(On the 20th anniversary of the disaster)
A bluetit flashes to a twig.
It's raining; there's plenty
of bluetits in God's green country,
you could drink the rain
and the quinces are yellow,
yellow, my favourite colour.
In every word like yellow there lives a space
that nature's imagination fills with a thousand others;
this space is where we stand or fall.
The wars that are big and the wars that are small
are really the same imperative:
cash, that keeps our death abroad.
But Breughel's hellish torches scorch us everywhere,
and the searing gap between each one of us
is once what God but now international finance rushes to fill.
Our horror is not to be found as hell elsewhere
but methyl isocyanite seeping up through the world's skin.
Good clean water from 60 feet below reliable clay and granite:
this is what we've got in Wales, thank God.
"For us it is not an important failure":
one by one we carry on towards some place we think we've got to get
This is how you make a poem at a distance:
but hell is not imaginary
nor is bliss: clean water, blue tits.
Welcome to the world.
A shovelful of little dark pink flowers in the compost –
every detail counts.
The growing of small concerns
even a nightingale.
Life will always be filling up with questions –
vivid green light at the edge of a spruce.
A long, damp day –
the bee still working away at the lilac
at 10 o'clock.
Cuckoo changes to cuk in June
into the world
(...turned upside down)
rant rags of Abiezer Coppe,
Addis Ababa, Kingston, London:
gravity-wave-stretched clocks that vary wherever you happen to stand
move quicker in a city thick with poverty
– infected markets, towpaths drenched with junk imagining
So preach this where you can
Your gravity is access
Those fat green trees outside the gates of Hereford that
blew like clouds and caused Traherne to leap!
That scrawny iron gate at the end of an Edinburgh tenement
the laird creaked open once a year for us to jig and thank him for his light and green
– are these my buzz,
to help the worn-out dead
to penetrate green?
As dumb as rock, that's me,
until a swanky-sugared falcon stooped between my teeth!
Its vinegar soured courtesy,
its tailfeathers gagged the deferential throat.
The masses of this world are ever punctured,
clawed to thin imperatives.
But now a groaning gale is gathered!
whose gasps reveal an oak inverted, stuck in sand
with roots that scour heaven
and branches tangling tidal silt and harrowing hell!
For now it's dawned on us
there's no abiding city free from chemical bread,
no conscience left unwhipped by tawdry speeches
or unstuck with dumbstruck will.
In wynds and alleys of the war-struck border-towns
they suffer tide of riot year after year, this way then the other
– and these my Jesse stem!
(though every one a mere flea in Eden!)
An apple or an orange to each workhouse prisoner once a year at Christmas,
sifting rocks for breakfast, knuckles droop
delirious with mendacious seeds –
unwholesome pollen! blown about the globe
as powdery as money, barren in their self
and have no coat to stroke, seduce the ground,
but hatch this altar-tree that brags dark thought.
The altar is the Body,
This we offer.
Lift up high the head,
the heaviest bone.
And pin a scrap of skin to the church's door,
scratch maps that boil with monsters
onto royal scalps!
God dwells personally and has his being in the Creatures
The earth in this creation
made a common store for all –
This coming in of bondage called ADAM
Kisse the beggars, prisoners,
warme them, money them.
The very shadow of levelling, sword-levelling, man-levelling,
frighted you –
go howling into hell, o howl but now,
for the substantiality of levelling is coming,
the mighty Leveller is coming!
bow down you sturdy Oakes and Cedars,
kisse the meaner shrubs!
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Blair:
their throats are open sepulchres.
These monstrous neo-cons that baulk and grind through an inverted world,
their hearts a greasy deck of playing cards,
blood-suns tossed on opiated cash-tides
brandishing that book that should (said Watts) be sealed for a thousand years!
Murdoch/Moloch – head stuck so far up his arse to read the world
the dark world, dangerous world,
he tosses off the people,
pulls his tithes like mental teeth,
he taxes Soul, and buckles us, and still we feel up-standing!
dumbing us with cultural spit so brightly
that we twitch in delectation of its flattery –
cash-sexed pixles, trance of sanctimonious glare –
like Myra's mug-shot, crashed from time,
we're shuttered from redemption.
Their tithe is so-called choice , and would be good, of shoes and haircuts,
but yes, these clubs are one the same, called
Union Carbide, Montesanto, Fox TV –
Publicans and harlots! Wine-bibbers!
Blasphemous kisses are fiery chariots to mount us to the King of Glory's crown!
There's swearing in the darke
and then there's swearing gloriously!
Down with rogues and whores
and levell with a witnesse!
Holily we scorn to fight for anything
with plane or spade or hijack
but we'd as live dead drunk each day
and lye with women in the market place
than take the poor, enslaved, abused,
the rag-picker, the seamstress, or the child-slave fisher of Ethiopia's money
from their purses!
This the rant of complicated grain,
a range of grain,
And I'm no fumbling bee against the glass of this occasion
nor owl, regurgitating bone-flints, slime, nor dessicated grass!