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Moon Phase




POETRY

Tuesday, July 29

MANTIS DREAMS: poetry by Geri Price-Jones



THE POINTING MAN

And where does he point
when he points away?

Twig finger stabbing,
half mad gaze sparkling
at images unseen.
Baying neither to sun
nor moon
but to the etherised fragments
lost in his 'mild brown' age.

He spits and crackles at traffic
mad anger centered in his
reddening eye.
Flat brown shoes, raving incessant
the footpath to the mirrored door.
Where he will hold his lager
gripping something larger:

The last bastion of his
hops-sodden code of honour.

CHILD'S NIGHT

As a child
at night in the dark house
I felt my way through rooms
Too fearful of spiders to grope
for light switches,
lost in a labyrinth of night,
Solace only in the lavatory's
glowing bulb.
Where I would sit shaking,
bombarded by moths,
dreaming faces in the bush
and screams in the fox bark
outside.
The farmhouse latrine
gurgling with dam water,
Harbinger of too many unimaginables.

Hurrying back through blackness
bravely back to bed
where through the window
an orchestra of insects played
shrill and wild to my nocturnal ear.


MISS HAVISHAM

Her sad dotage
rains buckets of pain
and bitterness and
black love quenching
heart wrenching dementia.
teeth rattling old wooden
stairs and pairs of old
dusty dolls rest on
lives lost in attic
chests with the best
of ages wrapped
in regret.
Destinies melted away
with old candles and
no clear path through
the cobwebbed future.
Infirmity nailed to a
frail frame, armchair
spine rustles with stained
blouses and spouses that
never were.
Brass framed, conserved
in sepia, memories
sealed and septic
recall past narcissism
left to bask in victories
swallowed by time.

NIGHT SONG

Our bed silent now
small heaven
in the black garden
of night.

Where it seems
a life ago
i threw stars at the child
exploding in her eyes.

And like the cold sheets
she was pale.


There are orchids
growing,
where her eyelids
closing,
hide her terrible sadness.

Like Ophelia
she knows that
dreams like petals
fall to drown nightfears.

Where pain stands
like trees
above this pillowed flower,
And where wrapped
in darkness
i await morning's first
coffee kiss.

MANTIS DREAMS

From sticky limbs
softly sinewed

he hears the hum
of the mantis drums,

twitching he senses
his female lured

tonight he will die
headless and screaming


shaking
high on the vine

and in time
he will know

the restless rumbling
of an ever turning earth

as the sun sets
on his wild green world.

THE PARK

Alone all day
in the memorial park,
watching the park keeper
groom the lawns and flower beds
Earnest in his work,
he avoids the anonymous
rag bag misters
asleep in the grass,
or perched on park benches,
Lost in some less tranquil Eden.


The lagoon
still and black
Full of shopping trolleys
run over by lilies,
home of the urban duck.
These picnic vigilantes
are happy with my scraps,
they follow me up and down the bank.

(to her i once said:
               "but the ducks take my bread")

The afternoon
brings families and dogs
and children on swings.
Cricket games spill
into wedding photos,
a lofted drive, not enough
to unsettle a determined
grinning bride.

And later
evening wrapped around
the emptying gardens,
Turning trees to night giants,
vague and ominous.
Tall dark sentries, cheated
only by jigsaw couples,
nestled in love
beneath the damp shadowed trunks.

DAYS WHERE WE ONCE KNOWING LAID

I remember the days where we
once knowing laid,
safe from the English wind
warm and tight inside
the cushioned house.
Lost in bed far from the rain's
rhythmic fall.
Roaming castles under the bed clothes
where for seasons of snow and rain
we drained love from grey days.

I remember the days where we
once knowing laid and prayed
before our pillow's altar,
where we knew the wet mouth
warmth of days at home.
Nestled and hugged behind the
cold wet street.
Worlds away from hail and sleet
where our others live beyond
our red bricks.

I remember the days where we
once knowing laid,
dreaming dark afternoon love
roiled in blankets, on carpets
in books.
Beneath the black breath chimney
where our ghosts
guessing grew familiar,
despite winter's cold lifeless tug.


SWEAT

My mother hated sweat.
On scorched afternoons,
we would tumble on to the verandah,
slippery boys with socks of black dust.
Our bodies sticky and brown,
Grotesque only to mother,
Who would spray us with the garden hose
before bringing cool jugs of lemonade.

THIS MORNING

her
laughing lovely
falling lightly
honey hair

caught the sun's first light

in my eyes
through the window
on my pillow
this morning.


THE DAYLIGHT EXPRESS

Through
the train's
mirrored window
i see my words
reflected
beyond
the cold rail lines
where decay reigns
undetected
past the city's
drab lament
lulled
by the
to and fro
carriage
the streaming train
is hauled
out of the
greying city
behind
peeling
warehouse
walls
ghostly buildings
too damp
for dust
too empty
for pity
this city's other
face
rusted and sore
colourless
save for the
red lipstick
graffiti
screaming
empty and
mute.
Frame by frame
through the
scrambled shambled
suburbs
beyond the
backyard pools
(clinicly blue
like small squares of fallen sky)
trapped
in the
raging
desolate
suburbs
the rattling train
drags on
through the afternoon
drizzle
slippery steel
wheels
slide along
the
cast iron
vein
pushing
through the rain
and out
into
wet
green fields
dotted with
sheep
and
cows
swollen
like
houses
bowed under
a clearing
sky.


RIVER GIRL

She shimmers before
a green willow blur.
Graceful,
like a proud water bird.
Arching slowly,
pale palms lowered
feel the cool, dark
kiss of the river.

Honey brown hair dripping
before the bent willows,
nature's chandeliers dripping
leafy fingers,
splashing emerald reflections
across the healing river.

In one silent motion
she disappears,
lost to the water's mystic revelry.
Although unseen,
i feel her in the belly
of the riverbed,
Wrapped in its dark, wet secret.

Momentarily
the river stands alone.
Tranquil, aching with beauty,
silent in shimmering rapture.


Slowly she rises,
quiet as rain unfallen
Bringing a soft whisper breeze
in honour of her grace and frailty
And alone on the dry riverbank
i watch her glide on downstream.


ON SUNDAY

We sat
watching the dogged
old sun
beat up on the melting
asphalt carpark
and dizzy from the heat
and the coughing cars
we walked down
to the glassy river
where for hours we
floated without words
until the sun died its
dusky death
and left us lying
on the smooth sand
listening to the wind's
cool evening breath.


I AM THE MAN WITH THE UMBRELLA

         walking flatfooted
         black shoed down
        dark winter
        backstreets
        scurrying between
        the dripping awnings
        skipping across
        High street on wet
        monday mornings

I am the man with the umbrella

         seen from the tenement
         highrise black starfish
         by the empty bus
         from frozen fourth
         floor windows
         wrestling with wet
         newspapers in rattling
         train carriages
         blown inside out
         in the city
         subway tapping
         like a blind man
         up the concrete stairs

I am the man with the umbrella

         left standing at taxi
         stands
         shaking hands at
         splashing cars
         squatting in the
         park
         unrewarded
         on a wet patch of grass
         I am the man with the umbrella


END

For six weeks
I lived with a goldfish
Why she had not taken him
I do not know.

I prepared
for his death daily.
Waiting to find him
bloated and berry eyed,
floating cold as a stone.

But each day
found him darting,
tiny and glorious.

And in time,
after many dark clouds
had passed
and an End
had moved through and gone,

I replaced his bowl,
and mine,
and we began again.


THE MYTH OF BLISS

married                                        couple
sitting                                           in
a                                                    corner
restaurant                                    not
speaking                                       dreaming
separate                                       dreams


MOMENT

watching you
shower watching
me happy not to
touch falling water
recalling Renoir
your smile making
these sullen tiles sing.


THIS EVENING



spent dreaming kingdoms
in the wine glass,
watching dusk claw
at the wise wood of the verandah
where it seems, only yesterday
we made slow pornography
while beyond the dark house
the barking owls sentried
the silent trees.



TREES

 The trees
in this town
have been
overcome

propped
on the
pavement
like
defeated couples
standing
in front
of
closed
real estate
windows

empty
pockets
cold
against thighs
and eyes
blinking
at too many
zeroes.

huddled
half expecting
the
man
with
the handshake
to leap
out of
the unfriendly
night......................!



VISIT

I visited the place today.

The place
where i had thrown poems at you.
Where i played with your child.
Where i had slipped,
trying to save a sailaway ball,
into the muddy lagoon.
Where muddied and sodden
i had been an engine driver,
while you read.
Where suddenly secret soldiers
we had watched you reading.
Where the little General had said:
"Its okay she likes them i can tell".

i visited the place today
where for a short time you
became a mother of two.


COME NOW

out through the open window
and into the unshaven streets

where we will meet the urban
            carnality head on

where the night swelling with
             ragged engagements rages
             under the desolate neon

where we battle our estrangement
             with wine and sex and
             the smell of others

where the acid breath of the
            city covers the crouching
            couples

where our angry lust doubles
            under the city's asylum
            lights


where we make our flight
            from the mannequin reality
            burning at the kitchen table

where arm in arm we will bury
            our domestic charms and
            lay our troubled psalm on
             the ashtray pavement.










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