Renaissance Painters

Renaissance painters knew their angels

They had them looking bored like everyone else

Even in Florence, full of royal wine.

Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael:

A trinity of future designers,

Their minds like running rivers.

They captured a beauty and a melancholy

That has transcended time.

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St Enodoc Church

The wind whipped the sands.

The sky was grey and as we came to the café

It began to rain. We took tea under the cover.

The rain stopped, we found the footpath

That led to the open greenspace – the golf course,

The sandy paths, the long grass. The sun was starting

To burn through the tough clouds. We approached

Nearer to our destination. I could see the steeple.

One more path led us to the site of the 12th century chapel:

‘St Enodoc Church’. The black headstone of Betjeman

Stood proud and gleaming. We sat on the bench

Next to him and looked out on the perfect blue sky

And white wandering clouds, the long green fields of

Padstow opposite and the wide free sea. I looked, in the heat

And the breeze, for the oldest grave. One weathered and worn

Told of a man born in 1700, died aged 100 in 1800.

Ragged Storm

Ragged storm! With the voice and demeanour

Of God, do you encircle me for judgement?

Are my sins a veil to lose me between worlds?

I am only one among many servants

That fell to the serpent’s way,

Outcast from the dregs of empire

That, like a plague, covers the world in a more

Vengeful darkness than thee.

 

Now I stand helpless to your claws

And the lashing rain that cleanses us

And the torn lightning that whips us.

Towards the darkling plume we sail

And I wonder if we deserve to see the day again.

Motorway Poem

I was under no illusions as we escaped the city

Watching the night and lost in the wisps of live music.

I thought of the Jetstream of the 60’s dream

A concrete moment in 1967 that cracked by December

When flats grew cold and the hippies froze

Then the dream deferred leapt into the sordid 90’s

When cockroach parliamentarians were as drunk as Withnail

And I saw the final remnants of peace and love in

The cocaine afterglow of cool Britannia

With flags plastered on champagne skin

And close fitting ribcages. I snapped from my remembrances

And naïve theorizing as the motorway lights blinded me

And I grasped my knees in fear thinking

‘Oh god’ but father began to harmonize as I considered

The majesty and mechanics of Nick Drakes right hand

Whispering William Blake innocence in the haze of Jane in autumn.

No need for obsolete baroque impersonations

The fashions of a company bleed into the rebellion

Streaming through the veins of psychedelic teens

Who wear bellbottom jeans to compensate for lack of personality

Could I borrow something as simple as a cigarette?

A line of code or a coda in the delicate prayer of jazz?

Or can I weave words into days, hours into ribbons,

Dresses into snow. Sudden stops. Can’t see

The traffic cones five feet in front of me

Sudden burst, could cold thought

Be any cheaper in city brains?

False nihilism, dust on wooden floors

A disease tended to with ennui

And nobody stops to care.