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Poetry





An Autumn Swim in the West


Step down from the town
to the seaweed-quenched frontier
where amber fronds dance in the frothy shallows.

Touch the waves and at once
touch all the oceans.
The footprints in the sand fill

with this salty world as the surf
swiftly swirls towards
the doorsteps of the town.

Walk into the waves and swim.
Alone in the water, free
as the town fades into the dusk.






Atlantic Seal


Blackness of his nostrils;
blacker than Atlantic quenched fur.

Whiskers dominate brow and snout
as he snorts and twirls
and sends a sidelong glance
into my frozen pupils.

Deep within our skins
we share the same Celcius

As swiftly as he surfaced
he dived to reappear
in an arc of salty spray
behind me

I float one metre further into your world,
You circle my advances, display your way with waves.

Younger than me
yet more sea worldly,
you echo
ancestry.

Taking the lead, you submerge, spin away, far away
to leave me dancing with hypothermia, making for the shore.






Wasp


The buzzing striped invertebrate
browsed and hovered near a cake.

Its instinct drew it to confection,
the compound eye eyed the selection.

The white-gowned woman searched in vain for spray
to end the fuselage's fleeting days

and with a cloth impaired its flight
and with a boot stamped out its life.

It left a red-yellow-black mark on the floor
I left the shop to return no more

and pondered on what might have been;
a hungerless wasp returned to its queen.

Its journey through the autumn air stolen
by a cursing white-clad, white-faced demon

who gained her grades in cookery and became a wife.
a position in the bakery - a job for life:

serving cakes and scones and bread
and abusing men of gingerbread.

Oh yes, the Devil is in her eyes,
her favourite sport is killing flies

and anything which takes a fancy
to her sugar, spice and candy.

But, I fear she'll reincarnate
as a buzzing striped invertebrate.






Dance Too Fast


A boy and a girl
dance alone
dancers dance alone
in their closeness


closeness causes
sweat to swing
from you to me
to her to him


alcohol provides
his thumping high
after ecstasy she ceases to see
and shrinks inside her thighs


he dances so hard
to hip hop
he has to have
an op on his hip


she jumps up
throws up her arms
jumps back
throws up her kicks.






Dawn on Ancient Site


Grey granite knuckles
punch the earth's crust
and lodge themselves
in the morning grass

The grass feasts
on water droplets
while webs stick
to flying insects

blown in on the frail breeze,
which barely rouses
the deformed hawthorns;
sculpted by more forceful winds.


The rising sun,
igniting the dormant gorse,
freezes the image of a mayfly's death,
taking a day to dry out its corpse.






Every Time


Every time a new adventure
Every time another love.
Followed that dusty path
For such a long time,

Every time a new adventure
A different view.
Until the rain fell
And the dust turned to mud,
Slipping instead of strolling
A different view.

Easily she fell, like the last time
Like every time.
Tethered by beauty
Struggle to impress
A short-cut to loneliness.






Grand National


As if it were not enough
to make a stallion tame,
tie ribbons, fanciful knots
in tail and mane


Metal and leather tugging,
instinct-draining tugging.


As if it were not enough
to run on the flat, a man on your back
in a whipping frenzy.
Big name sponsor whipping up the punters' money.


Year upon year falling
horse upon horse falling.


Out of focus, on the News, a man dispatches
a brown clump of grounded hooves.
A horse loose, wins the race
unburdened, ignored


as the favourite, jockey still intact,
steals the glory.


Sometime in my lifetime
when the human race grows up,
that race or, at least, those fences
will break life for the last time.






Nine Lives


Cats sleep arched against smooth pebbles
on the wide door-step between the bedroom
and a hot Cretan September day.
Net curtains work the breeze, draping past tiny heads;
oblivious they remain in feline dreams.
Nine Greek cats nest their narrow faces into fur.
They slumber and purr and their
whiteness dissolves
into the sunlight.

Meanwhile, the cicadas sing, sing, sing,
only to suddenly stop;
leaving a pronounced silence
between the earth and the sun.
The overlooking hills appear
too arid to harbour life,
but there is a sweetness in the wind,
which often blows a butterfly
or some other life-form into view.

The breeze stiffens
feeding the furnace
that is this room.
The cats stir,
the flies scatter,
their humming decays
into the heat.
It is very hot here
in Maronia.






A New Age


Today it was raining rainbows,
the kill was a curse of the past.
Creatures climbed free their burrows
dispersed amongst the green grass.

Nature had been returned its pleasant land
after expiry of the lease.
Time to learn from past errors -
let peace be the product of peace.

In this Jerusalem
a fox can slink
a hare can dance
a deer can graze -
gone are their premature
dying days.


Today it was raining rainbows
and then appeared the sun.
The sky was filled with fearless flocks,
their song replaced the evil tones
of resonating guns.






Public Order


Deep in the eighties,
deep in the New Forest
thirty others and myself
located the hunt and scrambled

into position behind the fox,
beyond the hounds and far
beyond the riders on
their impartial steeds.

Deep into the trees
we smelt the dog-fox
and left our smells
of homemade Antimate®:

citronella and garlic
blended with the steaming air
above the bracken and the fern
of the forest floor.

That one escaped, his belly scraped
the foliage as he fled and we led
the hounds upwind of him,
keeping wary eyes on them.

Downwind things were simmering,
men in red fuming;
their accusations lingering
to taint the spring air.

Then came the men in black,
on went the cuffs,
no questions were asked
as we flew in the back

of a big white van
with grilles on the outside,
cages on the inside,
a fast driver and a trip to the cells

for an afternoon, an evening
a cold cup of tea
and not a single reason given
for our custody.






Sting


Ice-cold staring
of the azure
over the horizon,


inking a blue line
between tree and sky.


Anticipated prickling
of earth-hugging gorse,


egg-yolking yellow
into a fertile foliage of green.


Strychnine sting
of the waist-high nettle,
scarring skin in a ripple of pain.




Home
Philip's Poetry
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Gig History
Links


philipelston123@gmail.com


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