freeflow poem

1.
A rainy day
Little frogs
Lily paddling
Dilly dallying
Idly lolling logs
Rain drops
drooping
dripping
From branches
onto
Drenched benches
where sits
Two young lovers
entrenched
Undercover
So entranced
By one another
When two swans
Sweep like dancers
To the water
Prancers in the rain
As he caught her
in his arms
Once again
This scene
So serene
Pristine
and yet twee
tweedle dum
dee dum dee
but honestly
It’s a travesty
Nothing truly
can capture
That rapture
Of being
Utterly
attuned
With the world
A mind
of a kind
festooned
With the whirling
scents of
Blossoms bloomed
thence crooned by
Gentle tunes of
Gold-plumed
Skylarks
The sparks
Of synapse
At the stroke
Of moss on bark
Perhaps
we only evoke
Such splendour
somewhere
in the dark
in the smoke
in the tender
lulling air
Of rhythm and rhyme

2.
How to
come close
To the smell
of a rose
and what a rose
Is a rose is a rose is
Cicero Cicero
Had rows upon rows
Of roses
but suppose it is
Not so in the
Rows upon rows
Of words oh no
Not those
But in their relations
Such elation
In the sounds
To be found
Cast out into
The world
All around
The infinity
Of affinities
drowned
in the infinite
tranquilities
of the world

***

Keith Haring exhibition @ Liverpool Tate (7/7/19)

Went to a fantastic exhibition of Keith Haring’s work on Sunday which is currently on at Tate Liverpool. Haring is known for his iconic Aztec-tribal-age meets electric-age style art which he often drew spontaneously, famously on the advertising blackboards of the New York subways in the early 80s. He tragically died of Aids very young at just 31, but accomplished much in that short time. He collaborated with many of the icons of the 80s including Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat and William Burroughs. Below are a few of the works displayed at the show (nb. almost all of the works are untitled so I haven’t given them names or dates but they can be found elsewhere).

“When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about” – Keith Haring

Bosch-Cronenberg vibes

… very different to Haring’s usual style of drawing

favourite piece at the exhibit – you could spend an hour just looking at the scenes all the way down the wall which is like reading an interconnected story almost

 

Haring comic art

this was another of my favourite things at the show – an ad for a charity art exhibit which is hand designed by an all-star cast. My eye was drawn first to the little scraps of paper and I immediately recognised the handwriting of Jean-Micel Basquiat. The umbrellas are by Warhol, the striped sky is Lichtenstein, the mini-men Haring, and the little footsteps are Yoko Ono. What an amazing piece of history in one small poster!

harriet in front of ‘3 people attempt to stop the assassination of John Lennon’
A piece by haring on the hood of a New York taxi
this one reminds me of the calligraphy works by Brion Gysin who Haring said was an influence
after the exhibit we went to the Cavern Club

bootiful Liverpool

***

by the campus lake

A quick simple ditty
Can capture the world
In a moment so pretty
Like petals unfurled
And all o those epics
That came long afore
And dither like sceptics
Til the moments no more
Quick look now and see
As the words drift away
Let the moment take thee
On this wonderous day
By the lake there’s a drake
There a crow swoopin low
And the sunny sun sun
And the trees in the breeze
Laps those fine little hairs
like grass and perhaps
No one else much cares
just run o the mill
But still I stare and
wonder what will
happen next?

***

the undead Romantic

I lumbered lonely as a corpse

twixt desert halls and shopping malls

when all at once some blood-filled source

sent forth a screeching, desperate call!

its echo dances all about

like dreams of innards falling out

 

enraptured by a world renewed

of eternal screams and crimson streams

from baser beasts I now eschewed

and sought that human meat supreme!

so beneath the stars I made my way

‘mongst visions bountiful with prey

***

a few sublime quotes by Emerson

“If a man would be alone, let him look to the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

 

“There is a moment, in the history of every nation, when, proceeding out of this brute youth, the perceptive powers reach their ripeness, and have not yet become microscopic: so that man, at that instant, extends across the entire scale; and, with his feet still planted on the immense forces of night, converses, by his eyes and brain, with solar and stellar creation.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Plato or, The Philosopher

** featured image is Lieve Verschuier’s ‘the great comet of 1680 over Rotterdam’ (1680)**

Stray not away (go astray)

stray not away we are told as a child
stray not away we are told with a smile
stray not away through invisible lines
stray not away from within the confines
conform
stay in line
do as told
stray not away
Hold back that adventurous spirit
and some always do as they say
stray not away until they're dull and grey
but relief is coming
running with cunning ferocity
history is imploding, corroding
making room for a new awakening 
so clamber out of that chasm of conformity
and rise up into the rhythms of rhapsody!
stray not away we were told all the while
stray not away we were told with a smile
now comes the day when like poets we stray
and wander the hills with a smile everyday
adrift on the sea, all alone, castaway
and so stray away, go astray I say!
cast away the mind and find 
that rhythmic rhapsody inside
wander under Monet's pastel skies
or sail to Gauguin's tropic paradise
or follow in the fleet footsteps of Hemingway
or sit and sway beside the old man who plays guitar
under the blue moon with shining eyes afar 
faraway serenading "the things as they are"
gleefully crooning and festooning the night and the stars
with his beautiful lunar tunes
or drift over swirling Venetian lagoons
stray not away from that tantric tranquility
never waylay that wonderous world 
of mutability
into which one could stray
and go astray forever
for a fleeting infinity 
stray away, oh go astray I say!
stray away into the patterns of poetry!
and soon the patterns of poetry
will stray into thee!

***

“to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting” – E. E. Cummings