Cacophony in the Second City

 

I amble amongst the snake trail
of crowds and loud streets
of consumer rights and political fights.

 
Then he came and  asked me
whether I had any faith at all
and I shook my head in a lie
while he thrust a pamphlet
of salvation into my hands.

And he said “Are you religious
as I am not and never was because
it binds you too tight but do try
as you might to turn to God my love.”

And he wished me a happy life
and a good day before he took
shelter in Subway as he was now
more than hungry enough.

Then I turned to a man who
had a plan through Islam
offering me an English copy
of the Quran while the busker
sung and smiled that he was
loving angels instead.

And my ego smiled back
and for that one moment
he was the prophet
that I sought amongst strangers.

Meanwhile, beside the homeless
and tomeless a lady mediates
in the rain for human rights
among the remains and pain
in a city of mistaken identity.

And I cannot hear any sound
of despair above the crowds,
but here in the air the
call to prayer is everywhere.

But paradise never comes.

©  Katypoetess 2016

 

paradise2

 

 

Sed non Satiata (Unslakeable Lust)

 

Strange goddess, brown as evening to the sight,
Whose scent is half of musk, half of havanah,
Work of some obi, Faust of the Savanah,
Ebony witch, and daughter of the night.

By far preferred to troth, or drugs, or sleep,
Love vaunts the red elixir of your mouth.
My caravan of longings seeks in drouth
Your eyes, the wells at which my cares drink deep.

Through those black eyes, by which your soul respires,
Pitiless demon! pour less scorching fires.
I am no Styx nine times with flame to wed.

Nor can I turn myself to Proserpine
To break your spell, Megera libertine!
Within the dark inferno of your bed.

 

 

Charles Baudelaire

Preaching

Preaching

 

 Acquire my peace within yourselves

 

She is nobody’s disciple,

a dither of image and noise,

amongst everybody’s daily causality.

 

No crowds will gather,

as she looks into the eyes,

that lie tied, and tired in front of her.

 

She is every colour

of skin, every age, every weather,

every obedience and whim, with no morality.

 

Dwelling in a magdala

of immortal solitude, amongst

houses of those who murmur against her.

 

Anointed teachings worn

that her saviour gave to her, more than all,

because, she – woman, was most worthy.

 

A heroine for faith

and faithless, contemplating salvation,

while drinking penitence from jar of alabaster.

 

She is subliminal free will

kissing thinning seperatedness

between determinism and uncertainty.

 

She is veiled opportunity

presenting itself, avoiding the past

that dances between resistance and surrender.

 

She is echoed resonance

of what might never have been

bestowing golden gifts of serendipity.

 

Staring at timeless stars,

loving with fear her own prophecy.

An outspoken, softly silent soothsayer.

 

Seven sacraments set,

yet no one hears her judgement,

that salvation lies in doing, not knowing.

 

But isolation is her myth.

All Gods and scientists roll dice,

 

and there is

no straight path

to paradise.

 

© Katypoetess 2016

 

*The Gospel of Mary Magdalene 4:1

 

 

 

First Love

 

I ne’er was struck before that hour
   With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
   And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale,
   My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
   My life and all seemed turned to clay.

 

And then my blood rushed to my face
   And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
   Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
   Words from my eyes did start—
They spoke as chords do from the string,
   And blood burnt round my heart.

 

Are flowers the winter’s choice?
   Is love’s bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
   Not love’s appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
   As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
   And can return no more.
John Clare

When First We Faced, And Touching Showed

 

When first we faced, and touching showed
How well we knew the early moves,
Behind the moonlight and the frost,
The excitement and the gratitude,
There stood how much our meeting owed
To other meetings, other loves.

The decades of a different life
That opened past your inch-close eyes
Belonged to others, lavished, lost;
Nor could I hold you hard enough
To call my years of hunger-strife
Back for your mouth to colonise.

Admitted:  and the pain is real.
But when did love not try to change
The world back to itself—no cost,
No past, no people else at all—
Only what meeting made us feel,
So new, and gentle-sharp, and strange?

Philip Larkin

Reconnaissance

 

Late arrival into meeting room.
You scavenge for me amongst
faces you command, commandeer.
I lower my eyes to defend
against bulleted frontline thoughts,
daring an agenda of fantasy.

Sitting opposite. Each others target.
Our kindred spirits embrace
only once throughout the hour.
Quick chatter accompanies slow exits;
you need “a word”, and blend me into
corporate grey carpeted corridor.

Enter. Pussy bowed, lace topped stockings
in boudoir of executive entertainment.
Machiavellian eyes spy femme fatale,
coquettishly stretched across bastion desk,
fetching sweet treat to couple with tea.

Professional advice given, attentive notes
carefully written; keeping hands busy.
Nervously tapping inveigling high heels.
I leave – before emotions get ricocheted
on the office floor like our biscuit crumbs.

 

From “Of Lilith and Anthony” poetry collection by Katypoetess 2014

The Silencer

 

She whispers an aberration,

with mouthful of soot stained metal.

Pointing out deluded self-doubt,

muzzling lies with targeted fire.

Seizing breath without sound,

at least four Turks and a Russian

With little or no repercussion.

 

Synapsed heart from sharp to steel.

Drinking shots after taking shots,

murdering time as it flies fast home,

past window of his decamped reality.

For queen and ungracious country.

 

As he ricochets between

brittle past – hyper-vigilant future,

she holds him shell shocked.

 

In the here and now.

 

©  Katypoetess 2016

 

 

The Temptation of St. Anthony II

 

temmptation2

From Emperor to Vampire, then a journey to resting place of amoral monk.

Dwelling in ruined fort, living in a sin of retired idleness. Momentary desires

to follow the birds south, he spends his days tending a garden of lilies in the desert.

 

Anthony holds his poetess captive for too long without his hands, she now writhes

naked and tied to column of lost temple. Tresses burnt dark from exposure, tantalized

by a God that brings her an ambrosia of light that transforms her dishonour into beauty.

 

He kneels to pray, lifting his eyes to see diamonds that sparkle within cobwebbed clouds

of time. Lips thin as he repeats supplication to attain a separation of will from his saintliness.

He exists in immensity of memories that create an illustrious sun, slowly beating him ashen.

 

“I should have been tied to the column near to thine, face to face, under thy eyes.”*

 

No Queen of Sheba, Greek goddess or any other mirrored manifestation of Magdalene

can stir him from his solitude. Solemn palm stands proud, shading him from enticement.

Every supper, when he breaks bread, the serpent wrapped round it slides away to the sea.

 

Amongst pillow saturated by aroma of the palm, he is eased into sleep.  An owl’s wing

softly brushes his cheek, powdering his skin against succubus of lust, that swells in unrest

and desperation, clasping him in persuasion to give in and cry out together, never again.

 

“I feel my heart growing as the sea when she swells before the storm.” *

 

He dreams of faded flowers, fruits too ripe, which fall away into the thickness of the night.

Clinging to twilight bride’s back, she shows him stars that burn eternal and hold no limits.

Come morning, he remembers nothing. Only echo of memory, a thought – of distant remorse.

 

“All have passed. There remaineth me”*

 

*Gustave Flaubert – The Temptation of St. Anthony

©  Katypoetess 2015

Anthony and Katypatra

Katypatra

I arrive. Quickly turning bedroom from Rome into Alexandria.
Skin up, pop cork to dilute and delight blood with Bollinger.
Determined to mix up a confidence to conquer, my
Goddess summoning up a strip tease of your morality.

“The triple pillar of the world transformed into a strumpet’s fool.”*

Coiling concubine – arabesque around your thighs to
nourish exotic fantasy. Arching precision that brushstrokes
sorcery onto chest and fever the soft hair below your belly.
Teasing out your sacred melancholy, never leaving each others gaze.

“There’s beggary in the love that can be reckoned.”*

Your angel, your nemesis – drip feeding you a decadence.
I’m watching your concentration, my inspiration a Sahara
of aspiration as you write. You listen only to your own thoughts,
I triumph in cruel comfort of living the low life with you.

“O! my oblivion is a very Antony, And I am all forgotten”*.

Montage of limb upon limb, we snuggle idle – licking,
mewling as Persian kittens wrapped in each others paws.
Your kingdom falls into a Nile of our new found innocence,
equating to divine forever. Content and wonderfully misspent.

“Eternity was in our lips and eyes, Bliss in our brows bent”.*

Keeping temple open – you compulsively worship through Sunday.
Seductive flush of an asp’s curse onto suburban empire.
Bequething a purulent wound, I scratch hieroglyphics on your back.
Your fallen one, juxtapose all shades of crimson and gold. I leave.

“He’s speaking now, or murmuring ‘Where’s my serpent of old Nile?”*

 

 
*Shakespeare – Antony and Cleopatra
©  Katypoetess 2014

Baptism

Magdalene Baptism

 

Drowning.

 

When love

cuts deep

with grieving,

one immersion

bleeds into

the next.

 

If she gave

herself

in forgiveness –

would her shadow

follow her?

 

She unconsciously

weaves threads

of the past

summoning shroud

of the future.

 

Touched twice

in the laver

submerged in her

saviour’s perdition.

 

Condemned to

cold isolation

wet and dripping

with desire

in the font

of being saved.

 

Saved. But not quite free.

 

 

©  Katypoetess 2016

Mary Magdalene at the Door of Simon the Pharisee

 

“WHY wilt thou cast the roses from thine hair?
Nay, be thou all a rose,—wreath, lips, and cheek.
Nay, not this house,—that banquet-house we seek;
See how they kiss and enter; come thou there.
This delicate day of love we two will share
Till at our ear love’s whispering night shall speak.
What, sweet one,—hold’st thou still the foolish freak?
Nay, when I kiss thy feet they’ll leave the stair.”
“Oh loose me! Seest thou not my Bridegroom’s face
That draws me to Him? For His feet my kiss,
My hair, my tears He craves to-day:—and oh!
What words can tell what other day and place
Shall see me clasp those blood-stained feet of His?
He needs me, calls me, loves me: let me go!”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Temptation of St Anthony

 

 

From Emperor to Vampire, journeying through to final place of amoral monk.

Dwelling in ruined fort, a habitual sin of retired idleness. Momentary contemplations

to follow the birds south, he spends his days tending a garden of lilies in the desert.

 

Holding his demon captive for too long without his hands, she now writhes naked

and tied to column of penitent temple. Tresses burnt dark from exposure, tantalized

by a God that brings her an ambrosia of light that transforms her dishonour into beauty.

 

He kneels to pray, lifting his eyes to see diamonds that sparkle within the cobwebs

of time. Lips thin as he repeats inability to attain a separation of will from his essence.

He exists in immensity of her shadows that create illustrious sun, that beats him ashen.

 

“I should have been tied to the column near to thine, replying to thy cries by my sighs.”*

 

No Queen of Sheba, Greek goddess or any other mirrored manifestation of Magdalene

can stir him from his solitude. Twisted palm stands proud, shading him from the abyss.

Every supper, when he breaks bread, the serpent wrapped round it slides away to the sea.

 

Amongst pillows saturated by aroma of the palm, buoyant bouquets of narcissi ease

him into sleep. An owl’s wing softly rubs his cheek, powdering his skin with omens of

death and lust, swelling in unrest to clasp each other and cry out together, never again.

 

“I feel my heart growing as the sea when she swells before the storm.” *

 

He dreams of faded flowers, fruits too ripe, which fall away into the thickness of the night.

Clinging to twilight bride’s back, she shows him stars that burn eternal and have no limits.

Come morning, he remembers nothing. Only echo of memory, a thought – of distant remorse.

 

“All have passed. There remaineth me”*

 

 

©  Katypoetess 2015

 

*Gustave Flaubert – The Temptation of St Anthony.

 

 

 

 

 

My Knight Errant

 

Now that his armor was clean, his helmet made into a complete headpiece, a name
found for his horse, and he confirmed in his new title, it struck him that there was
one more thing to do: to find a lady to be enamoured of. For a knight errant without
a lady is like a tree without leaves or fruit and a body without a soul.

Cervantes, Don Quixote

 

448px-Dicksee-Chivalry-1885

 

 

 

Unrequited

 

The head of a rose

dry and broken

like a soft word spoken

which was not heard.

 

The head of a rose

petals close together

intense love held forever

which was not seen.

 

The head of a rose

leaves are tattered

a life lies scattered

which was not known. 

 

 ©   Katypoetess 2015     

Empty Tomb

 

Magdalene Tomb V2

Swaying

a sweetness,

trespassing

salt-cracked hearts

that pass in prophecy.

 

Stumbling

upon angels,

awaiting

steadfast negligence

of tranquil demands.

 

Rolling

stony silence,

coveting

words that ache

to be born

into my arms.

 

Time ticks wanton.

 

©  Katypoetess 2015

 

To his Lost Lover

 

Now they are no longer
any trouble to each other

he can turn things over, get down to that list
of things that never happened, all of the lost

unfinishable business.
For instance… for instance,

how he never clipped and kept her hair, or drew a hairbrush
through that style of hers, and never knew how not to blush

at the fall of her name in close company.
How they never slept like buried cutlery –

two spoons or forks cupped perfectly together,
or made the most of some heavy weather –

walked out into hard rain under sheet lightning,
or did the gears while the other was driving.

How he never raised his fingertips
to stop the segments of her lips

from breaking the news,
or tasted the fruit

or picked for himself the pear of her heart,
or lifted her hand to where his own heart

was a small, dark, terrified bird
in her grip. Where it hurt.

Or said the right thing,
or put it in writing.

And never fled the black mile back to his house
before midnight, or coaxed another button of her blouse,

then another,
or knew her

favourite colour,
her taste, her flavour,

and never ran a bath or held a towel for her,
or soft-soaped her, or whipped her hair

into an ice-cream cornet or a beehive
of lather, or acted out of turn, or misbehaved

when he might have, or worked a comb
where no comb had been, or walked back home

through a black mile hugging a punctured heart,
where it hurt, where it hurt, or helped her hand

to his butterfly heart
in its two blue halves.

And never almost cried,
and never once described

an attack of the heart,
or under a silk shirt

nursed in his hand her breast,
her left, like a tear of flesh

wept by the heart,
where it hurts,

or brushed with his thumb the nut of her nipple,
or drank intoxicating liquors from her navel.

Or christened the Pole Star in her name,
or shielded the mask of her face like a flame,

a pilot light,
or stayed the night,

or steered her back to that house of his,
or said “Don’t ask me how it is

I like you.
I just might do.”

How he never figured out a fireproof plan,
or unravelled her hand, as if her hand

were a solid ball
of silver foil

and discovered a lifeline hiding inside it,
and measured the trace of his own alongside it.

But said some things and never meant them –
sweet nothings anybody could have mentioned.

And left unsaid some things he should have spoken,
about the heart, where it hurt exactly, and how often.

 

 

Simon Armitage