Birdman with Shells

The storm-lashed coastal wasteland, land laid waste,
By feuding nations in destroying wars,
A scene of darkness visible to one
Who, heartsick, heavy with human loss,
Rootless despairing wanderer on the black
Deserted beach of smoking ruin, bleached bone, blackened flesh;
By flaccid waves of poisoned sea where dead-eyed fish forms
Shapeless, slimy, loll in the oily swell.

A gleam, a curve, an edge reveals itself amid the turgid
Tideline heaped with acrid toxic rot,
Foul detritus of earth's annihilation.
Breathing human remnant drags leaden self to gaze;
Puny, weak he feebly pushes till
Translucent vision is unearthed and seen.
Sheer sublime perfection shows itself
As pure, fragile, delicate, complete,

Miraculous whorled luminosity and near, its smaller cousin precious, blanched.
Gently gathers to his heart, embracing nature at his finis
In extremis, last caress, remembered beauty
Like a mother, pieta, with shell of son.
Soul anguish and sore agony recede
As final forced breaths resign to death
Yet transformation draws a new -

A figure - not burnt nor dead nor weak
But bursting with new life and white strong lines
Of feathers sprouting like archangel's wings
Or powerful seabird, soaring albatross;
Exquisite cry of new birth into life
Electric vigours force through pulsing veins
To metamorphose into birdman with shells
And take flight into all eternity!

Let the Water

Let the water do the work

Sluicing shampoo from your hair

In silky soapy streams down the wet body

No tousling, squeezing or hurrying it through.

Let the water do the work

Let the Hoover do the work

Revolving blur brushing up the squashed

pile, sucking up the skin cells

No need to push or vigorously shove, straining sinew.

Let the Hoover do the work.

Let the muscle do the work,

Contract, power through, expand, 

Mighty ripping building bulk

of multitudinous threads combined to flex, resist,

Let the muscle do the work.

Let the word do the work

Hint dropped, rumour started, doubt allowed

To sow the seed of insecurity that cracks the rock

of self, what if he doesn't really — I can’t — I'm not.

Let the word do the work.

Let the brain do the work

 in the dark head womb, embryonic twitch of thought

in coiled labyrinth, gap-leaping electric firings

Let it come, keep it warm, till you can catch and keep it.

Let the brain do the work.

Let the heart do the work

Yearning squeezing tight with hope,

Missing wrenching heartfelt heartache,

Forgiveness pulsing through to understanding.

Let the heart do the work.

Let the water do its work

Seeking passage through the earth,

A drip, a trickle, rivulet, tunnelling inestimable silent force,

Eroding yet creating caves, underground cathedrals

that will outlast our selfish frenzy of destruction.

Let the water do its work.