Showing posts with label morning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label morning. Show all posts


A blue star rises, and who of us can say

Click to see full-sized original
Edit: Jenn Zed has kindly created a new image to illustrate this poem.  I've cropped it and scaled it to fit the ludicrously small thumbnail here, but click to see the full glory.

Cultural change is famously the hardest sort of change to achieve, but probably the most important.

Who do we believe we are?  Clearly in the past we have believed some very silly things.

There is a concept in cosmology called the Assumption of Normality.  It says: do not invoke special rules to explain what you see.  They mean that in the sense that: (i) we do experiments here on Earth, and (ii) we look 100,000,000 light-years into the Universe (and hence the past), but (iii) we shouldn't not without really special evidence assume physics down here to be any different from physics out there.

So, if we've believed stupid things in the past (which is "out there") then we must deduce we probably still believe some stupid things now.

The important thing is to keep making improvements to our beliefs; to keep extending the assumption of normality until we can see understanding reaching everywhere, and everyone, without having to invoke special cases.

A blue star rises, and who of us can say

out by the horizon, electric blue ink
a sky uniquely annotated dawning
its own way and who of us can say
what a day like this may mean

one pale, bluish star, low in the brightening sky
I watch you stir your tea I watch
you watch my eyes we're drawing nearer
covertly, through a fall of hair

a blue star might rise unprecedented
just there in its own way on a day
with the horizon not so far away
you tie your hair back firmly with a string

out by the horizon
I greet you properly, a public display
what passes as normal, we're unaliened
and our funny ways strange no more

a blue star rises and all unmanned,
unwomanned, freshly peopled...
we walk out hands held
into the new world, bravely



A poem from 2011.  I'd almost forgotten this one, which is ironic when you consider the subject matter.

This was inspired by an actual walk down to the beach at Ravenscar from Boggle Hole, both excellent places to stroll down to and good for hunting fossils another rich metaphor about the nature of time, but one I didn't make use of here.

Artistic license alert: on the actual day there were no horses...  but there could have been.


Above the beach are horses, or so we must believe,
having seen them lounge, tails swinging,
beneath the trees we strolled beneath
the shade now only another belief
when we kicked down through the evaporating dew
in the imaginary morning.

There is of course no time remaining
the moment any moment's done.
Footprints on the sand lie,
another preceding one,
like a man saying "and before that I..."
all the way back to his birth
over by the corner of the beach hut.

The sun westerns.
The tide erodes the beach.
We each stand at the end
of a line of our own feet,

pointing ahead to empty sand, a canvas,
page, or silence waiting dormant;
the prints we are to make implied.
We know we will walk.
We even choose where the next few fall,
but beyond that know nothing at all
of what rock pools we'll peer into,
which breaking waves we'll salt-spray through;
except that the day in time will end
and we will wend back past the horses
briefly real again
with the seashore fading behind us.

Wave and seagull sounds in background are attributed to "justkiddink" and "eelke", and available from:


NaPoWriMo - 2017 - April 15th - The impossibility of Elspeth Spangler

This one languished for a long time as just the first strophe and the idea of releasing the mice.  However on the train yesterday it got its moment to shine...

Elspeth doesn't shine...  she glows gently if she thinks nobody is looking.

I'm not vegetarian but I like vegetarian food.  And I'm not a cat person, but I'm even less a dog person so I get Elspeth to that extent.

The impossibility of Elspeth Spangler

The woman can't exist.  She does not work
for all hours in the whole-food shop.  She won't
arrive at six to clatter shutters down
and shove the drawer back firmly in the till.
She never checks the racks for misplaced packs
or things that need refill.  She has no chance

encounters with her oldest friend or lunch
outside the vegan café opposite,
and they don't laugh round cauliflower bake
or snort latte at what the teacher said
that day when they freed all the classroom mice
in the unreal childhood many miles ago.

And now she doesn't wander, weary, home,
the day of problems not quite out of mind,
although the ones now gone feel so well done.
There isn’t any hint of rain to damp
her slightly battered funky hat. There’s no
absence of boy or girl back in the flat,

boiling the kettle ready. She doesn’t need
to keep her coat and scarf on while the place
warms through. There is the cat, who adopted her
so many years ago and who awaits
the ceremonial filling of the bowl
as if the World were a real and reliable place.

NaPoWriNo - 2017 - April 19th - The mythical creation myth

The prompt was to retell a creation myth.

First time I've used "wang" or "tits" in a poem, but then your typical creation myth is going to get a bit earthy...

The mythical creation myth

They say they say the universe begins
in fire, of all things; massive growth in white hot
techno-commercial foment or else some moment
of some old godhead cutting off some other
old god’s bits. The sky-father’s wang. The earth-mother’s
tits. The separation of the light and dark, water
and land, the casual combining of whatever
elements might come to hand into first life.

First life, first light, first thought… first criticism
the creation-creator held up for inspection
and to account. Is this the only way
the World can be? Is there enough infinity
or family values? Is the climate wrong
in late September? Has the climate model
come undone, dropping her pointer and spilling one boob
in front of the green-screen projection

of the home counties. What country is our home
in the world we less than intentionally create.
Do not pause at the gate but hit the commuter train
on time. Newspaper tucked firmly beneath
your Sure for men armpit and daily in it
the word-smiths push their
sempiternal spin
there is such detail still
needs construction
for the creation story that never ends.


Dark skies

A poem inspired by a prompt from a Facebook poetry group.

This is a pantoum.  I like pantoums, but they are a very particular thing and I can understand if not everybody gets them.  They repeat a lot, rather like the villanelle, which is another form I'm fond of... I mean of which I'm fond.

In the case of a pantoum the repetition generates an intense feelings of stasis, claustrophobia, and/or nostalgia.  So they are ideally suited for emotive, introspective or contemplative subjects.

The Western pantoum is a hijacking of a Malay verse form, but I do not speak Malayan, so  I really cannot comment on whether we do them justice...

Dark skies

The gaps between the stars will draw her eyes.
She's lying on the back lawn in the dark.
The voids are better than more clouded skies.
She isn't waiting for the dog to bark.

She's lying on the back lawn in the dark
without the thought that anyone will come.
She isn't waiting for the dog to bark.
Such expectations leave her feeling dumb.

Without the thought that anyone will come,
she's none-the-less put on her special top.
Expecting too much leaves her feeling dumb
but clothing is an easy thing to swap.

She's none-the-less put on her special top.
Beneath her shoulders dew begins to soak.
Her clothing is an easy thing so swap
there's always extra cleaning with a bloke.

Beneath her shoulders dew begins to soak,
this sort of thing is starting to get old.
There's always extra effort for a bloke
increasingly it leaves her feeling cold.

This sort of thing is starting to get old.
The dark is better than a clouded sky.
Increasingly they leave her feeling cold.
The voids between the stars pull at her eye.


Blue of the morning (with reading)

By Rowan Peter [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
A city morning, earlier today
This is a recent poem, so I apologise to those who have already seen/heard it on poetry forums.

However I'm just in the mood for it, so here it is again.

This whole poem sprang from the first line, which in turn I stole from a song.  The poem then turned out to have nothing to do with the song.  It's not unusual (that's not the song). Poems do turn out with no relation to their inspiration.

Some poets have questioned whether I need the last two words.  I went forwards and backwards over that and in the end I kept them.  What do you think?

Blue of the morning

For reasons unknown to me,
perhaps because there's steam between
two tiny buildings way down there,
or possibly because a car alarm
has been sounding one minute
in every six minutes
for the last half hour, or maybe
it is eighth floor ledge air decorated
but not at all warmed
by the hint of distant
sausage sandwich, or then again...

I am come with E-flat saxophone at port-arms.
I have risen too often prior to dawn
and walked on every street
I see from here, the debris
and sparrows, the pigeons one eye sleepy,
the guy with the broom and barrow,
the early office drones flitting through
like casually lobbed tennis balls
come randomly through one window
of a slow twirling ballroom,
bouncing once, and exiting
via open terrace doors.

Or possibly not, maybe it is not
the evolution of graffiti on street-side
equipment, nor the occasional blip
of bistros in and out of existence. Maybe
it isn't seeing the same faces come round
and again, and maybe that's the woman Mona leaning
on a lamppost... or maybe not.
Possibly none of this is it, possibly...

it is the possibilities of the situation,
the group of situations, systems, traffic,
people, complexity arising
in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence, patterns that start with a line
in a restaurant menu, continue
behind a pawnshop window, and end
in the pocket of a tram driver
where his smart-phone marks time and bookmarks
places in this and other worlds

where maybe I have also wet the reed,
inserted it, tightened the screw...
and maybe finally this is it, because it isn't the city,
the air, the complexity or the people. It is all of the above,
a summing into something with no summary,
detail that won't express in language I can voice.
OK, lift instrument, breathe,
and begin...