Introduction:

“…just don’t make the mistake of thinking the white sheet is nothing. It’s nothing for your novelist, your journalist, your blogger. For those folks it’s a tabula rasa, a giving surface. For a poet it’s half of everything. If you don’t know how to use it you are writing prose. If you write poems that you might call free and I might call unpatterned then skillful, intelligent use of the whiteness is all you’ve got. Put more practically, line-breaks is all you’ve got, and if you don’t master line-break – the border between poetry and prose – then you don’t know there is a border. And there is a border.” p.11-12 ON POETRY by Glyn Maxwell

The Watershed microsite is an on-line ‘open’ poetry notebook. It holds everything from notes on poetic forms, to drafts, to finished poems.

I don’t make any claim to be an accomplished poet, in fact in making this an ‘open’ notebook I feel rather exposed and surprised by my own presumption that perhaps others might think its contents worthy of reading.

I’m publishing the notebook not because I think the poems are particularly good, many are not, but because it’s as much about sharing ideas as it is about poems.

I enjoy playing with words. They’re another strategy for exploring place, memory, affect and connectedness. They form part of my wider deep mapping & navigating project, more information on this can be found on my main museum-of-thin-objects website.

The title watershed was chosen for its double connotation of:

shed – a place in which to metaphorically potter, think, doodle and dream

watershed – denoting an event or period marking a turning point in a situation

it’s a start

The poem takes as its starting point the creation story in Genesis. It’s been hanging around unfinished for many years. Perhaps it’s time I worked on it again?

Again the earliest draft can be found at the bottom of the post, the latest at the top…


DRAFT: 24.04.2017

day1

formless vacuums
barren oceans suck and sigh,
eternally inert

[…] dark dark dark… and there, insomecoldcorner, a naked man, some hu-man sits […] white eyes straining […] seeking out, staring out the dark, so, so, sooo scared, spooked by the blackness, the emptiness, the ash cloth, snot and sacking down-and-dirty endless night, spooked, by endless fears no rictus grin can fix […] any smile’s a fraud clumsy-sutured to a head held low […] time hangs heavy […] time hangs around […] time’s a bulging lead-laden bag… a monkey […] on his broad back digging in… clay-clung boots slowing a sprinter’s spirit. “What are words? How to describe […] just describe […] the noth-ing-ness. Are you my smug, my close, my friendorfiend? What relation is the black stuff – let’s call it ‘IT’ – to me? A lover? Jailor? Bosom-buddy? “Harvey, Harvey, such big ears!” All the better to hear first sound…” […] First response from darkness comes as sssh! […] “Hello my old friend… Shall we walk together hand-in-handing, never ending into the black, coal black black of this ever ever night? Or shall we simply sit together dark&me, enjoying a tell-a-tale or two, tall-tale telling to keep the wolf from the door? Come on, draw close, settle in this enormous echoey, spaceless space, endless, formless, hopeless silent husssh… Pull up pull closer, it will happen here. Right here. In time, over time, then time, after time… form will form here from shapelessness, light will pierce this […] this […] this whatever it is. Count the ‘it’ down, one trillion to one… that single starting digit IS a-coming. Roll the number round ya tongue, roll some dice and ‘bingo’ [!] click, click, clickerty, click… First light’s now not so very far away. Been a long time a-coming… click, click, clickerty… […] Darkness I dare you to become!

krakatoa beckoning
life igniting, fire and light
banishing the void

day 2

flitting shadows,
showing fleetness of foot, raise
admiring glances

“See it! […] LOOK! […] Do you see it too? See hope? […] Is THAT what HOPE looks like? A feint so feint a skeen, a stain of not-so-black? A thread of silvery optimism… an accord, a cord drawing us forward, drawing us together? […] See ‘form’, first-time forms, no names for mass or solid or shape or God knows what / God don’t know what / God’s run out of words… already. […] “Ink flows from my soles, my heels spring shadows so very beautifully! Contrasty black and white. Exquisite b&w – this is light […] arriving! The man’s spirit […] is soaring. Today is the day, the Day… THE DAY. What to call this non-black? Can’t call it dog no more. This is something… new! This is THE first day, when day shapes form, when solids fill voids as shapes, become concrete forms dancing in light filled space.”

monochromatic
hieroglyphs curlicue
across a virgin sky

day3

gitty, ginnel-less
rainstorm gullied habitats
in border countryside

give voice to the ungovernable collisions in the dark […] bring into being […] re-order […] re-define […] make concrete make a-new […] from blackness bring forth artichokes […] from strength bring forth sweetness; bring anthills, aadvarks, antimacassars; all the ‘A’ hays, ‘B’ bees and ‘C’ seas… nail ’em […] reveal with NAMES […] it’s the tell-time of name-calling […] nar, nar, nee nar, nar […] an end to nameless night yip, yip! […] […] air over cords, vibration in motion, articulated, calculated humming into being […] a grunt/belch/banter/blether SOUND! […] […] let language be the golden chain linking things ’til we meet again And, what about the points and points and stabs the air [..] those peaks, the troughs the forehead or elbow no hill and dale […] attach identity / attack identity […] make noise make meaning […] fill shadows with sound […] hillock, hummock, molehill, mountaintop, peak, summit, tip-top uppity tippitty-topmost – what about the belly of the… the… whale? sound it out, say it all, yes, that sounds like it, and if the name is right… it sticks

sinuous language
insinuating solid shapes
liberating form

day4

a human being,
noisy upright triangle
of heartache and bone

starry, sorry night.[…] one night outside, remember, drunk all afternoon, then off on-off out on an adventure outside, sunny sleepy, early afternoon, after early doors, up and off out, out-of-it lovers, a boyfriend along to watch for the dance, beery merry cruelly summery sunny dance, round&around, up&down, hot&wet through tears, his tears how bad, being out, one a night under stars together – alone – together – not alone – messily together […] the longed-for two an aching sad three, the unwelcome other swallowing kisses and tongues and choking and going off exploring, making excuses, giving the green light on a purple bruise of a night, a blackberry stained purple black evening, cherry black, sexy deaf and very dumb black, sighing black, not-so-silent black black low night of surreptitious touches, whispered kisses, a seductive black, web, veil […] […] lying together, liars in a field beneath a spreading tree, liars lay and speechless star into the roistering pin-point cat n’ dog tales, the dot-to-dot stories of the starlit sky above , awe and with some slight trace of imagination seeing some scattered-up-there dust of light, pin – pricks – of somewhere/someone else, the victor&vanquished, the lover&loser, dot to dotting, constellating creating momentary harmoneee […] […] in the valley in the dark, in the pub the people laugh out loud too loud and drunkenly […] on the moor, above the treeline, they’re laid together ‘llicitly […] in the town, along the valley bottom families gorge the goggle box and watch the clock […] on the moor and out of earshot liars plan to skinny dip and steal another night or two or three […] ignore the stars give it up give it up, revel in the thunderstorming micro-drama of this moment regret it at leisure the bump down the line

the indivisible
soon to be tripartite,
adam, eve and snake

day5

multitudes, miriad
swarmings swimming in the air
seething on the land

creepers and crawlers and minute multiplicity […] those damned wasps, a waving and wafting of panicky hands flap-flapping “Get them away from me!” […] the buzzing and mithering, the leeching and the murmuring susurrations of blood-sucking mozzies  “They like you, you’ve got sweet blood.” […] the soporific hummings of pollinating bumblings ‘cross rosy flowerheads […] carcass-eviscerating bluebottles contentedly supping on regurgitated corpses, shit-shovelling dung beetles, pus-loving maggots warmed in piscatorial mouths when fishing for sticklebacks – or minnowings – trout tickling casting the rod in search of a bite […] the fish flap and all about, the birds and the bees…

In a top room beneath the dusty eaves two still-kids snuck-a-fuck believing it would prove just how utterly grown-up they had become. It was a rusty, noisy, rattling bedstead, goose-feather coupling, pillows pricking chops and wet thighs, a snuffling and huffing sweating, sighing, secret sexing, sussh-susshing into the short darkness of a summer’s evening. A cruciform impregnation.

memory is composed
of slug and snails, countless lies
those puppy dog tales

day6

there was an old woman
who swallowed and awful lot
unable to cope, she died

dogging, hung-like-a-donkey, trouser snake, horsing around, slippery-as-an-eel, stubborn- as-a-mule, you ass fish-face!, dog-tired, pissed-as-a-newt, elephant-in-the-room, bull-in-a-china-shop, red-rag-to… the same, wise-as-an-owl, couldn’t-give-a-hoot, weasel, rat-fink, crocodile tears, British Bulldog 1-2-3, snake-eyes, dead dog, black dog, hang dog, dog tired, whole hog, chameleon, horse-trader, cat-burglar, eagle-eyed, scare-dy cat, cat got your tongue, cat-got-the-cream, sex-kitten and dinosaur […]

all the creatures of the Earth […] arriving, departing, passing-through, coming-and-going a-billing and a-cooing, bobbing and a-weaving, shitting and someone a-shovelling barking and a-biting, more shitting, really no shitting, effluvia a go go… the animals come in two-by-two [no that comes later another story all together] woo-woo, trumpet too, and woof, quack, yap, snap, snuffle. The animal carnival’s a-coming to town. Da da daddera dat dat dar – what a lark got to be a linnet to be in it and spot the heavy-trunked, chunky-chunked, naked, bedraggled satyr, wild-eyed, sky-staring, not-so-very-brave a man… a singleton, but not the only one

before the eve of eve
a time of loneliness
and solo soul-searching

day7

sweet bri-on-y, herb
rob-ert, the hedge-rows flow-er
under a summer sky

is this the end of time without time enough – no more busy, buzzy, headlong, working days – lost  the list, no need for it – the crowded schedule, gone, time to savour breath after breath-less-ness where’s the hammock, this drowsy day? who’s that beneath the straw hat sleeping? what meaning lies behind the enigmatic smile – is it a glimpse of sat-is-faction, a job well done? is this what happ-in-ess is? is heaven in the laughter?  “o’course, sure it is!” such a lazy, sunny afternoon, trout jumping, campfire, kettle boiling the water for tin mugs of tea, crochet blanket laid, wheatfield friendships, laughter lounging in the wine, the time to enjoy a cold glass, shoot the crap, roll back, head in a field of sun-kissed summer daisies making pictures from cotton wool clouds – a dancing horse, no bear, no outline of a buffalo… the rugs are down on the sun-warmed ground, the children race around and through the adult’s boozy tran-quil-it-y this purplest, haziest [possibly momentary or is this as it should be] afternoon […] later, heavy lids, silly grinny gurning making the kids guffaw […] a lover, a kiss on a balding pate, a fond rub of a close-to-hairless bonce causing a grin to spread with whispers of after-children-are-abed promises… this ain’t no red herring, no muguffin, no word of a lie, this is here and now, and this is… it! isn’t this the life? and why can’t it, ain’t it, always always like this?

purple after rainfall
gunmetal thunderstorms
a world coloured in /
the world’s lush vividness

purple after rainfall
gunmetal thunderstorms
everything so vivid



DRAFT: 22.04.2017

poss. new title:
the start
the start of things
the start
sex – it’s the start of things
spring eternal
etc.

day1

Genesis 1:1-5 God created the heavens and the earth. “The heavens” refers to everything beyond the earth, outer space. The earth is made but not formed in any specific way, although water is present. God then speaks light into existence. He then separates the light from the dark and names the light “day” and the dark “night.” This creative work occurs from evening until morning – one day.

formless vacuums
barren oceans suck and sigh,
eternally inert

[…] dark dark Dark… and there, insomecoldcorner, a naked man, some hu-man… he sits […] white eyes straining […] seeking out, staring out the Dark, so, so, sooo scared of the Dark, spooked by the blackness, the emptiness, the ash cloth, snot and sacking down-and-dirty endless night, spooked, by endless fears no rictus grin can fix […] any smile’s a fraud clumsy-sutured to a head held low […] time hangs heavy […] time hangs around […] time’s a bulging lead-laden bag… a monkey […] on his broad back digging in… clay-clung boots slowing a sprinter’s spirit. “What are words? How to describe […] just describe […] the noth-ing-ness. Are you my smug, my close, my friendorfiend? What relation is the black stuff – let’s call it ‘IT’ – to me? A lover? Jailor? Bosom-buddy? “Harvey, Harvey, such big ears!” All the better to hear first sound…” […] First response from darkness comes as sssh! […] “Hello my old friend… Shall we walk together hand-in-handing, never ending into the black, coal black black of this ever ever night? Or shall we simply sit together dark&me, enjoying a tell-a-tale or two, tall-tale telling to keep the wolf from the door? Come on, draw close, settle in this enormous echoey, spaceless space, endless, formless, hopeless silent husssh… Pull up pull closer, it will happen here. Right here. In time, over time, then time, after time… form will form here from shapelessness, light will pierce this […] this […] this whatever it is. Count the ‘it’ down, one trillion to one… that single starting digit IS a-coming. Roll the number round ya tongue, roll some dice and ‘bingo’ [!] click, click, clickerty, click… First light’s now not so very far away. Been a long time a-coming… click, click, clickerty… […] Darkness I dare you become!

krakatoa beckoning
life igniting, fire and light
banishing the void

day 2

(Genesis 1:6-8) God creates the sky. The sky forms a barrier between water upon the surface and the moisture in the air. At this point earth would have an atmosphere. This creative work occurs in one day.

flitting shadows,
showing fleetness of foot, raise
admiring glances

“See it! […] LOOK! […] Do you see it too? See hope? […] Is THAT what HOPE looks like? A feint so feint a skeen, a stain of not-so-black? A thread of silvery optimism… an accord, a cord drawing us forward, drawing us together? […] See ‘form’, first-time forms, no names for mass or solid or shape or God knows what / God don’t know what / God’s run out of words… already. […] “Ink flows from my soles, my heels spring shadows so very beautifully! Contrasty black and white. Exquisite b&w – this is light […] arriving! The man’s spirit […] is soaring. Today is the day, the Day… THE DAY. What to call this non-black? Can’t call it dog no more. This is something… new! This is THE first day, when day shapes form, when solids fill voids as shapes, become concrete forms dancing in light filled space.”

monochromatic
hieroglyphs curlicue
across a virgin sky

day 3 

(Genesis 1:9-13) God creates dry land. Continents and islands are above the water. The large bodies of water are named “seas” and the ground is named “land.” God declares that all this is good.

God creates all plant life both large and small. He creates this life to be self-sustaining; plants have the ability to reproduce. The plants were created in great diversity (many “kinds”). The earth was green and teeming with plant life. God declares that this work is also good. This creative work takes one day.

gitty, ginnel-less
rainstorm gullied habitats
in border countryside

give voice to the ungovernable collisions in the dark […] bring into being […] re-order […] re-define […] make concrete make a-new […] from blackness bring forth artichokes […] from strength bring forth sweetness; bring anthills, aadvarks, antimacassars; all the ‘A’ hays, ‘B’ bees and ‘C’ seas… nail ’em […] reveal with NAMES […] it’s the tell-time of name-calling […] nar, nar, nee nar, nar […] an end to nameless night yip, yip! […] […] air over cords, vibration in motion, articulated, calculated humming into being […] a grunt/belch/banter/blether SOUND! […] […] let language be the golden chain linking things ’til we meet again And, what about the points and points and stabs the air [..] those peaks, the troughs the forehead or elbow no hill and dale […] attach identity / attack identity […] make noise make meaning […] fill shadows with sound […] hillock, hummock, molehill, mountaintop, peak, summit, tip-top uppity tippitty-topmost – what about the belly of the… the… whale?
sound it out, say it all, yes, that sounds like it, and if the name is right… it sticks.

sinuous language
insinuating solid shapes
liberating form

day4

(Genesis 1:14-19) God creates all the stars and heavenly bodies. The movement of these will help man track time. Two great heavenly bodies are made in relation to the earth. The first is the sun which is the primary source of light and the moon which reflects the light of the sun. The movement of these bodies will distinguish day from night. This work is also declared to be good by God. This creative work takes one day.

a human being,
noisy upright triangle
of heartache and bone

a human being,
noisy upright triangle 
of skin, bone and heart

starry, sorry night.[…] one night outside, remember, drunk all afternoon, then off on-off out on an adventure outside, sunny sleepy, early afternoon, after early doors, up and off out, out-of-it lovers, a boyfriend along to watch for the dance, beery merry cruelly summery sunny dance, round&around, up&down, hot&wet through tears, his tears how bad, being out, one a night under stars together – alone – together – not alone – messily together […] the longed-for two an aching sad three, the unwelcome other swallowing kisses and tongues and choking and going off exploring, making excuses, giving the green light on a purple bruise of a night, a blackberry stained purple black evening, cherry black, sexy deaf and very dumb black, sighing black, not-so-silent black black low night of surreptitious touches, whispered kisses, a seductive black, web, veil […]  […] lying together, liars in a field beneath a spreading tree, liars lay and speechless star into the roistering pin-point cat n’ dog tales, the dot-to-dot stories of the starlit sky above , awe and with some slight trace of imagination seeing some scattered-up-there dust of light, pin – pricks – of somewhere/someone else, the victor&vanquished, the lover&loser, dot to dotting, constellating creating momentary harmoneee […] […] in the valley in the dark, in the pub the people laugh out loud too loud and drunkenly […] on the moor, above the treeline, they’re laid together ‘llicitly […] in the town, along the valley bottom families gorge the goggle box and watch the clock […] on the moor and out of earshot liars plan to skinny dip and steal another night or two or three […] ignore the stars give it up give it up, revel in the thunderstorming micro-drama of this moment  regret it at leisure the bump down the line

the indivisible
became tripartite, “happy days!”
adam, eve and snake

day5

(Genesis 1:20-23) God creates all life that lives in the water. Any life of any kind that lives in the water is made at this point. God also makes all the birds. The language allows that this may be the time God made flying insects as well (or, if not, they were made on day six). All of these creatures are made with the ability to perpetuate their species by reproduction. The creatures made on Day 5 are the first creatures blessed by God. God declares this work good, and it occurs in one day.

mult-it-udes, mir-i-ad
swarm-ings swim-ming in the air
seeth-ing on dry land

the multitude, life 
in flow or flight, in water
air and on dry land 

let there be creatures
in flow or flight or swim or
up-stand-ing on clay

creepers and crawlers and minute multiplicity […] the damned wasps, a waving and wafting of helpless hands flapping “Get them away from me!” […] the buzzing and mithering, the leeching […] the murmuring susurrations of blood-sucking mozzies […] “They like you, you’ve got sweet blood.” […] the soporific  humming of pollinating bumble-bees ‘cross flower heads […] carcass-eviscerating bluebottles contentedly supping on regurgitated corpses, shit-shovelling dung beetles, pus-loving maggots warmed in piscatorial mouths readied by modern-day hunters, with stick for a spear or rod for fish, fish, when fishing for sticklebacks or minnowings trout tickling casting the rod in search of a bite […] 

the fish, and all about, the birds and the bees […] 

in top room beneath the eaves two kids snuck-a-fuck believing it would prove just how utterly grown-up they had become […] rusty, noisy, rattling bedstead goose feather sex, pillows pricking chops, snuffling and huffing sweating, sighing, secret, sexing, sussh-susshing into the short darkness of a summer’s night’s cruciform impregnation […]
[…] more insect/fish stuff here…

mem-or-y is com-posed
of slug and snails, count-less lies
and puppy-dog tales

mem-or-y is the sum
of slug and snails, a small lies
the puppy-dog tales

mem-or-y is made
of this and that and a dol-lop
of the oth-er

day6

(Genesis 1:24-31) God creates all the creatures that live on dry land. This includes every type of creature not included on previous days and man. God declares this work good.

dogging, horsing around, slippery as an eel, stubborn as a mule, u ass, fish-face, cat stole the cream, dog-tired, what does it all mean? Pissed as a newt, bull in a china shop, red rag to a …. wise as an owl, weasel, rat-fink, crocodile tears, British Bulldog 1-2-3 what does it mean? Snake-eyes, dead dog, black dog, whole hog, chameleon thoroughbred, horse-trader, cat-burglar, stallion, eagle-eyed, scare-dy cat pussy cat, cat-got-the-cream, sex-kitten and dinosaur. […] All the creatures of the Earth […]arriving, departing, passing-through, coming-and-going a-billing and a-cooing, bobbing and a-weaving, shitting and someone a-shovelling barking and a-biting, more shitting, really no shitting, effluvia a go go… the animals come in two-by-two, woo-woo, trumpet too, and woof, quack, yap, snap, snuffle. The animal carnival’s a-coming to town. So spot the heavy-trunked, chunky-chunked, naked, bedraggled satyr, Wild-eyed, sky-staring, not-so-very-brave-man… singleton, but not the only one

day7

“So it’s the project’s end – yes? With time adrift, is this the end or the beginning? The middle of the project or the closing? Time without time without end? No more busy, busy, buzzy, headlong, working days? Where’s the list? The crowded schedule? […] What’s this hammock? This drowsy day? This buzzing listlessness? This dusty afternoon? Who sleeps beneath the straw hat? What meaning behind the smile? Is this happiness? Is this what heaven is? Such a lazy, sunny afternoon.” […] Trout jumping, campfire boiling the water for tin mugs of tea, crochet blanket, wheatfield friendships, laughter… Heaven is laughter? […] “course, sure it is! And wine, and the time, to enjoy a glass, and talk a while, roll back, head in a drowsy field of summer daisies. Lie, in grass and make pictures from cotton wool clouds, a dancing horse, no bear, no outline of a buffalo…” […] This is a peaceful day, the perfect day? Thank god I spent it with you, you, you. A purple, perfectly purple day. Our crowd’s in, the blankets are down, on the sun-warmed ground, the children race, play, fight, swim, they come and go around and through the adult guffaws, the boozy tranquility of this purplest, haziest, possibly momentary [or is this as it should be] afternoon. Heavy lids, silly grin, a beautiful lover, a kiss on a balding pate and a fond rub of a close to hairless bonce, causing the grin to spread and whispers of after-children-a-bed promises… This ain’t no red herring, no muguffin, no word of a lie, this is here and now, and this is… it! The most perfectly peaceful of afternoons – isn’t this the life? And why can’t it, ain’t it, always ALWAYS be like this?


DRAFT: 11-21.04.2017

day1

formless vacuums
barren oceans suck and sigh,
eternally inert

[…] dark dark Dark… and there, insomecoldcorner, a naked man, some hu-man… he sits […] white eyes straining […] seeking out, staring out the Dark, so, so, sooo scared of the Dark, spooked by the blackness, the emptiness, the ash cloth, snot and sacking down-and-dirty endless night, spooked, by endless fears no rictus grin can fix […] any smile’s a fraud clumsy-sutured to a head held low […] time hangs heavy […] time hangs around […] time’s a bulging lead-laden bag… a monkey […] on his broad back digging in… clay-clung boots slowing a sprinter’s spirit. “What are words? How to describe […] just describe […] the noth-ing-ness. Are you my smug, my close, my friendorfiend? What relation is the black stuff – let’s call it ‘IT’ – to me? A lover? Jailor? Bosom-buddy? “Harvey, Harvey, such big ears!” All the better to hear first sound…” […] First response from darkness comes as sssh! […] “Hello my old friend… Shall we walk together hand-in-handing, never ending into the black, coal black black of this ever ever night? Or shall we simply sit together dark&me, enjoying a tell-a-tale or two, tall-tale telling to keep the wolf from the door? Come on, draw close, settle in this enormous echoey, spaceless space, endless, formless, hopeless silent husssh… Pull up pull closer, it will happen here. Right here. In time, over time, then time, after time… form will form here from shapelessness, light will pierce this […] this […] this whatever it is. Count the ‘it’ down, one trillion to one… that single starting digit IS a-coming. Roll the number round ya tongue, roll some dice and ‘bingo’ [!] click, click, clickerty, click… First light’s now not so very far away. Been a long time a-coming… click, click, clickerty… […] Darkness I dare you become!

krakatoa beckoning
life igniting, fire and light
banishing the void

day 2

flitting shadows,
showing fleetness of foot, raise
admiring glances

“See it! […] LOOK! […] Do you see it too? See hope? […] Is THAT what HOPE looks like? A feint so feint a skeen, a stain of not-so-black? A thread of silvery optimism… an accord, a cord drawing us forward, drawing us together? […] See ‘form’, first-time forms, no names for mass or solid or shape or God knows what / God don’t know what / God’s run out of words… already. […] “Ink flows from my soles, my heels spring shadows so very beautifully! Contrasty black and white. Exquisite b&w – this is light […] arriving! The man’s spirit […] is soaring. Today is the day, the Day… THE DAY. What to call this non-black? Can’t call it dog no more. This is something… new! This is THE first day, when day shapes form, when solids fill voids as shapes, become concrete forms dancing in light filled space.”

monochromatic
hieroglyphs curlicue
across the virgin sand

day 3 (re-worked 21.04.2017)

gitty, ginnel-less
rainstorm gullied habitats
in border countryside

. . . – – – . . .   

give voice to the ungovernable collisions in the dark […] bring into being […] re-order […] re-define […] make concrete make a-new […] from blackness bring forth artichokes […] from strength bring forth sweetness; bring anthills, aadvarks, antimacassars; all the ‘A’ hays, ‘B’ bees and ‘C’ seas… nail ’em […]   reveal with NAMES […]  it’s the tell-time of name-calling […] nar, nar, nee nar, nar […] an end to nameless night yip, yip! […] […] air over cords, vibration in motion, articulated, calculated humming into being […] a grunt/belch/banter/blether SOUND! […] […] let language be the golden chain linking things ’til we meet again   And, what about the points and points and stabs the air [..] those peaks, the troughs   the forehead or elbow   no hill and dale […] attach identity / attack identity […] make noise make meaning […] fill shadows with sound […] hillock, hummock, molehill, mountaintop, peak, summit, tip-top uppity tippitty-topmost – what about the belly of the… the… whale?
sound it out, say it all, yes, that sounds like it, and if the name is right… it sticks.

sinuous language
insinuating solid shapes
liberating form

sin-u-ous lang-u-age
in-sin-u-ates solids and shapes 
lib-er-a-ting forms 

sin-u-ous lang-u-age
in-sin-u-ates the mind 
lib-er-a-ting thought

stink of lang-u-age
hot o-dour block-ing nasal air-ways
clogging or freeing the mind

day 4

to be human
up-right tri-an-gle of skin
and bone and broken heart

when did just he become we become one two or three under the stars? under the stars, one night outside, remember, drunk all afternoon, then off on-off out on an adventure outside, sunny sleepy, early afternoon, after early doors, up and off out of it lovers, with boyfriend tagging along to watch the dance, beery merry cruelly summery sunny dance, round and around, up and down, hot and wild through tears, his passive onion tears how bad, being out, one night under stars together, alone together, not alone, messily together the longed-for two, an aching sad three, another swallowing our kisses, or tongues and choking going off exploring, making excuses, giving us the green light on a purple bruise evening, a blackberry stained purple black evening, cherry black, sexy deaf and very dumb black, sighing black, not-so-silent black night, whispered kisses, surreptitious touches, our seductive black, wet hell […] starry, sorry night.[…]lie in a field, beneath a tree, lie and wonder at all the roistering pin point cat n’ dog tales, the dot to dot story in the skies, awe and some little imagination seeing some scattered-up-there dust of light, pin pricks of somewhere else, as warrior and carriage, lover and loser, dot to dotting, constellating creating harmoneee. In the valley in the dark, in the pub garden people laugh out loud and drunkenly. On the moor, above the treeline, we lie together illicitly. In the town, across the valley, families gather gorged around the goggle box, on the moor, and out of earshot we plan to skinny dip and steal a night or two or three. And we ignore the stars. Revel in thunderstorms, in the micro-drama of the moment to regret at our leisure down the line.

day5

let there be creatures
in flow or flight or swim or
up-stand-ing on clay

Animal Magix, so many occasions. eg. intent in a tent. New Forest. Ponies. Midges. Wasps in beer glasses. Hoppers on shelly beaches. Phantoms in the night stiring night frights in you Is the dark returning. Hand over your mouth, cruciform penetration, eye winks And shuts, more hurt than hurting. eg. a rabbit Fluff, a budgie Joey, a first dog Womble, two terrapins [both] called trouble, [released, into a stream in Aylesbury], a goldfish or several, a white mouse, two further dogs Denis, then Alfie…eg. a fishing rod and a 12 year old, on the Derwent all day, under the bridge day after day, all summer long, catching sticklebacks and minnows, young trout and greyling. eg. a white mouse. A lie and falsified age enabled the purchase from a small town pet shop. Kept as a secret pet for a week then in panic released. To live as a wild, white mouse in the house. Seen it, kicked it down 3 flights of stairs. Seen it, survive, and later caught by a dad laid trap. A white mouse with a shattered back, a pearl – of blood. A bad breaks, rough justice, tough luck Being a white mouse bought by a twelve year old wanting a pet and lying about his age and losing his bottle..eg. in a Derbyshire farm house mithered by cats, by broody bantams, by duckling talking crap the stink of cat food, the furry bunnies, two kids snuck a fuck, and thought it showed how utterly grown up they’d become. Furry, rushed sex, in some other grown-ups bed, goose feather pillows pricking our chops, wet kisses and bed-wetting, giggles and huffing sweating, sighing, secret, sexing, sssh-ssshing into the short darkness of a summer’s night.

day6

dogging, horsing around, slippery as an eel, stubborn as a mule, u ass, fish-face, cat stole the cream, dog-tired, what does it all mean? Pissed as a newt, bull in a china shop, red rag to a …. wise as an owl, weasel, rat-fink, crocodile tears, British Bulldog 1-2-3 what does it mean? Snake-eyes, dead dog, black dog, whole hog, chameleon thoroughbred, horse-trader, cat-burglar, stallion, eagle-eyed, scare-dy cat pussy cat, cat-got-the-cream, sex-kitten and dinosaur. […] All the creatures of the Earth […]arriving, departing, passing-through, coming-and-going a-billing and a-cooing, bobbing and a-weaving, shitting and someone a-shovelling barking and a-biting, more shitting, really no shitting, effluvia a go go… the animals come in two-by-two, woo-woo, trumpet too, and woof, quack, yap, snap, snuffle. The animal carnival’s a-coming to town. So spot the heavy-trunked, chunky-chunked, naked, bedraggled satyr, Wild-eyed, sky-staring, not-so-very-brave-man… singleton, only one.

day7

“So it’s the project’s end – yes? With time adrift, is this the end or the beginning? The middle of the project or the closing? Time without time without end? No more busy, busy, buzzy, headlong, working days? Where’s the list? The crowded schedule? […] What’s this hammock? This drowsy day? This buzzing listlessness? This dusty afternoon? Who sleeps beneath the straw hat? What meaning behind the smile? Is this happiness? Is this what heaven is? Such a lazy, sunny afternoon.” […] Trout jumping, campfire boiling the water for tin mugs of tea, crochet blanket, wheatfield friendships, laughter… Heaven is laughter? […] “course, sure it is! And wine, and the time, to enjoy a glass, and talk a while, roll back, head in a drowsy field of summer daisies. Lie, in grass and make pictures from cotton wool clouds, a dancing horse, no bear, no outline of a buffalo…” […] This is a peaceful day, the perfect day? Thank god I spent it with you, you, you. A purple, perfectly purple day. Our crowd’s in, the blankets are down, on the sun-warmed ground, the children race, play, fight, swim, they come and go around and through the adult guffaws, the boozy tranquility of this purplest, haziest, possibly momentary [or is this as it should be] afternoon. Heavy lids, silly grin, a beautiful lover, a kiss on a balding pate and a fond rub of a close to hairless bonce, causing the grin to spread and whispers of after-children-a-bed promises… This ain’t no red herring, no muguffin, no word of a lie, this is here and now, and this is… it! The most perfectly peaceful of afternoons – isn’t this the life? And why can’t it, ain’t it, always ALWAYS be like this?


DRAFT: 10.04.2017

day1

[…] dark dark Dark… and there, insomecoldcorner, a heavy-trunked and naked man, some man… he sits […] white eyes straining […] seeking out, staring out the Dark, so, so, sooo scared of the Dark, spooked by the blackness, the emptiness, the ash cloth, snot and sacking down-and-dirty endless night, spooked, by endless fears no rictus grin can fix […] any smiles’ a fraud clumsy-sutured to a head held low […] time hangs heavy […] time hangs around […] time’s a bulging lead-laden bag… a monkey […] on his broad back digging in… or clay-clung boots slowing the sprinter’s spirit. What are words, how the hell do you describe […] just describe […] nothingness – my smug, close friendorfiend? What relation is stuff, let’s call it ‘IT’ to me? A lover? Jailor? Bosom-buddy? Harvey, Harvey, such big ears! All the better to hear first sound… First response from sssh, the silencing blanket. darkness ‘hello my old friend…’ “Shall we walk together hand-in-handing, never ending into the black, only black, coal black black of this ever night? Or shall we simply sit together, enjoying a tell-a-tale or two, tall-tale telling time to keep the wolf from the door?” Come, draw close, settle in this enormous echoey, spaceless space, endless, formless, hopeless silent husssh… Pull up pull closer, it will happen here. Right here. In time, over time, then time, after time… form will form here from shapelessness, light will pierce this […] Count the ‘it’ down, one trillion to one… that single starting digit IS a-coming. Roll the number round ya tongue, roll some dice and ‘bingo’ [!] click, click, clickerty, click… First light’s now not so very far away. Been a long time a-coming… click, click, clickerty… Dare you BELIEVE?

day 2

See it! […] LOOK! […] Do you see it too? See hope? […] Is THAT what HOPE looks like? A feint so feint a skeen, a stain of not-so-black? A thread of silvery optimism… an accord, a cord drawing us forward, drawing us together? […] See ‘form’, first-time forms, no names for mass or solid or shape or
God knows what/God don’t know what/God’s run out of words… already. Ink flows from our soles or heels spring shadows so very beautifully! Contrasty black and white Exquisite b&w – this is light […] arriving! the man’s spirit […] is soaring. Today is the day, the Day… THE DAY. What to call this non-black? Can’t call it dog no more. This is something… new! This is THE first day, when day shapes form, when solids fill voids as shapes, become concrete forms dancing in light filled space.

interval 1

An image […] keeps reoccurring […]
of a piece of paper folded […]
let’s call it a boat or
perhaps it’s a piece of plywood floating
on a storm swollen river […]
let’s call it a home […] just about afloat […]
don’t rock the boat […] an ark, sweet jesus – bliss aboard
under […] rainbowing grainy skies […]
from ridge to ridge the inundation
making fish of men […]
except the fishermen who stoically sit
[…] dipping their wicks
in search of a catch […]
jees too wet for ducks – quackers being out on a day like this
[…] psychologically sou’wester’d so saved
from the worst of the weathers whipping
[…] need wipers on me shades
some natty adornment they would make
[…] naw
[…] this too abstract
[…] what’s the point, it’s water-addled
[…] best head back indoors
[…] below deck to sizzle gently steam fireside
give it a bit of a rest, pass the towel and that tea
rub down, whetted whistle, sigh and give it a miss(le)
[…] tuck up
[…] pointless to stare at steamy portholes
they’re no window to the soul
just a round and round reflection of a days leaking and
[…] monotonous crying monochrome
first bellyflop […] of thunder flexing
bullying a watercolour-less moment
[…] a duped day weak hot and wet lordy lord that
thunder sound splashing throwing its weight around
[…] as sound goes down the plughole
[…] drowning not waving.

day 3

so much to name right now, in the warm light of these first days curlicued names, complex names, pet names, fine and grand and tongue-twisting names,love the names, you name, you name, they name, we namelet’s agree to name things NAMES! Hillock, hummock, molehill, mountaintop, peak, summit, tip top uppity tippyitty-most. And, what about the peaks? The dips – troughs? Let’s call them forehead or elbowno hill and dale, that sounds like them, the name sounds right… and sticks. So many things –now exposed, once nameless things, just collisions in the dark have presence now, have been brought into being, so come on words, describe these concrete things, from blackness came forth artichokes, from strength came forth sweetness and anthills, aadvarks, alphabets and all the ‘A’ hays, ‘B’ bees and ‘C’ seas…

day 4

outside, one night, under the stars, one night outside, remember, drunk all afternoon, then off on-off out on an adventure outside, sunny sleepy, early afternoon, after early doors, up and off out of it lovers, with boyfriend tagging along to watch the dance, beery merry cruelly summery sunny dance, round and around, up and down, hot and wild through tears, his passive onion tears how bad, being out, one night under stars together, alone together, not alone, messily together the longed-for two, an aching sad three, another swallowing our kisses, or tongues and choking going off exploring, making excuses, giving us the green light on a purple bruise evening, a blackberry stained purple black evening, cherry black, sexy deaf and very dumb black, sighing black, not-so-silent black night, whispered kisses, surreptitious touches, our seductive black, wet hell […] starry, sorry night.[…]lie in a field, beneath a tree, lie and wonder at all the roistering pin point cat n’ dog tales, the dot to dot story in the skies, awe and some little imagination seeing some scatter dust of light, pin pricks of somewhere else, as warrior and carriage, lover and loser, dot to dotting, constellating creating harmoneee. In the valley in the dark, in the pub garden people laugh out loud and drunkenly. On the moor, above the treeline, we lie together illicitly. In the town, across the valley, families gather gorged around the goggle box, on the moor, And out of earshot we plan to skinny dip and steal a night or two or three.And we ignore the stars. Revel in thunderstorms, in the micro-drama of the moment to regret at our leisure down the line.

interval2

howling at the moon, moonshine, or cider, or poteen or filthy cheap lager, warm wine, a pinot white or cabernet red… hoovered down or abandoned to swirly head… sunny side up, all sun kissed skin that’s been snogged too long, simmering slightly, radiant and raw – shades on, straw pork-pie donned, a-glowing red, hot as hell hugged under the moon, all lunatic friends, raucous laughter, unforgivable thoughts, all-to-human mixed emotions, frail frail wills, and neediness to make some moment be the moment it really now should be, so warm, so sunny, hell today was a day eh? Can’t be beat, a pearler, the business. BUT… hold on a mo’, WHOA! Take one step back, think this thru’, what about cancer, sunny chancer, what about catchin’ a chill? What about the messiness, the hurt-iness, the peel-iness? Suppose this isn’t perfect… yet?

day5

let there be creatures in sea and air Animal Magix, so many occasions. eg. intent in a tent. New Forest. Ponies. Midges. Wasps in beer glasses. Hoppers on shelly beaches. Phantoms in the night stiring night frights in you Is the dark returning. Hand over your mouth, cruciform penetration, eye winks And shuts, more hurt than hurting. eg. a rabbit Fluff, a budgie Joey, a first dog Womble, two terrapins [both] called trouble, [released, into a stream in Aylesbury], a goldfish or several, a white mouse, two further dogs Denis, then Alfie…eg. a fishing rod and a 12 year old, on the Derwent all day, under the bridge day after day, all summer long, catching sticklebacks and minnows, young trout and greyling. eg. a white mouse. A lie and falsified age enabled the purchase from a small town pet shop. Kept as a secret pet for a week then in panic released. To live as a wild, white mouse in the house. Seen it, kicked it down 3 flights of stairs. Seen it, survive, and later caught by a dad laid trap. A white mouse with a shattered back, a pearl – of blood. A bad breaks, rough justice, tough luck Being a white mouse bought by a twelve year old wanting a pet and lying about his age and losing his bottle..eg. in a Derbyshire farm house mithered by cats, by broody bantams, by duckling talking crap the stink of cat food, the furry bunnies, two kids snuck a fuck, and thought it showed how utterly grown up they’d become. Furry, rushed sex, in some other grown-ups bed, goose feather pillows pricking our chops, wet kisses and bed-wetting, giggles and huffing sweating, sighing, secret, sexing, sssh into a summers night.

day6

dogging, horsing around, slippery as an eel, stubborn as a mule, u ass, fish-face, cat stole the cream, dog-tired, what does it all mean? Pissed as a newt, bull in a china shop, red rag to a …. wise as an owl, weasel, rat-fink, crocodile tears, British Bulldog 1-2-3 what does it mean? Snake-eyes, dead dog, black dog, whole hog, chameleon thoroughbred, horse-trader, cat-burglar, stallion, eagle-eyed, scare-dy cat pussy cat, cat-got-the-cream, sex-kitten and dinosaur. […] All the creatures of the Earth […]arriving, departing, passing-through, coming-and-going a-billing and a-cooing, bobbing and a-weaving, shitting and someone a-shovelling barking and a-biting, more shitting, really no shitting, effluvia a go go… the animals come in two-by-two, woo-woo, trumpet too, and woof, quack, yap, snap, snuffle. The animal carnival’s a-coming to town. So spot the heavy-trunked, chunky-chunked, naked, bedraggled satyr, Wild-eyed, sky-staring, not-so-very-brave-man… singleton, only one.

interval3

Cycling, boating, walking, a classic introvert trying to make sense of the chaos of the wurl the maddening complexity, the mayhem, the confetti of interacting, clashing, colliding circumstances riding through the maelstrom, sit-up-and-begging in the eye of the storm and… smiling. Think dirty, think different, think things thru’, feel the burn, whiz along a-singing-a-song [etc.]…Haul up the brolly against a gathering storm stormin’ day thanks and gawd bless…a sane world characterised by bicycles, by cycle-clips by the tring of the bell, and a day along the tow path, sssh things’ll be just fine and dandy…

sun on chops, darkness left behind, sunny orangeskin, to match the sunny freer cycling grin
roundabout now, roundabout then, look at the sun see the hint of past in the remaining shadows,
helped by the welcome Warming hands of our flaming friends. Gather closer, don’t let the Darkness enter in, hug me, hug you, hugger mugger closer still. Hold me.

day7

So it’s a project – yes? With time adrift, is this the end or the beginning? The middle of the project, middle or coming close to the end? Time without time? No more busy, busy, buzzy, headlong, working days?Where’s the list? The crowded schedule? What’s this hammock? This drowsy day? This buzzing listlessness? This dusty afternoon? Who sleeps beneath the straw hat? What meaning behind the smile? Is this happiness? Is this what heaven is? Such a lazy, sunny afternoon. Trout jumping, campfire boiling the water for tin mugs of tea, crochet blanket, wheatfield friendships, laughter… Heaven is laughter? ‘course, sure it is! And wine, and the time, to enjoy a glass, and talk a while, roll back, head in a drowsy field of summer daisies. Lie, in grass and make pictures from cotton wool cloudsa dancing horse, no bear, no outline of a buffalo… This is a peaceful day, the perfect day? Thank god I spent it with you, you, you. A purple, perfectly purple day. Our crowd’s in, the blankets are down, on the sun-warmed ground, the children race, play, fight, swim, they come and go around and through the adult guffaws, the boozy tranquility of this purplest, haziest, possibly momentary [or is this as it should be] afternoon. Heavy lids, silly grin, a beautiful lover, a kiss on a balding pate and a fond rub of a close to hairless bonce, causing the grin to spread and whispers of after-children-a-bed promises… This ain’t no red herring, no muguffin, no word of a lie, this is here and now, and this is… it! The most perfectly peaceful of afternoons – isn’t this the life? And why can’t it, ain’t it, always ALWAYS be like this?



EARLY DRAFT

day1

[…] dark dark Dark… and there, insomecoldcorner, a heavy-trunked and naked man, some man…  he sits
[…] white eyes straining
[…] seeking out, staring out the Dark,
so, so, sooo scared of the Dark, spooked by the blackness,
the emptiness, the ash cloth, snot and sacking down-and-dirty
endless night,
spooked, by endless fears no rictus grin can fix
[…] any smiles’ a fraud clumsy-sutured to a head held low
[…] time hangs heavy
[…] time hangs around
[…] time’s a bulging lead-laden bag…
a monkey […] on his broad back digging in…
or clay-clung boots slowing the sprinter’s spirit

What are words, how the hell do you describe […] just describe […] nothingness – my smug, close friendorfiend? What relation is stuff, let’s call it ‘IT’ to me? A lover? Jailor? Bosom-buddy? Harvey, Harvey, such big ears! All the better to hear first sound… First response from sssh, the silencing blanket of darkness ‘hello my old friend…’

“Shall we walk together hand-in-handing, never ending into the black, only black, coal black black of this ever night?    Or shall we simply sit together, enjoying a tell-a-tale or two, tall-tale telling time to keep the wolf from the door?”
Come, draw close, settle in this enormous echoey, spaceless space, endless, formless, hopeless silent husssh…

Pull up pull closer, it will happen here.

Right here. In time, over time, then time, after time… form will form here from shapelessness, light will pierce this […]

Count the ‘it’ down, one trillion to one… that single starting digit IS a-coming. Roll the number round ya tongue, roll some dice and ‘bingo’ [!] click, click, clickerty, click… First light’s now not so very far away. Been a long time a-coming… click, click, clickerty…

Dare you BELIEVE?

 day 2

See it! […] LOOK! […] Do you see it too? See hope? […] Is THAT what HOPE looks like? A feint so feint a skeen, a stain of not-so-black? A thread of silvery optimism… an accord, a cord  drawing us forward, drawing us together? […]

See ‘form’, first-time forms, no names for mass or solid or shape or
God knows what/God don’t know what/God’s run out of words… already.

Ink flows from our soles or heels spring shadows   so very beautifully! Contrasty black and white  Exquisite b&w – this is light […] arriving!

the man’s spirit […]   is  soaring. Today is the day, the Day… THE DAY. What to call this non-black? Can’t call it dog no more. This is something…  new! This is THE first day, when day shapes form, when solids fill voids as shapes, become concrete forms dancing in light filled space.

interval 1

An image […] keeps reoccurring […]
of a piece of paper folded […]
let’s call it a boat or
perhaps it’s a piece of plywood floating
on a storm swollen river […]
let’s call it a home  […] just about afloat […]
don’t rock the boat […] an ark, sweet jesus – bliss aboard
under […] rainbowing grainy skies […]
from ridge to ridge the inundation
making fish of men […]
except the fishermen who stoically sit
[…] dipping their wicks
in search of a catch […]
jees too wet for ducks – quackers being out on a day like this
[…] psychologically sou’wester’d so saved
from the worst of the weathers whipping
[…] need wipers on me shades
some natty adornment they would make
[…] naw
[…] this too abstract
[…] what’s the point, it’s water-addled
[…] best head back indoors
[…] below deck to sizzle gently steam fireside
give it a bit of a rest, pass the towel and that tea
rub down, whetted whistle, sigh and give it a miss(le)
[…] tuck up
[…] pointless to stare at steamy portholes
they’re no window to the soul
just a round and round  reflection of a days leaking and
[…] monotonous crying monochrome
first bellyflop […] of thunder flexing
bullying a watercolour-less moment
[…] a duped day weak hot and wet lordy lord that
thunder sound splashing throwing its weight around
[…] as sound goes down the plughole
[…] drowning not waving.

day 3

so much to name right now, in the warm light of these first days curlicued names,  complex names, pet names, fine and grand and tongue-twisting names,love the names, you name, you name, they name, we namelet’s agree to name things NAMES! Hillock, hummock, molehill, mountaintop, peak, summit, tip top uppity tippyitty-most. And, what about the peaks? The dips – troughs? Let’s call them forehead or elbowno hill and dale, that sounds like them, the name sounds right… and sticks. So many things –now exposed, once nameless things, just collisions in the dark have presence now, have been brought into being, so come on words, describe these concrete things, from blackness came forth artichokes, from strength came forth sweetness and anthills, aadvarks, alphabets and all the ‘A’ hays, ‘B’ bees and ‘C’ seas…

day 4

outside, one night, under the stars, one night outside, remember, drunk all afternoon, then off on-off out on an adventure outside, sunny sleepy, early afternoon, after early doors, up and off out of it lovers, with boyfriend tagging along to watch the dance, beery merry cruelly summery sunny dance, round and around, up and down, hot and wild through tears, his passive onion tears how bad, being out, one night under stars together, alone together, not alone, messily together the longed-for two, an aching sad three, another swallowing our kisses, or tongues and choking going off exploring, making excuses, giving us the green light on a purple bruise evening, a blackberry stained purple black evening, cherry black, sexy deaf and very dumb black, sighing black, not-so-silent black night, whispered kisses, surreptitious touches, our seductive black, wet hell […] starry, sorry night.[…]lie in a field, beneath a tree, lie and wonder at all the roistering pin point cat n’ dog tales, the dot to dot story in the skies, awe and some little imagination seeing some scatter dust of light, pin pricks of somewhere else, as warrior and carriage, lover and loser, dot to dotting, constellating creating harmoneee. In the valley in the dark, in the pub garden people laugh out loud and drunkenly. On the moor, above the treeline, we lie together illicitly. In the town, across the valley, families gather gorged around the goggle box, on the moor, And out of earshot we plan to skinny dip and steal a night or two or three.And we ignore the stars. Revel in thunderstorms, in the micro-drama of the moment to regret at our leisure down the line.

interval2

howling at the moon, moonshine, or cider, or poteen or filthy cheap lager, warm wine, a pinot white or cabernet red… hoovered down or abandoned to swirly head… sunny side up, all sun kissed skin that’s been snogged too long, simmering slightly, radiant and raw – shades on, straw pork-pie donned, a-glowing red, hot as hell hugged under the moon, all lunatic friends, raucous laughter, unforgivable thoughts, all-to-human mixed emotions, frail frail wills, and neediness to make some moment be the moment it really now should be, so warm, so sunny, hell today was a day eh? Can’t be beat, a pearler, the business. BUT… hold on a mo’, WHOA! Take one step back, think this thru’, what about cancer, sunny chancer, what about catchin’ a chill? What about the messiness, the hurt-iness, the peel-iness? Suppose this isn’t perfect… yet?

day5

let there be creatures in sea and air Animal Magix, so many occasions. eg. intent in a tent. New Forest. Ponies. Midges. Wasps in beer glasses. Hoppers on shelly beaches. Phantoms in the night stiring night frights in you Is the dark returning. Hand over your mouth, cruciform penetration, eye winks And shuts, more hurt than hurting. eg. a rabbit Fluff, a budgie Joey, a first dog Womble, two terrapins [both] called trouble, [released, into a stream in Aylesbury], a goldfish or several, a white mouse, two further dogs Denis, then Alfie…eg. a fishing rod and a 12 year old, on the Derwent all day, under the bridge day after day, all summer long, catching sticklebacks and minnows, young trout and greyling. eg. a white mouse. A lie and falsified age enabled the purchase from a small town pet shop. Kept as a secret pet for a week then in panic released. To live as a wild, white mouse in the house. Seen it, kicked it down 3 flights of stairs. Seen it, survive, and later caught by a dad laid trap. A white mouse with a shattered back, a pearl – of blood. A bad breaks, rough justice, tough luck Being a white mouse bought by a twelve year old wanting a pet and lying about his age and losing his bottle..eg. in a Derbyshire farm house mithered by cats, by broody bantams, by duckling talking crap the stink of cat food, the furry bunnies, two kids snuck a fuck, and thought it showed how utterly grown up they’d become. Furry, rushed sex, in some other grown-ups bed, goose feather pillows pricking our chops, wet kisses and bed-wetting, giggles and huffing sweating, sighing, secret, sexing, sssh into a summers night.

day6

dogging, horsing around, slippery as an eel, stubborn as a mule, u ass, fish-face, cat stole the cream, dog-tired, what does it all mean? Pissed as a newt, bull in a china shop, red rag to a …. wise as an owl, weasel, rat-fink, crocodile tears, British Bulldog 1-2-3 what does it mean? Snake-eyes, dead dog, black dog, whole hog, chameleon thoroughbred, horse-trader, cat-burglar, stallion, eagle-eyed, scare-dy cat pussy cat, cat-got-the-cream, sex-kitten and dinosaur.
[…] All the creatures of the Earth […]arriving, departing, passing-through, coming-and-going a-billing and a-cooing, bobbing and a-weaving, shitting and someone a-shovelling barking and a-biting, more shitting, really no shitting, effluvia a go go… the animals come in two-by-two, woo-woo, trumpet too, and woof, quack, yap, snap, snuffle. The animal carnival’s a-coming to town. So spot the heavy-trunked, chunky-chunked, naked, bedraggled satyr, Wild-eyed, sky-staring, not-so-very-brave-man… singleton, only one.

interval3

Cycling, boating, walking, a classic introvert trying to make sense of the chaos of the wurl the maddening complexity, the mayhem, the confetti of interacting, clashing, colliding circumstances riding through the maelstrom, sit-up-and-begging in the eye of the storm and… smiling. Think dirty, think different, think things thru’, feel the burn, whiz along a-singing-a-song [etc.]…Haul up the brolly against a gathering storm stormin’ day thanks and gawd bless…a sane world characterised by bicycles, by cycle-clips by the tring of the bell, and a day along the tow path, sssh things’ll be just fine and dandy…

sun on chops, darkness left behind, sunny orangeskin, to match the sunny freer cycling grin
roundabout now, roundabout then, look at the sun see the hint of past in the remaining shadows,
helped by the welcome Warming hands of our flaming friends. Gather closer, don’t let the  Darkness enter in, hug me, hug you, hugger mugger closer still. Hold me.

day7

So it’s a project – yes? With time adrift, is this the end or the beginning? The middle of the project, middle or coming close to the end? Time without time? No more busy, busy, buzzy, headlong, working days?Where’s the list? The crowded schedule? What’s this hammock? This drowsy day? This buzzing listlessness? This dusty afternoon? Who sleeps beneath the straw hat? What meaning behind the smile? Is this happiness? Is this what heaven is? Such a lazy, sunny afternoon. Trout jumping, campfire boiling the water for tin mugs of tea, crochet blanket, wheatfield friendships, laughter… Heaven is laughter? ‘course, sure it is! And wine, and the time,

to enjoy a glass, and talk a while, roll back, head in a drowsy field of summer daisies. Lie, in grass and make pictures from cotton wool cloudsa dancing horse, no bear, no outline of a buffalo… This is a peaceful day, the perfect day? Thank god I spent it with you, you, you. A purple, perfectly purple day.

Our crowd’s in, the blankets are down, on the sun-warmed ground, the children race, play, fight, swim, they come and go around and through the adult guffaws, the boozy tranquility of this purplest, haziest, possibly momentary [or is this as it should be] afternoon. Heavy lids, silly grin, a beautiful lover, a kiss on a balding pate and a fond rub of a close to hairless bonce, causing the grin to spread and whispers of after-children-a-bed promises… This ain’t no red herring, no muguffin, no word of a lie, this is here and now, and this is… it!  The most perfectly peaceful of afternoons –  isn’t this the life? And why can’t it, ain’t it, always ALWAYS be like this?

spring 08.04.2017

app-roa-ching sum-mer
warm sil-hou-ettes etched a-gainst
e-merg-ent growth


blue hint of sum-mer
warm sil-hou-ettes etched a-gainst
ig-ni-ting growth


blue hint of sum-mer  
soar-ing spir-its, shirt sleeves, shades
warm sil-hou-ette etch


haiku – 3-lines / 17 syllables (or there about!):

hint of sum-mer days-
a time of soar-ing spir-its
and sil-hou-ettes

patience

The arrival of a new postcard for my collection of Edwardian postcards of The Matlocks in Derbyshire is always exciting, and often the combination of images and texts prompt a creative response. These words came as I looked at the image.


A river riffling below fair-weather cumulus      pleasantly pastoral      but don’t be fooled        the moors are streaming      drenched      tang of rainfall      I sit      days pass      I sit      waiting for summer to shrink the water’s belly      unlock-it      dry white rocks will herald the wading time      I ignore the siren stepping stones      as those beneath the surface’s seeming tranquility placed them there      and now wait     patiently      for rashness      I skin the heads of grasses and throw chaff into the ever-changing / never-changing      and look on      and wait         and wonder what winterskin walks the ochre woods towards the rearing rocks      and what dances there?

Wordplay

Below is an example of a thing you rarely read. It’s the series of drafts that describe the evolution of a poem from sketching-out to completion.

At the start the words tend to be little more than an add-hock phrase, a collection of sharp-edged shards, scraps and half-formed word plays each of which may or, more often, may not stay with the poem on its journey to completion.

Reading drafts may not necessarily be a wholly rewarding experience as there remains within the text so many unknotted threads,  lapses and fractures. Misspellings and typo’s abound. However, the drafts do record that point of greatest potential – the start – the great stepping-off point where words remove the blank page/screen and provide the raw material of a poem.

I’ll leave each re-draft on view. The latest version sits at the top, the earliest at the bottom.


fleet clouds passed
across the daytime moon
askew poetry

Type […] ‘A turning on the path.’, then ‘…a distant place reached on foot and slowly.’ and ‘…through silhouette haws the silent, sloughing, snowfall falls – horizontally.’ onto a Spring-sunlit computer screen. The clouds pass. The tea’s gone cold, a small slice of paradise passing. Memory and time embrace. Type […] ‘…memory of a friendship, leaning on the five-bar shadows, brings back the old stories…’ then ‘…where joy or fear, sudden emotion or meaning match unspoken, broken hopes or fears to some mud field or shattered barn.’ Five floors up, red buses below, there’s not a broken barn for miles. Nostalgia. Incipient old age. Insipid maudlin lyricism. Mid-life’s rose-tinted whatnot for childhood certainty and limestone. Type […] ‘..some well-known place, subtle and small scale, claustrophobic and snug, in failing light, for a moment transcends reality and becomes a place of bittersweet memorial. Cupping generations.’ At last, these words strike some small truth, that the lead miner, road haulier, platelayer, gardener and gout layabout, drinker, ganger, black inker all meet here, five floors up, they crowd this unremarkable occupied space, mute witness to time’s passing.

the dead –
are part of, not apart from
the written page

05.04.2017


[I’m experimenting. Marshalling the words worked so far into a new form – the haibun – to see where the form will take me. The haibun is a combination of brief, imagistic, poetic prose with one or more haiku.]

the clouds pass-ed
a-cross a day-time moon
ask-ew po-et-ry

Type: ‘A turning on the path.’, then ‘A distant place reached only slowly and on foot.’ and ‘Through hawthorn silhouette of haws the silent, sloughing, muffling snow falls… horizontally’ onto a Spring-sunlit computer screen. The clouds pass. The tea’s gone cold, a small slice of paradise passing. Memory and time embrace. Type: ‘…an old friendship, leaning on the shadows, brings back the story of those times…’ then ‘Where joy or fear, sudden emotion or meaning match our unspoken, broken hopes or fears to some mudded field or shattered barn.’ Five floors up, red buses below, there’s not a broken barn for miles. Nostalgia. Incipient old age, insipid maudlin lyricism. Mid-life’s rose-tinted whatnot for childhood certainty and limestone. Type: ‘Or perhaps some well-known place, subtle and small scale, claustrophobic and snug, in failing light, for a moment transcends reality and becomes a place of bittersweet memorial. Cupping generations.’ And it strikes some small truth: that the lead miner, road haulier, artist and platelayer, gardener and gout layabout, drinker, printer, ganger, black inker all meet here and crowd this unremarkable occupied space, mute witness to time’s passing.

the dead –
are part of, not apart from
the written page

mi-ners, inkers – 
a part of, not apart from
the written word

04.04.2017


I’m out of practice – the words come weak and loud – oafish fish-out-of-water, fish tale worry, a [dirty] dancing with doggerel. Stumbling over the words rather than root-i-tootie tooting parps of language weaved slick & quick. Tip-o-tha-tung writing. Instead the word/play is bovine, calf hoofed, offal.
The clouds pass. A daytime moon askew as poetry. No rhyme nor reason, tis [not] the season to be jolly folly-lolly-lah-la-la-lo-lar.
I write down: ‘A turning on the path.’ Then: ‘A distant place reached only slowly and on foot.’ Hell, it’s romanti-trippy tripe there’s a need to burst the bulging bladderack of portentous pomposity. ‘Through hawthorn silhouette of haws the silent, sloughing, muffling snow falls… horizontally’ onto a Spring-sunlit dusty computer screen. ‘Laughter slips on ice; deep rutted road, leading uphill; an old friendship, leaning on the shadows, brings back the story of of those times…’
The clouds pass. The tea’s gone cold a small slice of paradise passing. Memory and time embrace.
I write: ‘Where joy or fear, sudden emotion or meaning match our unspoken, broken hopes or fears to some mudded field or shattered barn.’ I’m sitting five floors up off the finchley road, with red buses passing, and not a broken barn for miles.
Nostalgia. Incipient old age, insipid maudlin lyricism. Mid-life rose-tinted whatnot for childhood certainly and limestone.
I write: ‘Or perhaps some marly, known place, subtle and small scale, claustrophobic and snug, in failing light, for a moment transcends reality and becomes a place of bittersweet memorial. Cupping generations.’ It’s true that despite my lazy city living, the lead miner, road haulier, artist and platelayer, gardener and gout layabout, drinker, printer, ganger, black inker all meet in me and crowd my unremarkable occupied space, as mute witness to times passing. Their laughter lines; their emotions, memories feelings; their connections & weaknesses, the emotional pratfalls are [or affect?] mine, in step we go together.
Do the italicised lines reflect a life beyond the page, of course they do, the fields, barns, mud the snot and lot, they are a part of, not apart from a synaethesia making man.

[03.04.2017]


I’m out of practice – the words come weak and loud – oafish fish-out-of-water, fish tale worry, a [dirty] dancing with doggerel. Stumbling over the words rather than root-i-tootie tooting parps of language weaved slick & quick. Tip-o-tha-tung writing. Instead the word/play is bovine, calf hoofed, offal.
The clouds pass. A daytime moon askew as poetry. No rhyme nor reason, tis [not] the season to be jolly folly-lolly-lah-la-la-lo-lar.
I write: ‘A turning on the path.’ Then: ‘A distant place reached only slowly and on foot.’ Hell, it’s romanti-trippy tripe there’s a need to burst the bulging bladderack of portentous pomposity. ‘Through hawthorn silhouette of haws the silent, sloughing, muffling snow falls… horizontally’ onto a Spring-sunlit dusty computer screen. ‘Laughter slips on ice; deep rutted road, leading uphill; an old friendship, leaning on the shadows, brings back the story of of those times…’
The clouds pass. The tea’s gone cold a small slice of paradise passing. Memory and time embrace.
I write: ‘Where joy or fear, sudden emotion or meaning match our unspoken, broken hopes or fears to some mudded field or shattered barn.’ I’m sitting five floors up off the finchley road, with red buses passing, and not a broken barn for miles.
Nostalgia. Incipient old age, insipid maudlin lyricism. Mid-life rose-tinted whatnot for childhood certainly and limestone.
I write: ‘Or perhaps some marly, known place, subtle and small scale, claustrophobic and snug, in failing light, for a moment transcends reality and becomes a place of bittersweet memorial. Cupping generations.’ It’s true that despite my lazy city living, the lead miner, road haulier, artist and platelayer, gardener and gout layabout, drinker, printer, ganger, black inker all meet in me and crowd my unremarkable occupied space, as mute witness to times passing. Crowsfeet and laughter lines, emotions, feelings, connections, emotional footfalls, synaesthesia*, in step we go together. 
Do the italicised  reflect a life not just on the page, of course they do, they are a part of, rather than apart from the synaethesia making man.

[*the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.
Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia; from the Ancient Greek σύν syn, “together”, and αἴσθησις aisthēsis, “sensation”) is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report a lifelong history of such experiences are known as synesthetes.
In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme-color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored. In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be “farther away” than 1990), or may appear as a three-dimensional map (clockwise or counterclockwise). Synesthetic associations can occur in any combination and any number of senses or cognitive pathways.
Little is known about how synesthesia develops. It has been suggested that synesthesia develops during childhood when children are intensively engaged with abstract concepts for the first time. This hypothesis – referred to as semantic vacuum hypothesis – explains why the most common forms of synesthesia are grapheme-color, spatial sequence and number form. These are usually the first abstract concepts that educational systems require children to learn.
Only a fraction of types of synesthesia have been evaluated by scientific research. Awareness of synesthetic perceptions varies from person to person.
Difficulties have been recognized in adequately defining synesthesia. Many different phenomena have been included in the term synesthesia (“union of the senses”), and in many cases the terminology seems to be inaccurate. A more accurate but significantly less common term may be ideasthesia.]

Towards the turning on the path we might never see unl;ess we walk them cosrring rock upon rock upon rock stepping stones sea born yet solidly unyielding, water world turned rock. If only we listen reduce the noise the chitter-chatter yacker so silently are it’s secrets revealed. In hanging green and dripping utterences. We seem so frail by comparison, a passing thang, compared to so great a span of time, dwarfing man miminising the little dreams and because he rushes not to listen creating in him a void of melancholy emptiness. Our sfae known worlds so small scale. Hillside memories our flaws, and friendships the making of man, the pot-holes thin skinned. Dark and shadowed the woods become claustrophobic hug in failing light. Needing to see the other worlds again boggart, fey, the dreamlands the synaesthesia of light, dark, sound of my childhood’s earthy, woody, bracken-badgered, slicken-sided life.
[02.04.2017]



I’m out of practice – the words come weak and loud – oafish, fish out of water, fishy tales, a dirty dance with doggerel. Stumbling rather than high kicking, root-i-tootie tooting parps of language weaved together slick and fast. The wordplay’s bovine, calf hoof, offal. The clouds pass. A daytime moon askew as poetry. No rhyme nor reason, tis [not] the season to be jolly folly-lolly-lah-la-la-lo-lar. I write: ‘A turning on the path.” Then: “A distant place reached only slowly and on foot.” There’s a need to burst the bulging bladderack of portentous pomposity. ‘Through hawthorn silhouette of haws the silent, sloughing, muffling snow falls…’ horizontally onto Spring sunlit dusty computer screen. ‘Laughter slips on ice; deep rutted road, leading uphill; an old friendship, leaning on the shadows, brings back the story of of those times…’ The clouds pass. The tea’s gone cold a small slice of paradise passing. Memory and time embrace. I write: [01.04.2017 update ended here.] Where joy or fear or any sudden emotion or meaning match our unspoken broken hopes to some mudded field or shattered barn.’ Sitting five floors up off finchley road, red buses passing, not a broken barn for miles. Nostalgia. incipient old age. Midlife rose tinted whatnot for childhood certainly and limestone. Or perhaps at some thin-soiled marly, known damp place subtle and small scale, claustrophobic and snug in failing light closed ion, for a moment transcends reality and become a place of bittersweet memory. Cupping generations. Lead miner, and road haulier, artist and platelayer, gardener and gout layabout, and drinker, printer, ganger, black inker meet in me. Crowd this unremarkable occupied space witness to the passing time. Crowsfoot. Emotional football. Footfalls. In step we go on together. Towards the turning on the path we might never see unl;ess we walk them cosrring rock upon rock upon rock stepping stones sea born yet solidly unyielding, water world turned rock. If only we listen reduce the noise the chitter-chatter yacker so silently are it’s secrets revealed. In hanging green and dripping utterences. We seem so frail by comparison, a passing thang, compared to so great a span of time, dwarfing man miminising the little dreams and because he rushes not to listen creating in him a void of melancholy emptiness. Our sfae known worlds so small scale. Hillside memories our flaws, and friendships the making of man, the pot-holes thin skinned. Dark and shadowed the woods become claustrophobic hug in failing light. Needing to see the other worlds again boggart, fey, the dreamlands the synaesthesia of light, dark, sound of my childhood’s earthy, woody, bracken-badgered, slicken-sided life.



A dirty dancing with doggerel. Slow stepping high kicking, root-i-tootie tooting parps of language weaved together slick and fast and – as I’m out of practice – the words come weak and loud as a bully. The wordplays fall tip-tap the keyboard keys. The clouds pass. Culminating cumulus Romulus & Remus. The moon in daytime askew as poetry. No rhyme nor reason, tis [not] the season to be jolly folly-lolly-lah-la-la-lo-lar. A turning on the path a distant place reached only slowly and on foot, A place where, through hawthorn haws the silent snow might fall, horizontally or where laughter slips on ice. A deep rutted road, leading uphill. Or where old friendship, leaning on the shadows, brings back the story of… Where joy or fear or any sudden emotion or meaning match our unspoken broken hopes to some mudded field or shattered barn. Or perhaps at some thin-soiled marly, known damp place subtle and small scale, claustrophobic and snug in failing light closed ion, for a moment transcends reality and become a place of bittersweet memory. Cupping generations. Lead miner, and road haulier, artist and platelayer, gardener and gout layabout, and drinker, printer, ganger, black inker meet in me. Crowd this unremarkable occupied space witness to the passing time. Crowsfoot. Emotional football. Footfalls. In step we go on together. Towards the turning on the path we might never see unl;ess we walk them cosrring rock upon rock upon rock stepping stones sea born yet solidly unyielding, water world turned rock. If only we listen reduce the noise the chitter-chatter yacker so silently are it’s secrets revealed. In hanging green and dripping utterences. We seem so frail by comparison, a passing thang, compared to so great a span of time, dwarfing man miminising the little dreams and because he rushes not to listen creating in him a void of melancholy emptiness. Our sfae known worlds so small scale. Hillside memories our flaws, and friendships the making of man, the pot-holes thin skinned. Dark and shadowed the woods become claustrophobic hug in failing light. Needing to see the other worlds again boggart, fey, the dreamlands the synaesthesia of light, dark, sound of my childhood’s earthy, woody, bracken-badgered, slicken-sided life… [
Written note on draft page states that core lines were ‘from 1984 text / updated January 1996’]

[31.03.2017]

dowsing

This poem is exploring the ‘mirror cinquain’ form. It’s a decastich (10-line), syllabic (2-4-6-8-2 / 2-8-6-4-2) & unrhymed form.

When trying a new form I enjoy being explicit. In this case I’ve broken words into syllables with hyphens, and numbered the lines to ensure I have the correct order.

The topmost version is the latest. Any versions below the top copy are earlier drafts. It’s a helpful writing strategy that records the archeology of the poem and the journey of decision-making made during the poem’s construction.

This poem is unfinished.

2: Walk, open
4: to the se-cret
6: whis-per-ings of shad-ows,
8: seek out the in-cons-e-quent-ial
2: or mute.
2: Stare even…
8: as close scru-tin-y gives voice to
6: oth-er-wise missed mo-ments.
4: and ex-press-es
2: mean-ing.


2: Walk, open

4: to the sec-ret

6: whisp-er-ings of shad-ows,

8: seek out the in-cons-e-quent-ial

2: or mute.

2: Stare hard

8: as close scru-tin-y gives voice to

6: oth-er-wise missed mo-ments

4: fizz-ing bright with

2: mean-ing.


2: walk open

4: to the sec-ret

6: whisp-er-ings of shad-ows

8: and round the cor-ner spook-i-ness

2: seek out

2: the lost

8: “e-vents – dear boy – e-vents” – mon-o-lith

6: mem-or-i-al mo-ments

4: fizz-ing bright with

2: mean-ing