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High Street Shrines (Excerpt)
Outside of this place, I see only martyrs of death
to causes, stitching bone to bone, always
without equal. The emptiness of holes in the holy
wells of saints. There are too many flowers now,
not in the elysian fields of England's green
and pleasant land, nor bouquets for wedding feasts
or worn, bright garlands in their hair for peace,
they lie on stony ground, wreath upon wreath,
each singular death takes on a collective grief,
commemorates, not battles fought, but indiscriminate
shrapnel, absorbed by moving bodies on tarmached thoroughfares
This is the price of war, I see now
in the glass which once held them whole, shopping bags posters slashed, bodies shattered by their bombs,
not bargained for but given freely in this cut price War High street shrines are shopping centre malls.Museum
wells of saints. Pieces
Extracts from a sequence of poems 'Tracing events'
The night vogage around a foetus of indistinct regions
Everything is alive, the stones the leaves
The trees, they speak to me in whispers
Of the mountain leaf, the milkweed beetle
The howling of the banshee in half remembered landscapes.
The light of the glow worm, the deathwatch beetle,
Upturned logs, and the dark brown toad I found underneath it
Reminding me of ancestors long forgotten. Its sad eyes
Levelling the surface of the water; like a socket of white
Perspective, fused into the brown and black edges
Of a circular eye glass, nudging a black hole,
Waiting for darkness and the night voyage
Around a foetus of indistinct regions.
Beneath small patches of cloud
People are moving, like rain
On the hard ground, petals of blossom
Stick to my hand, like a branch,
A tree, walking, absorbing
Water into my skin, my hair
Hanging root like from my face
I go to them, but they fade.
Fade, in the leaves and the stones
Passing through me. fading. Moving
To seed in the earth's black sun.
Moving to leaf and stone.
The sound of the word,
Travelling the surface, seeking openings
But coming back to the mouths echo,
And the stone, without answer.
Wafer thin, through foetal inlets
Between my eyes dissolve's dew
White embryos in the tall grass.
A bleached vacuum, white wrapping
The stillness around me. Nests bite
Black holes in the sky, trees rise
Towards clouds shading eyes as silver
Seams of green dance trembling leaps
In the mesh white sky. Has no one seen
What I have seen, shudder, stillborn
In the rooted ground? Mounds of earth
Open and shut, throwing up bones, ancestors
Long forgotten, in the upturned soil
They lie in chalk gardens, bricked in
Their padded nests, bodies disconnected
Arms and legs, squat, shredding skin on glass grass.