There is no sleep, just deep exhaustion.
And as I probe the mists of life I am surprised
by finding unexpected riches.
Like Pharaoh, I have ben well endowed
with all the preciousness I need
for an eternal deathtime and beyond.
A treasure chest filled to the brim
with lasting gifts of boundless value
has sprung its lid,
its contents spilled into my memories.
Just now I heard the nightingale which sang
one night for me and my new love
and filled my heart until it broke
from too much beauty, too much wonder.
A tango wafts from somewhere,
a tender touch floats into vision
shy as new bride.
Twelve pairs of hands hold ropes to let a coffin
slide slowly into newly wounded earth;
a solitary bagpipe plays a sad lament.
I fill with happiness because I understand.
Oh, over there - a naked fiddler
sits Lotus on a sideboard in the room
of a hotel that has seen better days.
A bar of Bach - or two...
A smile unfolds
suspended in mid-air,
and there - a fish-eye vision of the face
my mother chose to use while she was here.
A wisp of wildness from a gypsy violin is joined
reluctantly by dancing passion.
Love, awe and hope awaken
with whispered words of promise: Yes, I do!
From pain unbearable explodes a bolt of life;
stark lights that blind obliterate the view.
Oh, over there, between some pillars on a bank of cloud
an orphic melody hangs upside-down;
pure ecstasy drips from the stars that followed in its wake,
while worm-like apprehensions writhe in deep despair.
My body says a slow goodbye.
My soul is lifted to the rapturous spheres.
A last regret
is gently cut.
A candle shivers
in a cooling breeze and
The counterpoint has closed its eyes
except the two it keeps
on fluegelhorn who rightly sighs:
you're giving me the creeps.
And interlude would dearly lead
the madrigal in dance,
but overture and chord agreed
they wouldn't miss the chance.
Libretto leans against the bar
determined to demur.
He is the cleverest by far
and won't join in. No Sir.
An octet passes by with friends.
The requiem is drunk.
Preludium has made amends
while fugue has done a bunk.
It's late. The chords have had enough,
but little codad scores;
glissando slides into the trough.
Finale shuts the doors.
Unquiet, furless animals,
her hands are comforting each other
on light-blue cotton
and a piece of creamy silk.
Still there is beauty in her face -
all folded in upon itself.
Her eyes have found a focus
in the Milky Way;
her ears are tuned to broadcasts
from distant nebulae.
Acknowledging my touch
she almost turns to me.
Her puzzled voice is hesitant:
“And who are you?”
I heard some say you were a genius,
a veritable master of your art.
And then they added as an afterthought
that you were kind, and modest, and –
in short – a being of unique perfection.
You’re dead. Of course.
And so the vain and empty souls that live
still bathe in your reflection, a light
which they create by feeding on your flame.
A mighty crowd of hollow spectres
became your moons and slowly dance your songs.
They never were your friends.
Just hear the voices in the dark:
I knew him well.
He kissed me once.
I knew him better still.
He was a saint!
He tried to get me into bed, but I refused!
I knew he favoured prostitutes.
He liked the little boys, my dear.
He couldn’t get it up, you know...
I saw him in this play – sublime.
You just can’t get it right.
Your damaged self sought refuge in your art,
a reinvention of the frightened boy.
What did you say to me one day?
“I have to be another once a year,
or find myself too burdened by my self.”
Reality is but an image in my mind
created by my inclinations.
Where your world ends, does mine begin?
What is the neutral ground on which we meet?
Can love make small of our visions or perhaps
it’s just a temporary truce of desperate need,
seeking respite from solitary walks,
lost in a space of our own perceptions
to which no other mortal has the key?
Where my world’s baleful grey and endless
dark melancholy fills cubic miles of empty heart,
you dance in light-filled glorious joy,
your breath brings colours to a shadow world.
A lark in ecstasy, a bird of paradise,
a nightingale that sings of love and tenderness.
You paint my black a darker shade of bright.
My heart is in your hands - a fearful, breathless bird.
The song I never sang for fear of drowning
in tears I never shed no longer stays unsung:
It can’t resist your smiling eyes, your wonder
at my sadness and the hope you bring.
I always wanted wings.
Where my blue and your yellow meet
a bright green has emerged.
Stay for a while.
We may have birthed a magic space,
a summer field that draws its life
from winter’s death and spring’s exuberance.
As autumn’s gold seeps into the greens of summer,
its brilliant colours cheat the mind that knows,
saddens the soul that can’t deny the signs.
Then winter touches gently but with urgency:
My friend, your summer days are done.
Remember what you’ve seen and don’t forget
that seasons come and go.
Good bye my love. You taught me how to sing.
Although I cannot be a lark, a nightingale,
you gave me voice and words and light
and memory of more than I alone could ever know.
is neither cuckoo nor li
it’s never been seen
but I suspect it’s got a mean beak
when it wakes sleepers with
pronouncing the second syllable
comme il faut and
snickering all the way
to the pond
in the tiny