After Bill Viola’s 'Tiny Deaths'
Flock of flags in prayer
run the imagined edge
of a brick-backed
Portobello council flat.
In colour faded by wind and rain
spelling out a story
of grass and granite,
beach and the spring
of salt-water spray,
the thin line between
earth and rock.
No I shall not
call that music; it is more
the cry of a foghorn,
the nights when the
rain is a mist of wet air.
The keenings and the darkness.
When the figures come,
their bodies just visible
before stepping out into light.
I am blinded by what
they saw. Shadows moving
on a wall of
and a car passing by.
Walk around with me; it is a small town exploding.
Everywhere, the next & the next & the next cycle ad infinitum -
It is a town wrapped in the space of concrete;
blocks cluster in-between.
I want breath for I have seen hills & swamps,
a thousand towers rise and split into air.
I have seen air and want to remember it.
Do not think about place; it is an idea.
Do not think about absence; it is here.
Here by the shore I must rest and wait for red lanterns to rise like red love hearts.
In the dark water I see their reflections as ripples & stars,
like an explosion of hearts; like stars exploding into moon.
All the performers from Anti-Glasto edition
In the noise of everyday things, comes speech
of the kind that tries to talk in repeated motion;
mulch to the grounds of thought,
the grist and grind of machines on the whir.
They whisper in your dreams and, when you wake,
have cleaned the dishes, washed the clothes,
carried you down past canal boats and cars,
past mechanism, into a digital age.
Where things hum an alien, unknowable language
of binary and buzz.
‘Hunters in the Snow’ poem going live on Helen Ivory’s webzine, Ink Sweat & Tears on 15th April.
Those great folk at Scratch That Hackney have kindly allowed me to perform on Thursday. So, if you fancy some live poetry, music, comedy and theatre, drop by Thursday 6th March, Hackney Picturehouse, 7.30pm.
Click for link to tickets:
Scratch that Hackney
along which I travel
pulled by wire
with passing traffic
a train draws in
A truck grunts and heaves up the hill
beyond Vigeland Park. Far off hammering
carries on the winter’s air.
Nestled in the wood, the leaves
cut under trees an arc
round open ground of glacier and ice.
A beech dreams of new life and flings
its arms to the sky.
The leaf is a microcosm;
its fringes are fjords
rounding the top of an undiscovered headland.
The sides fold over,
parchment in prayer of russet and vein;
what it whispers is as untranslatable
as a winter’s day.
A flock of paper birds,
Prayer flags fluttering in the breeze.