Sentinel Poetry (Online) #39
The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics
February 2006. ISSN 1479-425X. Editor: Amatoritsero Ede
Fear of Victory
Nike alights on the
Prow of a ship at sea,
Sick with inspiration –
After Pascal…Libido Dominandi
On honeymoon, how it shocked me!
What Pygmalion would dare
Wish her alive?
As a child, Galloper Thompson
And headless nuns had me terrified;
As a man, victory scares me
Most of all:
That bronze apparition
In the Louvre,
Or “Tiocfidh ar La”
Daubed on a wall.
If that thing alights
On The Ship of State
It must sink.
If not, I would jump overboard
Into the drink.
When they release your name
The soul departs
But it is loathe.
The Big Bang fizzles out
And creation maunders into reverse.
Now boffins say there is
No peace in the grave –
And there is water on the moon
And I’ve bought shortcake
Through a Glass Drunkly
(Old school friend seen on the street)
A shopper threw change between his legs,
In the flood, coins in the wishing well
A maundering hand panned the gold:
10p spinning a blow-fly colure
he swatted aside to the road.
Though I was the only gospeller
To invest the pishy talents.
Like a post-modern Samaritan
I also passed by.
At night, in the rain
He fell through the pavement’s chasm.
John Barleycorn’s ectoplasm materialised
In one superlunary spasm.
We’d have hid beneath the river
And breathed through straws
But your liver was a vinegared
Sponge offered to your childhood on the cross.
One, to break the camel’s back
One to slurp the Sukie at the back,
One to grasp for excaliburs you lost.
Camel in the crib,
Sukie in a blue moon
Sword of destiny
Chasing your wages in the walls –
The Falls is more wired-up
Than you and your jaws.
“Nothin’ wrong with a drop in yer hand”.
But the folk singer’s nectar – “mornin’ dew”
Lies heavier on these lads
Than Shelley’s chains of those who
Were visited with Peterloo.
If not beyond your ken
You’d be appalled at one drops’ infusoria
Reduction ad absurdum – for they – in your macrocosm
Are infusoria too.
From afar, at the crack of dawn
Drops you see are really slugs –
(they would have been wine gums years ago)
They never froze when the drink froze.
Slugs have degraded them all along –
Exchanged at a snails’ pace
And in their occasional slow-motion brawls.
Einstein in the Wilderness
With slide rules for wands of sceptres
They worshipped the new Molten Calf
Tethered miles off, un-protected
From The Pillar of Fire and cloud, and the blast
The new Arc of the Covenant explodes:
Raining fire and brimstone on the innocents’ abodes,
Making the desert superlatively so.
the dice in
The snow glowed but The Earth grew cold,
Einstein looked at this luminous watch, then froze.
(At the Submarine Bar)
When my phone went-off in the bar
Vibrate and ring;
The ASDIC* beam ping
And poltergeist shower of stones.
Where my surface thoughts crash-dived
When Stevie ran from the toy barricade
And a Pippin Fort* soldier
Did something depraved.
This databurst* phantasmagoria played
On the meteorburst mirror
Brock’s Fireworks made:
The hopscotch grid’s ouija board,
Passing the votive candle’s
The search barriers turnstiles
Re-integrated the dead
That bombs had unmade
And I had to get out
Of that lock-in.
Tired eyes I rubbed
Once Aladdin’s lamps
Became the wreckers’ lanterns*.
*A lock-in is an illegal drinking session.
* ASDIC: earliest form of sonar; an acronym for Allied Submarine Detection Investigation Committee.
* Pippin Fort was a toy soldier base in a very popular British TV show.
* Databurst is a military communication technique that uses air ionized by meteors to reflect radio waves in a certain direction.
* Wreckers Lanterns. In the 19th C people would lure sailing ships to their doom at night by pretending to be a pilot with a lantern.