may 2021

                                (i)

...there is something deeply exquisite in death

in apples rotting in the next room

the smell sticking to existence

to nosegays that mask the scent

of a universe in extremis

fate finally stripped from the human heart

this fascination for absolutes

for an ego nobody wants

or needs, or sees

this exquisite freedom

to leave a failing cosmos

and never return

to have death taped over your mouth

trapping your last words

that smell coming from the next room

those apples, those absolutes

rotting the universe

this cold fascination for darkness

for these black steps

leading down into the heart...

                     (ii)

...the centre of this fire

is where the earth’s purple shadows

stain my eyes, even my skin 

with their ballads, their rosaries

their inexplicable sonnets - all of which

I am clearly not meant to understand

and yet the urge is primeval

I must push back on what is coming

my soul’s slow dismemberment

these saffron eyes, these flaking toenails

this incandescent sleep

where the earth’s purple shadows

play over my face 

giving to fire its hypnotic colour

its need to dismember

the endless zeros

the endless sonnets

circumferenced like a necklace

about the galaxy’s heart 

my birthplace, my home

where once I was set down

reclusive among the stars...

                         (iii)

…who are you who watches and waits

are you a god, an aspiration

or a devotee

guard or inmate

or just someone lost in a free world

dangling from the edge of a dream

but I know you

because you have stalked the earth

unseen for millions of years

you are the inconspicuous leviathan

the hooded reptile

that lies inanimate among the rocks

you are, for sure, a snake

smouldering with revelations

hunger with a flicking tongue

this conscience marooned on a planet

you are the eye that scans

counting each and every footfall

each and every blink of every star

as you wait yearning for your god to exist...