Jonathan Noel

Jonathan Noel lives in Cambridge.

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NURSERY CRIMES

THE NIGHT’S STAR-CASE
BREATHES
MAGNIFICENTLY
IN PULSES UP AND DOWN

WHILE ALL IS VOICED
SO SILENTLY
THAT
(OPEN MOUTHS)
ARE POOLS
IN WHICH TO DROWN

YES, PUT IT ON THE CANVAS
AND DO IT FULL OF AIR
JUST COLOURS AND AN EMPTY LAND
AND PAINT NO PEOPLE THERE

DO SOMETHING YOU CANNOT SEE,
SOMETHING WHICH ISN’T YOU
AND ISN’T ONLY ME

DO SOMETHING
YOU COULD NEVER DO
NOR EVER BE

FORGET WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO
FOR YOU ARE GOING NOWHERE
AND WILL NOT MEET NOR FIND
NOR BARELY SEE
WHAT YOU HAVE PASSED
IN THE SPACES
WHICH YOU LEAVE BEHIND
BETWEEN THE DESTINATIONS
OF YOUR MIND

WHAT CIRCUIT DID YOU FIX
THAT NIGHT YOU DISAPPEARED
UPON YOUR MIRACLE FLIGHT OF TRICKS,
TO LIGHT THE UNIVERSE
AND ILLUMINATE THE PATHS OF CRIPPLES
WHO UNDERSTOOD, PERHAPS,
WHAT IT IS TO WALK ON STICKS ?

THIS IS WHERE TIME SLIPS
A SHADOW IN OBSCURITY
WHERE LANGUAGES DIVERSIFY
AND ALL THE REST IS BITS
AND PIECES OF A POINT OF VIEW
WHICH SLIDE ALONG THE SHADOW-LINE
OF WHAT WE THINK IS TRUE

THE RAIN IS SOFT,
THE SHELLS AND WEED
(AND WOOD AND BONE)
BEEN LEFT BACK BY THE TIDE;

THE GULL-STRIKE
IN THE SPEED OF SPACE
AGAINST THE KILT-ROCK

AND AN AGE OF SWEET ENCHANTMENT
WHICH GENTLY PLEATS YOUR FACE;

THE SMELL OF PEAT,
THAT WHISP OF SMOKE
WHICH CURLS ITS TAIL
AROUND THE WATER IN A GLASS:

WHAT’S LEFT TO YOU INSIDE
THAT’S BEEN LEFT BACK BEHIND THE TIDE

I WOULD LIKE TO IMPRISON MY MIND
IN THE DELICIOUS IRONY
WITH WHICH YOU LIGHT A CIGARETTE,
AND WATCH YOU
AS THE PAPER CORNERS OF YOUR SMILE
CURL UP LIKE SMOKE
AND HOVER IN THE SHADOWS
ON THE EDGES OF SUCH MOMENTS
WE SHALL ALWAYS FORGET…

AND I WOULD LIKE TO SAY I LOVE YOU,
TO SEPARATE THIS FROM THAT;
TO WHISPER IN SOME ODD COLLOQUIAL TONGUE
THAT WE ARE HERE
YET THIS IS NOT WHERE WE ARE AT –
BUT WHAT WOULD WE UNDERSTAND,
SLEEPING AS WE DO TONIGHT
SO CLOSELY BACK TO BACK

DO I DARE
TO USE THE SLIPPER
ON YOUR SOFT DREAMS

AND GENTLY
IN FRAGMENTED LIGHT
WATCH THEM CASCADE
IN SILENT FLIGHT

DO I…
DO I DARE ?

FROM THE DEEP UNSPOKEN
MYSTERIOUS UNCERTAINTY
OF YOUR EYES,
I WONDERED IF
(IN YOUR BEAUTY THERE)
YOU SLEPT A DREAMLESS SLEEP
AND SMOOTHED
THE CRACKED REALITY OF YOUR FACE,
EACH MORNING,
WITH A SIMPLE RECONSTRUCTION
OF THE ACT AND PLACE

RUSTY IS A HEDGEHOG
– GALACTIC TRAVELLER BY NIGHT –
WHOSE QUILLS ARE DIPPED IN CONSCIOUSNESS
WHICH SHAFT THE DARKNESS
AS REVEALED
IN ALL THAT IS OBSCURED BY LIGHT

© Jonathan Noel 2014

2 comments

  • Of course! Thinking outside the box is a very good idea, but it can be very misleading as well. I try to keep in mind what Huxley said once: ‘The highest forms of art or those which impose kind of harmony and order on the greatest possible number factors.’ 🙂

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