With the close of a hospice door, clunk of a saloon, tyres
on gravel: an ending if ever there was one. Let us slalom
round statues of Mary, grottos in grounds, funerary fetishes.
Let it end with handed-over possessions, towels, slippers,
photo off the wall (she never saw), smell of softened linens,
folded neatly with inventory, for no-one especially.
Ask for no heroes, villains, nick-of-time pliers on wires,
no H-bomb to defuse on the horizon. Ask for nothing
as the sun pops, extinguishes. Let it end as a balloon.
Let the chauffeur pull unsmilingly through the driveway.
Let the leaves fall sometimeish in September.
Let unhappy accidents happen on dual carriageways.
See father as a mannequin, us both as mannequins, feel
the numbness of thumbs on a gear lever, steering wheel
turn, sink in a blue lagoon, birds scatter from traffic islands.
Let doctors be anything but miracle workers. Sack Christ,
alienists. Insist the priest toddle off with his rosary beads,
chuck out his wooden crosses, fuck off to the hypermarket.
Pray only clouds on roads chaperone us. Stay on auto-pilot.
Read of St Bede’s swiftness of sparrow down a dining hall.
Let’s go art house, kino lounge a while:
Let bus stops hang unseasonal icicles, Belisha beacons
be lollipops if they want, the forget-me-nots freeze,
apocalyptic winter, denouement leave all threads a tangle.
fin, fade to dark. Stars drip to stalactites.
It arrives in strips torn out of a compendium of dreams. It begins as wisteria
up the walls a boarded-up window a gable another window dark as
an eye-patch. It’s something I’ve meant to write for some time. Each night another
vignette is unveiled as if viewing a mural by torchlight. It’s always a darkness
beyond darkness like once in the attic with a shade no photons could escape
or where such darkness festers in oubliettes undercrofts outside with rooks
and a sense of the venerable. Often it’s a house I’ve once been in one with a tumble-
down facade sheer cliffs on every side. Last night the house of a married couple
or mausoleum its door-turned-tombstone carved in exotic ciphers. I chucked a
grappling hook over the roof to the other side hoisted myself through a spider-filled
frame. All I remember was a presence of husband and wife how I kept opening
doors to bedrooms or staircases or doubling back on myself finding rooms
were running out or floral walls closing in. Shut in the vestibule I sought
the bustle of the streets. Shrieks out of a letterbox met with nothing but disinterest.
Some Deformed Fukushima Daisies
It’s gone viral
from the outskirts of the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Close-ups with the highest res’ of megapixels.
Heads fused as conjoined twins
cresting at the lips or stigmas.
Any other context and they’d be said to be kissing,
though it would have to be eternal.
And how might they eat?
Their enclosed faces spurn the sun
whose fusion is a saviour.
It beats down regardless.
And their stems are bent over double
like spines of grown-old-together brothers.
Shasta daisies born of a tsunami
show off their skins of leukaemia bruises,
like pubescent nightmares of another Windscale,
And as I google the meaning of meltdown
I stumble over stories of evacuees,
articles on damage done to genes,
what the mutant reality is
of kids whose heritage begins
in rhizomes, grasses, trees,
toxic hospital units.
No matter what the cause is,
whether malformed stalks are metaphors,
they can’t stop us from our sleepwalk.
And this is the way the planet talks,
like the body talks with its symptoms
or the mind talks with neuroses –
if only we’d listen
and re-learn how to read signs and ciphers
rather than rely on pills – consider hysteria,
no longer think of sadness as an illness
or think of madness as a lesion.
Perhaps the heart truly has its reasons,
and we are the daisies,
we are the fallout,
the Twitter feeds our babies.