marooned (impressionist-style poem based on Ben Gunn of Treasure Island)

stirring swirling lapping waves rushing flushing airways saline torrents congest coughs coughs face eclipsed buried harsh sands hands seething writhing bloody stumps bloody clumps sand silt streaming screaming veins gaping eels feels way sway swaying ashore sore eyes sand barbs bawls shallows shells shards coarse coursing veins visions fission distant muskets musk blood cough cough cacophony clamour clambering futile mutinies unfurling sails drawn dawn awning skies scarlet spatterings brushtrokes violets violence voices silence murmurs murders marooned doomed terror unfurling sails wails curling alone lost isle defiled landscape escape scraping crawling scrawling forwards towards luscious bush hush hush ushers utter dark stark silence islands sussurant hissing waves craves light slight light falls foliage verdant verandas phosphorescence essence enchanted pillars parasites pirouetting behemoth moths churning cirrus clouds cosmic dust must hide eyes watching bloody scent drawing clawing carving bark hark hunger slumber lumbers rasping clasping gasping grasping growth thunder undergrowth grumbling thundering stumbling flash lightning flash flare glare glancing glistening listening watching waiting hidden faces flash faces black white lattices markings dark things wings moth markings scars scoring flash moorings more eyes dread deadeyes striding nearer fear fiend foe find friend end near friend near fear ebbs foe flees please please panting wanting waiting .. waiting … waiting

Continue reading “marooned (impressionist-style poem based on Ben Gunn of Treasure Island)”

The Alpine Sublime – France/Switzerland trip May 2018

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the long snowy ascent…
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a small town hidden in a mountain valley

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“from peak to peak, the rattling crags among,

leaps the live thunder – not from one lone cloud

but every mountain now hath found a tongue

and Jura answers through her misty shroud

back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!”

(Lord Byron – Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Canto III)

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wandering through the heart of a glacier…
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The Romanticism crew!

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the stunning Mer de Glace on the Northern slopes of Mont Blanc

specks of people

tumble like rubble

over the mountain

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moments after taking this we went sliding down them snowy hills! …
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such magnitude… such silence…

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the medieval Chillon castle in Switzerland – which inspired Byron’s Prisoner of Chillon
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taken from the highest tower of Chillon
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Chillon dungeon
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misty mountains loom over lake Geneva

***

Wordsworth haikus/photos from a trip to Grasmere

Under rapturous gaze

Grasmere transformed,

lost in a lyrical haze

 

sublime visitations,

captured in clearest cadence,

he wandered, wondered…

 

with scrawling quill

words leapt over landscape

and soon began to soar…

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top of Wordsworth’s back garden at Dove Cottage
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“within the bounds of this huge concave; here should be my home, this valley be my world” – from Wordsworth’s poem ‘Home at Grasmere’
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grasmere caves
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the first page from Wordsworth’s first handwritten manuscript of the Prelude … awesome to see it up close

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Haikus inspired by Kerouac

Above all, a haiku must be very simple and free of all poetic trickery and make a little picture and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi pastorella – Jack Kerouac

These past few months I’ve been very busy with PhD work and in between panicking about my lack of productivity, reading reams of unusable theory and wrenching measly ideas from nothingness, I’ve been writing lots of haikus. Not the usual form of haiku which I sometimes write and post on here (the 5-7-5ves) but ones inspired by the haikus of Jack Kerouac. Kerouac’s haikus are not in any way cordoned or restricted by meter or syllables or anything else, they are ‘free of all poetic trickery’, and are instead just 3 simple lines of writing using few words to channel an idea or ‘picture’. There is a real power and depth to them that is very therapeutic, both to read and write.

Simplicity. Minimal abstraction. Total freedom of thought. And occasionally, it feels almost like you’ve seen or even touched something profound.

Here’s a few examples of Kerouac’s haikus:

Drunk as a hoot owl

writing letters

By thunderstorm

Useless! useless!

-heavy rain driving

Into the sea

Halloween colors

orange and black

On a summer butterfly

Wild to sit on a haypile,

Writing haikus

Drinkin wine

Gull sailing

in the saffron sky-

The Holy Ghost wanted it

Barefoot by the sea,

stopping to scratch one ankle

With one toe

Perfectly silent

in the starry night

the little tree

Swinging on delicate hinges

the autumn leaf

almost off the stem

The red roof of the barn

is ravelled

like familiar meat

rain’s over, hammer on wood

-this cobweb

rides the sun shine

in the sun

the butterfly wings

like a church window

here’s a few of mine:

the swallows path

sketches the outline

of distant mountains

Words, shards,

jagged approximations

that get me by

Trembling

beneath packed ice

soon splashed crimson

A falcon perches

on the crash barrier

waylaid by human logic

During the eclipse

a beautiful brunette

smiles with glacial eyes

Where everyone else

saw only white walls

She saw scenes of snow

In some childish dream

he smeared finger paint onto my cheek

I tipped into infinity

Driving by night,

snow hit the windscreen

like stars at warp speed

a player piano

whispered Debussy

Into the empty bar

Will you fall

into these words

or stumble over them?

in heaven you’re

frontcrawling through

clouds of people

Gauguin humbled

by the people of the forest

who knew only truth

body aflame

mind soaring

on a higher plane

the jackdaw

with its charcoal wings

prances across the grass

Continue reading “Haikus inspired by Kerouac”

A Dove in Flight (poem based on works by Rene Magritte)

Through childish eyes come sirrus skies,

Mere projections which jeopardise,

To break the ties, anaesthetise,

The world from its beholder.

 

Where day and night capsize forever,

And looming shadows so endeavour,

To blot all pigment, pluck hue from feather,

Under the uniform gaslight haze.

 

And breaths collide beneath coarse fabric,

Caressing, guessing; motions tantric.

The need for flesh becoming frantic,

For love to be unmasked.

 

And in the footsteps of Socrates,

Forestall cave wall hypocrises,

Gaze upon these alpine mockeries,

The truth is on the canvas.

 

Through tempest glides the gentle dove,

As all who waver watch above,

Its azure plumage doused with love,

For a moment free again.

***

Continue reading “A Dove in Flight (poem based on works by Rene Magritte)”