For some spiders this is an annual event.
For some it’s a technique for survival,
to run away from flood, fire, knife, boot, any abuse.
They must have a built in warning system,
a rocket up their arses that sets them off
on an unknown journey into space.
They climb as far as they can upwards
in trees or bushes until all there is is sky.
They fire, shoot their silver threads and
follow Jack’s story into the clouds, never
worrying about death. At some point
they all fall together, rain down in a tribe
to another place. Maybe it’s a God thing,
or just a miracle. Whatever is left in the air
is called angel hair, light strands of abandoned silk,
their leap of faith phenomenal.
The children wished their mother had
the wherewithal to air balloon them away
from demons and ogres, the man who
made them eat soap, who pushed their heads
down the toilet, chased mum with a knife,
who constantly spun fear.
Arch of heaven
Vault, the moody dark walls, so far underground I cant hear your moaning voice in the bedroom. Tell me again about the arch of heaven, fastened lights, the stars of love, how you pulled them down just for me. Space, just give me room, cellar or store, a safe place for hearts and worries. I’m a cave dweller on the threshold, pictogram on rocks, all my children growing in a line. Vault over the horse, symbolic leap of faith, apparatus of doom, springboard of fear. Firmament. Vault of this sky, something solid to hold onto, like bone and flesh, your hand holding mine.
I found you, a soft yellow ball on the tide line
saturated with salt water, I squeezed you dry.
I wondered how many small fingers had
wrapped themselves around you,
a minion printed onto the fabric,
on one side a boy wearing a fig leaf,
on the other a girl in a Hawaiian skirt.
I thought about your soft ball life,
how you had flown through the air,
rolled over sand, rode the surf, felt love
all over your skin, felt sun, wind, water and snow,
so many temperatures over your yellowness,
like custard you say come on let’s play.
With your cyclops eye you stare out
at this world as if to say, roll me, bat me,
throw me, squeeze me, love me all the way,
love me all the way into the sea.
Becalming my mother’s spirit
You in the fog
of my neural pathways
in your blue chiffon 50’s dress.
You in the fret
of my childish love
in the lick of the mixing bowl
your sugar and sultanas.
You in the cold morning mist
of my forgetful hands
that long to hold yours
our liver spots and blue ridged veins.
You in the clag
of my horror stories
of never comforting your heart
of leaving you alone
of you leaving me alone.
You in the smog
the pitch of my song
your wheezing lungs
your sad mystification of life.
You in the heat haze
of my conscience
with dad in that photo
smooching in the haystack.
You in the sunshine
of your freckled face
long wavy hair and high cheek bones,
you in your happy-happy days.
All night incoming waves roll pebbles
on the storm beach as the girl struggles with fear,
her sweat, lack of breath, the drums in her heart
and screaming mind.
All night the incoming waves pummel
the oyster shells on Llanddona sands
where emptiness echoes in the girl`s ears,
not one giving an answer to her plea for peace.
All night the girl searches for just one pearl
to hold in her hand, to calm her in the driving seat,
to be the passenger, to leave control under a gravestone
at St. Dona`s church.
All night the lost witches rumble spells
through the glazed glass and washed
floor boards inside Gorphwysa, a place of rest
where each window sees Red Wharf bay.
All night she walks down the hill in dreams:
it`s easy to paddle in the shallow ocean,
it`s easy to place worries in a paper boat,
to sail them to somewhere out of her white room.
three in the morning
it’s still night time
dark sky glider
outside the window
that’s a surprise
in front of my eyes
water skimmer at
fish on the incoming
in the top field
curve of a beak
a pointed arc
to match your stilts
clan of swoopers
black white orange
your swift song
tells me of salt
loners stalkers of lugs
and little flies
scat as I come near
did you ever
no not once
did you realise
I’d heard the name
the sense of being
or the insult of
being a dimwit
maybe, but I never,
not once have seen
Brace Braced Bracing
Parenthesise me keep me safe
clamp me prop up my broken bones
bring a device that holds me fastens me handcuffs my days into yours
invigorate reinforce support and align me rude me Viagra me
correct and hold me steady girdle my nights of sweats and nightmares
connect my wires and ropes tightrope me save me from waving hands
hold me always
give me a vertical line of music stairway to heaven
protect me soft fall me buffer me square bracket me
keep me safe
handle me like a pair of things
you and me twins longings our two sets of eyes
renew my vigour stimulate me brace me crank me
steady ground me
let us feel soil and grass beneath our feet
remember to shut the windows before you shout
summon me bolster me like two straps over the shoulders
be my belt and braces
become a leather loop that changes my tension
drum me take heart keep me safe
prepare me endure endure me parenthesise me
I can’t stop the water coming in,
your breath loud behind the castle door.
I can’t stop the earth rolling back to water,
the slack slate, red brick, clay and mud,
the gravel biscuits under my feet. The grits
move over and over, guided by the moon.
The moon that whispers to red mullet feeding,
the trippers that stare, the stones still grinding
wheat for flour in the silence and noise at
the tidal mill, where a cabbage white flies low
over the singing river, where I can’t stop the
water coming in, your breath behind the door.
from the heart
a corncrake’s love
just the one throat
a solitary story
this island life
from a heart
a bizarre noise
a symbol clash upon another
is something coming
a reason to call
a symbiosis in two
from my heart
something is surely coming
Swim with me in deep water,
sidle up close,
hear me, hear my whispers
let them fall into your ears.
Let me wait under your belly,
hide from danger. Let me sigh, sway,
sing and wait for answers, wait for
echoes of deep voices.
Indra, Indra, Indra
take me on a sky ride,
a memory of clouds,
clouds that drench the earth
a graveyard to all mothers.
Save me from hyenas and
tigers who stalk my heart.
Hold steady my secrets
under your folds of skin.
Bury me with red soil and
green leaves, caress my scared skins
that wait outside the room.
If I was her, goddess of moonlight,
it might explain the light, the blue,
how she casts such a spell, hypnotic fields,
the exact way I feel about you.
If I was her, I’d trap you in time,
bell on bell, songs again in dusk,
in dawn’s day over, night’s under
you, tall trees, ships through the years.
Between hard rock and this constant mountain spring,
a glaciers speed, here are the sorrows’.
I shake my hair, wild petals,
sepia notions of common sense
to a marriage bed where hope
is isolated, is abandoned grass.
Where my babies hate
this surrogate daddy,
who makes them eat soap,
sits them down like statues,
scowls into their night of dreams.
He scares the stalk of me with his devil’s mind,
hits with his bony fist, penetrates the sap of me.
Oh false sedge, bog sedge,
no sense in any wildflower,
all that’s left now is rare
in Teeside’s high hills.
Let me tell you about the rookery, how I long to feel at home.
Imagine those tall trees, the wired acts of creation from a scavenger’s lifestyle,
how all those loose things, twigs, leaf, bone, become palaces.
How I long to be amongst my tribe. Imagine the flock of it all,
the roller-coaster, big wheel inhalations, that dream of adrenaline:
down to the arable, up to the nimbus and squall.
Can you imagine that taste of happiness, the belonging, the common rook
of it all, the symphony of rook-call in your ears? How I long to beat
my wings again in time to a memory of change and fledge, heartbeat of bird.
Imagine the vastness of sky, the stories of nest and blueness, all those
pecking days. Imagine all of that going on and on and never leaving your side.
rapture finger articulation
rolling rolling around
Flamenco is a love song
beating a rosewood floor
heel howl heel howl
tradition is voice
it`s from the blood
Flamenco is noise
whole body poise
is Jose and Pedro
she in black lace
heart and love letters
Flamenco is a cry
light through windows
a song for the devil
a clicking of fingers
is come here girl
stay there boy
Flamenco is melody
black leather shoes
a hot burning star
Flamenco is a lullaby
a growl a haunting
it`s grown up
it`s a peacock
it`s wet lips and
I became an ice-flower, my girl’s heart frozen, hard petals in a cage.
A fragile beauty walked with my days of exile.
But I held on like the bird’s-eye primrose. I captured her yellow,
her intense eye that glows at the heart of each flower.
I held on to purple from the Teesdale violets, smallest of treasures
for abandoned thought. I hung on to sunshine and sugared limestone.
The great Whin Sill herself did not let me fall. She held my feet steady,
my boy beating in my womb. I bathed in the royal blue of early spring
gentians, survivors from an ice-age.
Secrets Secrets Secrets we were Secrets
I grasped each flower to my heart until the melt, one by one the ice floes
told me I was right, that it was safe to return to summer.
Each petal from my ice-flower heart dripped away a rhythm
to my dance on the hillside, it captured my waving and twirling,
I know about your eyes
that find the flaw in me.
I’ve seen you jump,
the super hero of
floors and walls.
I never know where
you are until
I scream for help,
freeze on the spot
and primal thoughts
|hijacks my medulla.
Jack says that I’m a
bigger than you,
where’s the sense in that,
Jack can pick you up,
make you free again,
I can’t even look at you.
I know about your powers,
your spinnerets, the beauty
you weave every day.
Jack tells me stories
about the centre, how
we create who we are
from inside our shells.
I read about your spirit,
your meaning, beastly totem,
how you’re all about
creativity and I should
pay attention to
your harmless ways;
but what about the
tarantula in my gut,
the denial of my
what about all of that?