Monthly Archives: March 2013

Early Music VII

François Couperin “Les Lis Naissans” (Treizième Ordre)

 

I see them first in church

from my eyrie when I

have no need to play,

buds blooming with no thorns

sitting quietly by their

blown Mothers, waiting their turn.

 

I see them next at Court

saddled and bridled, ready to be

ridden hard, their small hands

clutching mechanically at

anything that’s offered

except the reins.

 

I see them most at

Pompes Funêbres,

burying babies, each one a

new furrow in the

badly ploughed field of a

once-pleasant meadow.

 

I see them last in church

followed by the buds that

bested Winter to be

measured for bridles on this

altar bestrewn with

Easter.blossom.

 

Me? I just play to numb whilst I

make music in my mind that

hymns wasted hymens, sad Mothers

leading daughters to slaughter, hoping that

somewhere beauty and the heart

are aligned.

East Wind

The wind from the East is cruel,

unwrapping the short skirts of girls

hugging their boobs, their

mad March hair whipping their

red faces as they try to smoke

cigarettes gone in seconds, while above

the nicotine-stained clouds are rent to

reveal the first Moon of this

month nearly spent in which the

wind had no lee.

Early Music VI

J.S.Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Prelude 1

I’m not afraid to be a tradesman, to

sell my wares in the marketplace, and my

stock-in-trade is sound on paper:

staves and notes, abstruse squiggles that

convey complexity in this

new system of music, this

well-tempered, tight-caulked, yet

open sound in which my

left little finger can determine what my

whole right hand will do next.

 

I’m not afraid to be a ship-wright, indeed I

welcome you to this shipyard knowing

all my boats will float, and I have

no shame extending my hand for money

for what I give you is so much more than

you can ever give me.

Pebbles

It seemed so easy, dropping

pebbles in a still pond and

watching the ripples, endlessly.

 

Oh I knew there was an edge

but it seemed far off, so the

unseen obstructions were

 

frightening, their fractal turbulence—

ripple attacking ripple—making me

desist from pebble-dropping,

 

hoping the pond would calm, the

birds would stop their flocking,

mocking, mobbing threats and the

 

fish would retreat to a more

respectful distance with those

mouths gawping for dinner.

Barking Mad

Do you remember when London left me,

kicking over that huge table

still lying four-square

bereft at Battersea?

The hounds in the Home

baying their fright while

cats cowered in corners, all

hackles and spit, the

love-letters she tore up and

spat into the vortex of the Tube,

littering the seats with our

sordid tittle-tattle?

In her fury she rived the Gospel Oak from

bud to root, left my head to

rot atop Tower Bridge, shouting

“Sic Semper Tyrannis” though I was

just another hopeful tourist

yearnng for a place in her dark heart.

 

 

You rescued me from Mudchute, my

mind full of might-have-been’s,

crying for the Isle of Dogs,

Barking mad.

Shades of Blue

The window is obscured with

enough ironed shirts to

last a week, all blue, all

subtly different like

shades of the same person,

dead at different

way-points of a

long, blue life.

Bled

I bled from

red sandstone to

chalk white via

schist, limestone, slate,

London Clay, the great

batholith of granite welling from

Earth’s heart, to the

flint inside the chalk

knapped shard-hard.

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