Author Archives: Dick Jones
I posted a piece to my blog about poets writing in age that might be of interest to (senior?!) ID-ers.
The original form
of flesh, it moves,
animate, but boneless.
Consider vapour. Steam
in the breath
of cattle, from the
dawn grass. Water sprinting
millionfold for the
of the air. Water
drunk. Water falling
in its soft lattices
over our bodies.
Water with skin.
We sink beneath
its flat top,
flesh on flesh,
beneath its stiff
meniscus. Such mating
with the pellucid self
of water joins the circle
of our time here.
Unboned, we assume
the property of dream.
From ‘Ancient Lights’ by Dick Jones, published by Phoenicia Publishing (http://www.phoeniciapublishing.com)
For all those who have had their submissions rendered down to ‘it’ by hubristic editors who have elevated themselves to the status of ‘us’.
A bell chimes,.
Midnight. The kids
long since wrapped
around their artifacts:
a hairless doll,
an orange bear,
a mushroom-coloured monkey
And now inside
their amniotic dreams,
they whir and mutter.
In the gunpowder dark,
a thin caul of years
hoods each head,
a fragile membrane.
My years orbit
like great birds
looking to roost.
I only sense their drift,
but I catch their wind.
We’re in a hospital lift going up
from ground floor to the seventh,
just the two of us, strangers and
I’m thinking (as you do) what if
the cable breaks and we drop like
a stone in a well? How would you
reckon the moment at which
to jump before the point of impact?
Then, with a jolt, the lift just stops.
We look at each other, look away.
Too soon yet for that dreadful intimacy
that prefigures panic. Now it’s grunts
and chuckles, pantomime impatience
and some random button punching. Then
comes language, blunt and businesslike.
“Right. Now what? Should be an alarm
somewhere or a ‘phone. Let’s see”. But
all from me. My partner in misfortune
hasn’t moved. Within the ticking silence,
he is motionless, head cocked like
someone listening for a distant birdcall
or for bells on a breeze. And even as I
watch for a flicker, both unfocussed
eyes tip back to white and, still without
a word, he drops straight down, within
the circle of his standing, like disembodied
clothes. My first impulse is just to
leave him like some 3-D puddle that I
have to step around as I organise escape
or rescue. Two disasters in succession
out of a blameless morning seem unfair.
But then, as unexpected as the other,
both eyes open, wide and blue and his lips
kiss air like a baby blowing bubbles.
He’s going to die; we know it, both of us
in a simultaneous heartbeat. And I kneel,
like a bad actor genuflecting, and I lean,
fingers spread against the tin-can wall
and watch the urgent lips trying to mould
words out of the unaccommodating air.
I stoop to listen – more, maybe, to read
the fragile shapes in flight. “Touch me”,
he breathes. “Touch me”. But I hesitate:
unlinked, I’m free, like standing water;
once connected, there’s a current drawing
me towards another place. But then I cup
his cheek as I might a child’s and, on a long
unwinding breath, he speaks quite clearly –
“Mummy” – and he doesn’t breathe again.
Sometime later, with a jolt, the lift glides
upwards, graceful, silent, as if no time
had passed for anyone, as if I might step
through those doors, untouched, untouchable,
as if the light should shine as brightly evermore,
doors open, close again, as if the axis of
the world still held as trustworthy and true.