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NaPoWriMo 2008 drafts

Various miscellanea concerning Rik's poetic endeavours

NaPoWriMo 2008 drafts

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:01

Originally posted to the pffa websites - this thread is just the poems, no fluff.

Current status of poems (7 Dec 08):
Abandoned - X days
In abayence - X days
Untouched, awaiting redraft - X days
Undergoing redraft - X days
Redrafting complete - X days
Rik
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1 April - Snowdrop 1.4: The dam in her nest, at bay

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:20

She snouts the tin aside - it tumbles
its clanking course across the slopes
that mould her home, her mazy nest,
knocking the rime of newborn ice
from leaf and peel; she pulls a lace
of paper free from its frosted pile,
drags it back to her den within
the layers of waste.

this one, the white of wisdom yet
to tip her pelt. She taps the heaps
with barreled whiskers, braces her feet
on discards and leavings, levers her hips
forward towards the warmth of rot.
She's coming home.

of slipping bone above - a cat
perhaps, or stoat come hunting pups.
She snicks her teeth and snags a taste
of mystery - not dog, nor magpie beak.
Her press of belly bullies her on:
pluck out the fur, plaster her hall
with hairs and strips of wholesome compost
before she bursts.

that leads her back to blood and milk
each pawstep measured, masked in stealth -
a hunting child, a haunting thief
come looking for siblings soon to be born,
a season's feast.

a daughter, once, a demon now
as dead as the mists that mould her form:
she lifts her lip, levels her ears
to her skull and sets the spars of her claws
deep in the walls of her den, and waits.
Rik
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2 April - Snowdrop 2.5: Lost

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:20

"I've lost my walls! The room has gone along
with heat and ceilings, leaves and mud where once
I had a floor - I've lost the walls! She danced
with flames - the girl with bark for bones - that's wrong:
I'm seeing things awry; I'm dosed on pills
like sweets at Christmas. Close my eyes and stretch
my arms out wide and wait until I touch
the walls with fingertips - oh shit, I'm ill!
My walls have gone: these trees - exist? But how
can this be happening? The air's so cold,
the earth - it's hard like concrete frost, the mist
- it glows? Look up! The moon's still there, still proud
and full. So where's the house? No roof to hold
the night away; my wall's are gone: I'm lost!"
Rik
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3 April - Snowdrop 8.5: Shared Bread

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:22

The bread in his hand is brown, a hash
of ryes and wheats winnowed in the dark:
a memory of hay harvested by moonlight.
It smells of goodness - a substantial gift
from a different land delivered by a god.



He smiles as he sits in the circle, nods
to the hooden troop as he hands the bread
across to the Carter. He keeps his words
to himself, his certainty set in the face
he sets to the gaze of the girl. She smiles.



As the bread circles, so the banter soars.
She can see the Betsy belt the rider
as he yanks the mead from the young man's grip.
She doesn't notice. She doesn't care
anymore except for the man before her.


.
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4 April - Snowdrop 8.6: The Glamour of the Prophet

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:22

Look at her! She fights to be free
from the boy-in-disguise, away from the birth
of her monsterous spawn - the children of trees,
the babies of flames and fluids, all worth
a place in his pot, his Hell-on-Earth.
Look at her fight him: she calls to the sea
but her lover is taken already; she's leased
her belly to the Tallyman now, her girth
a cauldron of magic and time. Now see
how her spawn slither from their birth.

Look at me! I crawled on my knees
into the soils surrounding the Queen
and hid, and grew like a shoot from a pea
as the seasons stopped - a son unseen
in the muds of the Marsh, a being ... between.
Look at me - I live. I breathe!
I can dance in the sun and dive in the sea.
I have furnished the brows of folks with a sheen
of sweat; my pleasure is theirs! Now see
how my conquests surround my Queen.

Look at you! The woman who flew
from her world to a world of deceits
in the mists beneath the Hunter's moon -
will you kill him for us? Will you make his defeat
complete? But the Tallyman, he cheats
too: would you dare, little one, to assume
you can finish what gods and queens couldn't do?
You ate the bean in the broth, the seed
of your demise, your contract - we'll soon
see you bleed to complete our world of deceits.
Rik
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5 April - Snowdrop 9.1: Procession

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:24

For all the feet that have angled their way
to his dell, none have damaged the earth:
there are no paths to this place in the mist.

She feels her torpor in the folds of her bones,
in the cups of her eyes; her ache of steps
furnished in thoughts focussed on - nothing.

A muddy godling guides her to doom
and others follow, an odd collection
of the lost and the damned, living and dead.

Witness the Betsy; the boy who shakes;
the purgat'ry man; the maid of Kent
and her smuggler friend; the soldier, his lad.

The queen's fair still fucks in the woods.
The hunter's dogs still howl and chase.
The corporal still calls to his callous god

in his chapel of mist, and the marshes flood
to capture the Roman captain's ship -
the grand and black Grattack still hunts.

The Peggy has left her pond tonight.
Jack of the Flame jerks as he dances
across the boughs of the bark-built woman.

And Snowdrop is dressed in sheets of white
cinched at the waist by a string of ivy
and crowned with holly - a holy gift

for the Tallyman's knife, a token of life
to bring the heat of a birthing sun
back to a world now bound in ice.
Rik
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6 April - Fukyu: Flames

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:25

Such a short timespan
from your parabolic birth
to your wordy death.

And yet, such places
visited; deserts and seas
no bar to your path.

People fight to take
you in their palms, hold you high -
flickering applause.

A mastered race sought
to reinvent history:
a strong flame, stolen.

Who stole you first, flame?
The athletes? The worthy great?
Administrators?

You live to perform:
you spark the air for peace, hope
and competition.

You are a false hope,
branded flame, logoed lantern.
Burn free from ring chains!

Burn the sky, the skin
of politicians; blister
the flesh that holds you

captive! Coruscate!
Reach up your tongues to the sun
... unreachable home.
Rik
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7 April - Snowdrop 9.4: Invocations

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:27

"These loving words you speak are true, my son;
the world demands that I renew the sun."



"I saw the world first born; I saw it cry;
I watched the love of us subdue the sun."



"Without the golden orb, oblivion;
no love can thrive beyond the jewel sun."



"We drink its energy, we steal its heat;
our need for love makes us imbue the sun."



"Our globe of flame is cracked - we've worn it out;
a gift of love through blood will soothe our sun."



"Rennaisance keeps us strong - we must proceed;
the pulse of love shall feed the newborn sun."



"There is no pain - my love is sharp and true;
my world demands that you renew the sun."



"A kneeling supplicant is best, my child;
I'll score your neck - let love soak through the sun!"
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8 April - Snowdrop 9.5: Dawn

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:29

The sky is lighter, a scale of clouds
skinning the dome, their scorched edges
announcing the arrival of the ruddy sun
in minutes, seconds ... and Snowdrop kneels
in front of the man. He fumbles for his staff,
struggles to stand; he seems so old
in the weak light of winter's morning,
as old as the hills he inhabits, as old
as the battered pot placed at his feet.



Within the cauldron a curl of mist
extends, a probing tendril seeking
space to expand, a place to fix
its form and set ... and Snowdrop watches
it branch and grow, grab at the legs
of its Tally Man, master its fear
of space as it latches to the linen sheet
gathered about the butcher's shoulders.



When he notices the whiskery growth
he moves to snatch the mat on which
he sat away, whipping the stripes
of the ancient pelt over his head -
a hooded shawl ... and Snowdrop holds
a filament of mist in her fingers, a shred
of contact, a thread of thought, a moment.



Beyond Snowdrop, the silent man
takes from the pouch tied to his belt
his knife, its handle an antler prong.
Chanting his words, he weaves the tool
over the scalp of his lamb: Snowdrop ... ignores him.
In the blank spaces of her brain she seeks
a mould, a length of metal annealed,
a legend of a blade, a bedtime tale,
a key to a kingdom, a crude icon -
she feels its hilt form in her hand.



As he brings his palm to her brow and pushes
her ear to her shoulder she shakes the weight
of wet metal away from the earth
beneath her. A coldness catches at her neck
- his knife, arrived and ready to notch
her throat. She carves the caliburn
through mud and mist to meet the edge
of the magic pot: it pits the lip,
pauses, presses past the copper
into the cauldron's heart, its heat - and shatters.

Shatter the dawn; shatter
the dream; shatter
the world to the
shapes of
edges.
Rik
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9 April - A LimerRik

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:29

There was an old chicken called Rik
Who sat on a nest made of sticks
Each day he would lay
an egg, which would say
'If you think I'm a poem, then you're thick!'
Rik
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10 April - Four poems on footsteps

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:30

My first was vast, a dancing kick
heeled towards the dodging ground.

My next was skipped in rubber pumps,
a playground prance: stamp and veer.

I lost them for a while; a line of fire
from arse to calf made each an effort.

Can I trust them? Where once kerbs
tripped me, flesh will tip me down.
Rik
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11 April - Blue

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:31

I don't see emotions
when I write blue.
I don't feel the dampness
of waves across my instep,
nor taste the sprays
of kicked water, nor hear
the insults, nor shudder
at the touch of the pulsing
plastic bag driven by currents
to wrap its inert tentacle
strips across my knee.
There is no sunny heat
in these tinted images.

Sometimes the pendular tap
of the waves on my ear
can bring tears to finger
their tide across my cheek,
but I don't see emotions
when I write blue.
This shade of indignity
lies hidden in the chord
of melody, the growl
of the throaty trumpet
planted in my chest. I test
each keyboard button
between knuckle snaps,
type the word: blue.
Rik
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12 April - Poppie

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:31

Within the clutter, a clay cat
with daubed blue eyes and dashed whiskers
white against the black of cold fur.

I dust it routinely, knock powder
from between its ears, its paws, the crook
of its tail. It reports on my neglect.

I could break it, sever the connection
of gift and receipt; let fly shelved guilts
and griefs stored in its factory smile.

She is just a string of digits away,
it tells me. Pick up the purring comforter,
hold it to your cheek; click the buttons
and chat to Mother, who gave it me.
Rik
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13 April - King Worm

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:32

You said: "we can pop them
round the rim, white on red
like stripes, a pole of surfinas
shaved from the wall."
I pushed
fingers through humus, broke
knots of the earth between
my strapping palms. One clump
wriggled free of my prayer,
looped as it fell into the bowl
soon to be hoist high above
the world - a new lord
for the kingdom of heaven.
Rik
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14 April - Novel

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:32

This dream brings actors to the stairs:
I thank them for their participation.
"This is not a problem," says one,
removing his face to wipe clean his head.
"We are always happy to help birth
a new story."
I muse on their next show,

the designs I could lay on their shapes -
these dolls who command words to perform,
who lead my linear characters from the plot
I have inked out for them. "You know
the way out,"
the faceless one says. I nod:
my presence is not welcome at this party.
Rik
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15 April - Colourstorm

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:33

Red is for the pearl of blood on my fingertip,
blue for the colour of my nails as I squeeze my hands
tight. White is for your face, though your cheeks
are tinged in green. My cheeks are scarlet
from the swirls of swearing my yellow-coated tongue
weaves through the smoky brown airs. "Stick it
in water," you tell me. "Wash out the colours
so we can see the bland, numbed truth." Having dropped
the steely hammer, I spit a kiss on your lips instead.
Rik
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16 April - Party

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:33

Said the man to the key:
please be true for me.

Said the key to the door:
creak for me once more.

Said the door to the wall:
better catch his fall.

Said the wall to the head:
I'll not be your bed.

Said the head to the floor:
Never drink no more!

Said the floor to the sick:
sticky; smelly; slick.

Said the sick to the cheek:
rest in me a week.

Said the cheek to the man:
please oh please just stand.

Said the man to his legs:
... you're not my legs ...
Rik
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17 April - Demolish Dig Design

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:34

Each day, a new terrain. These ants
are dirt-yellow, tracked mandibles
biting out the soil, levering hills
and levelling plains, a race to make
a stage, a point of focus - a zone.

Still the channels remain, their paths
within the floodplains destined, ordained
by the laws of gravity. This water
has no timetable beyond the moon,
the embrace of weight to weight.

When the sun's lanced light pitched
through the newfound skull's fragile orbit
scratched from the earth the earth
had spun the sun three thousand times
since the bone's last East End breath.

We shall raise legends in this park -
or so the hoardings tell me, each board
arrayed with its fantastic figure: so much
waste cleared; so many buildings razed;
so many dreams sparked in fresh skulls.
Rik
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18 April - Abigail Waits

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:34

When Abigail went to find
a place to keep her wandering mind
she searched the world, the caves of hell
and knocked on heaven's gates as well.
She sought a safe and homely place
where she could rest her aging face
and pick the dirt from pleated skin
while keeping track of time and sin
until the resurrection came
to animate her rebuilt frame.
Rik
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19 April - Things I Love About My Bed

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 21:35

The bole of the headpost has faces
set in the vein of the wood, dryads
set to guard my dreams from harm.

Slats keep my flesh from reaching
into the cavern beneath, and the teeth
of the moths feasting on my carpet.

Atop the mattress sleeps my pallet,
its airfoams alert to the shapes
my bones throw through the night.

I could surround my head with pillows,
helmet my sweating skull with feathers
in cotton, but one is enough for my neck.

Sheets knot my limbs to the frame,
encot me as I sail the breath of the world
seeking unseen the truths in my dream.
Rik
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