Dick Jones – poems
His lover lies curled in sleep,
her back, her shoulders a trove
of moon-silver, her hair a coil
of gold. He watches through
the porthole – a city skyline;
cranes and barges slide away
astern. Her breathing rhymes
with the blood-beat of deep engines.
Land dissolves and light decays.
He sleeps, sea-dreaming miracles
and the ferry bears them forward
in a straight green line. Only over water,
such flawless symmetry: this
the brief geometry of certainty.
Another day high on promise: prima
vere, the green virus that blows in the
temperate air from anther to carpel:
ferns curled like naked sleepers;
the purple sprout and stand of crocus,
the white flash of sprung snowdrop.
And you and I charged as one, the circuit
crackling where we pass like a current
unsheathed. We two in grave danger of
fusing the thin filament that carries
the old dreams: blurred tales and easy
narratives, fetched from the rummage
of our songs – like cloud kissing cloud,
like the way in which water finds water;
you and I caught in a limbless dance,
muscle-free, trapped on a skidpan of
ancient music. Then that dream’s done
and love turns into a plume of steam.
And suddenly it’s circumstance that
shuts the doors, turns out the lights
and shivers the dark around us so that
for a drugged minute our fingers walk
the gap between us then link and grip
and twist, febrile and purposeless, and
our faces swing inwards like wind-borne
lanterns, light smudged into heat.
We breath the last three seconds of
our solitary breath and crash like
panicking birds in a collision of wings
and claws. Et fit ludus ineffabilis.
back to top
She has stopped. This is what happens.
Trailing a life as big as the sea, you can
just stop and make it seem as if the silence
that remains was always what was there.
We who are left tumble through it and
the air rushes upwards as if to lift us
briskly back to where we were. But
we hurry down towards ground zero,
we travellers wrapped in time and physics.
And to fall is, in a sense, to fly. So face
to face, on point like dancers in a chorus
line, we totter down the stairway of the sky.
Video remix by Nic Sebastian
Initially wooed by the First World War poets and then seduced by the Beats, Dick Jones has been exploring the vast territories in between since the age of 15. Work has been published in a number of magazines, print and online, including Orbis, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Ireland Review, Qarrtsiluni, Westwords, Mipoesias, Three Candles, Other Poetry, Rattlesnake and Ouroboros Review. In 2010 Dick received a Pushcart nomination for his poem Sea Of Stars and his first collection, Ancient Lights, is published by Phoenicia Publishing and is available from them or via Amazon. His translation of Blaise Cendrars’ influential epic poem ‘La Prose du Transsiberien…’ is to be published in an illustrated collaborative edition with artist Natalie D’Arbeloff by Old Stile Press in 2014.
As daily occupation he does the school run, the shopping and the broom-pushing while his partner earns the money. And for fun and modest profit he plays bass guitar and percussion in blues roots-and-shoots trio Broke Down Engine.