3 poems written in response to Homer's Odyssey - commissioned by the National Poetry Library

Dawn breaking 

 

The gods met up to decide your fate first

they made their decision through the “rosy-fingered dawn”

the wind was young and they sat on the broken spells of rain

a dozen owners of the stars

throw down their signals, 

an inter-wind of eagles to see if you’d notice

the new windows high up in the hills 

the new thousand years of tree room 

made like shaking trains far in your childhood

for you to roam and leave the cold streets

for you to imagine the end of the sky

and the school you will one day leave. 

To see if you would notice me 

walking coatless into the flowered womb of ghosts by our bed. 

 

The night continues to note down the morning dawn 

it breaks slowly its hands gentle like a smile

ragged with blue ornaments from a mountain seascape, 

the light is egoless at this hour 

it is in a state of meditation 

it rows pulling light like a guardian 

it is a woman and man

it is the quest of prayer-wheels 

giving the light the latency of light. 

You're fast asleep beside me rafting with the tides

you have your own birds of the sky hallowing you unbonded

but the birds inside of me have not stopped 

flapping their towering wings in twos

a river in the womb of a river, another mediterranean. 

 

Athena stayed behind like a statue 

in the darkness holding the torch light towards Troy

remembering the honour of peace 

remembering the hour of waking 

remembering the bureaucracy of tears

the heavens remain unimpressed

their only job— biographers of the light

a freezer tray to the sky

where all golden light come to die

and live in between the voices

a postcard to the church.

And you're now awake and everything is settled and you say

“I can feel it, it’s alive.”

 -

In the morning, Penelope  


The first together is the morning itself

the marrying wish of dew 

the first dance of the grass

renewed like a child’s clock


the grass sings to the window—

“come down to the sky fields,

come down and re-watch the eclipse

come down, Penelope.”


The early light unaware of the low hum

that entwines the mood of the air, 

strangely worshiping

in high memory cries.


And we remember the ghosts better in the morning

the rising light that is always a grace

on the back of the things you love

scattered through the house like lego.


The bed remains ancient in its ritual of worship

a personal attack against strangers

made up of all its own Trojan wars

hung in literature, undebated.


It is easy to believe that it is a privilege to grow old 

in the morning and that age is young 

and all that is above will remain immortal

regardless of loneliness.


-

THE LAST 60 SECONDS OF MORNING 

 

Thunder first, locked up in babble 

rain-eyed gods on their backs

 

you staying in the forefront, 

black ribbon, angel headless,

 

four standing roses and a background of wind-split 

you died in America for the last time

 

Jason Molina holding all the horses 

behind the last slip dawn rain

 

I cannot live in a place that doesn't save its people in time

I cannot live in a place that doesn’t live out its own odyssey

 

so the myths are paralysed

the myths are luminous riddles  

 

the horses are all full 

the saints are bold cannons

 

love is a vacuum mist

a showed weekend of dreams on repeat 

 

A distant screen to both worlds

a second think to the running light

 

10 seconds where morning is at one with daytime

clasping in the change of lightness 

 

lugging the stones of womanliness 

peaking and popping when everything breaks

 

10 seconds where morning is at one with daytime

a spin of patter, a direction that needs no explanation 

 

downwards to the earth 

a curtain of forward and back

 

A slide of swan dance 

swaying in animal timing 

 

the last joy to morning is the memory 

the animals are laughing 

 

grasping forward they escape

light continues to slide out

the gods are asleep now and far away

a preview of reflections border the world

 

night is lowered to day and the actors arrive 

worrying their costumes. 


LA LIGHT POEM

Litany of forgotten stained glass angels of the East,

new windscreens of rushed oasis highways.

Love must be somewhere in the desert

this perpetual morning of summer, and its swimming pool eyes.

 

The light that is an ordinary god,

the light that is anarchic

Holds you here, blending the skylines, 

perishing the oceans with adrift plastic sadness.

 

I thought you said we could be the mother of something

but our delight is neon and brittle.

Who will wash the ocean? who will guard the sun home?

The sunset is a blown lampshade to a land that waits on secret numbers.

 

The roads hold up a bridge

to another kind of haloed remembering.

Who will raise the crashed ships from the harbour?

Whose eyes can I fall into for sleep?

 

A maiden name for satellites, 

white rays of passing cars and the gold that is their shadow

bodying sunset, strangering sunrise.

And we are the holders of sky artefacts

who romance and digitize seraphim.