Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To Remind you when Beauty


T
o remind you when beauty
    lies dead in the grass
her cheer we can cherish
    now she is done
for alas with the season
    whose pleasures have flown
our eyes tracking backwards
    we find beauty less

But off with such sorrow
    for seasons will turn
and pleasures renewed
    though breast sorely torn
feels dolour at hand
    with sun sinking low
we must gather the shadows
    and lay them to rest

Distress is not gain
    the sun’s running on
and bears us all forward
    despite pain and grief
hope is a promise
    that’s best left to time
while beauty’s reborn
    in the rime and the mist

mmiv

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jade Beast



Jade beast
    your mythic power still lives
avatar of human aspirations
    shape of incongruous origins made compatible
animal qualities by kindred to ours
    singularity most harmonious

    kilin    reputed for your gentleness
monstrous artefact of ancient lore and craft
    we owe you awe and reverence
proof of provenance scant
    you are your own authority
recognized by whom you would be seen
    charismatic aura under cloak of anonymity

    "found under bed"!    so i am told
by what freak of providential coincidence
    revealed to present-day consciousness
hidden after long sojourn
    buried in earth
leaping over manifold generations
    white apparition    indicative of great age

    guardian called to defend against wilful chaos
when worldy events run amok
    human pride and greed resulting in discord
which carry misfortune to innocent life

    huge jaws open in challenge
massive haunches crouched in still momentum
    epitome of grace and strength
body-language in any tongue
    may you stand thus on our behalf
as we remain loyal to your purpose
    bequeathing to futurity
benevolence    serenity and precious gift of friendship

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

To Io (the horned moon)


M
ost piteous
your plight
soulful heifer
in Heaven
to rise again
your downfall
our delight

mmvii

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Incubus


T
his gnome, this charming horror,
That sits Apollo-like upon my lusty soul;
Call him Conscience,
Wryly grinning,
Mirthful as a martinet
In parody of joy,
He slits the envelope and stirs between
A foil to mind and spirit,
Still lustful, lascivious, gross, unkind,
But never lost in dirt or callous suffering;
For give this gruesome little wart of sin his due
The college-taught proprieties were born of him
And tie-clad stalwarts know his school;
Refinement, bred of ease, has coached his whim.

mcmlx

Monday, October 15, 2007

A major poet lies here: the ashes of a fire


T
he two of us
beside the fire
we three
understand

such a great talker
this fire
spitting and hissing
like a skidroad whore

you and i
sitting by the fire
desire burning lower
and the ashes
hiss in displeasure
as we throw on the water
to kill them dead
and joy-in-waning
fellowship
sends us to bed


mcmlxx

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The mind may go beyond


T
he mind may go beyond the
petty animosities
the grievances
to sit akimbo on the rim of a rainbow
that arcs unavoidably
through the sunlit self
to the centre-not-a-centre
where no untoward cloud may dally
to bar or sully
the light of immanent sight
footdangling pleasure like a squirrel's treasure-
trove of nuts he has stored for the winter season
or a pot of gold to be dug after the sun has set
not before

mcmlxxv

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bonne chance, my dear!


B
onne chance, my dear!
Secretive and silent as a fox
without the fanfare or the view-hallo
as quiet as the mortar on the wall
that sets the mood and tenour
of our etiquette in love
you scaled the bastion
smuggled out the key
and brought my stronghold crashing to the ground
As fortified a den you found
as ever robber-baron ruled
Now captive in the conqueror's pound
i wait to hear my punishment:
to ransom, hurt, enslave or free
declare your next intent
You chose the strategy
and fought a winning cause
to lose was my desert
now honour yours!

mcmlx

Friday, October 12, 2007

A fib is a fib


A
fib is a fib
    a lie on the fly
like the cut of your jib
    with faltering wind
you sail before
    no care for where off
lies the leeshore

mmvii

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bowlful of leaves


B
owlful of leaves
Autumn brought to its knees
Winter sighs: Alas
I too. Seasons pass!

mmv

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall colours in profusion


F
all colours in profusion
likenesses and contrasts
this commodious commotion
bless├Ęd mosaic to kindly eye
so merry and sore circumstance
belong rightly or wrongly together:
shrewd heads nod agreement
to fear future and dismiss past
seems eminently daft
what's been and gone and what's to come
may like our pastiche of leaves and flowers
amend their differences
and vouch assuredly
that we have been and have done
what matters most to us: lived truly
despite our present confoundation

mmvi

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tich Backhouse: Letter to Minerva

Tich Backhouse Esq.
c/o Honey Haven Ranch
Byrne Abbey Hospice
Byrne Abbey


To    Mz Minerva Kutlass
Byrne Abbey Boulevarde,
Byrne Abbey

Dearest Minerva,
      and a deja view. It's Box 911, c/o Her Majesty's Prisons agin! If'n you have read about my confrontation with that Mighty Arm of the Law, Constable Percy, in our gladrag Brother Russell's Gazette you'll already have packed the cake and file, but hang on, darlink, i'm not ready to break out, my soul is flayed with grief and i shall wallow in durance vile till i am purged of the black megrims. Have patience, dearly beloved, and listen to Tich, hiz side o' the matter.
      We are born prisoners. Conditioned to the stasis since we were conjured into a finite cell out of the abyss. Once more i am encapsulated in the womb; tis Her Majesty's confinement, lasting the duration of her pleasure, and the padded walls of this hermetically-sealed environment are designed for those who would kick against the pricks. When shall i be delivered? O pray not for a miscarriage, not that i shall linger out the full term. Better call in the Surgeons General and certify me a phantom pregnancy! How can they libel a crackpot with madness? Tiz illiterate az well as unconscionable: cranks should enjoy special rights. We iz an endangered species!
      I was training Tiffani, my precious tyke, how to cock a leg up at a fire-hydrant. Being a pup and a bitch to boot she prefers the spreadleg stance. I thot to strike back at the Mzanthropic Society, how they thinks we iz outta step with them! Uz males, that is!
      The tyke 'n i had taken on a load at the Forebeers Bar, as per custom. Harry, the tapster, had paid me fer taking the slops out back for the hogs, enough to get me whistle wet. You know how everybody iz two beers short of good humour, especially Tich, an' the strain o' livin' off the avails of everybody's condescension coz you iz on the paupers' roll, and when you're stature matches your own good opinion you haz to rise in the world somehow. A draught or two iz me remedy. O an ugly mug like me wid frowzy beard, five foot in me holey sox, mistaken fer a dwarf, people allus take pity on me – serve 'em right.
      That's why you fell, Minerva, first sight an' you know it, you took it bad, especially as your dog had just got run over by the brewer's dray i were driving. O, you are the light of me one good eye and along with the booze an' Tiffani my only comfort in this worriting world o' precarious come-be-chance. That you iz!
      So i did my party tricks, actin' the fool, which i am. Tumbling like me pigeons do. An' sang a dolorous ditty or two sending round Tiff with the hat. Bowls the ladies over. Though they has to be tipsy to appreciate it.
      By closin; time, i'm as high as a cloudless sky, and as sunny, when Constable Percy pokes his ruddy nose through the door. Now Perce an' i get along together very well when we're sober but he takes dead aim at me when i'm under the influence. "Out!" he sez, jerking his thumb in my direction. And Harry hasn't even sung, "Time, gennelmen an' ladiez, please," yet.
      "Pardon me," i replies, "it's me job," and i picks up the pot of slops from under the bar and, quite by accident, oh dear, as i go past collides with him and drenches his bonny blue uniform. He swole up pompous as a bull-walrus in mid-bellow – so i vamoosed!
      Tiffani follows on me heels, waggin' her stump. People say she looks like me; which is not true. It's not fair to insult a dog. But we do think alike. As we lollop down the bullyvard we gets the urge. Immediate. Trickle down the leg, else. Bladder's swollen like great blood pudden. We musta had more'n one over the eight, she 'n me. Never understood why they call the pub "Forebeers"; shudda been "Ten", give a guy something to aim at. Aiming at is what we did, the fire-hydrant outside the police-station, as i explained, it being the most convenient.
      When we're in full spate – o bad timing, can't nip it in the bud – a great holler: "Stop that!" tis the constable drippin' suds onto his big boots, like he was incontinently in synch with our endeavour. But na, he wasn't! And to cut the caper short (being decently finished) drunk-tank it is, with magistrait's court in the morning. Not Tiffani; she was excused, bein' a minor.
      I pled: "Not guilty, Yer Honour. It iz ascertainable fact bladders an' other eliminatory organz iz involuntary. Besides, i iz volunteer fireman an' fire hydrants comes under me purview, hosed down, reg'lar. There i rests me case, M'Lud!"
      "Thirty days or twenty-five dollar fine, whichever comes first," he intones without looking up at yours unruly. I can't hold back me furious short temper. Tis involuntary, too! I climbs over the railing and standing knee high to the dock drubs me gnarly fists on the panelling. "Cum down here!" i yell, "you topin' ol' tyrant an' i'll present you with a matched set o' black eyes. Ye mither were a drab an' your fadderz unanimous!" With that, i exposed myself.
      The ushers descend like a rugger scrum and i sails into the barney. I bloodied the clerk's nose an' went down fightin'! Tuck six good men an' true to drag me to the hoosegaw. Oh it were a fittin' end to a night on the town!
      The beak, he changes his mind. Consults the police sawbones, finds out i've been committed afore, and here i am, guest and detainee, courtesy Liz Regina Windsor.
      Minerva, dear, here's the bad news. I run into Doctre Bideen at the funny farm. Yes, he's in here, too. Again. You remember meeting him at his lecture given in the hall at Mz McMadamz? Old duffer with bleary eyes an' granny glasses. A beard even the mice won't nest in. Thin long streak, speaks in long insubstantial streaks to match. We got the tickets free cos he couldn't sell any. The topic was: "What does Metempsychosis Mean to You?" Nobody understood a word. Both on us. That's how clever he is! Educated at Ispahan U. in Persia. He's my philosophy tutor when we're in the nick together. Kills the time wonderfully.
      I should say, "He was." Was me tutor, i mean. He's dead. I'll tell you how in a minute when i get to feeling like it.
      The Doc 'n i, bein' old hands at the farm, Honey Haven Ranch for the Feeble-Minded, and unfit for anything else, we gots the pretend-we're-bush-clearing job, like before, back forty by the river at Big Bend. Seems like the bush grows while we're watching it, so we don't try hard to catch up. You know the drill. Chop it down, saw it up into cordwood and burn the debris. We're our own bosses during the day. Who's goin' to escape while we got free meals for doin' nothin'? It's back to the padded cell at night. Locked tight. Don't make sense, guards while we're asleep!
      I'm bein' long-winded cos i hate to spit it out! We're sitting cosily together, on a soft mossy log off in the bush, just the two of us, the Doc 'n me, philosofussin', the old tobacco can hung from a greenstick over the fire, me watching the can cos old doc, he gets caught up in his disquisitions, and i don't want the coffee to boil more than to a head, and there's a pork sangridge in me fist, left over from breakfast – well, the Reverend Doctre Bideen, a corpus he is, finally compiled, no more to be writ, not his'n, they have carted him off, leaving me distraught, with a can of coffee i can't drink and half a sangridge i can't swallow. He keeled over in one of his Caesarean fits, mouth a-gapin' like he needed air badly, but it weren't air wanting to get in, t'were his blessed immortal soul leaving his body. I could hear it keening, i swear, like a babe come raw from its mother, glad to go but unwilling to leave. I bolted up to the ranch for help, but no use. A gonner's a gonner, nothing more certain!
      This is what i want you to do, Minerva. You owe me, and i saved it for a special occasion in case, cos i never said nowt about you and your secret agenda; whoever you visits of a sudden, once in a while, claiming it's your great-aunt. So i've written up notes i made while Doc was lecturin' me on Love with a capital, like he used to. I'll post them and please get them printed up in the Brussell's Gazette.

            Your fond spouse,
                  Tich