Climbing up Hills Before its Too Late

Looking down at my fleshly toes,
I creak to the loo at 4 in the morning,
a listing dreadnaught,
careening into doorframes.

Flick of the cold light puts first signs of age
in stark relief,
and I transfix on swollen pink
round the callouses

I’ve gathered like memories.
There was once a boy who
drove these long-neglected feet
over wild fields of autumn,

revelling in the sensation
of sharp, dry leaves,
that crackling sound of victory,

young projectile body,
tumbling down slopes,
a mad-capped wind at my heels.

Do I still want to climb mountains,
like that one over behind my house,
with its antenna
erect and ridiculous and
contemptuous under the sky?

I dream of that hill,
and the things I might find up there,
a place above the heaviness
of concrete,

the weight of noise.
Up there, I know,
on nights thick with summer
treacle,
young bodies still writhe and love
in the grass under the stars.

Up there,
musical bodies go off like
firecrackers.

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Mountains on the Sea

Mountains on the sea,
roving clouds plug the blue sky
which otherwise, onrushing,
would drive the sensitive ones mad.
Bizarre deeper blueness of the folds
where the sky has buckled
beneath its own eternities,
or where some poet god
has crumpled and torn up
and cast away his pages.
And the water,
neutral, pliable sheet,
simply mimics the colder blue
in its reflected world,
infinite rhyme and simile.
Mountains on the sea
silent between two immense canvas,
sometimes horror plastered
with reds and golds,
yet they tolerate the commerce
of things foolish as mountains,
like ponds that bear the
leaves’s fragile cargo at dusk.