If you come too close

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If you come too close

on this mad March day

where the blossom flakes into stars

inert on a bed of human compost

if you come too close

my body shrinks away

as sunbeam struggles to ignite

a storm filled sky.

If you come too close I can smell

corruption on your finger tips

I can hear the tremor of children’s screams

from the silence of fallen families

I can watch my hands torn to bleeding cenotaph

ensigns of this uneasy century.

If you came too close

I was too far from here to notice:

riding on a winter wind

watching moon howl in a silent forest

if you came too close

you’d have heard the ground groan

beneath the pounding of the running heels

souls lost in the enigma of swallowing seasons

with only the memory of surviving soldiers

to talk the lies of history round a sputtering fire.

 

If you came that way

you’d never really see

 

the tears of unborn children,

 

the perfection of the tapestry

with its silver threads of lonely heartbeats

shining through, forever shining through

the lichen of extinction.

 

 

 

 

Genetic replay

There’s an imperceptible change in movement, where it seems that the voices of unborn children call out for life. Patterns regurgitate themselves in a myriad of subtleties; from my own terror in a hostile womb I was shocked into an awareness of life’s sanctity.  The early days were a struggle for survival and like a sewer rat I learnt all the tricks.  Then when you and I accidentally created life, I realised there was no such thing as an accident.  Consciousness filtered into the panic as hormones surged to the surface in a sticky sea of bodily functions. Our children became my crusade and you and I were thrown away like batter round succulent white fish, we were breeding machines, and we played our roles succinctly. Now women come to me, wearing their wombs with various degrees of distress, suddenly discovering the strength of biology, and I try to soothe the terror, I try to remain wise in ambivalent situations, I try not to cry.

*

If you come too close

you might touch the centre

where rawness is not a catch phrase

where today merges into nothingness

where vastness is a wild mountain pass

where nothing ever really matters

except freedom.

 

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