Theresa of Ávila

teresa 2 2

Always fading in and out

the myriad creatures

coming from the opened gates of creation

 

I look into the mouth, the entrance

and the fissure is opening

in what I thought was solid

 

in my own chest too

the wound is opening

in what I thought was solid

 

and the pain of it makes me still

and try and sit through it, please

I might cry to the hurting god

 

and the sitting through becomes

a kind of knowledge

and the god suffering through

 

whatever the god suffers too

becomes a kind of compassion

the companionship of passion

 

and the myriad creatures

between these twin gateposts

which I don’t need to spell out

 

for a reader such as yourself, I know,

come flowing out like

a spillage of blood,

 

spoilage of water, the beautiful

and the putrid, the vanity

and the superabundance of humility.

 

Temporary

IMG_6005

temporary departure

not having seen enough

by any means

 

what can I add?

except to

say that the

 

derelict mental

hospital

was always

 

and good place for a picnic

‘Mental’ that’s

what they say

 

as if that

was a condemnation

there are long

 

hallways filled

with broken chairs

the burnt remains

 

of former campsites

and the birds

are used

 

by now

to flying in

and out the windows

 

will this be made

into luxury flats?

 

or the whole site

a business park

an enclosure

 

for the supposedly

real business

of the world?

 

I’ll be back soon

I’ve just gone off

to oil a bicycle wheel

 

 

Judas

Version 2

He hangs
From his own tree,
The negative version

The one
Without whom,
In whom.

His isolation
Is greater,
More forsaken.

Time moves round him,
A mythical figure
As he sways.

The money
Is pointless.
From here

To the terrible
Centuries, the ghettos
And the camps,

The children
Hushed into gas chambers.
On-going,

A kind of hero,
Reminding Jesus that he,
Too, betrays something.

The whole turning away.
Who was Judas’ mother?
Judas’ father?

It’s not recorded
How they felt
Taking him down,

The shameful suicide
Who nobody helped,
Nobody caught in mid-fall.

July

IMG_5597

Thinking about the murder of Julius

As his name-month swelters

And the Unitarian Doric of New Road

Houses a new busker

 

The formal portico is like a promise

Of something even better

Rational organisation of things

Simplicity of a sun-shaped god

 

The flute-player misses a note

Sparrows chip the paving

– No blood on these stones –

The next high improvisation he attempts

 

Disappears into the blue and out of history.

Columns indent like inert components

Of some unwieldy gear

Which has run down now and lies

 

Disassembled in the workshop –

Cog-wheels and grease, the smell of solder.

 

 

Pebble

IMG_1441.jpg

Sitting inside
one of the

graffitied wooden
shelters on

Hove seafront
beside the

peeling green
and brown

paint with
the empty

lager can set
against the

precise horizon
of the railings,

approaching rain
visible as

a greyish membrane
connecting clouds

to the sea.
An unanticipated

sense of
love animates

my perception
of the frothy sound

of toing and
froing waves and

the smell of
stale human piss

that pervades
the shelter.

I notice
a seagull

as it
flutters upwards

carrying a pebble
in its bill

and lets the stone
drop back

down onto
the beach.

It has
some reason

for doing this
as it repeats

the action.

 

Mouse

Version 3

The giant, bloated corpse of Micky Mouse
has been discovered, finally,
and is being loaded onto a flat-bed truck.
Black arms dangle on the road,

gloved fingers brushing tarmac,
a worker bangs down the tent-like ears
with a spade; the tail, a shrivelled inner-tube,
drags by the truck exhaust. The engine

fires up, and between dusty sycamores
the country lane chokes up with diesel
and the mildewed stink of this decaying mouse.
He’ll be buried in quarry landfill, with all

the other heroes, all the other tragic puppets.
Goodbye Micky! It wasn’t good at all while it lasted.
Soon you’ll be just a name to frighten the
children with. All the men, crammed into the

greasy cabin, wear dust-masks on their faces.
They’re really earning their minimum wage
in this drizzle-fucked day: the first cold drops
begin to piss down on the windscreen.

None of them would express any pity for Micky,
not after the things that happened
when that giant mouse last went on the rampage.
And Christ the stink! The stink of that dead mouse!