Monday, 20 July 2015

Bread Maker

We had one once; she had blue eyes with flecks
of hazel and dark limbal rings. Her hands
were capable and strong, and marked with specks
like wheat germ.  Sometimes pale, soft, grey-white strands
of hair would fall across her face as she
began to mix and knead the dough. Her dress
was one she'd made herself, silk jersey. We
loved her, in that way that is a mess
of fierce instincts barely spelled in thought,
combined within a pancheon perhaps
within our hearts and leavened with a sort
of carelessness so there was no collapse.
And we ate her bread with treacle every day,
appreciatively in that savage, childish way.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Raspberry Picking

A thick, glass bowl held firmly in my hand
I stoop and lift the drooping, bent, brown cane,
And summer sun beats down upon my back
And goose grass clutches, scratches, where I stand.
And heat evaporates the sharp, strange scent
Residing in the soft and hairy leaves
Of flowering dead nettle, as I crane
To reach the red ones near the fence. My sleeves
All floaty chiffon catch and snag; a strand
Of climbing rose attacks my arm;
And yet I persevere, possessed by greed,
In competition with imagined mice.
I cannot leave a single soft, red fruit;
I seem impelled to pick and spread the seed
By some force stronger than my will.
I drop the odd one into long, dry grass,
But cannot leave it be and needs must root,
Determined it shall not be there to feed
Some other hungry creature who might pass.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Artist in Residence

The artist in residence
At the department for chronic diseases
Was considering her inspiration.
Should it be Alzheimer's, a composition
Full of repetition, and uncertainty?
Or Parkinson's, a study in vibration,
In which the sounds or frequencies
Mirrored those of the condition?
There were possibilities with hypertension,
Where stringed instruments tuned high and tight
Could be made to produce strained
And high pitched palpitation,
Causing the sudden collapse of their bridges,
Each a percussive explosion,
And brass could have its tubes narrowed,
Causing different sounds through clogged restriction.
Post vasectomy chronic pain
Proved too difficult a translation
There could be no real healing harmonisation,
And therefore nothing to gain.
A musical representation
Of chronic kidney disease,
Could depict in sound the imperfection
Of the break down of filtration,
So that discord began to build up.


But then , the Artist in Residence at the Department for Chronic Diseases
let rip with imagination
And plumped instead for a combination
Of possible cures, and sampled effective medication,
Composing randomly in response 
And deciding the role was a great affectation,
She was freed from the need to proceed
According to anyone's expectation,
So producing a wonderful, new creation.

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Tragedy of Pickled Gherkins

Curled a little, khaki, warty,
Appendages of boys, whose naughty
Ways have angered evil step mama.
She's put them in a pickle jar,
With fronds of leafy pubic hair
And made them look amphibian,
Nestling sans underwear
In brackish, vinegar or briney
Water, green, un-sparkly
Which turns the glass obsidian.
They'll never grow to know of love
And never feel their human pleasure
Their fate, always to be viewed darkly,
Then consumed with cheese, at leisure.