Stride Magazine - www.stridemagazine.co.uk

 

PROSPECTING MIRRORS

1
Face values as received are making make-believe
the slightest area of sky is multi-layered     myth
comes chrome and coloured as a gift     its four
wheels leaving the road for dead     you know for
loving me read loving them     is this the song I
can’t shake off?     dull interests are laying claim
to waste     for what it’s worth     velocity is all
the rage     off-loading light for nothing     oh my
word it’s not the dark streets underwrite escape


2
Fast running out of cloud     I’m ready for sense
and worse     for less specific dreaming     much
like kindergarten now as then     the atmosphere’s
uncoloured and pre-ordained     returns to gravity
the simple silvering of minnows     note     my
instant disappearing     act of the first held frog
to jump     my misquote surely     life’s the better
half of dream     what shock is there like waking?
breaking     the same and different world in two


3
To the one unsound proposition add another
continuous mad creation     here in my history of
hope I sometimes think it didn’t happen     horrors
it did     new colour programmes faked the longed
for smile     perspectives catching tenderness in
tow     less abstract now as the days go by more
private     home is the last invention     flowers fill
every room     imagine a study underlit by stars
by arrangement     an angel to spread its wings


4
Closeness     this and everything worth working
on     under fire     by fireside hand to hand
efficiencies achieved     nights blessed with simple
recognition     better I’m told to keep the rest of
it under lock and key     especially now with the
word out closing deals     her claim she’d once
seen Eros ‘flying’…      which going by the book
proved hard     not that she’d place a bet on it
love’s fanciful weather     and safety coming first


5
Sunflowers and mercury     climbing higher and
falling out between the words     if only I’d got
away     not warmer climes but a half-day enter-
tained without a cloud     old friends to bargain
with in a present unsubscribed to loss     take
this on trust     love’s moment even as it burns
today my well-thumbed pages take the world
on     at its own game     chance is as good as it
ever gets     blue brochures seeing off the light


6
Friend     friend in a hurry make it happen     as
maybe the powers will not     subdue     or be
subdued     we’re still at the checkout     smiling
grave goods in their golden true proportion all
stack up     belief?     it’s a total education     get
some fresh air     in a word be true to form
the gift is in repair     who knows the half of it
when all day’s lost account is found in balance
heaven send     the index knows its own






PRE-WINTER MANIFEST

Night with its overdose     electrons crowding the
circuit     so life becomes but once too memorable
a window overgrown     for paradox     too bright

Blue     in a sudden band     an envelope     whatever
registers enough is sure to be contained     there’s
no persuading     what stops what leaves     its trace

An eye for shadow     not looking for reasons
even rests its case     here’s willing all across the
spectrum     any gleam can settle out of court

Highlights and rain     in mind     and then to see
what answers turn away     in two dimensions there
is something and nothing     precious in the air

The verb ‘to bear’ repeats itself     no stopping
the red reminder     was it yesterday     that now
plays up     good grace is actual     knows its place

Another field it was     resolved     and not the
first time saved     these maples     hard along the
edge the traffic     in its shifting     amplifying red





DRY SPELL (IN ITALICS)

Landscape jaundiced...     certain grasses bending

To us the most elaborate     and close inspection
Of a world we knew     our backpacks overloaded
Green?     we’d strayed too far from home     too
Independent for our or anyone’s good     removed

By Winter     brilliant crystalline     and challenging
That text     its lordly ash and aspen working
Over an eye-changing state     the truth elliptical
If obvious     by evening quick to find us     out

And calling     cancelling the ‘yellow word’     fool-
Hardy in its moment     what the word imposed
Was out of true     the weather changed become
A slant     now clear enough to read its downpour

Suite with words     a light unsaturating rain...





PERADVENTURE

Bare boards for the most part     furniture

In store    the woodlice are making the most
Of easy come and     by the time this light
Is needed     go     quick miniatures     of...
Composition     the easy breaks short-ordered
However they come     untried and devious?
To make themselves and all things scarce

If inspirational     a witness     guesses granted
Via a page of glass unframed     light riddles
My halfway house with tenderness and grief
What’s creeping in and out of fact is distance
Heaven knows and I won’t believe it     words
Dear nature cram your spreadsheet     do me

How you will     and never mind     the nicks
Fixed hieroglyphs are turning every shadow
Out of old estates     tree-fringed now dark
As the moment     making it hard     by folly
By starlit ornamental pond     the dogs sniff
Nothing out     exquisite prints they’re frantic

Off cross-country as the word is     patched
To mend     it’s a bosky text whose storm-
Fed rills I gamble on     hope’s bender bare
And a habit doing the meanest favour     why
Not take it     so be over the worst     excess
Love’s last attention sketched by dawn     a

Ring-fenced future     bramble & climbing rose





LOVERS’ LEAP: PART SONG

Classic fiction    of poetry and legend’s
England     a dream out over the pond
Half-way...     holds ghosts per million
Counting parts     pale midges a water

Drop could scatter but when or where
It’s guessing     a light keeps shadow
Busy     and makes the best of company
Unknown     unpractised in the art of

Leaping     head back feet up into the sky
There dizzy to keep a watchful eye on
Nothing     it’s good no news is     even
The going my underfoot     accepting

Which plain life’s abbreviated     a fair
Account of virtue     hanging on every
Word the rope pays out     undone
Oak’s greeny-gold affair     left over-

Hanging     soon enough grubbed up
Put paid to     guilt?     remember well
I do like nothing else remember     so
The story goes     it licks its wounds



          © Peter Dent 2003