Graham Hartill

 

Bhopal

        (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
                                                                    to.



This is how you make a poem at a distance:
but hell is not imaginary
nor theological;
nor is bliss: clean water, blue tits.
Welcome to the world.

 

Bronze Fennel

A shovelful of little dark pink flowers in the compost
every detail counts.


The growing of small concerns
with grace,
good grace.


Redstart,
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
apparently,


slipping off


into the world


[for Ursula]

 

The World

    (...turned upside down)


    rant rags of Abiezer Coppe,
              in 1649



                         *


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,

               the business:

                        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!
    language-communities!

(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,
blood-draped.

    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
                                                                               ( Bauthumely)


                         *


The earth in this creation
made a common store for all

               This coming in of bondage called ADAM
                                              (Winstanley)

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!

    Come,
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,
                                                                             glowing foods,
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,

                         the mind

             its muscle


                         *



                                    And I'm no fumbling bee against the glass of this occasion
                                         nor owl, regurgitating bone-flints, slime, nor dessicated grass!