This ekphrastic collaboration was part of National Poetry Month. I challenged myself to respond in poetry to 30 paintings by Marcel Herms. I’m glad that my imagination took unexpected turns.
“A World Where” my thirtieth and final ekphrastic poem for National Poetry Month inspired by the inspired art of Marcel Herms.
A World Where
I can’t recognise this pattern of words,
the timetables at work. I can’t make
a pattern is a world without form,
without substance, an out of focus
picture in which there maybe more
than one of me. I don’t orientate
without signposts or landmarks or signatures.
All is blur. Meaning elusive.
If I make it could be false. There is grief
at a loss of shape, of pattern.
A gallery of random words and pictures
I can reshuffle so every time a picture
has different words, words you can apply
to any other picture. The application of shape
more meaningful perhaps. As we can’t say
when someone close will leave this earth.
Port of Souls is found landlocked sometimes.
Like marrow locked inside a bone, at other
Times it is a small island surrounded
by a repetition of water. Occasionally after
so many have passed into memory,
a port of souls occupies our inside.
Our Port Endorphin,
anticipation Dopamine, empathic Oxytocin,
gut full or gut empty Serotonin
combats or feeds grief cortisol.
Sob lakes in hospital night she dies there,
as you wave her off on the dockside of her bed.
Alone, head and guts a vacuum
get off the bus outside the cinema
where your late quiet Golden Virginia tobacco smoked Grandad and yourself
would go to see the latest Bond,
buy a ticket to ride the latest memory
of American superhumans you collected
in comics when you were ten.
What is left
to others is what they find
in themselves when you are lost
must be striven towards
with all efforts of mind, bone and breath.
It mustn’t be resisted.
Futility builds, constructs, imagines.
This port of souls has many names,
or is nameless under the road sign:
Futility, pop. Varies but mostly zero.
I guess because futile feels like defeat.
Embrace defeat. What is left die with it.
Strangers And Pilgrims On The
earth. My first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim. I’ll not relent,
each breath a step, an oar in watery graves
pushes against the unremembered waves
“How can you go abroad fighting for strangers?”
I am a thankful passenger.
I see the bright and hollow sky
I ride the how, what, where and why
to reach the final breath, final shore,
Nothing new here, stolen words restore
ancient thought and image, rearrange
the mundane to confront raw rage
at the lights lit on the headland brighter
with each exhalation my body lighter
as the last place we embarked
gets darker and darker and darker.
“A Queued” kindly featured on Duane’s Poetree. Thankyou Duane.
perfect, our modern mantra.
Gone the need to be
perfect mate, lover, parent,
sibling. More differently abled
you are the better. Dysfunction
is a virtue. More odds you battle
braver you become. Bring them on.
Count your blessings.
Todays demons are child tamperers,
Enslavers without safe words,
warmongers who laugh as they
make atrocities. Visit their theme parks
of slaughtered children. Be thrilled
By the open wounds we give one another,
Stare deeply into the opening eyes
Of deep and bitter scars as they deepen.
he is, so he’ll not cross this threshold.
how he never told me
till much later
that he had mumps
so we could not have anymore.
how he made his late daughter’s children
into pounds and pence.
how I found him alone upstairs
in our marriage house with a young lass.
how he kept on about a lass
in the post office,
so I says “If you leave this house
to see her you’ll not enter it again.”
how he got Alzheimer’s and didn’t know
me, grabbed my wrists till they hurt.
how our lives all went bad when he married
our only daughter.
His ship’ll not dock here. His feet’ll
not touch this hallowed ground.
Good things come to those who bait. We left before any glimpse of a daffodil sunrise, meandering off to the bay on the wisp of a dare The vessel reeked of years at sea, but we boarded, kept company with philistines and fishing rods, sights set on a sun-sparked lime-green ocean where the contents of […]