Tired of chalk faces & clay women who disowned self
decades ago, I grasp time as you tease
dormant geraniums back to life.
Each year your garden takes on more colour—mostly reds
while you grow more silver than woodland mist.
So often I see the girl melted into glass.
She’s there when she flamencos in her tulip skirt, slim calves
synchronised to earth rhythms.
I saw her the day she stepped out on rhinestone heels
to collect her degree. Strange flower
forgive the habitual hellos & goodbyes.
I’m a simple man made mutant.
Landslip & drugs have that effect— and we,
we often hang ourselves over brooks, rebirth
from misshapen clouds. Strange flower
if your belly sags you are not a balloon
drifted along my skyline to be popped
in preference for longer legs.
You are helium, my Dead Sea parted
a Sitar I’ll never pluck again.
©Natalia Spencer 2016
Humid. Clouds bleed orangey-red
I look to a bent tree and wait.
Quiet punctuations rise from heather.
White spots clap above body– a male
glides to bent trees and bent lands
at the lip of our universe,
I have seen this same male perch
Large tell-tale black eyes, that white moustache
Goat Sucker, xylophone of Charon, you call
ku-ick twice and launch sky pale as clay
On The Victoria Line the rolling stock
feels old and grout fails mosaics. Back then
we were corpuscles pumped through a Titan’s body.
I asked if we could go there. You said Brixton
connections were too infrequent to warrant
the journey. Now, rush hour net throws up errors
like that pale blue horizon. Somehow
your name appears as an audio credit and Bowie’s
asterism is the wrong way round.
Not much further past Kings Cross, a grey man
probes what follows after The Great I Am
robs passports, boots and sedatives.
You are less traceable than a comet. And
his thunderbolt should point at the right clavicle.
Still too close to the heart.
Out in cold air black ice has done its work. Again
I buy flowers. Slip them to ground. Bowie’s face
shines like eloquent graffiti.
He rises through shin high water. Tells me
tissues are not needed here. But you and him
were branches of a huge brachial artery.
Walthamstow. Central to your existence.
Brixton. A Giant’s fingertip.
©Natalia Spencer 2016
Imo David Bowie 2016
Imo Stephen Hardy 2011
A painted smile speaks and constant
are the fingers circling where a ring should be.
I fear cold. Loud wind takes me there.
Back to Canada. You know.
It happened don’t you?
The veins in her arms are like ladders propped
against her heart. And although she would not deny
herself things to make her happy there are times
she wishes she had been in that room, done more
than just hear the hum of dying bees.
Hunched it seems his spine has collapsed
as sparks rise up as they did when he raked the grate.
The bees. My ears are full of bees.
They never stop. They won’t ever stop. You know.
I am not responsible. Don’t you?
The imprint on his arm reads as a synopsis.
So much to stay alive: A tray of gold.
A hank of hair. A sea of shoes. A dead man’s bowl.
Too ill to swallow anymore, he assumes
that ink spells no absolution.
As quickly as her tears seem to fade. Mary hummed.
Dug with her stick.
What else did Fidno get wrong, before we move on?
The woman was beloved in her hometown
a landlocked hamlet where she had lived
For many years. In drifts of sleep I came upon you
buried to your waist in snow.
Photo courtesy of F.Sheilds.
James Evans. Dinner with my Pushy Italian Grandmother.
Hilary Mantel, Comma.
N. Farah, Crossbones.
Dave Eggers, Woman, Foghorn.
Seamus Heaney, The Rescue.