rock

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rock

 

the gunmetal grey slab of slate,

a seashore relic,

threaded with silver,

governed by tides and moon.

it recalls whales that swallow men whole

and caves where mermaids comb their hair,

so that it glistens in the sunlit spray.

 

weathered by sun and sand,

it lies heavy as a conscience,

implacable and true,

a link to long ago,

a place deep in the distant past,

where myth’s entwined with history

and a shell pressed to the ear

unleashes the sound of the sea.

nothing gold can stay

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Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

 

Just hosting a poem by Robert Frost and song by Stevie Wonder, film The Outsiders

harm

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her head a hollow

scrubbed clean,

the inside of her skull

brillo-pad-scoured,

empty as the wind

on a milwaukee corner

in midwinter.

 

sometimes she writes

her pain with blades

as sharp as the scorn

she suffers,

trapped in her own

cyber inferno

of antisocial media.

 

the scars she pulls

long sleeves down over

at the breakfast table,

where normality can

suddenly slap her in the face.

 

broken inside,

a toy whose mechanism

has wound down

for the last time.

 

the family crunch toast

and pour tea

while the whole of her

is seething,

wrenched apart.

 

alone at night,

she covets their clarity,

the marks on her skin.

they are brisk,

no nonsense ,

well defined,

while she is a vague mass

of anxiety and indecision.

 

somehow they make

her clean and whole

single her out for notice.

they are the signs

of her in action,

a strategy for change.

rhapsody

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he sings a song in church,

absorbed by a melody,

transfigured by

something not quite holy.

his sweetly solemn face

as serious and intent

as a choirboy’s when

tasked with a tricky solo

at a special sunday service.

 

he avoids all the kind eyes

that graze his skin with looking

and pierce his heart with longing,

directs his gaze up and away,

as if to apprehend grace.

 

he clears the nerves out of his throat

and shakes off shyness with a smile,

swallows once to prepare himself.

and the onlookers drink him in

like a long cool glass of water.

 

he turns, unfurls like a flower

to sabbath’s stained glass sunlight,

throwing spangled jewels

of ruby and emerald on wood and stone.

his face upturned, gleaming,

he is the most radiant of them all.

 

Video is Evan Williams, George Blagden and Mark Rendall of Versailles performing Evan’s song, ‘Take Me Away’.

‘wolfman agenda’

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it’s the lonesome sound

of the north wind outside

a mountain cabin

in a winter deep as forever

in an old fairy tale;

where a jilted lover hanged himself

one desperate christmas morning,

his feet swinging loose and free

in old sports socks from a used to be

a dollar store, threadbare at the heels

as the fabric of his life,

wrung out in its final spin.

it’s the lostness of a traveller

weary of new horizons and

hungry in his bones for home.

it’s the fierce and burning longing

that repossessed his soul.

 

Video is Shakey Graves’s ‘Wolfman Agenda’ from album Nobody’s Fool.

subliminal

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words detach themselves from the page

and crawl, unbidden, into his ears,

whispering in the lost forgotten

half-bled hour before dawn.

stick-written in sand on

an ancient shore in his mind,

they disappear with the tide

of consciousness in the daylight,

shapes drawn by fingertips down

the condensation of a windowpane.

sleep pressed its thumbs on his eyelids,

the gap between worlds yawned wide

as his future and he drifted into a dream

as if carried on a wave out to sea.

Photo by Belinda