Tag Archives: identity

Dummy

In the darkened gloom

of a wooden tomb,

you kept me smothered

in a dank ,musty cloth,

my burial shroud wrapped around me,

like nightmares wrap themselves

around my dreams

were I be allowed to dream,

to suffocate on my own dust

passing time watching iron nails rust,

distant noises muffled

my own screams caught in a throat

that cannot issue its own currency of speech,

my counterfeit visage

its motionless mouth,

my fugue turns a darker shade of night;

until,

until,

until you release me

on parole again;

and as I sit obediently on your knee,

the applause reaches its crescendo

and you bow your head

as Charles did upon the chopping block

to which my thoughts stray

and before you put me back

into the wooden tomb,

I know now,

what I must do…

Staring Contest

See the empty pages

staring,

staring back at you

staring as you stare

at them:

All those pages,

empty,void and

blank

waiting for a stroke

of your pen

the cut and thrust

of some intellect and

a little wit;

Scratches on the surface

of the Sun,

etchings on the landscape

of the Moon;

and still you stare at them

whilst they’re staring back

at you,

and you alone

hold the pen.

Passing Thoughts

Passing thoughts

passing us by

into

the nothingness of nothing,

the nothing of nothingness;

the wherefore of whys,

the whys of wherefore;

the noise of silence,

the silence of noise;

the emptiness of empty,

the empty of emptiness;

the traveller knocking at the door,

waiting,

waiting,

waiting

A German Requiem

Incense-misted eyes


throats baulked with pride,


scars reddened by droplets


a hand wiping spittle


from the Breviary’s page;


Drought-mouthed elegies


to ribbons burdened


by weights of guilt,


gleaming handle farewells


accompanied by Bach


to the warrior hearts


swollen with longing,


marking time with


the limping clock;


Yearning, yearning


for visions


wrought into maps,


iron-ore mountains


forged into Tanks


and nights of gasoline


when the Sea


of Ages parted


and Schnapps was Wagner


in our heads.

The Stranger’s Absence

I recall him saying,

” of all the possible possibilities isn’t it possible

that there being no possibilities is amongst them? “

To which I countered,

” We cling obsessively to those pieces of a jigsaw

we’ve somehow come to accumulate by chance,

accident or ulterior design, only for those pieces

never to fall into place or even bear any resemblance

to a discernible outline or pattern or a promise of coherence. “

I contemplate the solitary glass of absinthe

that sits forever stationary on a marble top table,

un-paid for and un-drunk until The Stranger returns,

and quaffs it savouring the liquid’s unique indifference

as it surges down his gullet;

We are only led to imagine such things

because we imagine that the Stranger,

long since absconded into the obscurity of the world-at-large

might somehow re-appear unannounced as if by chance,

fate or ulterior design,

And then we might recommence the desultory dialogue,

the Stranger and me

that dialogue which he chose peremptorily to abandon

with his trademark flaneur disquieting insouciance;

and so I sit and toy with the pieces of jigsaw

left me as a memento or perhaps not,

some pieces are clearly missing and

the glass of absinthe requires that I pay for it.

……………………………………………………………………..

Author’s footnote:

My previous poems featuring “The Stranger” are

The Stranger,One Last time ( 23/4/2019 )

A Stranger Returns (23/4/2018 )

Encounter with a Stranger ( 3/10/2017 )

Orientation

What do we see when

we see what others saw?

what do we hear when

we listen to what others heard?

what do we know when

we know what others learned?

what do words mean when

we speak those words spoken

before by others?

Should we somehow exchange places,

and in that exchange

become them,

as they become us,

and looking back

at our former selves

we no longer recognise

who we are?

A 1960’s Northern Town

fading back the years,
to Friday-paid dirt-nailed
stand-up straight-razor guys,
smoke-stenched, beer-drenched,
immersed in Willy Dixon’s words
strung like wire
barbed across their hearts;
lost in deep resonances
of factory-line steam-hammers
raw and edged
like John Lee Hooker’s
“BOOM…BOOM…BOOM “,
drunk on too much scotch
and too much weekend parfumerie,
unrequited by Howlin’ Wolf’s
plaintive primordial lament
“ won’t you come back to me? ”
its timeless patina of weariness
covering the night that goes crashing,
its braggadocio getting swept aside;
the only consolation
is in the cold clear air
of Sunday morning.

A Passage Through Time

Time was forgotten

by time itself,

even those that

remembered and knew

of its harsh cadences

fell into a silent repose;

where no time

no longer mattered,

for in essence

time itself was no more,

no morrow,

no morning

mourning as it all fell silently

into an oblivion

it had created for itself

throughout its ceaseless computations

until the numbers themselves

ran out..

Alien Nation : Alienation

We went into the Valley of Elah

looking for victory and reasons to carry on ,

when we got there those reasons had gone ;

they’d quietly slipped away

leaving us with nothing more to say ;

when we got back

we didn’t recognise ourselves ,

we looked at our faces in the mirror

that only showed someone else ;

all our words too had their meaning changed

for something that we couldn’t understand ,

and we who were born here

became strangers in our own land .