A locked door
in dark woods
blindslat slits filleting
light from elsewhere.
What is outside?
Crabbit dark-oath laird
of ruddy anger
like deadly ailments
long hoped dead?
too long neglected,
cosseting ancient seeds,
warm bowered trysts,
and story fruit?
in imagination physics,
both can condense
together all at once.
Breaking the mould
In the box-van back a mirror cabinet
trembles leafy outer worlds under
a roller-back gate of steel, half open,
like the cloth-bound shell of my father’s desk,
a sticking portal to cryptic drawers, tiny shelves,
to faint unsmoked tobaccos of before.
Ahead, and through my windscreen,
outside inside, green shimmers framed
by the mover strapped hardwood mouldings,
whisper hints of a remote Narnian spring.
Breaking the Mould grins in lean sans-serif,
strap-line wry beneath the tailgate logo.
I pray granny’s paper-lined display case
will pass Dens Road’s potholes un-cracked,
that still somewhere seven more years’ luck,
or even fair Cair Paravel, might be found intact.
I tripped on some kindly light,
where fallen cones eroded by birds
echoed the labyrinth.
From site A to building B
busy at work passing directly
through Kinburn Park.
Light prefers straight line shadows,
though indirect paths, still and cool,
might enlighten more.
Hand scored benches keep the goal:
George Fox 1658
‘Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit’
In spirit my fingers follow the spiral sign,
tracing the miniature way, and
I stop to think that I would like to be that.
the shortest night
Nearly eleven p.m., dry and mild,
bright enough for reading outdoors.
Warm intimations of honeysuckle,
lemon balm, tiger lily’s sharper bite.
Sleepless through three thin hours undarkened,
fortified tea brewing dusk spun verses,
I fidget dust my tiny cabinet of
keepsakes found and curiosities kept,
rearranging these unsure talismans,
certain enough what each is, less clear why.
I find and re-read some childhood chapters,
and discover though changed they move me still.
Until, like a birthday dawn, bird sung dews
condense fresh light from thin and unslept airs.
I did not tell you about the light switch
That I had replaced.
It was a faultless trap,
To catch you unawares after a day or so.
When you would reach and use it
Without a second thought.
At an unfussed click, gloom would depart,
Light would simply occur.
Your touch would smile with plain ease,
And you would know.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, were the wonders of the ‘perfume maker’s organ’ – like this magnificent and rare specimen at the Palazzo Mocenigo Museum in Venice.
Something a little different – a series of seven ‘photo-label-poems’.
These are a light hearted response to an invitation from my brother-in-law to take part in a seven day ‘nature image’ photography challenge.
I decided to combine my response with a small collection of old laboratory bottles loaned from a colleague at work, and with some [very] short poems responding to each image, in the form of a label…
THE GREAT NEBULA OF ORION: A digital print of a photographic plate from the Ritchey 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory, made in 1908. from the archive of the Carnegie Observatories, in Pasadena, California.
more about this
Not all spaces weigh the same.
There are variations. The depths and darknesses,
Volume, lightness, and quintessences, of
Every emptiness’s chiaroscuro.
Not all spaces are devoid of presence, some
Harbour unstated substance in subtle doubt,
Pass trembling semaphores of existence,
Harmonise plainsung intimations of light.
Not all spaces are rendered on our charts, still
Undiscovered emptier places may await. Nulls of
Colder, quieter, unexpressed embraces. Voids as
Void as only absence might surrender.