New Poems

The Stare

Outside our block of flats the moon
has planted itself like a searchlight
flooding in through our Indian curtains and neat
Japanese-style blinds and onto the film sets
of all our stacked-up living rooms.

Caught in some small act we are drowned
in its platinum stare (my own room glows,
its forest of furniture, the deep ocean blue
of the carpet) not looking, just letting us know
it’s there. After all, life must go on.

Soon it won’t just be hanging around
out there, it’ll climb right in and carry
this body of mine out to the freezing air,
past the suburbs, the Ministry of Global Affairs,
up to the region of gathering winds.

It’ll be like a giant’s delicate hand.
I’ll be like a winged horse ride.
It’ll be like a police searchlight.

(first published in The Harlequin)

ack: Poets & Players, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester 2012


Italy to Lord

It's dark in here and forest green: Britannica,
sixteen oak trees in a London living room,
the little girl my mother in the bookcase glass.
Italy, Ithaca, Izmail, Japan, each page a mainsail
turning, HMS Discovery, none of the rivers
of southern Italy is of any great importance.

Like birds on long-haul flight, let not seas
or deserts, cliffs or icy mountain-tops
impede you. Jews, Kabir, Kabul, Kaffir,
from up here all seems clear (all evil in the world's
ascribed to Maya or illusion), then home at last
returned from all those navigable miles

to Lichen, Linnet, Logic, London, to find
a century has passed - the forest's cleared,
the animals all bared and scorched, the gold
all brought to light. I look into the glass,
discover there myself in dense shade, deep
and shadowy as on any wooded island.

(first published in Poetry Review: video)

Return to: POEMS