The Saviour Resurrected

red it was and yellow it was and on blue
it was orange roaring loud and proud
as a lion and in long complaining columns
it was bleeding on the crowds of summer clouds
so very like adhesive

young it was and strong it was against black
it was rifle fighting lean and hard
like a madman and in epileptic fury
it was frenzied taken mean and marred
by the dark moon legions

held it was and killed it was and in shadows
it was weary buried dumb and cold
like a stone and in an pauper’s unmarked grave
it was laid to rest gone save for the common hold
of the twinkling congregation

red it was then dead it was but in time
it was sly climbing tall and fierce
as an eagle and soon led on dew
it was again brought to light a ball to pierce
the tyranny of night like a Saviour Resurrected

nothing of love

nothing there is
of love here

on this writhing beach
of restless blankets

where waves
break high

along the bumping grinding
length of thigh

nothing there is
save love in a lie

Tears are Grand but Useless as Tombs

The emotions have no tongue
save that of crude interpretation
There is no song can be sung
nor really any fountain of adequate creation
can lend sufficient lung
to the wails of the wide eyed child
who headless is blindly stung
deadly by the first love.
Every love is the first

every love is the last
There is no means of articulation
so loud, so holy, so grand
can express the always virgin sensation
of the fallowed heart and the severed hand
Threats are wasted promises; foolish lies
words are ephemeral fire fly lights;
tears are grand but useless as tombs;
the emotions have no tongue.


Young you were
and as green at least
as God’s gentle spring
now laid
at your fast moving feet
that have chased away
the winter.

Yes, young you were
when the world was yours
and the mind was
an untamed warrior

And you running
full throttle round
the rainspout corner
and pulling up spry
on the tall veranda
to survey proudly
your vast cattle empire
which stretches
beyond the eye
can see
and at least to
the back yard fence

swooping down fast
hot hard on the hunt
for ruthless desperadoes
wearing the badge of
the law
pinned grand as galaxies
on your small boy chest.
hunting and fighting
mean hombres
and roping and branding
restless rustlers
running always
blind eyed into the teeth
of black death
A rough, rugged, shoot him dead

… and again and again and again
head long to the grave risking
your slender years for the cause
of grand justice
and however great the peril
you must surely

So it goes till the sun slides
slowly at your mother’s shrill
calling and home again
you trek on the new soggy grass
which heralds the death of snow
and which sends
strong through eth world
the musty scent
of smiling spring
which grows up to
your nostrils
and goes on up

For Christine

Hell damnit! I’m a happy man.
I need only
think on you
for an instant
and I smile a smile
as wide
as the fat lady
at the circus

at this price then — 1

listen, there is a band rattling
and there are banners rustling
in this crowd like running water.

Listen, there is an easy laughing change
in these children bred in violence

Listen …

Riding high and easy on a jubilant tide
of triumph and exaltation;
hailed in the holy eyes
of young ladies laughing unashamed
in the streets:
praised as heroes and exploding with pride
return the conquering warriors.
Paced by the beat
of the glorying band playing untamed
tunes of honour to the blue skies
of joy and celebration.

This is the reward that triumph pays:
sounded loud in the heralding song
of the rifling band and the smiling
ladies’ eyes.
This is a service of love and praise
that marks this day as festival.
This is the prize
gently wrapped, eagerly awarded to the filing
milling marchers who
have righted wrong.
This is the reward that triumph pays.

at this price then — 2

and at this price comes victory then
when the wailing day is done
and is finally measured in eth face down
warriors dressed in mud.

There are prayers here singing in the soundless death
breath of wind as it rustles in the width
of the battle waiting bone yard in the breadth
of the dead man’s mouth like a grave gaping
unmarked, and unblessed;

this is the band that heralds the dead.
Red songs bleeding on a starched white bed
of daybreak. These cavern sockets in the head
of the dead men are the only eyes that
resemble even remotely those of the laughing ladies
here in the fields of the forgotten and the long bled.

Listen, these were men battling
cattling themselves lower than shuttling
ankle chained animals to the slaughter.

Listen, there is something strange
and sacred in this battlefield silence.

Listen …

On the Morning that Follows

too fast   too random   too very much all at once
is this mind churning and tiring now
like a thundercloud clapped and rent
of its rain or like a mad and frantic
cogwheeled machine suddenly gone from control
too ringing   too singing too very much buzzing
is this strange and wondrous cloudbursting
cogwheeling mechanism which paces thus
races this cramped but flying hand
holding pen in the buzzsaw humming
of creation and poetic invention
too near too clear too very soon lost
the needed words to this brain
like a bursting bowel sac and so soon
lost they are that they seem as brief and
once only friends gone to rest
too close   too soon   and too very much like day
break climbs the pressing push of morning’s rising
calling of duties and loyalties and a world
that can’t wait for the responsibilities
of any man to be undertaken
completed and neatly filed away
too weary too empty too very much like death
is this brain that meets the windowed rain
bugle tapping           is this body
that rises in reluctance from the tomb
measured one night by a time
and so it’s goodmorning gand and breakfast time
around the magical milk and cereal square
of fragmented conversant
and such is life
and so it goes
and so pass the toast please

Death of the Child

Emerging from the void and
crawling dead along the twilight line
dripping wet and sea weed hair.
All down the opaque shore a cry
of the death wind, growing in a lion’s mouth,
as, the one lung, long tongue
blood, red infant screams from
his lung like a wound.
The powder grey sky turns
star shaped pearl like eyes
to watch the clumsy progress
of the child like a skeleton ghost
who grows quick in moss
around huddled shoulders and
a long curve of back. Slow
growing limbs, popping toes
and restless fingers that scratch on
the morning face of the sun screen wall
of hollow naked grey.
The crying now loud blowing
high from teeth that have found solid rock
where a teething ring should have been.
This colour blind child in a world pleasant green
grew clever forging vowels in a waterfall frock,
grew crafty and mean without ever knowing
that the weight and the sway
of his fatal flint footmen would precede the fall
of a Lucifer angel from the gentle seat of dawn
and witless turn nature’s friends to other foes,
who would with time, grow small to swallow,
this crafty killer of useful land
who is unable to measure his loss,
this clever phrase coiner who turns words to boast
of his flirtation with a fool called progress,
this religious fool bowing to the dollar from his pew sty,
who never learns from the books he burns.
That he should keep a receptive ear tuned
to the words of the blind and the dumb,
to the woes of the dead and unsung
undone in an earlier bout
who now lean from the grave to watch us die
as we lean for them and hollow eyed stare
crawling dead along the twilight line
searching the void with an outstretched hungry hand.

and this then at day’s end

and this then at day’s end
all with all is quiet
all with all is won
the loud flaming fair weather friend
bids a calm and holy night
and soon then comes the moon

memories have been met this day
all with all is quiet
all with all is one
we sitting in the hollowed hallowed sway
of the sighing wind knit smiles with all our might
warm glowing smiles which rival the swan singing sun

heaven holds its promises now
each with itself is sacred
each with itself is grand
holds its promises easy and low
holds its promises to be freely celebrated
holds its dreams to the outstretched hand

we sit quiet in conversation
each with his dreams
each to his own
we all young and easy in roaring celebration
held lightly in simmering summering schemes
and gathered tenderly in the season’s very crown

and as with all the body
the so with all the mind
and all in all
there is a oneness
and a wondrous feast
of peace and quiet joy


We walk without motion in the shivering shadow
and lean long blind hands for the sliver of light
which glows beyond reach to the shuffling feet which are bound
in granite grey footwear

There’s a dark fall of faces all smiling, all hollow
There’s a nagging feel of an endless empty night
There’s a ditch where the corpse lies face down and the body’s found
in granite grey footwear

We all of us lean to break the chains of the shadow
and screaming soundless stretch together for the light
and rattle chains from our brains which remain stifling, bound
in granite grey footwear

In granite grey footwear
confusion, ordered with care, smiling slyly turns us round
we live in conviction drawing life black and white
while fields once rich with reason grow old to lie fallow.

In granite grey footwear
we grow, sullen and seldom smiling, like graves from the ground
and slow we blinded grow dead still searching the light
although few learn the glow fewer ever follow

In granite grey footwear
we die searching a reason for having been around
and in death find the unity of day and night
as time shifts tides and turns us again   to meet the shadow

Life is death
death is life
we travel never ending

Time is space
Space is time
the tale is never ending

Jailor, bring me laughter
and kindly loosen my chains
I felt some light slant through the bars
and its warmth would ease my pains

Just Another Sad Story

Somewhere down this thin walled hall
lovers slap together
riding to quicksilver death
under cascading galaxies

I wonder if ever they hear
my lonesome turning
once again over
restlessly seeking sleep

in my own tiny universe
no one cares to share
because all the stars
have burned themselves out

I turn again
and in the dark
I doubt it.

There is no Sanctity

There is no sanctity in youth.
Time continues undaunted
marching on hands firmly resolved
which circle like vultures
ever closer to doom.
Age steals like a night shadow
creeping fast and unseen
scheming clever ambushes
which take us when we look away
Young dreams become simply
broken promises.

So many clear faces have,
even so soon as this,
grow shaded and obscurely
faded away.
So many moments have,
already, grown to memories
and the memories been killed
or stretched out of rhyme
with accuracy (a death in itself.)
There is no sanctity in youth.

There is no sanctity in youth.
The young years are but
a lingering moment
too soon gone, too poorly
understood, until too late
to be truly appreciated
and appropriately enjoyed
and celebrated.
Time will wait for no one.
We must all match the pace
or fall fast behind.

People haven’t yet
found a means
to keep the moon
from crawling steadily into the sun
and the sun again into the moon.
They haven’t yet found
a way to tether the
vulturing hands.
Spring flowers crumble brownly dead
to celebrate the fall.
There is no sanctity in youth.

On leaving

I remember there were panhandling seagulls
letting the wind
hold them statue still
while waiting for handouts

of the ship decked crowd
that flagged so many frantic farewells
to so many friends
somewhere far below

I stood nearest the rail
looked long to you
looking back at me
from your spot long removed

But at last you left off
with your watching ways, waved
turned away
down the dock

You were gone
for what seemed forever
and the gulls broke their pact
with the wind that held them
and then               oh hell

they dived

Prairie fire

crashing crimson chaos on summer blue
as night closes steadily.
a grand red poker chip
glows and rides slowly down the sky
drawing a blind tight behind it.

prairie days end like this
fading away like old soldiers
until way on eth horizon
far ahead on the flat land
the glowing seasonal disk

pauses for a moment
almost gone from sight
but burning like fire
through the wind bristling
heads of summer grain

Burning momentarily in a
long scarlet gash
A moment gone
the ride is resumed
it dips into darkness

nearly deep as death.

Poem for Judy (the first)

I want so badly
to see you now
that I invent your face
on ladies
in the crowd.

the sun that fades

the sun
that fades
and dies beyond the distant
hair width line.

the moon
that climbs
to take its place

will acknowledge
the other

but passing
they are
time punching the shift
that measures the day

in a reverie
of solitude.

Whence Comes So Cold Day?

Whence comes so cold day as this?
Winter come creeping without any warning
then too quickly taking this unsuspecting morning
holding virgin flesh submerged beneath blankets long after rising
Whence comes so cold day as this?
so sudden grown
so harshly blown
in the licking whale tongues
of the wind.

How sits this pale and sickly sun?
Summer gone though embers linger
still well remembered the sun as grand singer
Days recalled with it hymning so strongly
that no wind would challenge
How sits this pale and sickly sun?
so sudden grown thin
so harshly blown in
and sung close to death by wintry minstrels.
It is thin and convalescent

and where the dive bomb bed spread?
Autumn’s reds and golds fully covered over
Seduced, laid under by a cold and wicked lover
The soft and easy rustic rug
now brittly breaking underfoot
Where gone the dive bomb spread?
so sudden grown thin skinned and white
so harshly blown in the tin and tinsel bite
of boot heels slipping mischievously
in seasonal uncertainty

Here then is a winter
baring all of its teeth
rearing its head, dandruff sprinkling from its mane
wearing a plain and cold and poker heart
though there be fire in its eye.
Here is winter come on very late,
a long time loitered while lying in wait,
collecting cool resources, collected at last.
Lands like a panther killing autumn fast.

Poem for Peterson

this man is a friend
i have known him well
i have known him when
we have shared a gutter together

and we have richly designed
that gutter with fine
and regal laughter

and when we climbed from it
we still were friends
and the gutter
just a gutter once again.

Where Clowns Become Heroes

Under the Hallowe’en universe
dressed wide in well travelled canvas
down where the calliopes cry
a crowd mills and gathers
like Leviathan
collecting for
some pending

real animal crackers reel with life.
Elephants rain tied tail to trunk.
One wheeled riders loop and spin
High wire men flirt with fate
while the whale net is
prepared and strung
for the great

And while all this happens all at once
alive with fanfaring splendour
there in the ring of three
rings loud and clear as brass
harlequin vies for
our favour, tries
for laughter
while all

others write their own mighty legends
popping eyes and ears with fine feats
Harlequin plays for laughter
like a peasant scraping
crumbs from a banquet
plate well emptied
plays for

And the man with lions mouths his head,
the rocket man flies like fury
and the high string men beat death
just to make us feel good.
Dazzle us to make us
feel we too could
tease with tombs
like them

granted the
chance to try our
hand and just when we
are stirred almost even
to the point of trying for
ourselves the show is done and we
are gone on home to become alone
our dreams.

It is here
in the empty
abundance of
silence   where bravado
retreats too quickly that
clowns climb to heroes’ proud heights.
the marvellous men let us forget

selves for
short a time we
tread on death’s thin line.
But, now we are gone from
the mass. We have laughed with clowns
and that makes it easier to
forget that for a while we forgot.

Poem for N.A.S.A.

Yes, the moon
has long ago
been taken

at great expense
to the public pocket
(now defunct)

but like
the gaudy
fat lady

come uninvited
to the well mated

seems to know
quite what

to do with her.