Saturday, 18 February 2017

Dear friend,

Since my last blog update a lot has been happening in life in general and poetical terms.

I must begin by paying tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, simply the most important male poet in my personal pantheon of greatness. Amongst his many works Cohen's "Book of Longing" has probably inspired me more than any other piece.
I cannot overstate its importance to me.

Closer to home I'm nearing the end of my degree course and will be able to turn my full attention to creative writing after June 6th. Its been six long years to get to this point and I feel a mix of excitement and tiredness, the last lap seems to be the hardest one! Despite the inevitable demands on my free time (I'm doing the degree on top of a full time job), I have been able to finally complete Jackalope, a project of ninety poems, dealing with transition and change, appropriate as we are in the early part of 2017 a time of transition and unease for many.  There is also another idea for a project in the pipeline but it's early days yet, more will follow as the year unfolds!

The best thing I can do at this point, rather than wittering on, is to share a few pieces from Jackalope. As ever, I hope you enjoy them.

Precious Memories

I know I will forget your face
Although fighting

The thief called time
Every inch of the way.

Binding precious memories
With cords around my heart

I’ll treasure them happily
Until the passing years betray

And you drift just out of reach
Becoming a beautiful dream
Warm, fuzzy, indistinct...

Maple Leaves

She loosened the band and her hair fell
Like a red waterfall
Like fire tumbling over her shoulders

And in that moment my heart ran free
Through ancient forests
Through carpets of fallen leaves

She loosened the band and her hair fell
Unfettered across the curve of her neck

And she flicked her head
Her fiery hair describing an arc
Like an autumnal goddess

Her hair, red as a maple leaf
Promising the open skies of the wilderness
Her eyes as deep as the forest

She loosened the band and her hair fell
Wild and untamed
And I raised my head and howled to the moon


Fluttering against the glass
Still he beats his wings
After long and fallow years...
On the outside looking in

A lonely, frightened mocking bird
With gold dust on his tongue
Carrying the burden
Of an imagined Midas touch

So much to say, so little time
He would sing for you
Bring precious stones, a holly wreath
Things borrowed, old and blue

It’s cold out on the margins
The brittle edge of time
In deepest dark the brightest stars
Gleam in solitude divine

Within this darkest hour
A kernel only night can bring
He awaits the cusp of sunrise
When he’ll catch your eye and sing

Celestial Fall

I wished upon a shooting star
In its celestial fall
Hoped my love would unlock you...
Prayers provide the key

My heart burned in solitude
As it arced across your sky
Although worn upon these sleeves of mine
You never batted eye

Love burned brightly for a season
Now darkness has returned
Silence blankets everything
All trace of where we were.

All the Things

All the things I’d written for you
A final touch, a careless stroke
And everything is lost

A screen full of emptiness remains
Lilly white, like my coward’s heart
Pierced on a crown of words.

Irretrievable sentiments
Brimming with all the things
I never had the strength to say.

Au printemps à la salle d'attente

Spring spreads its wings
Outside the waiting room
Icicles dissolve...
People thaw out
And unfurl their arms
Remembering what it’s like
To live and love.

The sky clears its throat
And coughs out clouds
Daffodils erupt
Through broken soil
As trains ply to and fro
Spitting out passengers
Engulfing waifs and strays.

Spring illuminates the fields
Empty minutes pass
The hour glass
Re-fills itself with sand.
Sunlight pierces the realm
Of battered dreams
And promises warmth
A train, a life to catch.

Flight of a Swallow

Same place, different season
Times unchanging flow
A bitter wind...
Investigates our weakness.

From right to left
The grey sky cracks
Across this frozen place
The land that time forgot.

People perch
On battered stools
Perfectly preserved
From peace on earth
And mercy mild.

Who would think
A swallow flying up
From deepest Africa
Could make its home here
Beneath the eaves
A few short months from now?

Cities of Glass

A silent flash
Announces the fall
Of a star to earth

The power of the sun
Boils rivers dry
Sucks life into the void

Possesses souls
Fuses thoughts to glass
Leaves only shadows on the walls

The Beating Heart Metaphor

Here I spoke ...
Heartfelt words
A brief confession
How I wished things could be.

Here I gazed
At a foreign shore
And a distant smile
Through rose tinted hours.

Here I unfurled myself
And tried to fill
An empty space
On an inner sea.

Here surf broke
Over expectation
As I battled the tide
And dared to dream.

Here ozone scents
Mixed with rain
As hope departed
In lamentation.

Here a seagull mourns
As sunlight fades
And footprints concede
To callous waves

Drink Dissection

The body curio
Tilts its head
And swallows...
Wondering how

The sectioned muscles
Would appear
In an exhibition
Or a glass jar
For all to see.

The pen moves faster
Ink unravels
Scaring the page
With spider trails
And amputations.

Mark Harris has asserted his right under

Section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

To be identified as the author of this work.

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