featured in the poetry forum November 9, 2016  :: 0 comments

When all these numbers are finally crunched
As electrical spasms jerk each thought
At equations of such simplicity –
Patterns emerge that were there all the time.
Nothing arrives without arithmetic
Shaping paws – or stripes on a cat’s long tail,
Calculating the way it thinks and purrs
To heal itself as some illness takes hold.
Adding this to what’s seen in cold night skies
That seem far away, everything becomes
Clear, almost algebraic, not simple
But chalked on a blackboard for a child to read.
Do subtracted lives shrink in importance,
Pale figures, vague shadows in the distance?

editors note:

Sometimes, our equation seems unbalanced; impossible to solve for “x” when we can’t see “y.” – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 20, 2016  :: 0 comments

Darkness everywhere when we open our eyes
To tears in the tide’s never ending song.
Oblivion everywhere before we could think
Of being oblivious to right or wrong.
Beauty everywhere until we lose
Our souls, stolen before we can blink.
Silence everywhere, as stars burn
Not for us as we never learn.
Innocence everywhere as their animals kill,
Not for food, just for the thrill.
Freedom everywhere as they forge our chains,
Blood, rust and tears washed away in the rains.

editors note:

Emancipation sans achievement; being without having been. Cold are the stars from this deep dark. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 31, 2015  :: 1 comment

(for DC)

I remember walking through quiet landscapes
Of English poetry, feeling distant nostalgia,
Drawing out of shadows all those words,
Ideas, metaphors, similes, the usual mechanics
Great poets used in synthetic dreams –
Half asleep, your lightning hit me awake.
For hours, days, an echo of that flash
Rattled around my head – what was it?
Waiting, crouching in a hedge of words
Pulling back dead leaves of autumn, I searched –
And there it was again, streaking across the sky.
Hauling myself up, starting to run, trying to find
The exact spot where you pinned that thunderbolt,
Something so different from the mundane,
From the ‘normal’ careful herd of words,
Like cattle meandering from an open gate,
While yours was a stampede of syllables.
Somehow I tried to avoid the crush of images,
Grabbed one of your poems by the horns.
Slowed it down. But tame it? Impossible.

And that’s how it’s been for 7 years.
The maturity of youth – would that fit?
The rush of a teenager already adult?
But the other evening I saw
Millions of wings soar into the heavens.
Like words in your poems, each bird
Separate, yet close to its neighbour.
Never touching, turning, rising, falling,
A cloud, a murmuration of starlings,
Its amazing shape, ever changing,
As if a master was painting
A living canvas. And then the finale,
As the last line of feathered bodies
Completed their aerial dance, just as night
Fell – but not fallen – the sounds of words
Chattering in my brain. Knowing that
Once those songs have been written
In the sky, or crafted down on your page,
This world would never be the same,
Could never be as perfect, again.

editors note:

Ah, such love; sought by poets, all. “…a stampede of syllables.” To be trampled by them – divine. Thanks, Derrick! (Another mad missive from Del on his page; a vision of things to come? – check it out.) – mh clay


October 30, 2015  :: 0 comments

Before the demise of dark, they said, there were stars:
The Mighty Hunter, Gorgon’s Head and Flying Horse;
Yet, like Phaethon falling from the sky our dark is dead,
Is the only darkness, out there, on the rocks of Mars?
The Chariot of the Sun lit Earth on its sanguine course,
While streetlights cut too deep as our dark is slowly bled.

Blood soaked suns once bowed to a velvet sparkling sky,
Then candlepower showed how darkness really stood,
Seeing dusk’s long blue moment vanish in one bite.
Facing east, Earth’s shadow once gathered the owl’s cry,
Bats stored blackness in empty caves like precious food.
Drawn and pale, night is swallowed by the hungry light.

editors note:

Poetry or premonition? Hmmm… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 6, 2015  :: 0 comments

For winter’s twisted trees there is no escape.
The Earth turns, no longer at the centre,
A mere speck in the sandstorm,
The sun knowing what power is, unlike
Those under a warm comfort of snow.
Trees writhe, oblivion short lived
As the agony begins and roots stretch.
Icicles slowly die, drip by drip.
The distorted trees squirm, the thrash
Of each bud, the struggle to stay asleep.
The sun, relentless, hammers the heat
Into shape, jerks the worm from its bed,
Pulls flowers apart, rips the clouds
Wide open, summer’s tears weeping
Over leaves and sheaves of wheat
By the shade of spent trees
Buying time until autumn.

editors note:

Time wrests Now from our grasps. Hold tightly or relax grip; this predator devours all. (Read another mad missive from Del on his page; a bit o’ star gazing – check it out.) – mh clay


June 6, 2015  :: 0 comments

On clear nights stars seem close,
Almost skimming my hair,
Gentle breezes lifting each strand
Of the evening, touching my mind,
These strange suns . . . so far away –
Like those whose words touched my soul
Though they too were distanced
By ocean, land and culture.
But once in contact,
These stars of the universe
Never really vanish,
Even when clouds
Obscure my view.

ALWAYS (For Jo Gaskin)

February 21, 2015  :: 0 comments

Butterflies defy the lie:
See them once and then they die.
Don’t see them twice
And you may miss
Life within a chrysalis.
See them thrice
And smile with me
For they are here –
Will always be.


featured in the poetry forum February 21, 2015  :: 1 comment

Stretched into the night then twisted by the
Sun. In the early hours and at first light
Nightmares dance as one, accepting this life
As flowers fade and petals fall from sight.
Some seeds will live beneath these autumn dreams –
Small weeds are we, some with a tall belief:
To not believe each soul will die alone,
Separated by that eternal thief.
He takes without remorse, his conscience clear,
There is no force, no dragging by the neck,
It’s timed by that quick moment in the womb.
No master dealing cards in this stacked deck:
Each of those rich shadows bestowed at birth
Will be eclipsed by a spin of the Earth.

editors note:

Stand in the shadow of our tall belief; together forever, if not here, then… (Another one from Del on his page; brief as a butterfly kiss – check it out!) – mh


December 24, 2014  :: 0 comments

It started late this year, end of August,
Hardly time to pay off the last one!
This brings out my sunny side,
Pulling Santa’s beard and growling
At carol singers disturbing me as I try to make
My Soup of the Day, the cauldron nicely boiling
A rat, spider and a scorpion’s tail –
Those kids still murdering Holy Night –
I chase them off throwing a black cat
At their tuneless tonsils, the little varlets!
Time for my lunch of stewed skunk.

I have made misery into an Artform:
Scrooge is my hero, although even he
Let me down in the end, such a shame.
But it won’t happen to me, snarling,
Hating singing, dancing, laughter;
Moaning at the bartender. Breaking
Ice into my whiskey he cracks a joke,
Splitting my lips into a painful grin.
With the day completely ruined
The carol singers return, grudgingly
I put a bent penny into their tin.


featured in the poetry forum December 24, 2014  :: 0 comments

Midwinter must not be the chilled wind,
Emptying tears from a child’s eye,
Shivering a mother’s fear. Midwinter
Cannot destroy the flame of youth,
Nor the embers of age.
This eve, heralding a special day,
Should not be a solstice of despair;
A longing for a Heaven that is not of Earth;
A craving for the end of guilt, survival
Of what was once a life, hearts frozen
Outside a world still full of compassion.
Midwinter would not be the end of warmth
If summer flowered in our minds.
Scattering seeds of our future onto these dark days
Is not an act of desperation
But an act of love for future generations.

editors note:

Defy the nay-sayers and the dooms-dayers; a little bit o’ hope for the Holidays. – mh