Five Notes on a Life Cycle
Time wants us born sorely shapeless
soft as warm wax and breathing
into sun eyes wide blind screaming
that this is too soon. Mother lifts
her breast for the first time without
father and we suckle not knowing
that breasts are for sex not nursing
as father looks at her with longing.
Father bides his time, his lips, his tongue
he knows mother was his the day she set
her hand to his, the day he caught it close
the day he nailed her with his cock
right up into her heart. Born out of love
perhaps the best start we can wish for
if born too soon, if born at all.
Spending our days shaping spaces solid
and nights falling through gaps
into the black, into the fear that curls up
the ends of the days like burning paper.
The lucky ones have words and burn their hands
that is one way of feeling exchanging and
seeing each other, themselves
All too soon the altar of society expects our blood.
There are ways of bleeding. Feeding
the long boxes can never be avoided
but cut your portions if at all possible. There
is no hurry
or sometimes yes
but choose the manner of decline
the handles are not always shiny
and the flowers fade
death is a production
only in so far as the final curtain.
Here is the dissemination of cells. Where
they go is not heaven
but somewhere out there
or possibly deeper down
where the earth is empty.
Even Books Blush
This cloudy rebellion is a damp curse.
Heaven was not made for me
We are a brutal collage;
from the tops of trees.
That’s why birds live there mostly
and come down only to feed;
the branches so enamoured
by the wisdom of their flutter.
Show some humility, please.
The dignity of nature supposes
nothing other than it is
- and even books blush.
Above the Sea of Fog
Beyond the easy pieces standing on the black rocks
the dead birds are a hollow kiss grey as capped
silence in the harsh of self-conscious.
No sound in the anonymous heel of disconcertion
twisting the draining hazard of a pleasant memory
a fascination a mere shade healthier than disease.
It is a peeling too incremental for drama.
But still, above the sea of fog, there is a display of clarity
where swelling betrays itself as beautiful and all of life
is reduced to expulsion. Such beauty is but the doorstep
of death and the last lifting of foot is nowhere near a dance.
And two people joined need to know this
- what an art it is to pull away.
Currently living in Argyll, Scotland with her partner, two children and a cat, Gillian Prew ditched philosophy in favour of poetry even though the former still haunts her. She has three collections of poems and has been published at Full of Crow, Counterexample Poetics, Gutter Eloquence, Gloom Cupboard and The Glasgow Review among others.
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