MASKS OF THE CRUSTACEAN
I would say the secrets of my soul
Yet trust no one to their hearing
Some keep silence, some keep talking
When they find they have nothing to say
And the fulfilled don’t write
Lame excuses and sprung steel alibis
Meshed fast in the complexities of pain
(Only my pleasures are simple)
Masks of the crustacean
Designed to reveal what they disguise
Playing at love like a game of chess
Not well, not badly, just lazily
Without due regard to the consequences of my moves
Reading too many fairy tales
And kissing far too many frogs
The generous truth is a beggar to find
Buried deep among the unsuspected cruelties of the small print
(When God finished the world
He saw that it was perfect
… And then of course He began wondering what to do next … )
Security in a pound note, safety in a pin
The tired old trumpeting of Church and State
Magic is afoot but the world’s gone metric
(Electric) and Securicor scares
The light fades, the air is flat and stale
The rain beats against the glass
Nights and days an endless tapeloop
Of supermarket muzak
Brush its teeth and put it to bed
The well-oiled programs run
Asleep within the fractured eye of my attention
Life, well-travelled, opens and closes around me
Here and there embroidered with a flower
The footsteps I follow through the blizzard of my memories
Are my own
HOLY BLASPHEMY, BATMAN
If You are all this then
As You tell me I am
Then are You not me too
And I conversely You
– Like a costume
– Like a mask
For why need
One name or other?
To define or
For shame: betrayal
Of such an intimacy
Or such unwarranted
Gratitude and mystery
Sprout soaring wings
Escape the net of words
So here’s the thing
The bones of the plot
Indentured – sent here to seek out
Some divinity’s golf ball
Lobbed ineptly into the rough
And lost the plot, dammit
What to do now then?
Make it up as you go along I s’pose
Keep up appearances
Develop the plot – obfuscate
Protagonist or antagonist?
Still working on that one
Nosing into who knows what
Nosily, noisily researching
Day by day, day after day
A gradually unfolding autobiography
Maybe already recorded elsewhere anyway
Plots within plots within plots
Move the goal posts – travel
Pick up a few subplots – partner, children
The odd sour note – bastards!
Relieve the monotone at least
Fandangle, froufrou, superfluity
At the end of the day
Still, no use complaining
Go check the codicil
Play the victim, all innocence
Perhaps in a sense I am
Though inner sense tells me
’twas I devised this plot in the first place
What about married people? – I beg to know.
My hands have withered and I am grey.
Hear what I have done – I have refused to sing.
There is more to music than sound;
More to dancing than movement.
What do these walls mean?
Why should we break them down?
Shadows, dust, caution – or freedom.
No longer an enemy,
I no longer squirm and punch
At that part of me I call the Watcher,
Having discovered that she is the Light.
I will grab your waist and shout in your face,
And then you will know me.
I will push you through desiring –
Food, sleep, people, gods –
Right to the deeps of despair.
Only then will you learn not to need them.
The wind brings me leaves;
I bring a lemon
To place before this tree.
THE FOUR YUGAS
There once was, or is said
(Within that strict restriction
Born by some imagined time)
A Krita Yuga, a Golden Age
But time in time moved on
Having nowhere else to go
Puppets demanding rituals
So birthed the Treta Yuga
Empty rituals have their day
Then lose direction, pass on
Smothered in moss and ivy
Dvapara Yuga, Age of Doubt
Doubt, a castle built on sand
Spews conflict and confusion
Good job we now have words
Record the current Kali Yuga
Stop … step outside of time
Abandon ancient scriptures
Except the ones that declare
There’s but a single moment
And here it is once again …
HOW THINGS BEGAN
Evolution an arid nonsense cloned incessantly,
its gaping cracks unquestioned, papered over.
Creation a tribal fantasy regurgitated blindly.
Fact is we know not whence this place, nor how,
nor our boney selves, strutting self-importantly,
butchering the heretic, the infidel. Inane, insane,
scrabbling for debating points or duels to the death.
Time best spent smiling in a cloud of unknowing,
for truth be told we know nothing beyond fancies.