To a young person, on their 27th year

(A life in thirds, thresholding its second stage)

Sand and water, water and sand:
grain by grain, drop by drop the timer falls
and fills the scale, the balance of our lives,
the weight, by which we measure;

The clarity of beauty fades, its charity withdrawn
from skin so many cigarettes have slowly withered;
the tide of innocence recedes, exposing all
our compromise, bare and awkward, unadorned;

So the travelers lament: time misspent, time spent lamenting,
and bewail, beware, our implacable condition,
a one-way journey, its comfort realised in little things
that headstrong haste had cast aside, dispersed, ignored,
in wilful preconception, blind as folly, overwhelmed
by fierce precocious rush of days;

Our wholeness cleaved by dissonance
from disappointed expectation,
the springs of youth lie dry behind, left to dissipate,
we reach, we pass, a watershed of hope, if we still search….

…. search for bargains, in a market we can’t understand?
A marketplace of purity – uncertain – to barter dreams
for calculation, trade exuberance for knowledge,
and exchange our scarce and potent energy – for what? Experience?

Our lives crystallise beneath us, all around,
as possibility’s chimeras, taking shape, highlight
our finite paths, set in fine new iron discipline….
which we navigate, or else despair.

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Hollow Way (shorter version)

A terrible pale beauty lies, fallen
On the open common land – wintered,
Othered, penetrated cold and dry by frost –
Ringing hard and brittle as old anvil iron;
A shimmering hoar across its eastern flank,

The northern face a sterner, steeper ground,
Down to the hollow way long-shadowed
Where frost carpets deepen, untouched
Except by ice, each hastening the other,
Suspended on the cusp of nothingness;

A barely-loosened grip, lessened for
An hour or two, by day, by winter’s sun, itself
Mocked distant impotent as darkness
And the patient night return,
Hanging in near-solstice stasis;

Faded autumn lines now rigored sharp:
Trailing bramble leaves white-traceried,
Epitome of vigour, invasiveness writ large,
Clenched, defined and crisp in winter death,
Frozen from within, preserved against decay and life.

Je suis Charlie

Charlie Hebdo attack – latest http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-europe-30710777

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/world/europe/charlie-hebdo-paris-shooting.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=span-ab-top-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2015/01/07/attaque-au-siege-de-charlie-hebdo_4550630_3224.html

Open Land, Hollow Way

Faded autumn lines are rigored sharp:
Trailing bramble leaves white-traceried,
Defined and crisp in winter death,
Sharp-needled stems, bough-breaking
Heavy, frost-swollen from inside;
DSC_1785

A terrible pale beauty lies, fallen
On the open common land –
Othered, penetrated cold and dry by frost –
Ringing hard and brittle as old anvil iron;
A shimmering hoar across its eastern flank,
Northern face long-shadowed steeper ground,
Down to the hollow way with
Frost carpets deepening, untouched
Except by ice, each hastening the other;
DSC_1793

A barely-loosened grip, lessened for
An hour or two, by day, by winter’s sun, itself
Mocked distant impotent as darkness
And the patient night return, the
Infinite eternal sink of entropy;
Blackening, licking into unprotected flesh,
Creeping into bones, chilling, freezing marrow,
Slowing heartbeats, thickening sluggish blood,
Leaching warmth and with it life;

DSC_1787

Though shelter is nearby, and hospitality,
Not too far for hope for us, unconditional
In our human sharing confidence,
Heat-fuelled, at least for now;
May we make it? Please.

2nd Anniversary

(Fat fingers before; today’s the day.)

It’s now two years since my muse helped me open up a new route out into the world.

I don’t want to comment on those years, beyond what I’ve already written; let’s just say, a lot has happened.

I do want to say how glad I am to have made a connection with such a wide range of other people during that time. Genuine, interesting, kindred spirits – I hope!

Anyway, I wish all of you a very happy new year.

Move on up!!

Franklin