Friday, 24 January 2020

A Closing Door Cannot Play the Flute

I allow myself to use words as weapons;
as allies in my struggle against reality.
Toasters want to be more than 
a simple household appliance, 
although I say simple - 
have you ever tried to make a toaster?
Set words free to be what they want to be.
Maybe the wardrobe wants to be a cloud?
Maybe the cloud wants to be a sunset?
Maybe the sunset envies the toaster?
The boundless joy of mad expressions. 
Let us all laugh with such abandon
that our tragedies are undermined.

It Is Enough, Is It?

It is not enough simply to pretend
that you do not know what you are doing.
I want to write every sentence as a paradox;
a dog barking at the moon, scaring the moths
and wondering why he is no longer a wolf.
It is not enough to buy the contents of your supermarket 
(although there are actually seven of them, let's not say otherwise)
and redistribute all of the sugar,
the dried fruit, the out-of-date Mars bars,
the crisps, well, basically everything, 
to those without sugar, without dried fruit,
without out-of-date Mars bars, without crisps,
without, well, basically everything.
Here we are lying on a beach,
throwing shapes at passers-by,
all of whom are tourists.
This is something to be avoided,
but bad habits, once embarked upon,
are difficult to jettison,
like the quandary of what to do with an astronaut 
who has a midlife crisis out in space.
'I need to buy a sports car to assert my status.'
You're living in space-ship; isn't that high-status enough?
Let's give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
Let's give everyone a free poem.
Let's never forgive the trees for being trees.
Oil does not mix with water,
and this is more profound, and also more shallow,
than it appears.
It is not enough simply to be right 
all of  the time.
Humility may be hard won,
but if you mention it to everyone, all of the time,
the whole faintly pointless charade is undone.
Negotiating time like a particle 
which believes that it is a wave.
Why should poetry make sense? Life doesn't. 
Poetry should make sense because life doesn't,
but the inherent senselessness of life
should be reflected in your lines of wandering verse.
It is not enough, nothing is; nothing can be. 
It is not enough. It is never enough. 
The consequences of any action are never known. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

The Sea May Yet Be Still

Nobody wants to argue with lemon trees.
I find similes a struggle,
like trying to tie my shoelaces up
with three hands:
two hands to do all of the work,
and one superfluous third wheel
to oversee their efforts
and take all the glory.
There is no glory in tying up shoelaces,
unless you've got  a miraculous third hand
who never works, except on its public image.
Your smile is like a sunset -
you see what I mean about similes?
You see what I mean about smiles?
I trip over my undone laces
while looking at a sunset smile,
bang my head on an argumentative lemon tree,
and consider the really wild notion
that I need to pay attention
more often than I do
to the wild waters 
of whatever it is that passes for my mind.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Flying Etiquette

For maximum happiness
keep your seat-belt fastened
and try not to jump out of the window.
Do not stare at the carpet, 
unless you can avoid it,
for this makes the mice nervous.
Don't do this, don't do that,
avoid, steer clear of 'and all that stuff'.
'Nothing will come of nothing.' 
Try telling that to a universe.
Blue skies are not always an omen for happy days.
Do not drink your coffee from an upside-down cup
and remember to clap your hands when you are delighted,
like flying under the radar on a pub crawl.
You may wish to re-evaluate your life, 
in which case, please read carefully the 'safety on board' literature, written by Constance Carshow, 
who now has £40K of debt
from her creative writing degree.
No two teaspoons are the same. 
Everything comes from opposite ends of the universe.
People who say they put on weight
simply by looking at a cream bun
need to stop looking at pictures of cream buns.
'I only have to look at a salad
and I lose weight.'
There, problem solved.
Everything has to be paid for.
'There's no such thing as a free lunch.'
There's no such thing as a tesselated sunbeam.
Do some songs make you feel sick?
How did the band get through 
the recording sessions without
projectile vomiting all over the studio?
You cannot compel feelings.
The world is a tourist destination.
Not all blue skies are blue;
not all watches tell the time.