Poetry

The arithmetic of ideas.

Subtract. Erase everything. You are
the blank page. White. Pure.
Without shame or history. Mental blizzard
wipes away all traces of colour.
This is free fall. Ideas without frames.
Beyond language. Undiluted and
very, very dangerous. To travel
below zero is to enter into
uncharted area. A landscape
of anti-matter. Shaken by tectonic tremors.

Add. A stroke of the brush. A hint
of melody. A one letter word. The benevolent I.
Shape biting at the heels of intent. Colours
and scents emerging from the cracks.
This is ownership. The beginning of form.
Expected. Defined and very, very misleading.
Negotiating the positive is to compete
within rules not of your own making.
A maze of things that matter. Woven
together with unbreakable bonds.

Multiply. Layers upon layers. Molten rock.
Sound waves plucked from outlaw rays of sun.
A snap of the fingers. A clap. Feet stomping
on stone. I lay with my bare belly in the
sand, counting grains. Losing myself in its
impossibility. This is surrender. Release of self.
Immeasurable and very, very unsettling. Impulses
like lemmings at the cliffs of creation. Piling the
one on the other. Ready to leap. Connected by
the power of the crowd.

Divide. Break the mirror. Splinters of glass.
Rearranging nose, lips, eyes into jagged lines.
A whetstone for the mind. Tracks that lead
in opposite directions. This is discovery. The root
of anarchy. Winding around itself. Curled up like
a snake ready to sink its teeth. Mesmerising and very,
very exciting. Dancing in a tornado. Rushing with the river.
Tumbling. Like a rock over the waterfall.
Everything a cloud of mist. Blown to pieces
by the morning wind. Everything begins again.

Old wood

I am old wood. Split down the middle.
Sunworn and peeling. Calloused. My eyes
worn and never blinking. Taking it in.
Everything. Year round. I will outlive you.
Toughened by winter storms and
summer lightening. A surface etched
by secrets and lies. By first love
and stories that no one else will ever hear.
Touch me. Feel how the sun pools
in my cracks.

I am hammered. Nailed down. She who was once
a seedling, unassuming and innocent. Little did
I know what you would make of me. If I had my way
I would be your shutter against the rain.  A sanded
floor where you walk barefoot. A handsome door
behind which you could be yourself. I would be
your shelter. Gnarled. Reclaimed. The barrel
for your wine. The frame for your paintings. The neck
of your guitar. A road sign in the middle of nowhere.

I am old wood. You can try to carve me into
what you will, but I might surprise you by
having plans of my own. Underneath my
weathered surface are shapes and forms
that follow a rhythym dictated by the years.
At my core I will always be that proud tree
standing tall. Supple and strong. A footprint.
One of many leading you astray.

Water

Water flows in all directions here. Bubbling
up between moss-bearded rocks. Carving
a path down the cliffs. Following the twisted
roots of windswept pines. Rushing down
cement gutters. Here a dwarf waterfall

making me smile. Dip down. Fill my water bottle.
There on the leaves dew drops succumb
to the weight of their bellies and tumble
down sage-green leaves, dusty with Spring’s pollen.
A storm gathers confidence, calling all clouds.
Together rushing up from the sea to crash
in waves against the sharp canyon cliffs.
If I cry now the tears will join virgin earth.

But I do not. Rather, I climb at an impossible angle.
The sweat travelling the curve
of my shoulder. Salt water. Shimmering with sun.

Here, in the mountains of southern France I seek water
in springs and waterfalls. In the mud at my feet. In
the fountains of villages vertically perched on granite.
I watch for rain. Feel the pounding of the Mediterranean
on the pebbled beach. I watch how water takes ownership of
the dry ground. Promising growth. Creating new routes
and leaving no surface untouched. I know from
own experience:

Who can resist such a soft caress?

Love has no seasons

Love has no season. Sometimes wreaking havoc
like a hurricane with many names. Or balmy like
a summer morning in the tropics. Other times
love feels like deep freeze – a sudden drop
in temperature that numbs to the core. Nobody
can stand in the blue box and chart its path.
There is no known protection for its elements.
It surrounds and protects. Invades and shatters.
Warms and whispers. Finds its way deep inside.

Love is a glue that seals the spider thin
cracks that spread through a relationship,
making it more fragile as the years go by.
Not because it is in danger.
But because we are buffetted by millions
of rogue DNA. Driving us to unknown destinations.
Putting words in our mouths. Hairs on our chins.
Running havoc with our desires. All of us different.
All of us somehow the same. Forced apart and then
drawn helplessly together. Human as in humanity.

Love is fuel for thought. It is action and reaction.
When I fall you are there to catch me. When I cry
you too shed tears. On those days when I have
doubts about my future, you lead me along new paths
which I never would have discovered alone. And in
the deepest night when my fear of the dark is
most pronounced you light a candle so that I
see myself mirrored in your eyes.

Love is wild. Love is kind. Love is what’s left
when you strip away everything else. It’s written
close to the bone, travels through our veins
like white fire. I have seen it erupt in volcanic
fury. Or watched as it spread, sticky like molassis.
It purrs and screams and pummels relentlessly
when someone shuts it out. It runs deep
like the ocean and just so, will never
be totally charted. Only cherished. Remembered.
And most of all celebrated. By people
like you and me who are bathed in its light.

These and other poems of mine can be found at poetentials.