Charles Olson is a Manx Shearwater Bird
A poem is energy transferred
from where the poet got it,
tiny crystals of magnetite around his eyes
enabling him to detect differences
in the earth’s magnetic field.
If he works in open or what can also
be called composition by field
his acute sense of smell may allow him
to follow all-over currents
as opposed to inherited line.
One perception must immediately lead
to a further perception.
and by star-gazing from his burrow
he creates his own celestial map
a high energy construct at all points,
an energy discharge.
(Charles Olson is a Manx Shearwater Bird is a found poem using cut-ups from Charles Olsen’s essay on projective verse and the RSPB Magazine.)
I pull from sound’s many gardens a worm,
a wriggling twitter repeated in thousands
the peaks quick and various as glossolalia,
never the same.
Quick, quick I must get this solo down
before the sun rises.
Wrong, do it again,
the run of demisemi-quavers
sounds of a fiddle dipped in liquid,
a song called
This is what I want to play
in the spongey grass, listen carefully
to worm-slide, worm tremor,
my beak is tearing a glint of pink
as the last the bats flicker home
and the sun
will be here soon and all earth’s busy business
Quick, I need to get this solo down
I tear at the the grass, I tear at a song called sunrise
sounds like a fiddle dipped in liquid
a worming liquid spongey sound.
and when the sun rises with the chorus of cloud
and the orchestra of light
I will possess that dawn with my solo
(First broadcast on the Radia.FM network as part of the radio drama ‘The Assisi Machine’.)
Learning The Ropes
My ebay seller had no teeth in
when I got to the bungalow.
She demonstrated teddies
every neat stitch identical,
got the singer machine nattering
showed me the ropes. So easy
for her, so hard for me this
regularity, this hushed life
power of a sewing machine
totally under her control
while the stitches only
away from me.
(First published in the Moor Poets iv anthology.)
I rollerskate in
but am soon seduced
into the fog-slow unrolling
of a day stretched out and sleepy in front of your black and white telly.
to the hearth and its tracklements,
lulled orange by the coals, I stay to see
the little couple come out the clock as the barometer clicks to rain.
drip by, awaiting
kettle whistle, ice-cream van chime
waiting for you to leave the room so I can shake the bell in the brass lady’s dress.
You shake the tin
of Nestles for three languid minutes,
ease off the lid with liver-spotted hands
and sliding the cream over Coop pear or peach halves, smile at me
and these afternoons last forever
until they don’t.
(First published in the Moor Poets iv anthology).
Our father who art in heaven,
Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth
Hallowed be thy name
this is Dave your station manager speaking
Thy kingdom come
on platform 5
is the delayed 15.23 service to Bristol Temple Meads and
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
first class is located at the front of the train
Give us this day our daily bread
the buffet car serving snacks and light refreshments is located in coach E
And forgive us our trespasses
trespassing on the tracks is strictly prohibited
As we forgive those who trespass against us
any suspicious behaviour will be reported to the authorities
Lead us not into temptation
customers are reminded that smoking is strictly prohibited within the station
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the Kingdom
Windsor Lego Land
The power and the glory
ladies and gentlemen, the 15.23 service to Bristol Temple Meads is now delayed
For ever and ever
customers seeking a refund are advised to speak to one of