Poem: It’s a Start

The poem takes as its starting point the creation story in Genesis. Part have been hanging around unfinished for years.

Does it articulate something of my feelings now, as I begin the impossible journey back towards a 50 year old memory? [see previous posts In Search of My Subject PART I and In Search of My Subject PART II]

it’s a start


formless vacuums
barren oceans suck and sigh
eternally inert

[…] dark dark dark… and there insomecoldcorner a naked man some hu-man sits […] white eyes straining […] seeking out staring out the dark, sooo scared spooked by the blackness the emptiness the ash cloth snot and sacking down-and-dirty endless-ness of night no rictus grin can fix […] any smile’s a fraud [no one can see] clumsy-sutured to a head held low […] time hangs heavy […] time hangs around […] time’s a bulging lead-laden bag… a monkey […] on his broad back digging in… “What are words? How to describe […] just describe […] the noth-ing-ness. What’s out there? Are you my smug, my close, my friendorfiend? What relation is this black stuff to me? A lover? Jailor? Bosom-buddy? “Harvey, Harvey, such big ears!” “Ha, all the better to hear first sound…” […]  […] “Hello my old friend… shall we walk together hand-in-handing, never ending into the black of this ever-ever night? Or shall we simply sit together dark&me, enjoying a tell-a-tale or two, tall-tale telling to keep the wolf from the door? Come on, draw close, settle in this enormous echoey, spaceless space, endless, formless, hopeless silent husssh… Pull up pull closer, it will happen here. Right here. In time, over time, then time, after time… form will form here from shapelessness, light will pierce this […] this […] this whatever it is. Count the ‘it’ down, one trillion to one… that single starting digit IS a-coming. Roll the number round ya tongue, roll some dice and ‘bingo’ [!] click, click, clickerty, click… First light’s now not so very far away. Been a long time a-coming… click, click, clickerty… […] Darkness I dare you to become!”

krakatoa beckoning
life igniting, fire and light
banishing the void


flitting shadows,
showing fleetness of foot, raise
admiring glances

“See it! […] LOOK! […] Do you see it too? See hope? […] Is THAT what HOPE looks like? Is this what looking looks like. A feint so feint a skeen, a stain of not-so-black? A thread of silvery optimism… An accord. A cord drawing things forward, drawing things together? […] See ‘form’ first-time forms, no names for mass or solid shape or God knows what / God don’t know what / God’s run out of words… already. […] Ink flows from my soles, my heels spring shadows so very beautifully! Contrasty. Exquisite b&white. This is light […] arriving!” The man’s spirit […] is soaring. Today is the day, the Day… THE DAY. “What to call this non-black? Can’t call it dog no more. This is something… new! This is THE first day, when day shapes&form fill voids and concrete dances in light filled space.”

hieroglyphs curlicue
across a virgin sky


gitty, ginnel-less
rainstorm gullied habitats
in border countryside

give voice to the ungovernable collisions in the dark […] bring into being […] re-order […] re-define […] make a-new […] from blackness bring forth artichokes […] from strength bring forth sweetness; bring anthills aadvarks antimacassars all the ‘A’ hays, ‘B’ bees and ‘C’ seas… nail ’em […] reveal with NAMES […] it’s the tell-time of name-calling […] nar nar nee nar nar […] an end to nameless night yip yip! […] […] air over cords vibration in motion articulated calculated humming into being […] a grunt/belch/banter/blether &… SOUND! […] […] let language be the golden chain linking things ’til we meet again : and what about the points and points and stabs the air [..] those are the peaks the troughs the forehead&elbow the hill&dale […] attach identity / attack identity […] make noise make meaning […] fill shadows with sound […] hillock hummock molehill mountaintop peak tip-top uppity tippitty-topmost – what about the belly of the… the… whale? sound it out say it all yes that sounds like it and if the name is right… it’ll stick

sinuous language
insinuating solid shapes
liberating form


a human being,
noisy upright triangle
of heartache and bone

starry sorry night.[…] one night outside : remember : drunk all afternoon : sunny sleepy early afternoon after early doors : up and off out the bar out-of-it lovers her boyfriend in tow being led a merry dance : beery merry cruelly summery sunny dance round&around up&down hot : &wet through tears : his tears how bad : later under stars together-alone-together-not alone-messily together […] the longed-for two an aching sad three : the unwelcome other swallowing kisses and tongues and choking and going off exploring : making excuses : giving the green light on a purple bruise of a night a blackberry stain purple black cherry black sexy deaf and very dumb black sighing black, not-so-silent black black low night of surreptitious touches whispered kisses, a seductive black web&veil […] […] lying together liars on the Tor  beneath a spreading tree : liars lay and speechless stared into the roistering pin-point cat n’ dog tales the dot-to-dot stories of the starlit sky : awe : and with some slight trace of imagination spot some scattered-up-there dusting of light : pin – pricks : of somewhere/someone else the victor&vanquished the lover&loser again dot-to-dotting constellating creating momentary harmoneee […] […] whilst in the valley in the dark in the pub the people laugh out loud loud and drun-ken-lee […] on the moor above the tree they’re laid together illicitlee […] whilst in the town along the valley bottom families gorge the goggle box and watch the clock […] whilst on the moor and out of earshot the liars plan to skinny dip and steal another night or three […] give it up give it up popped cherree : revel in the thunderstorming micro-drama of this moment regret at leisure the bump down the line

the indivisible
soon to be tripartite,
adam, eve and snake


multitudes, miriad
swarmings swimming in the air
seething on the land

creepers and crawlers and minute multiplicity […] those damned wasps a waving and wafting of panicky hands flap-flapping “Get them away from me!” […] the buzzing and mithering the leeching and the murmuring susurrations of blood-sucking mozzies  “They like you, you’ve got sweet blood.” […] the soporific hummings of pollinating bumblings ‘cross rosy flowerheads […] carcass-eviscerating bluebottles contentedly supping on regurgitated corpses shit-shovelling dung beetles pus-loving maggots warmed in piscatorial mouths when fishing for sticklebacks or minnowings or trout tickling or casting the rod in search of a bite […] the fish flap and all about, the birds and the bees… in a top room beneath the dusty eaves two still-kids snuck-a-touch believing it would prove just how utterly grown-up they had become : a rusty noisy rattling bedstead goose-feather coupling pillows pricking chops and wet thighs a snuffling and huffing sweating sighing secret sexing sussh-susshing into the short darkness of a summer’s evening a cruciform impregnation.

memory is composed
of slug and snails, countless lies
those puppy dog tales


there was an old woman
who swallowed an awful lot
unable to cope she died

dogging hung-like-a-donkey trouser snake horsing around slippery-as-an-eel stubborn- as-a-mule you ass fish-face! dog-tired pissed-as-a-newt elephant-in-the-room bull-in-a-china-shop red-rag-to… the same wise-as-an-owl couldn’t-give-a-hoot weasel rat-fink crocodile tears British Bulldog 1-2-3 snake-eyes dead dog black dog hang dog dog tired whole hog chameleon horse-trader cat-burglar eagle-eyed scare-dy cat cat-got-your-tongue? cat-got-the-cream sex-kitten and dinosaur […] all the creatures of the Earth […] arriving departing passing-through coming-and-going a-billing and a-cooing bobbing and a-weaving shitting and someone a-shovelling barking and a-biting more shitting really no shitting effluvia-a-go-go… the animals come in two-by-two [no that comes later another story all together] woo-woo trumpet too and woof quack yap snap snuffle the animal carnival’s a-coming to town da da daddera dat dat dar what a lark got to be a linnet to be in it and spot the heavy-trunked chunky-chunked naked, bedraggled satyr wild-eyed sky-staring not-so-very-brave a man… a singleton he’s not the only one

before the eve of eve
a time of loneliness
and solo soul-searching


sweet briony, herb
robert, the hedgerows flower
under a summer sky

is this the end of time without time enough – no more busy buzzy headlong working days – so lose  the list no need for it now – the crowded schedule – gone – time to savour breath after breath-less-ness : where’s the hammock this drowsy day? who’s that beneath the straw hat sleeping? what meaning lies behind the enigmatic smile – is it a glimpse of sat-is-faction, a job well done? is this what happ-in-ess is? is heaven in the laughter?  “o’course, sure it is!” such a lazy sunny afternoon trout jumping campfire kettle boiling for tin mugs of tea crochet blanket laid wheatfield friendships laughter lounging in the wine the time to enjoy a cold glass shoot the crap roll back head in a field of sun-kissed summer daisies making pictures from cotton wool clouds – a dancing horse no bear no buffalo… the rugs are down on the sun-warmed ground the children race round&through the adult’s boozy tran-quil-it-tee […] later heavy lids silly grinny gurning making the kids guffaw […] a lover a kiss on a balding pate a fond rub of a close-to-hairless bonce causing a grin to spread with whispers of after-children-are-abed promises… this ain’t no red herring no muguffin no word of a lie this is here and now and this is… it! isn’t this the life? and why can’t it always always be like this?

purple after rainfall
the gunmetal thunderstorms
sunshine’s coloured in

I keep a poetry notebook online, it’s where the poems remain until publication. Please feel free to take a look.

Leave a Reply

  • We're just about ready to restart the Long Trip down the Water Road.
  • Recommendations of websites & books always welcome...
  • Current reading: 'Magpie Words' Richard Caddel, 'Woods etc.' Alice Oswald & '100 Prized Poems'
%d bloggers like this: