The lungs of the city

featured in the poetry forum July 3, 2020  :: 0 comments

O how I miss clean fresh air!
refreshing, purifying, life-giving… oxygen!

Living and working in London you breathe in a spectrum of harmful hazardous foreign bodies.

Carbon monoxide from the millions of gas-guzzling cars, motorbikes, vans, and buses.

Cigarette smoke, vape smoke, factories smoke, and human smoke from hospital chimneys.

At work there is cement dust, plywood shavings and particles, hazardous glue and chemical fumes, and general dust everywhere.

Dust in your nose! Dust in your eyes! Dust in your throat! Dust in your heart!

Now there is the deadly Coronavirus to contend with too! I put on my mask and breathe in oxygen, mustache hairs, and my dark, dark soul.

editors note:

There’s death in the dust. Screen your soul, mask up! – mh clay

Skyscrapers and Ants

featured in the poetry forum January 14, 2020  :: 0 comments

They stand over the hurling mass below like shiny, pointy giants. They look down at a million different dots swarming around the streets, all going in different directions but ending up at the same destination.

The reflections of scattered clouds, blackbirds, the endless azure sky and other colossal siblings shimmer and distort in the cold, cold glass.

Evening slowly descends over the metropolis. Thousands of golden orbs gaze out from the behemoths like hazy eyeballs glowing in the darkness.

Down below some of the swarm try to sleep at their feet. The dots shake, move and curl themselves up into a ball to get warm.

A blood orange sunrise majestically climbs up the glass giants while the organs, blood cells and arteries manoeuvre inside their hollow bodies.

editors note:

The ultimate ant farm from a thousand foot view. – mh clay

Medicine

featured in the poetry forum March 9, 2018  :: 0 comments

In a small snow covered village in the Shaanxi Province in central China an elderly man in his cabin sat at a small wooden table methodically pealing cloves of garlic. His fingers nails were covered in brown dirt from cutting wood and purple skin from the garlic.

On the crooked table there were two porcelain bowls, the first was filled with a steaming, spicy vegetable broth and the latter had four cloves of recently peeled garlic resting inside.

A small fire cracked away in the corner of the cabin, frost covered the windows and vapour poured out of the old man’s mouth as he breathed. The man in question had a small white moustache and a shaved bald head that was covered with wrinkles.

The man picked up a clove of garlic and chucked it into his mouth where he crunched it between his strong teeth. He picked up his warm bowl of broth and took a long slurp. He then placed the bowl back down and repeated the ritual until both bowls were totally empty.

The freezing wind rattled the frosted window pains while the old man shut his ancient eyes and rested.

editors note:

You know what they say about “a clove a day‚Ķ” – mh clay

Semiconscious.

featured in the poetry forum June 6, 2017  :: 0 comments

The bus bumps, glides, grinds, turns, twists and climbs.

My eyes open and look at the liver spots on the back of an old mans head.
My eyes open and I gaze into a small red light that reminds me of HAL.
My eyes open and I gaze at mountains, rivers, small towns and a lonely boy walking with a cat on the side of the road.
I close my eyes and see two voluptuous Chilean women caressing each other.

I close my eyes and watch myself sleeping.

editors note:

Mind’s eye as tour guide. “I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission.” – mh clay

The great wall of China at -19

featured in the poetry forum April 19, 2016  :: 0 comments

My brain is thumping.
My face is burning.
My mustache has frozen over.
My thighs feel like slabs of marble.
My body feels like it is being stabbed by 1001 daggers.

But then I see a sign! A fat white cat is sleeping next to a window inside a cafe. I run in and drink three cups of hot green tea.

My organs.
My senses.
My bones.
My blood.

They all very slowly come back to life.

editors note:

An ancient formula for rejuvenation. At -19, add 3 to 206; reduce 1001 to zero. – mh clay

NORTH LONDON BLUES

featured in the poetry forum April 20, 2015  :: 0 comments

I am resting my head on the cold window of a night bus that is crawling its way through the wet streets of North London.

Pints of creamy dark Ale, talking shit with a drunk guy about why the Oscars are always wrong, eating spicy wings that are not spicy, talking to a voluptuous lady about a tattoo of a wizard she has on her shoulder, smoking a cigarette outside a dingy pub, playing a game of pool on a wonky table, drinking cold flat lager that tastes of rotten eggs, speaking to a stranger about who is going to win the champions league, putting a woman’s number into my phone knowing I will be deleting it later, complaining about the music that is playing, smoking another cigarette while crossing a busy street and finally talking to an old homeless man about his impressive beard.

The bus doors open and I am greeted with the sound of the howling wind. I get off and I am walking down a lonesome suburban street when I freeze, I see a fox looking at me from across the street. I wink at the fox and its mystic eyes just gaze back at me.

I then hiccup and I am left alone with only the sound of the wind for company.

editors note:

Encounters condensed as fog on a night bus window, or winked away in the mystic eye of a fox. – mh clay

Sitting on a lonesome mountaintop while drinking tea with Jack Kerouac

featured in the poetry forum September 22, 2014  :: 0 comments

TEA!
Strong Assam with wild tigers
Murky Green and an old lazy panda
Refreshing Darjeeling while watching a movie by Wes Anderson

Delicate Jasmine with the rising sun
Sweet fennel, mediating afternoons
Powerful peppermint in a foggy hilltop town
Sitting on a lonesome mountaintop while drinking tea with Jack Kerouac
TEA!

editors note:

Delightful sips for six days o’ bliss. Pick a seventh; Keemum, Yunnan Golden or Silver Yin Zhen Pearls – see who comes with… – mh

Valparaiso in the morning

featured in the poetry forum June 23, 2013  :: 0 comments

sheets of milky mist caress the steep, winding hills.
decrepit seafront homes are inhabited by 18th century ghosts.
xxxxxxxA lonely cigarette butt dances down a side street with
xxxxxxxthe help of a gust of sea breeze.
Seagulls in congress talking about the night before.
A pack of street dogs eating breakfast together in a desolate square.

xxxxxxxMildew collects on top of an empty beer can.

Valparaiso in the morning!

editors note:

A familiar sight the world over for midnight marauders caught after sunup. – mh

Intoxicated Love

featured in the poetry forum July 16, 2012  :: 0 comments

Her golden hair
Smells of cinnamon.

I am transfixed by her soft skin.

She holds my hand.
Our fingers connect like
jigsaw pieces.

She whispers into my left ear,
her lime blossom perfume glides up my nose.

The crowded bar that we are in suddenly
bursts into green flames. I see and hear
No one apart from the woman sitting in front of me.

I am inside a vacuum of a green haze,
Surrounded by the aromas

Of lime blossom, cinnamon

And the sweet pungent feminine smell
Of a woman.

editors note:

This one packs the harshest hangover. If you’re going to sustain it, inhale eternally. – mh

12 Aspirins and a bottle of scotch

featured in the poetry forum December 19, 2011  :: 0 comments

Torrents of whisky wash away the flavour of nicotine.
Smoke hangs in the air, men drink at a rum soaked bar.
The floor glows like liquid silver from spilt beer.
A match is lit, the flame moves like mercury.
Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong play jazz throughout the bar.

A mature woman drinks an elegant martini, she plays with the
green olives as her blond hair dances to the groove.
A man in the corner chews on a cocktail stick, the aroma of sweet
perfume and musky cologne lingers in the air.
A saxophone is played in the toilet.
Drums beat to the beatniks.
A man in a purple hat flips a coin.

Heads or tails?
Heads or tails?

Shots of gin are swallowed, rivers of Smoky bourbon flow,
men with goatees and women with custard coloured berets kiss and flirt.
The cool dames and the crazy cats swing all night long.
Sitting in an old brown leather chair
Tom Waits writes another
cool jazz song.

editors note:

Happening in a bar near you – join in, call it Holiday Cheer. Santa brings aspirin with the egg nog! – mh