a swan skein breaks the water

a swan skein breaks the water spanish arch
cloudy corrib like the dog’s tail sweeping
our legs paddle the air in idle arcs
dangling from the edge above foam leaping
foam spitting white at feathers’ dirty-white
slipping like dream-thoughts back into the mass
the cloudy corrib falling like the night
toward the bay the ocean into gas
gas rising sun-pulled into day and cloud
cloud trembling gas into soft mists or hail
once cloudy corrib whispering or loud
speckling earth water feather leg and tail
soaking and sinking in each upturned face
restlessly resting in each passing place

An Ode on Facebook

[Just Poems has just joined Twitter! To celebrate I post this poem about that other well-known social media site.]

You who enjoy the famed pastoral form
Might like this ode on Facebook, blue and warm.

Swift-dawning springtime field! Webpage, wake up!
Ads open in the screenlight, banners drop
Their soothing symbols onto thirsty eyes,
The keyboard chirps its song, the keen mouse flies.
All through the logged-in woodland bees of code
Buzz, hum and bumble with their data-load
And links like pixelated pollen spread,
Filling the air with stories to be read;
And fertile flocks of updates too take flight
On wings of whimsy, singing of delight
In this online demesne, ambrosia-sweet,
Where victory’s not diluted with defeat.

Sing, Site. What’s new? Achilles brave checks in:
“In Troy with Ares #forthewin”;
Crafty Odysseus, wand’ring near and far,
Stops for a craft beer at a hipster bar;
The urban muses raise their photo-herds—
A thousand pictures paint a million words;
Orpheus shares some blogger’s quote profound,
A cropped snapshot of nature the background;
This nymph you worked with once, but don’t know well,
Is pregnant and is showing off the swell.

Ah friends are they not grand, these selfie-ish feeds
That crown with glory’s garland sheepish deeds?
And can’t pitch-perfect profiles spurn the shade
And pipe forever on where no flowers fade?
Or are the cows for crueler climates meant?
What is it haunts this forest, Harvard-sent?
Do doubt, barbarian of foreign breed,
And thought, that exiled, poking, choking weed,
Rob us of depth as buckets drain a well
When they discard fair fashion like a shell?
Are storms foretold in CPU-fan wind?
What does the freezing of the page portend?
Ah stream of duck-loud nonsense, honey-thick,
Is it that life is ended in a click?

Old death goes viral in remotest glade
And cares not for nor spares your proud parade.

Two Sonnets in June

Volta
“I will make this,” thought God, “I will make that.
(One of the thats can name the thises then.)”
And all He had to do was say each thing
And it was done, and good, and all was right.
And then came man, and this one thing God named,
And then this Adam named this that, that this,
And then God gave him woman, Eve, by which
To breed and lead to us—beasts did the same.
There was a flood, of chemicals and such,
Which bounced around aboard a barren rock
Holding all beings’ potential, earth’s whole stock,
Till tongues of lightning (maybe) made it twitch.
All life came from this flood, and this is good—
We all are equal, and there is no god.

Turn
There are no gods or goddesses abroad,
And nobody is perfect, heaven knows
(And it knows nothing, for it just arose
From our old wish to turn the bad to good).
And you’re not perfect, love, how could you be,
Being a mix of your parents (both mad),
Your crazy country, and whatever odd
Odds and ends you brought yourself to being?
Perfection’s for our Christs and Christesses,
Those dream immortals after whom we lust
Down in this rubbish bin wherein the dust
Of our desires is dumped—God bless! What’s this?!
Dear Goddess, as your eyes gaze into mine
The water in my veins turns into wine!

Smoke and Honey

Like cloud-mad grass piercing the air’s warm gown
On sun-drunk days, our actions sometimes mow
Unknown into strange atmospheres—we halt mid-flow,
Stopped by surprise as pain’s now-empty form
Fills with forgetful pleasure, water-soft and marrow-
Deep. Was it some goddess from
Her mountains dropped this nectar down
On us poor bees, or did some dense atomic tryst throw
Off its sparks to kindle in our nerves? What follows
Is that fire leaves no reason
Nor gives reckoning for the leaf warm
Or the body burning, but only dances, beautiful as
When insight in its web of light has spun
The dust of earth against the Lethean sun.

Two Rhymes in May

Pissing in a well
Darkness shot with light, winking and wandering—
It must make sense, or else why wonder?
Wonder is fixing the next meal, surviving
In a world that has no face under
The veil—that has no veil.
Sense is either every sensed detail—
Each loud and tangy, bright and smelly tickling—
Or else it is the bladder’s abstract brother.

Lines in defence of abstraction
A boat chained to a pier will not get far,
And thought tied to the here will not go there—
                               Let it wander!
The world makes no sense, but it makes much else—
Explore that great expanse within yourself.
                               Let it wonder!