Showing posts from November, 2015
It’s Over
Not now but when I ask you, I hear myself reply I know what you’ve been thinking, Not expecting this good bye
Not now but when I  ask you For the keys to the front door Your presence here is irksome You’re not needed anymore
Not now but when I ask you The answer to my plea Do you, have you ever loved me? The reply is plain to see in your eyes and your face.
Not now but when I ask you Rapt out in anger sharp You could not, would not see my pain Or reach out to me with your heart in the dark.
Not now but when I ask you Why, why, why, why, why, why Did you propose, and I agree And rend our lives and peace did flee Not now but when I ask you The fumy smoke and ash The ros—ź wine, and whiskey vodkas I took them all and turned happiness to trash and oddness
Not now but when I ask you So why did you have to ring? It’s over, gone, speak my name no more Our time together bound by a ring Is no more a precious thing But out of sight and time and place Not now Not ever Nevermore.

It’s all of a Piece
It’s as if I’ve been here before It’s all of a piece The watcher and the watched Who is sleeping and Who is watching? Their heads so close so their thoughts run Together in a pool Of reflective light On whose surface Marbling inks swirl And curdle in blooming paisley leaves of colour Calling to mind old books looked at in an antique bookshop on Woodhouse Lane Who is dreaming whom? Malchus my Angel What lies trapped beneath The ice of my mind What thoughts wait?


Is this going anywhere? What’s the criteria?
Can we capitulate If I excommunicate?
My heart is expiate I can’t foil to extrapolate
My soul is expatriate My body is nitrate
Ready to explode.


Holidays and markers of the year pass You are not there ‘Nothing will come of nothing’, Me and Dad ‘How sharper than a serpents tooth it is to have a thankless child’ Infinity – nothing will come of nothing If I don’t do anything – this is counted as an action or an anti-action Nothing will come of nothing - like the sin of omission. It’s my fault to leave undone something I should have done Its negative, ‘nothing’ is not a good idea, negating responsibility It’s acting the child It’s stepping back, stepping away, side stepping, stepping out All the stepping is avoidance Put them all together and a kind of dance of avoidance begins to be choreographed. Infinity- nothing will come of nothing A step into nothing A leap of pure faith A step into the unknown A blind leap Infinity – stretching before, reaching back behind And where I am What do I see? A hall of mirrors repeating the same image Me - framed in a mirror – going back and going forward infinitely. Infinity – my ey…
In The Computer Screen
In the computer screen today I watched my contours The computer is taking a long time completing a task It draws in my eyes Dawning in my eyes is me reflected in the black screen In the black I don’t see it at first because I’m thinking about my next computer action But then I see me - it’s a black me with harshly contrasted blacks and whites The window on one side throwing a strong white light and the darkening room on the other side and in the screen Black. And I’m there in the screen and there in the room and somewhere in between neither in the room or in the screen but like infinity between the two places travelling having left a long time ago and knowing I have a long way yet to go. Committed to the journey fatalistically committed I don’t have a choice this is a reality, an immoveable, irrefutable, undeniable truth. And my journey is one every one of us has to go through. The Father has abandoned me. He has left me. Now I have to carry on Without…
Harvest Home

The afternoon Spent luxuriously In a plastic chair At the bedside of mum Dozy, pale, frowzy
Her legs just like mine Under cellular blankets The kind I look at and think “that won’t keep you warm” But turn out to be toasty
Drip and cannula, blood pressure Cups of sweet tea Dry air, warm air Nurses chat
I tune out Who knows if this is normal? We close the door and The quiet envelops us I close my eyes to pray Apart from kind nurses popping in It’s a flower centre With petals closed It’s a cocoon of blissful rest It’s a four poster feather bed With the curtains drawn.
Its enwrapment of love And one, two, three hours go by In quick succession And I with my book reading A poem at a time.
The costa guy asked what I was Reading – “Modern Women Poets” And he said “Nothing there for me” Why not? Men can read Poems by women.
And the time runs through a sieve And the next thing the nurse says we May go Luckily we haven’t been fed The institutionalisation Hasn’t set in yet

We feel n…
Green Hench I
On a green hench a tumulus earth works I lay my head on the steep slope And look out, look across, look around Directly opposite, the Ring of Brogdar stands silently Each stone, a stone of immense weight, a slab Flat sheared like paving – special stone Red sandstone and the circle, unbroken Yet has missing teeth, fallen where they stand, or gone The magnetic power of the ring is strong Rings of magnetism emit silently from the ring Emanating until they reach The stones of Stenness  A smaller circle Next to a lake Deadpool lake – still – uncut Reflective And under the lake is the water to be Silent, black pool And above the lake is the cloud filled Sky full of potential water And the stones like a moon pull The water down, down into the earth Where they collect and lay until they Are tidally pulled up – into the lake Up into the vapourous cloud – the stones Direct all – speaking silently to each other. Brogdar to Stenness
Triangulating over to Maes Howe the Green Hench …
Green Hench II
Like a tortoise asleep in a field The Green Hench sat Solid, rounded forever.
The way to it zigged and zagged around the edge of fields In fenced off walk ways Until we reached the gate And pavement around Maes Howe Neolithic Orcadian
The Howe prominent on the flat The greenest sward of grass Succulent well fed grass Gave no hint of what lay beneath This softly organic form.
Entrance and passageway narrow and low Some reluctant to enter Claustrophobic, fear gripped, white faced, wide eyed.
The way, a reverse birth Re-entering the womb Remember the way out? A hard difficult squeeze Clamped by muscle, gripped by bone. Now choose to re-enter.
Not a light and easy choice I go – to know. Inside as dark as pitch Filled with the huffing of the other souls Standing still and circular as the stones of Steness.
The only light – blocked by more entering Until we are all assembled And the daylight flushes down the long entrance passageway With the last person Light falls in slivers of silver Illuminating the chamb…
Gone but Not Forgotten: A Victorian Sentimental Verse.
Gone but not forgotten, Days drag into weeks Fighting for the meaning, my mood in troughs and peaks The valley once so verdant, is now a misty lodge The mountain peak a bright sharp ledge, now a snow bound block
Gone but not forgotten, the weeks stretch into months My torpourous black clad form to others is a bore The bright and breezy outlook is low and drab and grey And dancing love and laughter is very far away.
Gone but not forgotten, the time it goes so slow And still I look upon your box and know that you must go. The cemetery at Killingbeck where all the family lay In scattered graves about the place My resting place one day.
Gone but not forgotten, the year draws to a close Close of life, close of face, laid in the coffin dead not in a doze And now reality is like a knife a cut to show it’s not a dream
And I must travel ever on until that day we meet again.

Alizarin Crimson. Indian Yellow. The colours in tubes squeezed fatly onto paper, the texture of soft butter, the smell of woody linseed.
How good to be sitting here today, plastic taped to the carpets and set out, around the studio, vignettes. Over here autumnal squash and conkers, over here silks and Buddha’s head, on the walls paintings in different stages of finish.
Bean tins of beautifully kept brushes, neat boxes of colours and sets of brush-wash pots. Everywhere order, stacks of canvases, a tidy mind.
Thalto green – tint strength high. Raw Sienna – medium transparency. Thoughts applied to images like the stripes of coloured glazes. Yellow for greed. Red for anger. Blue for down. Green is nothing. Burnt sienna for Bronze light, good and getting better. I apply stripes of transparent colour to previously painted images from the ‘Room’ series. My studio my arena of work. The place I work in and the subject of my current work. Till now executed in black and white monochro…
Dream Poem 16

It was Dad’s funeral Again I was all in black with white tights and a long black veil I was writing my name in black – on my shirt hem - over and over. At one point I lay on the floor People were a bit shocked but just looked. The funeral service was held in a school class room, the children had put their chairs on the tables.
And I was thinking ‘I only have to do this one more time and that will be three funerals for Dad’.
For Muriel
Muriel Spark born 1918 Poet, woman, life liver A Scott, why not? In Rhodesia. Changed her mind, swapped Vicar for Priest.
Priest for Vicar and took the Host On her tongue, Latin in her mouth Missal in her hand-bag. Heavy Rosary in her hand, slipping decades
Through her fingers.

Thinking About Infinity

I‘ve been thinking about infinity But perhaps it’s not infinity I’m after but eternity My infinity Where the sea and the sky meet Where the sea fades into the sky fog Where the fog and the horizon merge Sfumato Chiaroscuro Smoke obscuring vision Rain lashed window so the landscape outside is obscured An open peat fire smoking up to the ceiling working its way up a shaft of light Cut in the roof tiles a vent from which the peat smoke acrid and earthy delightfully brown and wholesome inexorably is sucked out into the morning sky creating from the outside a sanctuary of the home a prayer a lit candle in front of a domestic Madonna or a house-hold saint small – propped, surrounded by offerings a single ear ring, a piece of Lego, a bowl of last year’s conkers, a chrysanthemum petal, drops of spilt wax. Our household shrine Our slim passage to infinity, to eternity. On one wall my constructed iconostasis. Cobbled together photocopies, tiny tourist icons, post car…
Death and Life; An Anniversary

One year ago; eighteen years ago – today Dark as this dark morning can be A spike of hope rising in the throat of Mr Blackbird As he woos and harmonises for his wife.
One year ago today And how? everything that has passed. Eighteen years ago today – he and I in our first and continuing embrace. To this morning clung like a limpet to a rock and the eighteen years Of tides in and out, Tsunami, Spring showers, blistering suns, And just days – have passed.
But this particular day one year ago Has left a gap like a hole Worn through a stone on the beach. In my hand smooth contours that fit, the hole intrigues and I look My eye like a soft bodied anemone For a moment fills the space.
But the negative space is real Heartbreakingly real As when my mother and I sat sobbing On a step and we despaired at our loss The air pulsing between our loss and our gain of new titles And the host of new actions and intentions
We must set our minds to.
And yet on that same…
David and Goliath or  the Earth and the Moon on the way to Holy Rosary
The clouds part On an indigo sky Violet shades To reveal an Earth of a Moon Cresting the horizon Silhouette city And shorn trees Arises the most full Moon So close So huge The colours of it are the reverse Colours on the colour wheel Instead of the green and Blue Earth Red and orange are silk screened onto the surface of the Moon So clear, so pitted and shadowed Detailed and sharp Alive with the colours of Australia.

Dream Poem 17:  Part 1 Inspection in the classroom Inspection in the kitchen Inspection in the Georgian house of wide and deep proportions The light of turquoise and white The social situations of awkwardness and tongue tied crossness. Part 2 Her caustic, demented lover. S_ that enigma of a woman who is now a man. On a bike with a porcelain toilet full of water Cycling round Leeds. There are many road blocks and bollards and diversions, it’s quite difficult to travel. In a rooming house, a student house. Its dark, always dark – semi light. The police are out there has been an explosion at the university. A policeman is arriving – Move road blocks and cordons and redirections several times on the bike Going round Leeds Civic building – always semi darkens like dawn or dusk On the bike.

Cold Sea

Ice Mountains of steel ice Cold and hard Brutal yet beautiful Ship sinker ice Bone freezer ice The bell of the buoy rings Out at sea, who is to hear but whales? Explorers explored Died, never buried on the ice Left where they fell like a battlefield Who’s to remember? Who’s to know? Who’s to care? The pattern of frost bite Couture lace shrouding face and hands The last embrace of pure crystalline cold So sleepy, so tired, just a little nap So easily the spirit is cut From the marrow and loose from its tether Is off and away Leaving behind pain, frostbite, lost fingers The sorrow of revival I want to go.

Poem for Cimabue’s Madonna
Paris Louvre Painting 1280 Cimabue - Madonna and Child in Majesty Surrounded by Angels.
Streets and snow White paint freshness Ladders and the angels Going up and coming down Into a manhole in the street
Telephone boxes and demons Circling the ring-road Boulders and centaurs and flying angels Billowing cloaks alizarin and corn flower Wings in hues of cobalt and lapis In tints of madder.
Layers and layers of antiquity Their green faces peer from Cimabue’s plank Gold deadly gleaming Madonna Secure in her entourage of heavenly bodies. “Angels. Up” she cries And at once the eight wings of rainbow extend in an arc over her halo.
And she rises with the colours Prismatic in her face, in her eyes Permeating her body in a Heavenly cloud – rising.

Christmas Day Poem
How can it be Christmas? This year Christmas is set on its ears. The lead up, the preparations, the time of penance and charity. I have been most unwholesome, unhappy, grumpy, sullen, angry, and at odds with all things Christmas. Grinchy Christmas tree, begrudging decorations, baking that has gone in the bin.
I want to be quiet, I want to be silent, I want to be in myself with God. I don’t want to party or be festive I don’t want to party or be festive I don’t want a load of nonsense chatter and small talk. I want peace
I want to lay down at the bottom of a riverbed looking up through the green clear water Up through the aqua ripples up to the sky And watch as clouds slowly move across And dawn parts to reveal full day and afternoon atomises into cool even And the dew falls and the sun falls behind a green hill Clustered with trees and the moon rises from the opposite side of the hill And still I lie peaceful Soundless, quiet and at rest under the water looking …
Child on the Cusp of Post-Modernism
My childhood was immersed, Drowning in Modernism.
My parent’s formative art practice Absolutely at the cutting edge The industrial heart The break through Bauhaus Basic Programme 1950’s Leeds College of Art Received a tornado of European teaching.
Finally the Dessau school, Staatliches Bauhaus idealism Made its way to the industrial Heart of the North.
Harry Thubron brought hisKnowledge – To Leeds on the back of beer mats and cigarette boxes in the Cobourg Tavern. His vision and skills communicated To the ready ears of the Students and teaching staff At the College.
My mother agog with the new System, the Basic Programme.
Ann was taught by Miss Noble of the Old school as was thought. Taught in the Art Deco style.
My mother was ready to move Design in a new direction Modernism arrived in with the Bauhaus philosophy and its inspiration brought new thoughts.
As for me myself and I I was born On the cusp of a decade On the cusp of 2 houses On the cusp of an hour