from SHUT DOWN


"glossy granite"
 
Glossy granite
   why shouldn't I play
   a bagpipe dance in my heart?
It's smoky and dimlit
   long paths lead away
 
 
 
"in trees"
 
The larches are bunched here
Touch big blocks
& slender, dwindling into the haze
 
They put out the colours of my pencil box.
The larch twigs in my socks
The holly leaves in my arse
The dead bracken the colour of pencils on the
    gladefloor, on the path that isn't
               really a path...
 
The bracken in my face, a stem
with no lead in it, crackles
 
 

"soft bourgeois poem"
 
In the long field the plough
cuts slivers of long brown earth
rich with the scent of dung
& flecked with ancient
terracotta crumbs.
 
Steam rises from the horses' backs
& the steady stream of piss.
They are working up the gull-shouldered picture
in the magazine. Rhubarb & coconut crumble;
yellow melt floating
on the warm surface of the cream.
 
 

"the world is lovely"
 
The world is lovely, and especially its green rind,
and the animals tunnelling through it
from one glimpse of sky to another;
hammerblow to hammerblow,
pig eating grain.
 
 

"thousand island dressing"
slop it over nothing
 
the thin water in the pond slops with piranha-swirl;
 
the frogs come singly through the night, pausing
 
after every stroke, to enjoy what their fixed eyes show.
 
Their plastic bodies have become saturated with desire
 
- Arboreal bodies, plumper with history -
 
and their anxious ears are impELLed by
 
deep, lingering rottles. Celandines swell from the turf,
 
the cloudcover humps up into a cloudbank,
 
the layers of cloud spread curdled
 
releasing inlets of light into the warm under-air.
 
I'm blinking on the tarmac, I brushed winter dirt
 
from the red bonnet of my car. If I'd been out here
 
already I would understand this more buoyant word
 
but the car-keys are already in my hand. Two of them,
one for each eye. So
 
I drove somewhere, as if I'd gone down into the
engine-room of my own muscles and pulled a few levers.
It's the only way, driving, of staying on the map.
 
The place I drove to was a garden sprouting with grass,
and the pots were water-logged.
 
The thin water bobbles into mounds of frogspawn;
the frogs bask in their reproduction, paddling
in the small, important hemisphere of the pond.
With the home-feeling reassuring them, they sit
with their heads out breathing. Their fixed eyes enjoy it,
and their powerful ears scan the big hemisphere
from the smaller importance which is a mush
and a mild bivouac into which they can dive
more snugly and still bigger than before.
Their fixed eyes are slowly absorbing restlessness -
there is no home.
 
 

"home"
 
You read a newspaper to avoid finding anything out.
You jump into a car to avoid going anywhere.
You worm your way around the magnified grey
        wrinkles of a pollengrain: Home.



"zenith 2"
 
my heart is a flame
when it is evening,
coming in to shore.
 
The clouds for the moment are a
  floriferous ceiling
  veined like mallows
 
there are no horiz
on-hymns impor
ting their hints
 
only the sombre shadow
of an imperfect engine
right here.
 
They thin away leaving
  a racetrack for swifts
  strimming invisible manna
  from a box of light, yeah.
 
in one diamond
are all Steve Howe's guitars
radiating, as in the photo.
We went on a long, hot
walk and found an offy
drank barley-wine in a ditch
 
The black swift gobs gold,
  adjusting.
 
I might have seen too much
to see the sparkling mallow flower.
But not the drooping leaves
of a lime tree, streaked with
yellow bracts. Old men are
working at old jobs,
preparing idle reports. Perhaps
they haven't the go to meet
a deadline.
 
our black trousers – mine
had a filthy hanky in the pocket,
stiff with a summer cold.
 
now I'll tilt a Bonaqua bottle
to the sky – it is pierced with
sunshine. It's impossible
for me to do more
than libate the drooping lime.
 
Blue aspiration, baffled journey.
  Aching I lay down, my mind
  etched, willow with slim leaves
  waved aerial grass,
  mottled maple crested
  its branched history
 
our long school ties & our
long hair. I wish it had been
a real friendship john this roaming
from the school I hated into
hendrix yes faust into
long dusty roads guitar guitar
with mallow flowers.
 
The phone rings. They make
some arrangements, perhaps
to be faxed, and while this is happening
someone bring an A4-size lid
with plastic cups of icy water.
And the desk-fans move about.
 
I have completed the story:
now for the judging.
 
the sun is not so high,
it pierces through the green grass
making it luminescent
in its own shadows
 
(I wish I was that stick-insect
who re-evolved wings...)
 
I had no sorrow, only pain.
Tomorrow would be as blue,
glistening like an insect's eyes.
 
The swifts sheared over the guttering,
   a dog's distance made a continuity
  which was a pulse. I heard the
  summer, the sun dipping.
 

         © Michael Peverett 2004