Simon Jenner

Two Early Poems

(c. 1984/ Revised c. 1997)

To Hartley Coleridge

Your father's Ariel, greyed alive to a stumpy

gossamer prodigy, you dreamed too alike -

the gifted negative of paternity near blinding.

If Samuel flickered at an incandescent pain of sleep

you feared the half word's being blinked awake.

The shell haunted touch of one who rose at dusk

to drink, and trouble Wordsworth's later dreams

or a knowing cottager, for conjured paper, pen to set

down the enchanted sonnet vagrancy of who you were:

the scribbled down, uniquely scribbled out child of poets

inspiring as a prototype four year old

with the child slowly pressured in your voice

knowing better, the prisoner of others' great words

they'd no spell left in age to release him.

The Live Things

The live things darken. This, a pink room once

admits a greening shred of light to foliage the wall

and paraffin stove, pea green, its flame quibbled

to flower in blue, as though cornetted in dark wind -

- a world dimmed round - fingers piled blue fields of heat

for cornflowers - the whole creped round like a miniature,

in winter when the live condense and the living sleet

of breathing's chilled.  And curving in this portrait

glass we lie beyond the heat, a clove erect perhaps

twined with its plant; we see beyond and cold.

The twiner breathes: "I love you."  The dark's a language now.

I cannot see reflections branded in its steel of sleep,

blue sculpting curls your chin and lip to mine

in this our tangled frieze of winter flesh made marble.

We kiss; but this is summer, and the strange things burn.

Simon Jenner © 2008, 1997, 1984