The Gods We See
Despite the fall of civilizations, the development of spiritual ideologies and the advance of
technology, the basics of humanity remain the
same, with humankind striving to employ our
self concept through artistic expression.
The Gods We See focusses upon spiritual
concept, exploring our finite existence in relation to our infinite beliefs.
The archaeologists ascended first,
the one with the camera stumbling
Night, irrevocable and demeaning,
offering a better chance of clarity.
Brushing, whisking clean,
scullery maid effort applied to
veneer; the obvious,
a solid frieze of scrolling vines
illuminated with a spray of water and
and a series of swift
lights and sighs.
The Vikings did it best; their interfacings
on stone crosses
through the brackish wash, pointing
the way through the floodlights.
Running palms across sleeping giants;
reading trace lines like
nestled, time engorged, complacent constants,
wrestled from a wordless wisdom
in a time of life-lust and rune-riches,
when the tree of life
grew for Odin,
far from Paradise and parables.
Eroded stone, moss covered, lichen laced;
When did the hunter become
the archer become a godhead?
Mute and endless beneath the camera flash,
no message erased,
simply whispered, as
the floodlights awaken effigies of warriors and beasts,
too large to be forgotten, too small to
The snow storms when I was small
were the deepest and coldest
best for making tunnels to China,
and to mold a cold, tight ball.
I ate hot plum jam on bread,
the snow; lush steam warming my head.
Grandma bought the plums soft, bruised and cheap,
then cooked them until they
I used to look above, up high,
thanking a gracious god in the sky,
for a cold snowfall and hot plum
with no worried thoughts of where or why.
Heaven was easily shown,
to a clever girl, who wasn't grown.
Now the god I see looks back at me,
with eyes to challenge my own.
|Early Medieval panel, Breedon, Leicestershire
In Whiteley Wood
The winter swans beat cold wings in Whiteley Wood,
chasing the geese with pecks and flutters.
She and her mate take turns at patrol,
gliding sentries, passing in regal authority,
taking land's purchase long enough to preen,
then embark, like fallen clouds, into the stream.
Aquatic archangels, fodder of nursery rhymes
and the food of dreams,
these sensual gods of another time,
lusting now, not for modern Leda,
but for crusts of stale bread
cast to a shallow shrine.
|Endcliffe Wood, Endcliffe Park, Sheffield: Site of early cutlery mills
Look at the trees, I said!
From here, where we stand,
to God than yesterday.
Their tallest branches scraping
flakes of blue from a loaf of sky.
They grip the
clouded robe hems of fast drifting divinities,
with a, ceaseless yearning
spreading their dense and tender
in silent supplication.
No cathedral walls contain their silent prayer and song of praise,
reaching ozone deities
before they die.
|Tree at Laxton Castle, Nottinghamshire
Last Ferry From Brooklyn
There used to be a ferry
from Brooklyn to Staten Island,
like Druids, facing the brackish
green waves; the East River,
enticing the small wooden
which never gave in to temptation.
Then the majesty of an extension bridge,
it's long throat
looped with diamonds,
it's firm-thighs tenaciously straddling
each shore, made slow transit obsolete.
aging pier, naked, devoid
of the ferry's shade, was left off limits,
it's hoary pilings leprous
the unhampered sun.
I boarded the ferry for the last ride;
heard the gates rattle in finality,
watching the pier diminish
in the wake of the vessel's trail;
knowing that without it's constant
the winter would encase her
in a wall of ice, shrinking her slowly,
with each passing year.
I recall her with pleasure,
her wide, oaken deck always ready,
where I'd stand, whispering
and dreams on Sunday afternoons,
when the world was swallowed
in apathy and faces of the non-descript
deeper and more formidable
than any waves.
I was far too young
to know which fears to heed
which dreams to abandon,
and the Old Girl knew more than most
about the benefits of slow and
travel, and the irony of being
remembered for one's shortcomings.
Castles In Wales
The castles stand like gods,
peering at time and tide.
sea-sentinels of glory days
and centuries' harvests.
casting dim effigy
of fairy-tale complexities
and a nation's adversity.
of a lost king,
left stone relics
with dead eyes,
gazing upon a people
|Criccieth Castle, Gwynedd, Wales
Patent Leather Shoes
We marched in
The Brooklyn Day Parade,
the 'borough of churches',
tiny fairy-girls of all the
Sunday School classes,
of all the parishes,
like colourful pollen
from dandelion denominations.
Ribbons and pastel chiffons,
we twirled like
turned down flowers.
Tiny blossoms, plucked
in our budding for the altar
White cotton gloves
matching white anklette socks,
a paper 'Jesus Loves Me' banner
to my pristine breast,
I marched in a line of lambs,
beneath the whip-cracking flags
of Nation and Faith,
doved hand saluting.
When the parade ended, I smiled
for the camera, hugging my
chubby, pink, fleece with
coquettish daintiness. Knees joined,
toes touching, lowering ladylike
lashes to patent leather shoes,
all the proof to never need ask,
if I was good and beautiful.
|Monument to George and Frances Shirley 1598, Breedon, Leicestershire