poetry by kes

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back to kes


poetry II

the ogre

the peril stranger
slept in my bed
last night
of coffin

come sleep
in my dungeon

he said

take a break from
the madness of this

on the other
side of
the moon

eat jitterbugs
and mothflies

tar wine

all that is left
is the sound
of small
the hardwood

and the meows
of milk thirsty

the mind a gentle
of harmony
and noise

eye - by kes

rarely does man remain essentially himself
his confidence wavering in the arithmetic morning
throwing tantrums of protest hysterical and engaged
down the forest path he marches
pantry shelves of sugar he believes
will create a miracle for him
hollow-eyed and careworn
abundant in the daylight
arms wide apart in his unwrapped shirt
tell me what you are saying
not one red feather for celebration
make it fast and rich with cream
only blue curtains draped and he stood
upon the sand of the sea
and saw a beast rise up ... if any man
have an ear, let him hear that he has
seen a whale
he clutched his tongue with stainless steel
pincers and considered his request
entirely improbable and iridescent
in a bloodstream of honey and garlic
staying longer than he planned
water clung to his eyelashes walking forward into light
curious to inspect these gifts this time of year
yellow leaves were falling everywhere
what is the problem understanding first
cradles of white stone bleached by sunlight
he knows what it is .. what he is looking at
he blames no one ... not even himself


i saw the light
fly as a bird
on tree branches

stepping out
into the unknown forest
deep inside
a cavernous
getting sleepy

it fell wayside
for a fortnight
the hillfort
where we made
love out of dreams

and a salad from
the grass

we slept
for an month
upon a mossy

where stories
so old and fertile
with intrigue
kept us roped
to a dory
that cast its
upon the moon's gate

and light reflected
and then we returned
nonetheless wiser

a republic in the offering

of strangers and seamen

today i read your poem
i read while i typed
in my satiate oblivion
of narrow escape

i read what i could not see
and was devoured by the dance
i read your poem as words in shadows
and refrain of cloud and light
splintering to an end
as none know which
as this has sung
but as yet has entered
leaving the playful
silence for remote arteries
of lending
and sharing in the ageless shapes
of violins and straw

i read less and less
and became intangled
by the movement of vowels
and transcended in rhyme

altered morning alas
frightened by the ashes of endings
made calm by dust of time

leaving again
again leaving
and coming back

as some thing
lifting and falling
falling and lifting

i read more words after
and the words became pictures
the consonants became castles
the hyphens became sand
and gasping
was all that was left for breath

there was little to describe
the mirror of oneself
but the change and broken
railings that used to protect
the heaven of my reason
now lost for some other shore
some other horizon
not yet invented


i pulled a string from a pocket
and twisted its thorny anchor into a hole
and wound the fair maiden and tuned it to a spoon
and sung the wonder of my emptinees
and it is was full of sound

i played a traveller on an old tin boat
bumping along a never ending road of waves
losing my shoes in the process
i kicked my socks into the sea

i sunk my boat because i wanted to see bottom
and there i sank and saw trunks of diamonds
and rubber men in breathing machines
tied ropes to the surface with an anchor
to crawl through the starlit burrow
of corals in sand and rocks and gardens

spent my breathing for a night's worth dreaming
ate the shells and chewed on sea leaves
mermaids sang the glorious evening
waiting in the shallows with open hands
string pearled oysters and clams ascending
in the bounty of a surface descending
in view a starfish and jelled things spaceless
timing the return of a sea otter or hook

i broke my line and floated thus
thoughts too amusing to know or believe
creation sang in verses and tied knots to balance
to break free the coil of disbelieving
to suspend murky water with a florid red and green
and blue dance fish woke and laid in pool
bathing in sun and spent there for a time
before waking and returning to bed

myriads and dumplings and fetters unloosened
the alabaster the fluorescent and fed
grazing in the air furled bubbles a handshake
a trumpet a horn a lute and harp
played in melody the harmony filled
the molten core and burst

and waters evaporated into consecrated soaring
cladistic clad wanderers in amusement stood
rowing in the perfect morning and seasaw
nothing so artful as opening and wincing
in sunlight the struck dumb fellow as such
a fool who had thought way too much
swallowed in the fortnight the belly of a whale

storm fed saliant into the winds without sail
finding virtues and giving it bread
feeling the emptiness inside his head

washed in a bay drenched sandbar of tokens
asking  flotsam for the time of day
sitting on dockside somewhere always
in luminous detail not figured or known
and moth eaten pages falling into
leaves that floated in a lake

and clay dressed folly to find forever
to be that way

the sailor i am sure found something