Three Processions

I set out alone in brilliant sunshine
Along the green river, a shop
The town; the Gloucester Road

The first Saturday of May
To see the procession
Or at least, its terminus upon ancient common

Gloucester Road to Filton Road
Crowds outside pubs thicken
“Are these all for the Jack?”

Police on foot, horseback, riot vans
Match day. Blue and whites
I arrive at the common

(Avoiding the busy streets)
The common is empty
The road alongside, suddenly

Gets noisy: proud chants
Supporters escorted on a
Pre-planned route

This is not the procession that I
That I was expecting
But it carries its own values

Sense of occasion
I wait for mine, sat here
Too early, and realise

This is a solitary procession, all of my own.

Bendochy – a poem

BENDOCHY

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cold cold cold
the green man’s face blooming.

bloom of my own, this curse of the Celts:
the tiny red fissures at the surface, closer than
most, like a map of blood-red
wind-felled trees.
the ice wind sucks heat
from these threads, my face
feels like the blood is
being frothed out of my skin then
freezing, holding my features,
a grimace.

middle age abbey, medieval gaol,
Victorian barracks, ancient cross.
manacles on a standing stone:
age unknown, but still
a reminder, of something not
remembered

the wind off the river flows
right to this church, for Bendochy
parish, walls to keep out the
icewind and doubts, a shelter acute
when against savage nature

the green man still grins
the cursed Celt grimaces

 

This poem first appeared in Wyrd Daze, “the multimedia zine of speculative fiction and experimental music & art”. Reproduced with thanks. Visit Wyrd Daze for more.

Materials

After K.J.

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What are these Materials of which she speaks?
Something about a line
My eyes follow the words but I don’t read
The siren of an ambulance
Too loud for thoughts
But there was a line

Perhaps it was the trace
Was she talking about a trace?
The oscillating siren creates a line
A loose, wobbly line that my ears follow

I glance up for a second but soon go back to read
The poem was surely mean to be read
In the Highlands or on
A remote coast
Not in the noise of a south-England city

What if I found a
Quiet place to read it?
Would I better take in its story
Or would ‘line’ jump out at me again
Sound line of a bird
Water line of a river

Turnips and Apples – a poem

A poem I wrote, in my songwriting days of yore. Witches and god-like powers and apples (for dooking) and turnips (for neepie lanterns) – it seems like a not bad time to publish this.

take the turnips from the branches
plant them down and watch them up
bending from the boughs seems odd now
covered with dirt seems better now
ugly, knurled like witches’ skin
your eyes and mine should not have seen
so I decree put them in the floor
so they can live their forever more

the apple buried in the dirt
    too nice, pink and bright
put up upon the branch
    of the barren turnip tree

when the plants were all invented
some of them were mistakes indeed
if they’re up high infront of eyes
why are they such we don’t want to see?
perhaps there was some method
to the madness as was seen
so then I took it on me
to make things right as they should be

now the apple in the sky
    utility down away from eyes
for what need but not desire
    for worms, perhaps and eating only

the sun used to shine only at night
like a street lamp in the fog
the day was misty dull and grey
with dim light all around but where from?
the sun must rise in morning hence
light this dismal place
give it more hydrogen fuel
so its warmth can reach through space

now we all can see
    when our eyes requires
day and night forever split
    behold the great glowing fire

it is not with jest these changes
I placed upon the modern man
light to see and beauty in trees
darkness for the rest of them
take the fodder from the garden
marvel in the sunny light
eat and be well, jewels atwinkle
from this day until darkness nigh