Monday, 21 April 2008
The Dead Swiss
The clock produces different places.
one minute I am a child asleep,
the next,looking at a skyscraper!
cities rise, then are drowned
bells sound, teatime, downtime
far off in Ys, kids are still playing
at the bottom of a lake.
we think we are alive, next moment
we are someone else - such change
causes no consternation; the dead Swiss
merely wink at one another
adjusting their chronographs
to allow for such Atlantean jetlag.
Copyright Veronica Aldous 2008
Sunday, 20 April 2008
These jewels, maps, fall from your hands:
the continents spread out, until the colours bleed -
your plunder, spoils, from violet lands,
and in the light, is light on light
red broken on a wheel of gold
the gold itself exchanged or sold.
And in each souvenir, I see your face
painted on a different sea. I touch the treasure -
you watch me touch, I see your pleasure
expand, contract, pulled back by tides
as though your guide does not include
the conquistador's old game.
The game of humming birds and nervous flowers
an elegant dance that circles, hovers -
your shadowed gaze, intent, explores
the boundaries; my hair, my skin, my clothes -
as though I'm terra incognita up ahead
or one who walks on starry shores.
Then something falls:
you start to talk of dust and loss and emptiness,
produce some well worn stones with flaws,
I probe the inclusions far too well
the squandered light of light on light
the light all spent -
I want to stop the slipping night
but cannot stop my mouth
Copyright Veronica Aldous - image and poem not to be reproduced without author's permission.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
In the underwater world of dreams I am unchanged
I mouth a mirror image of myself, no future principle
intercepts, no aide memoire is applied
I am completely perfect here- and safe.
Before,before things broke away and snapped,
And what was solid slid aside.....
I wake- a gaping hole persists
I'm Anna Karenina today -
Please Mind the Gap.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
It was not too long before you made me write again
though why you make me do this, I have no idea
ennui perhaps, a disinterest in other things
perhaps a childhood steeped in too many goddamn fairies,
Looking glasses, C.S Lewis.
I used to dream and across the long hot afternoons
of chalk dust and verbiage the windows hollowed
into a turquoise sea, behind a parthenon
of shades wherein the gallant and undefeated
provoked and tested my reactions to maintaining
Some such pale necromancer or snake oil guy
As you, might soon appear in person, wrecking
EnglishLit, my stylistic attempt in deconstructing
Hamlet, slide round the school's high fences, wait for me
get me knocked up.seduced like Mary, pregnant.
I'm grown up now and don't have Blakey's on my shoes
to make that tic-tac sound down corridors,
a time-bomb in school uniform; now's the internet's
exquisite searches on your life
expose your pixel-form too late
White Rabbit to my Alice.
Veronica Aldous copyright 2008
poem white rabbit poetry+kit
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Like Constantinople, I made many words from you
shimmering palely in the horizon
a hologram of indefinite proximity.
I called you into being
My edgeless paper, limitless ink
spattering, infertile as the desert
while you filed and compiled in your office
desultory as a demi-god.
"I'm dreaming" you always said, and I was too,
although mine was quite a different one.
"When we came finally upon the dome
it was whiter than bone, than polished ivory -
All the houris were locked away, catalogued
as if they were a library, a vast force of knowledge,
which indeed they were, if you believe that
emptiness has form, and can be reckoned and valued.
I put myself into the rain that I could touch you
Into the city dirt under your feet -
"No-one reads poetry any more" you told me
As you lay behind a filigree screen -
I was taking notes, trying not to catch your golden gaze
For fear of sudden blindness.
Veronica Aldous 2008
Thursday, 10 April 2008
My hands enfeebled as two new hatched butterflies
flap uselessly, signalling a drought of you, then rise,
to vein the air as shadows, moving up and down
on heat haze, night shifts, eddies, warps and wefts,
uncoil upon transparent sheets, to flock, return
report upon the heat beneath your shirt.
Their warmth expands, their memory respires and grows
as mycelia, flowers, burst from arduous slow pulsations -
my hands are thinking of you - defining, drawing a simulacrum
they repeat the galliard of when they last danced, tense and gloved
upon the fringes of your hair, the taut menisci of your surfaces
sent arcane messages, measured signals, synapses,
to your tracks and pulses, grew dilatory and filled, were satiated
by you beating as a wing will beat,
the feathers brushing back and forth.
On you I damped my thumbs and printed patterns, offerings
reflexed my palms as temple maidens gesturing in heat
I ghosted lingeringly on your pale skin - was matched, replete -
but now these hands, these butterflies, virgins, starfish
are lost and washed up flotsam that find no pleasure,
that lapse forlornly, squirm and flail where once you were -
have lost the hot axis on which to turn
they seem vestigial, limbic, drumming, hardly human
as roofspace starlings -
on inner walls
they knock and burn.
copyright Veronica Aldous
Monday, 7 April 2008
I see her white against the whitening window
she is undressed, her body bends a spiral
curve, a jetty loosening in space, her dark hair
bluish dark with the slab of glass behind her
the cold blue flash of winter streets beyond.
Now a picture here, of rocks, a rising hill fort
drops from my hand into my head, the air
was cold and slightly salty, I held my mouth
open for a while and swallowed clouds, high vapour.
A little like the way I thought of you.
Silver wrapped around my finger, carried you
into a shifting shadowed cave, there in my bone pavilion
we reclined on uncertain cushions, supped dangerously
on coiling cloud fungus juices, chinese flowers.
I saw you recently as though you were unraveling -
I no longer think you're real, unhouseled spirit
my memory made you curve like breath on mirrors
uncoiling, till you left my body's shell.
Friday, 4 April 2008
Brighton Stall Girls - North Laines
I painted this in watercolour on a piece of heavy "Not" Saunders Waterford paper 368gsm.
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
The quartered moon, the lid upon its eye is looking
at the seahenge, the submerged sunken ring
its spikes appear, a ruined forest shows its teeth
the sea a cowl upon its rank defiled carnality
where blood mixed bitter with the salty breeze
and upturned roots defy the meaning of a tree
the sigh of tide, the shingles bleak with baltic beads
the agates, ambers, churned to frosted uniformity
to bleed, commingle sand and sea , the pagan bride
when hands were words, the meaning lost, the mudra hides
the bond between, the rotting headland out of reach
the ruined breathy beach where lovers lie and lie again
washed by ebb and flow and in the winter, brackish ice
on bending reeds - the spindrift veils the site of sacrifice
as though a kindness entered here, where only death
spoke to make the seasons come and come again
the pacts and promises to stay and stay as one
there is no one now, except the break, monotonous break
the wracks are stranded, the marrams list and keel
and sanderlings pick at dejected flotsam, razor shells
as restless shoppers pick at shelves and finding nothing new
go home - the curlew calls to wandering babies, go home go home
go home, she cries. No answer. The drab disrobing sea
prostrates itself in supplication before the matting clouds
if mermaids cry, then they cry here. Their saline mouths
gasping in the dreary sunlight, wind picking up their sticky hair
to drift upon the shore, wish you were here, wish you were here
when half an afternoon spread out before the totes meer
the sea henge staking memory to shore, an augury uncovered
its upright bones prop up the lost, the sweet, the drowned
as lovers fallen on hard times renew their vows and handfast
despite the prophecy, go home with faces set, forget the past
the keenly tempered bladed arctic blast, and warm themselves
with white romantic dunes and misremembered waves.
He trembles when he is stroked as if
the spring in him is overwound. I am the same way,
the visitors walk through me having paid.
He feigns sleep and if sleep were possible
in a foyer, then all his dreams are a cinema
of mice and moons and emptiness and shallow
bending wheatstraw. Hush, I would whisper,
hush to his unhearing ears, his dumbfounded brain
if he could fly above me, maybe I would sleep again.
Crow's Sense of Humour.
undiminished by his reputation, his blackness all blue
lights and liquescent shimmerings, unburdens
himself of a hollow stalk of dead winter wheat
and pauses to consider the vast overturned bowl of the hill
just at this moment when I am trying to forget something
the crow is trying to remember: a particular gavotte, or trance
dance where the men have their arms pinioned
and the women flounce and curtsey discordantly
he is the lover of stalks, the puffer of big cigars.
I am not forgetting now, but remembering after all
as the crow lands lightly on my outstretched arm
his traces jangling and his hood all a-jitter
his metaphor is as violent as the thunderstorm
he will impart, his humour and his great black beak
tearing away at the meat of the past, baring the rib
of my disaffection, my pride and my sense of loss.