Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I search for feedback on this poem as I feel it needs it:

Berlin Alexanderplatz

a name to savour
like Currywurst or Sauerkraut

tangy in the mouth, salty
dark and sweet, you think of blackness
silk strong dark beer

it's blue-black on the Alex
you stop
dead drink in the sounds
the texture the shape the hard
squareness, the orange tiled

of a word a name
silver blue red

every colour

wrapped in grey wool you are a fragment
fluttering a curled
wisp of burning bright paper

slender and tiny
laughing grasping the kaleidoscope

this is where:
this is where:

you lie down and the television tower
rears above you

east west east

blue like the sky

you are alone on the Alex
the S-Bahn is a smudge of white light
the Berlinohaus and Alexanderhaus fold back
like wings you climb on
to the fountain

and fly

In Absentia

Oh dear. Well, without further comment we'll fix the gap that was Mr Thomas.

on a clear day
unfasten the gate
and take the path
over the machair
through the orchids
down to the sea


before the day begins
or when the business of the day
is over there are intervals
densities of blue or grey
when you stand on the brink
of a different possibility
a stillness that opens
out into clarity or
a subtlety that folds
back into stillness again
you might almost touch it
an occasion in the air
as steady as a great tree
branching into delicate life


Thomas A Clark.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

From Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth
Adrienne Rich writes:


I found you by design or
was it your design
or: we were drawn, we drew

Midway in this delicate
negotiation telephone rings
(Don't stop!...they'll call again...)

Offstage the fabulous creature scrapes and shuffles
we breathe its heavy dander
I don't care how, if it dies this is not the myth

No ex/interior: compressed
between my throat
and yours, hilarious oxygen

And, for the record, each did sign
our true names on the register
at the mouth of this hotel

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Ess Pee Ell


The SPL is sanctuary
supplied in simple spells
which loop round longing people
where the sloping silence dwells.

The SPL has specialty,
pools happiness in space;
supple nights which offer briefest
lustful assonance embrace.

Our lips appeal to pierce the walls
we place around all pleasure -
the SPL's the glimpse inside
high thoughts we often censure.

The library lives in all who love
for I suppose we've found
a safe, persistent lodging
for the splash of psalm in sound.

Thursday, 21 February 2008


Well, the Skelf had a one-off extraskelf last night: Gosia Mamica, who is leaving Scotland to return to Poland on Saturday, introduced us to Wislawa Szmborska. I'll post some soon, when I have my Polish head on. Anyroad, I need to post this, so that I will stop looking for it in a sheaf of electronic fullscap.

Mushrooms, by Sylvia Plath

Overnight, very
Whitely, discreetly,
Very quietly

Our toes, our noses
Take hold of the loam
Acquire the air.

Nobody sees us,
Stops us, betrays us;
The small grains make room.

Soft fists insist on
Heaving the needles,
The leafy bedding,

Even the paving.
Our hammers, our rams,
Earless and eyeless,

Perfectly voiceless,
Widen the crannies,
Shoulder through holes. We

Diet on water,
On crumbs of shadow,
Bland-mannered, asking

Little or nothing.
So many of us!
So many of us!

We are shelves, we are
Tables, we are meek,
We are edible.

Nudgers and shovers
In spite of ourselves.
Our kind multiplies:

We shall by morning
Inherit the earth
Our foot's in the door.

Apologies for any clericals, the blog doesn't take a pasting so I type. Which in itself is a positive discipline, to learn her words.