Sudden Little Drops has been recently resurrected so I could talk about music! Check out the new Albums of 2011 post below, and hopefully there will be more new content coming soon.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Jigsaw

                                   you know the type:
                                                      halcyon scenes
                          of green spread out
                                           across the box with foxes
 scurrying through hedgerows
                                          rabbits burrowing
                                                   here to be reconstructed
                               from this jumble of cut-outs:
                                                        the shadow
                                         of a farm
                                               the tip of a windmill blade

                                                   sedimentary tunnels of
             layers peeling – and
                           the light in the fields
has softened from years of light
          in front rooms
            – and the colours have faded

          mash the pieces together
                                        & fragments appear:
                        a daub of sky, a pink streak of cirrus
                                                            its gentle wisp
                                             emulated with a dry brush

                                                           yet gaps persist

the cardboard contours
        cut out once to perfection
are here rough, problematic

            rubbing like leather
           on leather
                                      patterns fall together
                                    patterns fail

        the child’s fingers
            run wild amid their veil

    the real stuff
              in his hands
                            in all its frailty



Diseases do not make
the science;
they themselves more
charged, spring-
loaded, like

inseparable from blood,
from the bloody abscesses of

which they suddenly
in bedtime baths,

in violent red emerging
spattered on fleshy pink.

Rather, it is the more cerebral
with the equipoise that tends

some calculated shot
at joy.


An Elegy for a Flock of Electric Birds

The seabirds here, who in their brighter days
Had flirted with the waves’ ecstatic crests,
Are rusting from a thousand years of spray,
Retreating with a shy swoop to their rest.
Their nests of coiled wires fall apart,
Releasing tiny clatters, like a knife
Dropped into a draw. Their diode hearts
Are flooded with electrons running rife.
The remnants of their frames, their crooked wings,
Forged from scraps of metal by some hand
Long since forgotten, now become mere things,
There to fall and clutter up the land.
They spiral from the air into the sea
Who swallows all their electricity.


Land Singing


That is no forest. The leafless trees
Sleek varnished poles
Rising like capitals
From the sludge of language.

No birds sing from them, lest
Their nests decrease
The aerodynamics
Of the fall.

Less interference is
A positive goal,
Pursued by men in
White suits

Who have never seen the inside of a dying horse,
Or felt the maggots strip
The flesh from
Its carcass.

Yet they have stripped the undergrowth from the wood,
Robbed the leaves of morning, trodden black
By boots for mass-market paperbacks, full of
Made-up words.

The birds they evicted circle the horse
That lies abandoned in the field,
Flies screaming round its injury.
And the men look away.

They keep their mind on the road and the
Volume up and the window shut and the door
Locked and safe.
At bay.

Where are the trees they set their eyes on?
Only limbless replicas
And the electric line
Mirroring the horizon.

But that is no home for birds.
Perhaps a spot to practice acrobatics,
The remnants of slow static, quietening
Through their claws.

Where is the static flowing?
The same direction as the cars are going.
Everything is moving towards the tunnels,
Towards home.  


Home is where the side holds unwashed dishes, moulds expanding
Slowly from the centres of unfinished mugs of coffee,
Spreading white ambition to an edge
They cannot reach.

From above,
Their spread recalls
That of the forest
Before its fall.

And yet
What bird can shelter
In an imaginary forest
Made of mould?

What bird can find in words that fill
The books that line the shelves, the shapely
Carvings from the self-same wood
That used to harbour owls, a home?

And so the owls are driven to the tunnels,
The only darkness in a constant day.
And other birds disappear up buildings
Out the way.

You do not see them as you enter the tunnel,
Your eyes on the road and your hands
On the wheel and language
Washing round your head.

You are heading home.
Where the only horse is starring glassy-eyed and seizures
From the faux-Picasso there behind the futon.

Where no horse or bird finishes its dying.
Where no mould reaches its goal.
And the grip of a tree stirs no neurons –
You only know them holding up electrons.


The Lake

The lake has frozen here.
The wings of two bright siskins beat the air
Like motors whirring elegantly.
A squirrel sails across the bright trees,
Shaking broken shapes of snow
Showering from the branch,
An attempt to cross the air.

They are not yet here.
They have not yet come to crush the leaves,
Terrified by frost,
Or felt the pain crackling in their hands.
And so the squirrel runs, the reeds
Poking through the water,
Or what was once the water.


She Speaks In A Tunnel

In the tunnel,
she spoke – its processed absence felt
through tiny sound-fractures,
hand claps in echoey miasma.

In the tunnel,
low rumbles of some vague thing or emotion,
variously perceptible owls expected in the
darkness, or through: just visible beyond words.

In the tunnel,
a flap or a hoot, semi-smudged, the ghost of a beak, a
pair of dislocated eyes, the last aspect
to disappear – a trace of yellow, paled.


Ochre Falls

May falls found here slowly,
on tall buildings, porchlights

here in front of summer,
a frail laugh at sunrise

as it comes gently
so as not to wake the sleepers,

it’s spirit trawling faintly all
over –
and love that ochre

falls onto dancing
love – raped like bushflowers

draws nearer, come
rite of my flower –

my topaz lover
waltz over this tightrope

before it too
and is gone

come over, come over
my half-hidden sun, my sun