• Poetry
  • Ode to a Blenheim Cormorant

    IMG-20170328-WA0000

     

    As five swans, together, lift their weight,
    With no little effort, toward the sky,
    My eye, yet falls, admiring, nearer ground,
    Where, on a branch that overhangs the lake,
    Not starting at the egret’s cry,
    She, unlocking not a sound,
    Who hunting over-long would drown,
    Reaches out her drenched wings to dry.

    A grebe, unseen, submerged, passes near-by,
    And on the shore mill pheasants, sheep and rabbits,
    But clothed in nature’s charcoal-aged habit,
    She busies not herself, but sits to dry.

    And so a long in-breath becomes a sigh,
    Cutting through all wandering, worried thoughts,
    Just to watch her perch upon the over-hanging stalk,
    And reach out her drenched wings, to dry.

     

    Image: Cormorant by Sonja Molina, Instagram @sonlune

  • Poetry
  • Tenement Magnolias

    magnolia poem

     

    Chattering echoes and
    light rakes the oratory,

    Everywhere blossom and soft warmth,
    pebbles, litterfall.

    A gift of small blisters,
    rhythms on the common.

    Tenement magnolias
    singing in thought, and silently –

    Lift up your hearts,
    lift up your hearts.

     

  • Poetry
  • Kite

    The hills roll like eggs
    with calcium texture

    latticed in spiky monoculture
    on cabbage-moth time

    terracotta nests,
    and territories, more
    than we know.

    Two stroke chopper drone,
    bird-strike and rhythm and blues,

    lichen-crusty hawthorn
    and flat, crawling conifers,
    ever-green and bloomless.

    Library thoughts –
    chattering reflections –

    settling now
    like brown sugar in porridge

    following a bee

    down from the warm, drenched laurels
    veined and expecting, themselves.

    She sent up flares
    near the end

    that burst like dandelion clocks
    but I saw her
    too late.

    It’s all moving today
    as fast as the long pine shadow

    it’s all blinding
    like a welder’s arc.

    Ticking like a hi-hat
    and chewing on arithmetic

    a school kid
    who doesn’t understand

    eye-lid droop
    in leaf litter tissue

    and brightness
    such brightness

    over the coriander knell
    sack cloth races

    a ponder away
    of garment stained treasure

    and chocolate cake
    fresh for a favourite
    grand son.

  • Poetry
  • Rust Bucket

    poetry music alexander westmacott

     

    There’s something so real
    and present and
    physical about
    the thing that counteracts
    a life of imaginings,
    spreadsheets and
    norms,

    In the jagged sharpness of
    crumpled and torn
    steel bodywork;
    an old shell rusted to
    delicacy and overgrown,

    red fringes
    refreshed by every rain,
    a shelter of history,
    a world for countless lives,

    eating under tyres and swimming
    in oil stained puddles,
    ripening in rainbow decay.

  • Poetry
  • Dōrieis

    A few birds, bravely air-borne still,

    Flock in lost formation,

    Struggling, as humans will,

    For sense and murmuration.

     

    The sky, a crumbling blue and grey,

    For a brief duration,

    Births the brightest snow-drop white,

    As reason, revelation.

  • Poetry
  • The Blade & The Ear

    ‘I shall see my soul rise out of his blade, in a candour and in an innocense’
    – John Donne

    The tree is a shelter,
    It makes a saving shadow,
    For the livestock,

    The grass moves like water in the wind,
    Everything is always fading.

    The blade becomes the ear,
    The grain becomes the bread,

    The grain flows like water through the hands.

    Everything is pieces,
    The pieces come together into forms,
    The rain on the mountain floods the towns.

    The water flows like glass across the pastures,
    The moon is on the earth and in the sky,
    Everything is always fading.

    Beauty is the sharpest pain,
    Love is the keenest beauty,
    Marrow fills the bone and makes the blood.

    The blade maims the ear,
    The fruit becomes the marrow,
    Everything is always growing.

    The blue of the sky rolls back in the evening,
    And the stars sing out a cantus,
    The sky is more light than darkness,
    Like shining grain cast over black soil,
    And they call the night night,
    And they call the day day,

    And the day calls forth the people,
    To make a temple of the earth.

    And they call the day day,
    That moves with such dominant ease,
    That burns itself into our necks,
    And into our muscles.

    And the blade becomes the ear,
    The grain becomes the bread,
    Everything is always growing.

  • Poetry
  • Tessellation

    lamp-small-image

    She made a bridge with her toes;
    Clinging uselessly to my thighs,
    And the frailty threw us around
    Mixing our hearts with
    Chocolaty brews.

    Saturday in the vineyard,
    Transparent glances all along the field walk,
    Waking naturally,
    To a flavour and a moan.

    That was the never time,
    When money spiders span oak branches
    And held meetings
    To decide the next phase of the moon.

    And we felt the blackbird’s breath,
    And the beat of it’s wings on our breasts,
    And the passing clouds over Berkshire villages
    Were as sturdy as Victorian aquaducts,
    Whilst the fruits of our crafts and our labours
    Were soft as steam in the air.

    She made a bridge with her little toes,
    As frail as frozen grass,
    But everywhere about us
    Rang out in beautiful song.

    [Photo: ‘Hiding Your Light’ by Ailsa Naumann]

  • Poetry
  • Barn Fragments

    With our hoods pulled tight,
    Working all a purpose –
    An English summer in rubber boots –
    And a fallen star under every arm
    Climbing Hinksey Hill.

    We built that fort like grown men,
    And defended it,
    Until the world shrank to the size
    Of a bee sting.

    Mirror lakes between us
    And the greying vines
    Of the parson’s wall
    Were routes to other lands,
    Trod to well-worn paths,

    And the house-martins
    Sang us songs to pretend to,
    While we drank moonshine
    from sparkling valley streams.

  • Poetry
  • Drywall

    Just around the

    Drywall, in lavender

    Pinks and sandlewood –

     

    Crumbs for church mice

    And cherry bream.

     

    We fell through an age of ages,

    Made pumpkin faces

    And drew up plans

    On napkins.

     

    In a cardboard salad

    Box soaked bitter as

    Black pepper corns.

     

    Making love on a Damsen bed,

    In the mean time,

    All the while,

     

    For absent friends

    And choices left

    unmade, like castle ruins

  • Poetry
  • Witch Hazel

    A yellow flush of leaves lights up the ground,
    Where ash and bone, the justice of the caucus,
    Got piled, enough to raise a little mound.

    And not just Matthew Hopkins saw the profits,
    And not just priests and jailers joined the chorus,
    Where magistrates in Barber walk the coppice,
    On paths that keep the tread of women bound,

    To give their lives, that sheriffs might keep office,
    And with each step they hear a crackling sound.