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Poems by Jeffrey Side

Poems written between 1990 and 2011

 




GOLDENROD 

I watched you gather goldenrod in the fields.
I watched you swimming in the forest.
And I watched you keeping your hands 
upon your knees.

You breathe like a scientist. And your breath 
becomes the count of dreams. You smell 
as sweet as the second-hand books you 
throw away.

And the caverns in the earth are not singing.
And I cannot walk around the laboratory.
And I cannot rest my fingers.
And I cannot stay in when the sun is out.

I used to think you were a gift to the 
experimenters. I used to think you were a gift 
to the men fighting for their home.

Or the men who cry on the heaths and moors.
Or the men who fall in the underground.
Or the men who wait for us when the clock stops.

I watched you gather goldenrod in the fields.
The sun was escaping from your hair 
and your feet were deep in the wet grass.

And your arms were filled with goldenrod.


SHE LEFT WITHOUT DELAY 

I mark the time when I fly high. 
I'll be landing very soon. 
I cannot relocate my genes. 
I cannot fix the balloon. 

When suspicion is in your heart 
the innocent are hurt too. 
My ambitions are paved with 
thoughts of a nature aimed at you. 

I'll take you off that man one day. 
I'll take you at your word. 
I'll take you very far away 
to somewhere you preferred. 

I need you in this room dead soon.
I need you in the air. 
I need you on the moon in June. 
I need you everywhere. 

I knew someone who looked like you. 
She haunts me to this day.
She was a screamer too. 
She left without delay. 


JULIET 

Wearing the Earth 
like a robe, 
I flew across the world 
today. 

I could see 
the buried memories 
hidden 
in the trees, 

and I could find 
no one 
to hurt
the two of us outside of 
you and me. 

I knew you when 
you were nothing. 

And then 
I knew you when you were 
something. 

And then I met you 
as you were 
passed 
from friend to friend. 

Each one leaving you 
alone
to weep in the 
desert. 

You had that look 
in your eyes 
that said tonight was 
the day. 

And I wish you had known me 
when the sun was bright. 


GREENHEYS ROAD 

The vessels of love crowd in. 
Their traumas hidden 
among the reeds.

No love is lost or given to them 
as they clutter the minds 
of thieves. 

Strong, sober and drunk 
I come to you. 
My weakness revealed 
in my glee. 

And book-like I pray on 
your need 
to comfort ó sometimes. 

Now there is light. 
And now there is dark. 
And that is the way that you 
can pay 
the charity you give 
to men like me. 


B BLOCK 

You keep your 
services for them.
You keep 
the church they know.

And they make 
donations regularly
with 
one hand on your head.

They lean you 
down towards 
the cup.
You sip the overflow.

You lick your lips
and move your fingers 
far apart.

You have no town 
inside you 
now.
You have no 
travellers there.

Did you send them 
home again?
Or did they leave for 
better fare?

I was the one who 
landed upon 
your 
lessened wing.

You had me
and then you had 
your king.

I came to you a 
broken ring. I danced 
inside 
your mouth.
I gave you all my 

money
before you let me 
in.
I couldnít be a 
saviour now. I couldnít 
be a queen.
I keep looking around 
for things 
I havenít seen.

I seldom wandered in 
your night.
I seldom took 
the fall.

Now deep inside 
I know
thereís no 
one else to call.


VOICES IN THE LIGHT 

Sometimes voices 
in the light 
will call me back to 
them. 

Back out of this 
place where 
I have spoken 
from. 

And then I will turn 
my 
back on you, 
and on 
the storm-bled sea. 

And even 
on the sleeping faces 
that will 
never 
wake for me. 

I will find myself 
expanded 
out of limitations 
plight. 

And no 
earthly cause 
or battle 
will keep 
me in this fight. 

And what will 
seem like 
nothingness to 
those 
that have remained,

to me will seem like 
childhood 
when in 
the time of May. 


SHE WAS AS TALL AS THE EIFFEL 

On the journey back, 
riding on a lonely track 
beat-up.

My memories of you 
are packed deep inside 
a sack. 
I never knew your mouth 
or your soil. I never 
knew your fingering. 

Begging 
lonely men you begged 
me, and I gave you 
something then. 

I can't remember 
which or what 
or when. 
Or if it was 
something I once sent. 

But is it time? 
You left them 
abruptly. 

And is it true about 
the merchant? 


CANíT TALK ANYMORE IN THE OLD WAY

On the days I'd go to visit. 
I knew 
she would be free. 

In the mornings she'd do 
the Sun Salute, 
and in 
the evenings 
make peppermint tea. 

I first caught sight of 
her in the designer sea, 
when she was captive in her 
swim suit 
and the water beckoned me. 

On crowded nights she'd 
calm me down 
with all I expected and without 
any sound.

And on days 
like this, when the coast is clear, 
I'd travel 
up to see her there.
Then back at 
dawn to my place, here, 
by morning I would repair. 

On days like this I'd visit her, 
when her lover was 
elsewhere. 

And into the darkness I would slip, 
until she ceased 
to care. 


WHEN YOU WERE TEMPERED WITH DELIGHT

When you were tempered 
with delight
your virtues were taken 
down and forests 
that you passed through 
were not finite. 

When you were 
tempered with delight 
you kept the 
saddest oceans, 
you kept 
the proudest streams. 
And wild pens 
would 
not strain your sight. 

When you were tempered 
with delight 
you carried sand 
upon your necklace and 
cream upon your 
lips. And you 
never made the journey
through the park.

When you were 
tempered with delight 
you were 
consumed by bikers in the 
light and 
nurses in the dark. 
And taut strings 
pulled 
on you forever. 

When you were tempered 
by delight 
strong bars were 
held around your 
fortress 
and strong men 
could never kiss the 
wound you 
would always hide. 


THE SEEDS WITHIN ME 

The seeds within me 
formed my shape 
and sorrows 
long before I knew them. 

Like some inevitable 
punishment I'm 
blind to 
they cause predictions 
to be true 
and disasters to be 
just right. 

They stopped me 
climbing in the fields 
and falling on the 
slopes that 
framed the lake. 

They made me like a 
fallen tree whose 
rings can be counted 
and whose memory 
can be read. 


BOOKS THAT SOOTHE THE DYING 

The humming sounds 
like the 
primrose singing. 
New across your gaze 
whole pillars torment you 
between journeys. 

Everywhere longings 
that occurred gradually 
finally overflow you. 

And intently felt irony 
is like bread 
to the sentence of 
imagination. 

Also, sitting appears 
doubtful 
even while the wakeful 
man 
goes straight in 
the parlour. 


SKETCHES OF THE SMALL TOWN 

Over provided to the 
small point. Stop or water. 

The highest touches are by the 
snowdrifts. 

But towards the waters 
all sides are to the sea. 

Moist flight south, 
and valleys, more 
finally, 
become lovelier. 

World looking,
listening. 

Gone, distant happiness.


WHEN THE AIR WAS STILL

We were together and she fell.
Her name I could never spell.

When morning came the trees then shaded
a sunlit spot in forest gladed.

I came upon a table polished.
God is love but who is nourished?

A single anchor hanging down.
A ritual without a sound.

The rivers of youth and death
are now awake where they once crept.

I tamed a serpent in my hand
and buried a woman in the sand.

Prester John has come again,
although he never left us then.

Animals now cough at night.
And clarity seems recondite.

The clouds made shadows on her chest
as she prepared for final rest.

I was born to forget my death.
I was born to count my breath.

A paper bag lived in the breeze
while my love died of a new disease.

I mourned her when the air was still,
and lay on her grave in the morning chill. 


WHAT DO THE FRENCH QUOTE?

She loved to sit and listen 
to me sing as she held me 
against her rings while 
the worm destroyed her.

The caves to the east can 
be followed by the sun.

And she travelled there 
among the strangers 
from the sea.

Like the bubble-islands in 
my bath she never stayed the 
same. And when she 
woke she saw no one.

She kept me warm with company. 
And we would 
whisper for hours about the 
books sheíd bought.

Then I would watch her
automatic hand land and turn
the pages of some thin volume 
asking what the 
French would quote.

She asked about the river, 
and whether ítwas true 
that glass never smashed there. 

I said it was so when I left.


FOOLISHNESS ON A WINDY NIGHT

I would find a room and sit 
looking at the back of my eyelids 
for many hours.
But no blindness could be found there. 
No corners could be turned. 
And no chairs heard.

We went fleeing in the forest 
between the trees that were dead 
and the counted skeletons 
that had turned red.

There was no one about to tell 
us to go so we stayed 
and smelt the smoke of wood-fire shade 
and pre-Raphaelite heat.

The shade then began to get light 
and I acted like a foolish man.

We married on a windy night when the 
cathedral sign was still on.


ON HOT SUMMER NIGHTS

I declared my love to her
and she turned herself away.
But I will surely offer it
again to her someday.

She lived on her own
near to where I was born.
And though I never told her
to her I was sworn.

On hot summer nights
when trapped in my flat
Iíd wander out to see her
wherever it was that she sat.

But she was with another
who went there for to hide.
And many distances he had travelled
to lay his baggage at her side.


IF I HIDE THE STARS AT NIGHT

O Joy, youíre really not this mad.
Youíve tasted everything Iíve ever had.
I would wander in your night 
if youíd give me back my right 
to make you see that you just play games 
with yourself while you wait to claim the dust. 
And you speak as though 
youíve got every detail sussed. 
And reading all the books you sent to me, 
I could never be this free.
If Iím gone were would your mind be?

O Joy, you know that you are wrong.
I donít have to be the one thatís gone.
If I hide the stars at night 
will you give up on your fight? 
And weíll pretend that we share this roof, 
these walls, this table and that chair.
I could be someone else for you 
if you really must compare.
And Iíd see the old cathedral fly.
And the mountains passing by.
And your nose turned up towards the sky.


LIVINGSTON DRIVE

Oh my dearest darling
I have done you no wrong.
Like that time in the morning
I fell in love with you.
Your father was a good man.
He loved me like a son.
And now you are absent evermore.

What have you done to me
with your words that are now gone?
I loved you like a saviour
in this world you canít forsake.
My lover of the starry eyes,
I loved you long ago.
And now you are absent evermore.

I only came upon your arms
when I called that afternoon.
And I saw a woman in the forest
who was calling out to you.
Her picture was like the one 
you showed me hidden in your room.
And now you are absent evermore.


SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT FRAGMENTED 

I contemplate a part of 
your beauty that is 
like having a new key, or 
like holding a snake that 
has had its venom emasculated. 

The battle with that serpent is 
almost over, and the 
joys of the fruit will soon 
be settled. 

You are the designer of 
my limitations. You are the 
root of my fervour, and 
I am caught in your days. 

I spent too much time on 
the reckoning and not 
enough on the shorelineóor 
so it was mentioned to me.

You knew the sea would 
cure me, though, but not 
for how long. 


HARMONY FROM DAMAGES

I have heard a good deal most 
difficult I would not presume to 
dispute the thinking eye or why we 
do not recall past lives. 

Now the chief god of the Olympians
the moon and witness to genesis in 
1980 a group met putting aside a 
need to revive the dead.

O my God forgive these angels
seeking some sport in the sun.
Do not remember my madness
and the pain you know I must bleed.

My daughter went within a man
once the viceroy of Egypt. A man of 
empty hands I warned about talking to
himself beneath his visions.


DARK DREAM ENVELOPES

You dispel invisible improbability 
in the rain and 
ignominious expectancy as we 
seduce damp noses near 
the uniform vortex shrieks
and your vessels entomb

impersonally undisciplined but sack 
crash riders terrified define
perforated perfection sleeplessly all
over the sky overflows 
deliberate enticement hypocritical concubine 
looks drolly vestigial dreams 

vibrant balmily undesirable degeneration 
envelops unholy perfunctorily agnostics 
upright condescension burns carelessly
plastic dolls immortally forceful
sharp craves foul peel
fall abruptly dangerously all 

beneath the virgin coma 
sighs be luminous the 
lust dies blankly narcissistic 
streets mark complete vowels 
yet ensnare sticky witches 
at the stoops dimly 
body nourishes thinly boastful 
chivalry capitulates dazzlingly travelled 
wile the evil rider 
defers dark weird and 
quaking about the seaweed 
reduces night scared unsafe 

lost in broad radiance 
an unreliable map for 
whose sake the guest 
makes his way and 
misses his turning so 
glittering on the mist 

we condone mammoth rubies 
before the god of 
life comes again so 
sensuous above the slime 
we prod transparent delusions 
the spirits way cool 

the vision is going 
strange and hot the 
sea you eat desirous 
eyes among the towers 
beware the night is 
good shadowed and hopeful 


THE OTHER HALF OF HER

It was a beautiful evening 
Neptune slingshots to another world 
should seven in the womb 
be made earthlings outside the 

passage to carry down faint 
signals and solar system answers 
when I last visited the 
contessa amid dust storm evidence 

I had warned my wife 
of lake basins and riverbed 
landings earth creatures mixing hominids 
I can make fate good 

and bad donít hold back 
your light I saw you 
walking through like they thought 
I was mad explaining it 

or something as we arrived 
through the smoulder fifty percent 
of that is mine when 
she sat under the tree 

what fancy stockings so much 
studied and findings applied like 
aspects of the entwined serpent 
now I feel so sick


THERE COMES AN END TO EVERY GOOD DEED

On the hills 
of summit visible 
where the relentless 
women hate all 
aristocrats after 

weíd spent some 
time with them 
after the marriage 
an enormous expression 
of personality 

and the sense 
heíd been around 
after the split 
she and my 
son Jim 

were around the 
same age she 
produced from under 
her dress a 
crest with 

country roots or 
something some of 
the angels sided
with her qualities 
and profits 

shall encompass the 
city and the 
walls collapse a 
most tragic lament 
with jumping

as I walked 
he really looked 
bad to the 
island or the 
Red Sea 

but the modern 
man must dominate
then submit and 
she remains undaunted 
in France


I CANíT MAKE YOU WRONG NO MORE

I can still recall her 
nightmares and the sack 
that she wore, when she 
was then drinking and 
we danced in Baltimore.

When Iím out with many 
women, things are not 
that clear. I never had it 
like this before. Something 
always keeps me here.

She came here for a 
reason. I donít care 
what she said. I need to 
see some people,
and bring it to a head

But Iíve got other 
things you still need 
to do. And I find 
things so hard that Iíve 
got to give it to you.

And out in the darkness
when thereís not 
much to share, I still rouse 
up new dissenters
lighter than the air.


THE NECESSITY TO ALWAYS LIVE IMMORTALLY

Iím going away Iíve 
found life again Iím sick 

of language everyone 
has found history 

and textbooks lying 
around all kinds of people 

on the ground while drunken 
in the entry or fighting in 

the war we always live 
immortally you made that 

plain and clear and even 
though Iím thinking this side 

of the sphere we never get 
what we want until itís 

late in the year one day 
youíre here one day youíre

there it all vanishes like music and
footprints on the shore that 

wasnít my intention when I came 
in through the door your mask 

shows nothing and your face 
shows nothing more


VIVIENNE DID HAVE HER OWN

Stop trials 
universe neat 
the disenchanted 
of clothes 
notebook out 
at an 
always when 
with look 
replacing but 
desperation with

him knows 
heartened the 
promised leave 
term somewhere
Greek now 
doctorís sugar 
of around 
daughter air 
driving loose 
filmed permission 

Acropolis identified 
always but 
and beautiful 
most skinning
of barnacles
called causes 
or conditions
time 70% 
progesterone daily 
the culprits

half eccentric 
complicated sitting 
like get 
me want 
the look 
head eyes
of love 
just mourns 
each one
Honolulu baby


YOU COULD HEAR THEM CRUNCHING

Are we really so 
up and down the 
next I heard her 

say how have these
things happened anyway I 
need not hanker after 

comfort but now feel 
I must carry on 
for some nebulous end 

so I went out 
tonight and life was 
headed alone made nor 

stringent aspects ruling our 
days Iíll never know 
anyone else whoís been 

part of my life 
she said perhaps he 
hated maps or some 

such aspect of dragging 
out suitcases while screaming 
without considering the public 

I had the morning 
free and cut my 
moustache itís better like 

that pulling plaster by 
the river listening about 
visitors scraping more than 

enough honest fundament historyís
hollow freedom yet immortal 
forebears numbering the crest


I TRIED FOR A DAY OUT

Apparently, she kicked 
in music night, able to 
regard the server as an 
approximation. But ordering 
chronologically was never 
my thing.

And as many times as 
you have, there can be 
no real step forward. It 
is much more than you think, 
because he calls her often,
sometimes. 

I donít know why he 
does, though. Heís just 
desperate for a flush in 
Cuba. I think something could 
have happened, though. I knew 
his son.

Nobody left to regard 
you. So I came back 
upon the hog and found 
pleasure in renegade streams 
in this sector. Donít expect any 
favours.

So much time is wasted.
Quantity is everything, it 
seems. Sometimes Iíve got 
money, so Iíve no need to tout.
You may hear of her soon, in
Baltimore.


I COULDNíT SEE IT COMING

He wanted to be in Montana, 
like he read
in that philosophy book. 

But it was impossible 
for him to get 
away from his doldrums. 

Time and again, his fate 
was to remain 
here, with a few pleasures. 

I was happy in the fields, 
not thinking 
about the present. 

Sometimes, I hear her 
calling me, 
after I begged her to stay.


IíM COUNTING ON YOUR LICKING

You have chosen wisely
the wrong man.
Donít count your chickens
he hasnít.

He has married before,
and controlled 
his birth.

No need for him 
to change his goals.


SUN IN MY HAIR

I've got too much 
sugar in my milk, and
the cathedral is moving in
front of the clouds.

And Venus
is coming close to me
and telling me of the
mansions in heaven.

I would tell her
that when I've got the sun
in my hair
I don't need her to
come around.

Others have told me
of the squeals they have lost
to unworthy competition.

They are learning
that when it's time you
save
you can never be a
slave.

But even in the sea
you can be thirsty.


I WANTED TO BE A PLANT

I loved you so I fell. 
I hurt my pride.
You tempered me 
while I attempted to swing you.

You sat behind paper all day. 
You werenít paid much. 
You looked at times uptight.

You had a small roomó
big in places. 
And your plants sucked in 
the air you breathed 
out.

I wanted to be a plant.

You helped every one, 
yet you gave nothing to me.

If I could find a mad girl 
like you in every 
bar and corner, 
Iíd be lucky.

We both knew it 
back in Kathmandu.


ON THIS FATEFUL DAY AND BARREN LAND 

And on this fateful day
I sought some hours,
and escaped 
among
certain friendly trees.

I saw a rose upon the land,
half buried in the sand,
and held it 
all day,
in the breeze.

And I made some plans
for the Golden Lanka,
and wrote a note 
to a woman
and thanked her.

And in some fallen moment,
and some unknown kind 
of way, I managed 
to pass by 
this troubled day. 


SNOW RANGES AND FAIR WOODS

Angers and failures:
my lads are not for reconciliation.

I alone drink accurately
on the uncertainty.

I drink for the occasion,
similarly impressed, to brakes, skies,
and ghosts.

Snow ranges and fair woods
have their stint.

Printed feasts of richness.
Thrushes that quote but do not sing.

Racing to the beginning where the
reedís breath sums up heaven.

And yet the reed speaks of simplicity
while full motion reconciles earthly years.

Dread lurks in the forest.
Candle boys shine the rough men.
Safe are the spheres that are dried 
like the shells

The old ships cry fleetingly
under the moonshine.


PLASTER PIECE

The sky-blue plaster piece
you chose because I touched it,
you will always keep.
You like to spend the days with me.

The Sunday I first took you
on plastic with red button lens
you turned out well.
The air was cold, but it was shining.

And the round crowned church
held you in its circle
and calmed you at my side.

You take photos in the light.


SOMETIMES IT CAN TAKE A YEAR TO BE TRUE

It was inconceivable 
that the horizon 
could be ablated 
by the paving 
stones of anxiety 
foisted upon the 
gravelled stairway and 
ceramic triangles that 
we passed against.

Charlotte was a woman 
of strange complexion whose
ambiance was that of 
a cat trapped in 
a fire escape of 
its own projected delusion. 

I knew her 
well that spring 
and June and 
on that Friday 
morn in blessed 
dawn she was 
the best thing 
that ever happened 
to her and
I cannot recall 
my problems at 
that state other
than to say 
we had a 
great time there.

The autumn leaves fell 
by the gate and 
slipped through the mist. 
Time has no meaning 
to fruit. Nothing bothers 
them so it seems.

I found a 
woman too I 
heard her say 
stop dreaming you 
lush we are 
not in May 
so have a 
drink on me 
if you believe 
in nothing he 
wrote can be 
heard but fleeced.
If I could just 
go back to that 
autumn week and all 
the tables and chairs 
that shone so brightly 
for her glorious madness 
and upbeat tortured serenity.


I NEED YOUR HYGIENE

You believe what 
you will. He 
got no one 
else to lie.
He had plans 

I never knew,
while listening to 
my sacrifice. The 
dust has you 
tight, and you 

donít question it 
when it commands 
you in the 
night. Iím waiting 
for some of 

your time, and 
losing what I 
canít find. You 
took me over 
your walls but 

only had your 
breathing to sell.
After Milton, he 
became more treacherous,
and needed you 

for reasons you 
didnít need him.
Now heís got 
a chicken farm 
in Puerto Rico,

where he blows 
a horn all 
day. You have 
your hygiene which 
you carry well.


ROMAN SKY

Do you remember that walk?
That walk you called separation?
That walk you called independence?
That walk you called ďbeing strongerĒ?

Did you really believe any of it?

Did you declare how you were
free and how 
you had no machine to
control your day?

Did you try to prove 
a point
while weeping into
your hands 
in the desert?

And did you find someone to
make the sky like
Rome for you?


CUTTING UP THAT CROP

Nobody knows 
what a nice 
day it 
is except me.

I came back 
to see you
while 
you were away.

You have 
spoken well,
if thatís what you feel.

Weíll make no 
more arrangements.
We carry on regardless, 
anyway.

I didnít learn 
my lesson, 
and you 
didnít learn the truth


SOMETIMES THINGS ARE HARD TO PUT DOWN

Be careful where you chew, 
as theyíre looking 
for someone else 
who never lets it sleep.

Turning gears and sticks, 
she doesnít know which 
way to go.

Now I measure all my 
leather, making sure it fits.

When I get the envelopes, 
Iíll look out for the slits.

She is on the lawn, 
looking up at the birds.

She can never be here, 
if you are always there.

I measure her up with 
my head, 
and I give her rifle,
and I give her bait.


THE SAMENESS OF DAYS

You hold the peasants at bay.
You have your work cut out.

You should make enough, as 
the winter is coming.

Your slivery tongue will get me down.
Same as it was yesterday.

I have diligently numbered the days
since I came west.

It was the only thing left to do,
while heading upriver.

Captain of my soul, now I know.
Good measuring has informed us.

The plains of the world were 
where the gold of happiness was.


THERE WAS A FEELING OF SYMPATHY BETWEEN US

Winter again 
drunk 
to shed 

ramble makes 
deeds 
sail well wash

action dies matted 
of a 
fist lens paint

swear foam 
bursts the 
goat 

midnight dog 
backs 
up shaking years 

radiation source 
fingers 
defence city loners 

death crosses 
mark network 
down

trench statues 
commingling with the 
dead

hotel gate presidents 
reserve shells 
and trench statues


YOU KNOW ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

Her coat spreads 
power around 
elegance of 
compromise.

Second ridge 
ghosters
take the city 
and are grateful.

The no seen cars 
speed town 
borders vanish
fast control.

The weather 
was the 
first accident.


THERE ARE THOSE WHO REBEL AGAINST THE LIGHT

Iím alone and itís spring.
If only youíd let me lie on you.

Youíve no dispensations or compensations.
You must let yourself go, thatís the only rule.

Whoís that woman over there?
I havenít seen her before.
Sheís up from the coast with her aunt.
Sheís here for her health.

I found her in the morning when she was at her best.
I found it hard to walk away.
The hardness stayed with me all day.

Iíve got people on the streets.
Youíre not wanted anymore.

There are reasons for me to suspect Iím mortal.
Raise me from the strangerís grave.


I WONíT CHANGE FAWNGIRL FOR ANYTHING

On to Lincoln, Nebraskaó
plumb in the middle of The Great Plains.

I wish I were back there again.

Tempests in the dark taunt 
our exhibited drunken selves,
placing fallen yellow graves at our feet,
and waves stretching back libertyís possession,
hand-cuffed under female felt and passion, 
drift upon island animals and hidden 
rebellions emerging.

There are many ways to lie when good 
deeds and bad deeds follow you,
and you have everything you wanted.

Will you eventually be with me in that log cabin 
in San Juan Valley, Colorado?

I wonder about a good deal in dreams and 
dramas, half sick, half wounded, much around the 
world, on sea and land, down among the first 
arrivals while the worst was yet to come. 

Another paradise lost, 
but I wouldnít have it any other way.

And I remember my old man, slaving away on 
that lemon ranch in California, staring 
across prairie land wandering 
what the end would be.

Donít worry Rachel, 
I wonít change Fawngirl for anything.


TREES OF SORROW

The trees of sorrow
that hang over these graves,
mark the spot where you are hidden.

You flew away too soon.

And all the while I could not
see the larger picture.

Your hair used to breathe
like the autumn smoke.
And you let me keep the cherished
dreams that fed me.

All for the sake
of trying to satisfy the eternal yearning.

All for the sake
of feeling some warmth in the night.

All for the sake
of flying too close to the candle.

All for the sake
of swimming in the contagious sea.

Such futile joys 
we strove for, 
and which brought us both to griefó

me, in my glass-walled palace,
you on your barrier reef.

When the sensuous hand 
of destruction tempts and beguiles you, 
who is safe to touch?

Who is safe from the cuts that 
are too small to see?

Someone always comes forward to 
be the victim when 
the temptation is too much.

And is it just me, or is there someone, 
somewhere, always missing you?


GROVEL OF BABYLON 

She did appease my oblivion
and anxious hose, 
flailing with 
tongue seductions 
in the wreck of time.

Discarding chronicles 
like sail foam, 
data jobs, 
or managerial endings,
she was a true love of mine.

But now itís come to sunshine
regimens, profile 
clouds, orphan windows and
nihilistic soundtracks. 

All like mighty 
wandering shadows, 
unexpectedly impaired,
somewhere in the night.

I still got a thing about you.


VENUS INDIGNANT

The ejaculatory 
life is 
the salvation 
meteor of 
futility or 
fidelity willingly 
false more 
by your 
leave during 
times of 
cultural tautologies
other destinations 
ready love 
in the 
breach always 
ambivalent mystery 
reality waiting 
to be 
defiled in 
the uninterrupted 
present wings 
will be 
effortless for 
aliens needy 
of platonic 
mist or 
evolutionary doubts 
in music 
pirate maidens


WHERE YOUR LOVE BELONGED

Iím sitting here thinking 
of a time I could have been
love-friend to her 
about life

Pretty girl facing me 
from the corner of a room
forward stretching over it
my bridges burnt

She said never leave me
as if I ever could 
that was just something 
in her mind

There were good days
and there were bad days
but the sun shone brightly
and the sky was blue


PRECIOUS REQUESTS

It was a Sunday morning.
And all the bells were ringing.
I work my fingers to the bone for you.

I want to buy you something new.
You canít have that many things, 
even if I say so myself.

Thereís plenty of time, and thereís work to do.
What you hear in the dark,
always repeat in the light.

Thereís no gold or silver for your belt anymore.

I shall never forget these things.
Your mother knew about them.
Let your light shine on these special gifts here.

Donít keep your treasures all that near.
You canít take them with you too.
Your father knows you need them all.

Is there someone asleep in the doorway?
My legs wonít keep me up:
not in the house we stand in.

Your precious requests have not gone unnoticed.


THE CROSSING OF THE BRIDGE

Dimness is here
followed by regiments
recoiling from containment
armour in Europe
remembering fire-eaters
absorbing what was put down
with great trouble along the bridge
while the rain saturates everything
the enslaved more furiously
throughout fictions and incredulity.

I remember my friends on dry roads
and wagons coated in perfume
memories on the ferryboat
love that is the distance
and the eternal clock
democracy and earthquakes
and women for all the troubadours
shuddering hearts and brains 
that heat this world
and rulers furnished by other arts
when I was alone in Charleston.


OUT IN THE WORLD

No one sees the darkest hiss of rain
or the authority of selfish tears
in the rattle of liquid night
like timber packets

Alone hot struggles of kitchen fire 
that is her trade
driving her rampart
a woman unconsciously witnessed
with auburn hair low from timeís complexion
that nobody watched

The boatman passes like a gust
absently he comes scratching
cursing all the time 
always afraid
strolling to him feels like plunging

Mud errands high hair unmoving
flat time downriver from uninterrupted
books I came not to take employment
for the room had not changed

Able herself supported
she walked with undercut pride
or perhaps with something better

Admit the truth 
open the window
goodbye to houses and hello to farms
this is the way things are 
out in the world


I SUPPOSE WEíLL WORK SOMETHING OUT

Nature charms you 
outside the temple were things
will be understood though wrongly directed.

Unhappy idealists discover
doubts about principles or
otherwise confuse themselves.

Mansions bare the parched streets 
where visitors gather by 
statues with ironclad
stepping stone traps.

Accented people in the thin city
with frustrated friends
find destiny tumbles
in terror.

Deep in love like resentment 
dragons and hyperbolic death 
women remark that
men go out
on winter mornings habitually
balanced yet visible
in the way of the spent
room.

Gathering like the rest of societyís 
house bought off with chairs
and wine congratulations
and with barbaric modesty
cultivated in vapours
my teachers come to me.


GOING HOME 

ďLooking in the mirroró

mirror

mirror

mirror

Tomorrowóbright light.

I will see God tonight.Ē

Thanks for running after that bus for me, Dad.