If you are hearing these words
then our efforts were futile.
We were an ant trying to halt
an avalanche, a single voice
trying to cross the endless void.
I was no-one important, a bureaucrat
following the train tracks left
by countless generations. Not many
of us can switch tracks or derail without
wrenching metal and screaming sparks.
I record this message as an emissary
from the past, from your former government,
but it will be clear to all of you listening
You are a grizzled space marine
reporting for duty on the SS Hermes.
Humanity faces a new and terrible threat.
You are our only hope for survival.
Whilst saving the galaxy, why not
look stylish with optional upgrades?
(The waking world is a buried memory.)
Superhumans swarm above your head
battling an ancient foe, standing up
for what is good and just. You must
stay on the ground and duck for cover,
having never fallen in radioactive waste-
but you can buy their merchandise.
When storm clouds spell put your name,
it's hard not to take it personally.
Shifting letters, miles high, grow heavy
and dark as they fill the sky.
Sunshine appears in patches, a
mismatched jigsaw. When you step in,
it flickers and fades, the fuse board blown.
Rain, when it decides to fall,
seeks you out, small homing missiles,
following your frantic steps down the street.
As it slams into your ears, soaks through
your cheap anorak, it whispers threats,
drawn from details you only told...
The dates are always unknown.
It is never scheduled or planned.
Rumours circulated it was banned.
A few news in brief articles
stoked our speculations. Years passed
and life happened. It was forgotten.
Until yesterday, when unusual sunlight
kissed bare skin and breeze blew blossom
making confetti. We started driving
when we saw flashes on the horizon,
bright purples and oranges that
swooped and darted and flickered.
Moving down the road, we saw it all;
saw the fishes and birds jiving
Thousands of seagulls descended
yesterday on one street corner.
The air was thick with wings,
No-one thought it strange.
We are a cracked river bed
just before it dries out,
water still barely flowing,
leaving rock and rust deposits
snaking down bare hillside.
Lead and mercury storm clouds
appear overhead in seconds.
We dodge and weave between
rains of first generation iPods,
avoid fax machine strikes.
Streams run green with lithium.
We breathe in chlorine and
we are grateful for it.
Plane trails cross the sky,
thin lines from one hub to another
Small boats over the ocean
drag the same white trails behind.
On a blank page, write out the names
of everyone you've ever known
even passing acquaintances and colleagues
you haven't said a single word to.
Then draw lines of connection.
You will have a map of the cosmos
and a diagram of an molecule.
From above at night, the cities
towns, villages and roads are glowing
cells and veins. Grids are subsumed.
The past whispers in your ear
when sleep seems so distant
with tales and promises told
in sweet singing tones
"Society was better then,
if only you could go back."
Still humming a forgotten tune
it pulls you out of the bed
and towards the floorboards
where the sour and sweet smell
rises from underneath. "Damp
has set into the bones now,
nothing left but a slow descent
into disorder and anarchy.
If only you could go back."
Lies, of course. The rot
That morning had the clarity of a story,
we whirled and spun around each other,
hypnotised by the orbits we wove
and the stars above us were **[Redacted]**.
Looking in your eyes, perfect models
of the galaxy, with the central black
hole eating all light, I exclaimed
"**[Redacted- Harm to Ongoing Matter]"**
In that moment, everything made sense.
The closest I have felt to epiphany.
You, [Redacted], laughed and replied "**[Redacted]**"
as spring blossom erupted around us.
The feeling faded, confusion reigned again,
The sea is a distant silver chain
hugging the horizon.
Wind laughs, dances and sprints
giddy at the space.
Grains bounce and tumble through
her outstretched palms,
each and every falling dot
The shore-line sighs and is erased
by the careful, precise hands
of advancing waves.
Names, messages and castles
blur, then vanish.
Wind tires herself out and calms,
dampens the sea peaks.
The hidden beach slumbers underwater
waiting for the tide to turn.
All the poems I wrote last...
Stranded in the nothing,
spinning like a planet
My thoughts are still and calm
like the first light of dawn
through willow branches at home,
which I will not see again.
Giving myself to chance
I start to count all the
different types of infinities.
One slip and I fell upwards,
my body only a loose collection
of dust,rejoining the cosmos.
I glance over my years,still
calm. Each moment inevitable.
As oxygen runs low, all I see
is orange, red, blue and white.
I ask the rain for answers
but it offers no reply,
just a gentle tip tip tap
annointing my forehead.
I want to speak the same words
as the indifferent sun
or babble with the brooks
in quiet flowing tones.
So much remains unknown.
In thousands of lifetimes
we may, together, learn a word
of an infinite lexicon.
I try to converse with the wind
but it does not answer back.
With soft and tender hands
it ruffles through my hair.
The sun sinks into the ocean
sending vivid indigos and ambers
to erupt like fireworks over the sky.
The water is a perfect mirror,
no horizon visible.
We grade it two point three
out of five- could do better.
Reality isn't real enough.
Lost in somatic slumbers
we crave the perfect waves,
the right breeze over flawless skin
brighter colours, deeper saturation,
higher resolution than our eyes can process
Always seeking rare sensations
to drown the silence deep.
All the poems I wrote last year are available as an ebook for free. It's...
We ask for guidance from eternal stars
burning above our heads in the night sky.
They are too distant, the void too vast,
the cosmic fires never answer our cry.
Movements we thought once to be signs of hope,
we thought they were suspended in æther.
Now we know, when we peer into our scopes,
they are long dead and sound won't carry either.
Our atoms once were forged within their flames
before gravity spun our fragile sphere
Now no connection or link does remain.
Now falls the night. We are alone down here.
One time, he marched down six flights
then, panting, demanded the manager,
argued his way into a room change. Any other
number would do, would keep him safe,
but those digits were cursed. He wouldn't
even walk in. He never stepped on pavement
cracks despite his mother turning to dust,
burnt sage and rosemary to cleanse the spirits
from his flat built in the eighties,
was always polite to magpies. In this way,
the unknown was kept in fierce control.
Life continued to intrude, long and
yet brief. He would not like this...
You would not know me in this form.
My face shifts and is never still
like the empty dunes that whistle
so sweetly or the swaying branches.
If inclined, I will fill your sails
with the steady direction of home,
and help your seeds scatter over soil.
But my origins and allegiances can change.
Within a cloth bag, I keep my rage.
Do not provoke me or otherwise
I will untie the intricate knot
and watch your houses take flight.
All the poems I wrote last year are available as an ebook...