John McKeown

The Wild Sea

The sea heaving up

all along the seafront,

seaweed marinated

party-streamers

fired across the grass

made wetland.


Further down it rears

insanely,

tearing it’s white shirt

sharply against

the piled rocks.

Salt flying everywhere

like a fine rain of blood

when bombs go off.


And how fine

this violence,

pure as a leopard’s

at the kill.

A vast innocence

that would snap the neck,

sweep that small boy away.


Not Working


Odd that we couldn’t make it work

all those years ago.

But not odd in that

I didn’t believe in work then,

and don’t believe in it now.


It isn’t work that turned you,

so antithetical to me,

into this ageless presence, waiting

at the edge of a remembered

rain-washed field,

that I can love now.


Consanguinity


Out of the blue

you nudge me

like a faraway twin.

The perfect complement,

so perfect

you’re folded

out of reach.

But thinking of you

my beating heart

draws you in;

until we’re pressed close,

exactly opposite

against the night’s dark screen.

I feel your blood knock,

and all of me,

thrilling,

answers you.



John McKeown © 2010

Silver Birch


Spring is slow in coming

to the silver birch.

As if it’s fighting off

the imposition of leaves.

Winter becomes it,

seems it’s natural state;

the long, thin white branchings

reaching upward nakedly

like the limbs of a prisoner

so long incarcerated

nothing can clothe.

Our silver birch knows

winter’s long appeal,

no spring ever quite answers.


The Straits


You asleep,

Or half asleep;

Me awake,

Or drugged;

The fire unpoked

Slumbering,

Going out;

The fog horn echoing

Repeatedly

In the distance,

Half in, half out

Of hearing;

And rocks

Of treachery

Here, somewhere.


Florescence


I should go mad

Over one flower;

Put it in a glass

And watch it open,

Water it with rapture.


I should let one flower

Ignite in me a passion

That can never fade.

I should let them

Lock me away,

Arms wrapped at my back.


I should, with my one bloom,

Become uncontainable.



John McKeown © 2010