, all-consuming, 
Demanding.
Demanding ‘Now I must be heard’
Demanding ‘I am ready to speak now’
Demanding ‘If you don’t listen I will disperse and be lost’
And that is when the pen must be held tight 
By whomever the seed of poetry has been implanted.
It’s not a process of writing per se
Not in the way we like to say

The poem sends sparks on to paper,
The penholder merely the instrument of its release.
And it speaks clear and loud,
It choses its structure as it choses its points.
Carefully but fearlessly,
It’s no process of rationality.

The penholder strikes the paper,
Etches the traces of its formation.
And it speaks quickly, hurriedly, softly.
Then stops.
And with that the poem is finished.

Its shape on the page - 
A mere reflection of the essence,
For it has long been forming, 
Growing and evolving.
It has consumed many different shapes 
And forms since birth,
From liquid to stone.
From mind to soul.
The poem is a shapeless wonder,
The poet, constrained by shape; enraptured.

Hedonism Part 1

Swept up with the dreamers,  
The creatives, 
The free. 
Where freedom of expression is preserved 
Love of idols endorsed. 
The flags wave, 
The voices soar, 
As do the spirits. 
Adventure calls, 
As excitement builds.  
Nights draw in,  
Time expands  
And contracts at will, 
Its pattern now meaningless.  
Magic floats on the breeze and sparks intermittently.  
Shining.  
The world is shining,  
The place is shining,  
The people are shining,  
You yourself are shining.  
Let that spark soar.    
Tired without weary,  
Hunger without pain,  
Function without grind.  
And the sun rises again  
And you're there to greet it.   
And morning peaks, 
Its warmth radiating 
And all the faces you want to see,  
Together, one.  
Euphoric, one.  
Collective, one. 
Content, one. 
Experiencing, one. 
Living, one.  
Shining, one. 
One.  
The world is shining.   
The place is shining.   
The people are shining.   
You yourself are shining.   
Don't let that glimmer fade. 

Hedonism Part 2

And there ain't nothing, 
Ain't nothing in the world to fix this. 
But time, normality and routine.
And there ain't nothing, 
Ain't nothing in the world to define this.
We're storming the surreal scenes. 
And the rabble and rouse against cardboard doors
Wonky doors, wonky torsos, wonky souls.  
And we're slipping and sliding 
Through the next hours, 
To the dark hours, 
To the dawn's hours,
 To do it all over. 

And there ain't nothing, 

Ain't nothing in the world to constrain this.
But rationality, measurement and restraint
And there ain't nothing, 
Ain't nothing in the world to detain this.
We're merely idling through.
And sense slips to nonsense 
Which makes no sense 
But we're finding sense 
In no sense,  
Which is nonsense, 
But that's our sense, 
Of all sense, 
And whose got the sense 
Of nonsense 
And with every sense 
Finds senselessness. 

And the daylight's a haze, 
And the day a maze 
And the eyes a glaze 
And its all a daze.
So we pile in and dance, 
Because that's what's left to do,  
And we feel the pound of the rhythm in our flesh
To our heart swelling through chest.
And we're feeling, 
We're feeling, 
We're feeling.

And there ain't nothing, 
Ain't nothing in the world to reason this.
And night eclipses 
And the bulging eyes 
Of strangers' faces colliding
And we're hugging, 
And we're walking, 
And we're landing, 
And we're floating, 
And we're soaking it up 
'cos it's the only thing to do.
Wonky doors, wonky torsos, wonky souls.
And your face is my face 
And our face is drifting, 
Lights flashing, 
Lasers beaming, 
Mind soaking, 
Heart pounding, 
Feet stamping,
Falling in, 
Falling out, 
Drifting.

And darkness clambers
To catch a spark, 
Spills into the light.
For even the worst among us have some good
And the best a little bad.
And it bubbles, 
And it drenches, 
The blankness, 
The darkness.

And there ain't nothing, 

Ain't nothing in the world to control this, 
Though we try to.
We build the fences, 
Arm the defences.
Wonky doors, wonky torsos, wonky souls.

A Soldier's Lament

Go now, leave. 
Sign up and ship out. 
The boats are sailing.
The planes soaring.
You'll be a hero yet.

And when those boots of steel tredge through the muddy fields, 
And when those boots of steel edge through the bloody fields,
And when those boots of steel trip through forgotten worlds, 
When you're lying in a ditch, side trembling with aches. 
The blanket under which to lie, the stars,  
And wondering - 
Wondering at your loved ones lying under those self-same stars 
Because it makes you somehow connected. 
To the age of innocence,
When this was premonition,
Unseen
Unforeseen
Undreamt
And so could it be undone?
When you've seen too much for the mind to take,
Forcing eyes and ears to assume a rare immunity to pain.
When you have fallen 
Many times fallen 
Too many times fallen
And friends have fallen 
Many friends fallen 
Too many friends fallen 
Some never to return 
To quicken the flame, 
To extinguish the blame. 
When your hand,
Has been the hand
That caused others to fall
Many others to fall. 
Too many others to fall.

Go now, leave. 
Sign up and ship out. 
And we won't call you by your name anymore.
Your uniform is your identity from now on.
And we can provide you with drugs,
That'll bring on a fog,
And shield the reality
Of loss
Of pain
Of ruin.
And cause years of effects,
The conditions complex,
But you'll be a statistic,
You'll be buried in numbers then,
It won't be seen
It won't be heard
We'll speak of it no more.

And if you should come back in a box  -
We'll ensure elaborate fittings.
And pomp and ceremony and praise.
And speak of bravery and heroism.
And if you should survive, 
Well then you've done your time.
And we'll ask nothing of you but to adjust with ease,
Back to a former life, of civility and monotony.
From the edge of mortality
The dark side of our humanity.
The fears
The night sweats
The memories that splinter 
And broken 
Distort and combine, 
Forming thwarted picture in hazy mind. 

The recollections you never can share,
For they bare
No resemblance
To the 'you' people know
And the 'you' that you know.
And we'll give nothing to you in return -
For your deeds
For your dreams 
For your very mortality. 
You can be a number and hope time brings ease. 


This war is not about you - 
Not for love
Nor status
Nor change.
It's a commodity,
You're a commodity,
And there will always be another dispute.
And so it rages, on and on.
How much we truly understand? Close to none.
But you've had your time in the sun.
Left abandoned,
Unloved, on the sideline. 
For we all have a shelf life,
And it moves all too fast.  

And it's easy to forget,
When it's not our own eyes yet.
When we can come in 
And shut the world at the door.
When our sphere has always laid in the realms of comfort zone.
When autonomy has always been somewhere in reach. 
When we haven't put everything on the line
When we still have a dream we can call 'mine'. 

Go now, leave. 
Sign up and ship out.
The boats are sailing.
The planes soaring.
You'll be a hero yet. 

Perhaps It's Just My Interests

It occurs to me 
A great symmetry 
In greatness. 
Or in the influence 
Of greatness. 
And what greatness influences.  
So a symmetry between -  
A spiritual family tree. 

Perhaps it's just my interests 

And time and again I think I've broadened the net, 
But its difference is only ever at the surface 
The root is of the same matter - 
Though the subjects change, 
Though the contexts change, 
Though the Names change, 
Though the art forms change, 
Though the places change, 
Though the methods change, 
Though the eras change, 
Though the landscapes change, 
The root remains. 

For at some point, somewhere, 

The same things emerge 
The same ideas, 
The same tapestries, 
The same influences - 

The Beat Generation, 

The Lost Generation, 
The Great Depression, 
Buddhism,  
Japanese Theatre,  
Romantic Poets,  
Surrealism, 
Expressionism, 
Dreams, 
Consciousness, 
The Blues, 
Antonin Artaud, 
Bertolt Brecht, 
William Burroughs, 
Woody Guthrie, 
Bob Dylan, 
Oscar Wilde. 

It occurs to me 

A great symmetry  
In greatness. 
Or in the influence 
Of greatness. 
And what greatness influences - 
So a symmetry between - 
A spiritual family tree.   

 Perhaps it's just my interests; 

A limited sphere going around. 
Or perhaps an intrinsic commonality 
In these realms abound. 
And though there's constant change, 
Its root remains.

Idol

If someone someday should catch your eye,
If someone someday should strike your soul, 
If someone someday should transcend rationale, 
If someone someday should evoke ideas or dreams or creativity or all, 
If someone someday should combine all forms that influence you too, 
If someone someday should strike at the bone of you, 
If someone someday should do all these things,  
Feel no fear to call them idol.  
For that inner sparking becomes enlightening,
And makes Artists of us all.