Update

Currently taking a break from the blog. I have a few things up at Medium atm, including this: I Crave

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Update

The Cult of Sylvia

**

She haunts us still,

the tall, blonde, Diana of poetry,

who hunted for words

in the grey-lit hours,

and when her world fell apart,

everything frayed,

none of it mended,

from despair’s bleak arc,

she plucked the firebird’s

tail feather,

and through it’s fronded

peacock’s eye,

she saw how her god-like

husband frolicked with those nymphs,

in the orchard,

tossing each a rosy apple–

so she calmly took aim

at the face of the handsome beast,

flexing her bowstring,

to bury a golden arrowhead

in his cheek,

marking him for centuries to come.

**

 

The Cult of Sylvia

Lyric Drought

for #NationalPoetryDay

 

Not a poem to be had 

anywhere in the house–

I’ve checked the oven twice,

but whatever is in there

is way too gooey and half-baked,

and might decide to evaporate,

if I open the door again.

I’ve also rummaged in vain

at the back of the cerebral larder,

disturbed the dust bunnies under the bed,

gone through all my husband’s pockets,

and found only fluff,

put an exploratory hand between

the sofa cushions,

and extracted the same stuff–

even checked the zipped compartment

of my vintage handbag bought on eBay–

nada–and the deliveroo guy

has just called to say 

his front wheel has a puncture,

after my order of sonnet noodles

with haiku sides came to grief,

tumbling from its astronaut capsule,

when he turned the corner

at the traffic lights,

and now the damn seagulls

are getting a treat on my tab,

stuffing any chance

of a decent rhyme.

 

Lyric Drought

Grienstiedl

Just heard via an Austrian news outlet that one of our favourite cafes in Vienna is about to close 😦

me-in-greinsteidl-cafe - Edited

Oh Griensteidl, you oasis

of pale stone,

dual chambers furnished in plush

and wood the shade of black forest cherry,

your heart robust,

with diplomatic waiters all hush

and bustle,

blood vessels leading

to the cool marbled counter top

to pour the Grüner Veltliner, 

whipping off the reserved

sign on one treasured occasion,

bowing in plain sight of a

a miscalculated tip–

Oh Griensteidl,

your dark mahogany cabinet

of mouth-watering schnittes an old master’s

altarpiece to Esterhazy–a history so finely

layered it rivals Sisi’s crinoline petticoats.

On my last visit, there I was, 

diadem’d,

with my starry empress

hair clips as prettily faux

as those overblown Klimts

gracing your walls–

now all of that is just a faded echo

in an empty hall of

stacked chairs and orphaned tables,

no more majestic doors

laden with epaulets of polished brass

to push against and sigh inwards–

closed forever by Do & Co–

making devoted patrons fear

Americans might invade like

another Red Army and ruin Michaelerplatz

with throwaway cups–

that dignified quarter where fiakers queue

to shake up tourists over cobbles,

and Adolf Loos will weep tears

from every window box

while the old palace colossi

groan and quake,

for in that very special corner,

there will no longer be cake.

**

Grienstiedl

As Dead As

dodo-picture - EditedWrote this last month for Rattle’s ekphrastic challenge, but I’ve just found out it didn’t win, so I get to post it here, yay!

**

Yet not quite–note my spritely pose,

facing the same direction

as the blunderbuss of yore

that brutally de-feathered me,

and although this place

makes me look a little cagey,

I’m doing my very best

to locate the fire escape

in this labyrinth

of smouldering ash–a last hoorah

for an end of line demise

more poignant than Cock Robin’s

or the Norwegian Blue,

but please don’t call me cuckoo,

or rate me antediluvian,

because that would only raise

my non-existent ruff

and make me less inclined to share

any racey Victorian secrets–

although my deserted nest

is full of bric-a-brac,

my bird brain is still wired to

a wake-up call courtesy

of Edgar Allan Poe,

the code word being ‘extinct’–

and despite everything,

I can show you how to rock

a unique hollow-eyed

look by adopting the sort of livery

any nihilistic boulevardier might envy,

(no awkward flab to ruin the

silhouette) and also provide

consultations after hours,

while tapping at my reflection

in the kinky smoke and mirrors

of this bijou boîte,      

so everyone can admire

my punk-flamingo armature

instagram’d for eternity.

**

As Dead As

A Dance Around the May Poll

**

She wants to take hold of our human rights and squeeze them in her lacquered fist. This tourniquet of spite from a resentful headmistress dishing out the daily blame in school assembly, is nothing but a despot’s distraction technique. The need to cover up her own past failings, now returning to haunt, like a fox finding its way back to a pungent den.

And as her devoted husband, in his role as Accessory-in-Chief, sources a necklace to match her latest statement, his hand is hovering over a death’s head pendant, nestling in the pit of a casket lined with lead.

**

A Dance Around the May Poll

Silver Birch (1927)

 

She stands alone,

on her plinth–lost in a dream,

gazing over the steppe,

through the forest, into the wilderness

and how frail she looks,

with those supple limbs,

her burnished skin so delicate

along jut of collar bone,

hands lost in shivering sleeves,

delicate foliage barely covering

her orphan frame,

assailed on all sides

by the harsh Siberian winds,

feet and ankles

stubbornly rooted in a romantic past,

her hair reflecting the billows

of the racing clouds above.

She stands there,

for all to see,

defiant to the last,

before the grey wagons

of the politburo

roll in to take her down.

 

**

Silver Birch (1927)