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ShamanJuniper twigs pop in an iron stove.
She spills shots of vodka into teacups
between his lips pokes a lit Camel.
Spirits speak if you pay. You pay?
A flatscreen simmers; he chain-smokes.
Where he shifts his robe, blue cords.
His saddle is a horse-skin drum.
Midday, the Horse Hour, he packs it
in his Citroën, sparks the engine.
Spring. Hilly grasslands a blank sheet.
She churns wine with sheep’s blood,
drapes flags from staves. Flags for the sky,
the clouds, the earth. The sky is white.
Every mountain has a spirit. Meat for the fire.
Distant, the boxy city, strip-mines, plants.
He’s drum-slapping, crying, stamping reindeerskin
boots. On the wind, fistfuls of confetti.
Blue manSprawled on the rim
of a Florence fountain
a blue man, naked,
his feet just shy of the ground
enquiring head tilted
old woodland revels
perhaps in mind,
the girls quaffing dark wine
the antic prancing,
it sprinkled the hills.
We had quit our city jobs,
were shepherds in Arcadia
perfecting our lonely songs
under broad beech canopies,
sat careless in the shade
with time on our hands.
Or, as we lay fleece-
swaddled under Orion,
he’d mutter to us
of future merriment,
his coarse tongue
making the leaves blush.
A blue man in a square
of citrus stone,
now he is lodged here,
just shy of the ground
his splayed hooves
caught in a dance step
the fountain jets
Paper planeHe must have found a way to make
clean energy - metal-framed chairs, desks
shrieking, light strips fusing, windows
ripped out as the prefab classroom
came unfixed from the ground.
Even the sky is misunderstood,
its anaemic drizzle giving way
to blue seams, gulls, a Boeing 747;
its passengers crane to watch the hut
fly. Was it the windmills,
thin blades spinning, that propelled it?
A paper plane he’s folded, and
blank A4 sheets adrift on the wind,
now the room is a honey jar
of sunshine, a glint
on the horizon.
The CageDark cranes hike the city skyward.
Someone shouts. A spray of swallows
queries smatterings of blue air.
In shadow the future sprawls behind
him, atop a wall, palms in his lap.
This isn’t what he asked for but
they’re building it bar by iron bar,
a kind of cage to keep him, your son.
Already he is less happy than an hour
ago, & you, you were never able
to explain why they had flung whole
forests into the pit they called
their hearts. They still hungered.
Evening’s cloudy embers cool;
he spurns your raw cheer & you’ve
started to assert again that this is
what he asked for, this is paradise.
The TrickHe’d shown up smiling,
claimed he’d quit the Prozac,
squatting in the box room upstairs,
wired to his iPod
while the semi juddered:
Beyoncé, a group capering
in the chilly garden.
This was a year after mum died.
Unable to confound that natural law
Jake had given up on magic,
his card decks, tricks, crystal ball
zipped into hold-alls, dumped.
I step outside, join the others.
Drink, dance; it does no harm.
When, glancing, high on
the extension roof, he’s strolling
into deep air. Floating.
A fakir. Those few seconds
gifting me belief.
The Year of Living DangerouslyDon’t ever come back! she yelled
clutching a damp baby that had quit
screaming to eyeball me. Who was she
expecting when she dashed downstairs,
swung the door open on a London
Wildlife Trust cold caller? I click
the gate shut, stroll on to the next
house. And suddenly you fill my mind,
your voice, your nameless face.
Back in ’88 you asked me the time
despite the wall clock I pointed out.
I thought you too obvious for me then.
The sky is an explosion of lava,
the pause button pressed, raw and
deeply serious, an artist’s dolor.
I want to be somewhere else, playing pool,
a stack of pound coins on the table,
or smoking behind the petrol station.
Some things, only years later, you regret.
No-nameOaks loaded with snow
a purple-robed geisha passes,
wagasa gripped, hokkaido
scuttling at her heels.
The river is frozen
and the bridge where we met.
Thatched huts on the bank
all brume and light,
snow sky threshed,
beating at faces, names.
We slip off our names.
Parallel livesEach morning a sparrow at his window,
a plucky rude scrap hustling crumbs.
In his copper high-buttoned tub he soaks.
God has always been hard on the poor.
Departing the Hôtel de Providence,
Plutarch on her mind, she stops to buy knives.
Angels take many forms her father said.
She has powdered her hair, changed her corset.
The rich are a scab. One must claw an itch.
He spools his vinegar-drenched bandana.
Each morning a sparrow at his window.
He is the just anger of the people.
She’s an agent in a stranger’s bathroom
reciting names. The window is ajar.
He is sponging his red skin. He is listening.
He believes in the cutting off of heads.
Angels take many forms her father said.
He has studied the effect of light on bubbles.
She is talking, hand on corset. She too
believes in death. Help me, my dear friend.
Six Second Poem"We're all the same," she said. "Friend, tell me," she asked, "how are we different?"
For six seconds I paused, then I said:
Some of us ..
love more than we hate,
laugh more than we cry,
work harder than we play, but
live before we die.
Some of us don't.
And that, my friend, is how we are all different.
EasterRemember what you love,
you with sand in your teeth
and the feral burn of hunger
in your eyes.
God sends his regrets.
He made you grasping and slow,
in a late hour
when the wine washed low.
Remember what you love.
Fall to your knees in the toss
and the swell, quell
the appetite of the cold black sea.
Beg blessings for your home
and the salt-sick trees.
Reach what lies near:
the fat-faced child, the sweet-soft lamb;
tether the tantrum, trickle the blood.
Offer psalms to what is holy,
whisper the name of what you love
as it bobs in the bleak mad sea.
I willI will love you
all the way to the place where ladybirds go to die,
to the lushest corners of the earth
that hold the secrets no man was meant to see
and we will find them, and know them together.
I will love you
all the way to the place where bubbles are made
at the bottom of a glass of cider
that blisters the glass with condensation
as we trade hats and laugh at the way the air smiles.
I will love you
all the way inside a branch where buds dream of Becoming,
where those one-day-flowers stir wooden hearts
into an uprising, into a blossoming life
and we will plant our ambitions there, in the blooming place.
I will love you
all the way to the square brackets that hold our boxes
because you are my best friends, and you will be
as we fold papery hands around paper-cut wrists and cry
and mourn eighty-odd years flown by too fast. Even then.
Even then, I will love you still.
I've ForgottenWhen she died
I tied a knot in my stomach
so I would remember
but I've been so busy
trying to remember her dying
I forgot how to forget.
how to let go -
and the doctors said
they would cut me open
and snip her out
a blade between the bows
and the pain, would be gone
but I've forgotten
how to let go -
and I still don't want to.
love didn't matter, but home was with youi.
there's still shadows left of you
even with the
little that remains. i wish
sometimes the light
would stop it's singing long enough
for them to grow,
my heart spends enough
time aching when
just the photographs
show their faces.
you took me
to a wedding once - it was a cold
night, and the
of stars in the sky made
it seem like God's
breath was reaching out
to earth. i don't remember
the names of the two who
indefinitely, anymore, not
when the wind's taken
in it's hold; but i remember crying because
love's just so damn
hard to find, and you
found me instead behind
the rosebushes that
were too stained to be called
me that sometimes
love doesn't matter, and
i (did)n't want to
you asked me once if anything
mattered, a lighter
gracing one hand and a
cigarette lining your
lips. i wasn't
sure back then
and i don't know
if i am now
(but i think i want to say yes).
my body never felt
unarticulatedtonight I ask myself:
where are you going with all these names
in your pockets? syllables that taste
unauthentic in the desperate American
repression is a series of images
earthbound angels breathing
flame, starving hands speaking
in tongues, glazed eyes
asking are you fucking okay
pale skin becoming moonlight,
reflecting and refracting and
the quiet understatement
The Elephant ManHe had elephant hands; swollen and tendered
by old age and wiping away childrens' crying
so they were leathered and carefully painted
with a veneer of the dust made by old books,
but when he read to me the pages didn't shake
and his throat didn't contract about the words
like they were enemies to be spat out, bloodied.
Lungs didn't shiver and eyes didn't milk, then.
Now, I see love ephemeral. I see love half-dead
and carving its riverbed path, slowly eroding;
until it can rejoin oceans once known in heaven.
Now, I see him ephemeral. I see him half-living.
I see the fear of burdenship as the only thing
that makes his eyes flicker how Pernod used to.
I see a beautiful, crumpled drawing of my hero
as my grandfather slips, wearily, back to sleep.
Diamond TearIn silence
I observe them
Laughing and having fun
While I'm in my corner
I feel out of place
I don't belong here
So I leave
And no one notices
Now I'm out on the street
A dark and silent one
Enjoying the breeze
Lost in my thoughts
Suddenly I hear a sob
And I look around
I see a girl
Sitting on a bench
A single diamond tear
Running down her face
I don't know her
No one else is around
I could just leave
But I can't
So I sit by her side and ask
Without looking her in the eyes
For a moment
And then she takes my hand
And we look
Into each other's eyes
And she whispers
Oxtails (Collab w/ TwilightPoetess)Somewhere between oxen and orchid,
where cattails and foxgloves wilt and weep
at the parting of another fleeing day
and stormed cloud-castles mutiny
against the weight of the rocksalt moon;
somewhere between flightless and fading,
where faery circles and dandelion crowns fall--
somewhere, beneath bark mosaiced with age,
you will siphon the remains of my heart--
churned smooth by false hope’s abuse--
into dehydrated dirt that groans for it.
I will clot the crumbling veins of anthills
with the iron debris that was once us,
until I become orchid or foxglove once more.
Spell to summon a phoenixThe common trickster will declare
the phoenix is a bird of flame. Not so.
How can mere flame survive death?
The phoenix I tell you is imagination's
gift: you cannot conjure what you cannot
dream. To the crossroads take rubies
finely ground. Where earth's secret
vapours rise, toss a pinch of this dust.
If your spirit lacks the necessary fire,
some other bird may heed your call.
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Bluefley has a gallery filled with artwork that whisks you off in to a Sci-fi daydream, and keeps you captivated for hours. Marc has been a member of our community for over a decade and has achieved nothing but success with his astounding commitment to interacting with the community, sharing a prolific amount of video tutorials and generally being an all round rockstar deviant. It is no joke that we are absolutely delighted to award the Deviousness Award for April 2014 to ... Read More