Alpine Melt Water


Those Nights at the Circus

were full of intrigue

Full of rolling tumble waters that stretched

and broke my heart

like the restless rumble of thieves


But I wanted to peer beyond the Alpine

tiger lilies

Beyond the April mountains of unrequited love

yet not be crushed

by Nature’s burning blue avalanches


I wanted to see, beyond the sea

of acidic air

Beyond those holy temples, lost in snow-capped


that I was never brave enough to touch or climb


Like that fabled bird of old that clapped

its wings

wrapped in altocumulus clouds

of Hallelujah


Paying no attention to its altimeter

till abruptly crashing

into cliffs

and returning itself to the pyre


But I wanted to embrace that throbbing rogue

within my heart

like an anthropomorphic mistress


I wanted to be reborn – I wanted to chant

and climb

those rolling puffs of scorn


Letting my heart mount those

orographic cliffs

to touch those pearly peaks in hope

they'd make me clean


Clean, clean, clean – like a tumbling

ball of snow

that bumbles frozen, into the valley below

to mingle with crystal waters – and become

part of the stream

before running a thousand miles to the sea


Tying pretty ribbons into Oxbow lakes

along the way


Kissing rainbow trout – while making


in the dusky morning hours of newly

discovered gradients


But as I crooked my neck to look

into the weary bowl of wine

all I saw was failure


And the lumbering hunched march of time

as it periodically paused to press

against my chest

and kiss my tainted lips, like a wanton cataclysm


A whip – that snapped my smile away

and whirled me up like smoke

yodelling like a countertenor

whip-lashed coyote

that I recognized for certain – was my very own soul


An old impaired soul – now rolled in ashes

that never got off the ground

but found at every turn – a trumpet of defeat


And there I'd meet my end

and scuffle away

quietly telling myself – I'll make this climb another day


Blurring every mark of threat – that threatened my power

though resolutely and absolutely

accepting every hour

I crept upon knees – before returning to my feet

to reach my favourite comfort


of self-retreat


A mouldy maggot-infested lodging

where I was continuously

and forever dodging

those rotten What-if questions – so seared into my flesh

from the moment I left the

birth canal

with a limping ego


Each question – was a reincarnation of

the former question

and the question when translated

by the fundamental Karmic Laws of Quantum Physics

was always the same damn question


What if – what if – what if


What if – you finally stood your ground

and stopped this nonsensical

running around


This cursive dynamic movement of running

in circles

looping back – and looping back

to get as far away from yourself as possible


“What then – fuck face,”

the voice

inside my head, would always wonder


It was a thorny issue


The thorny ice saints, marched across my chest

but never gave me rest


Pounding and pounding like a

tribal drum

chewing my soul, like bubble gum


Liquefying my heart to chum – and throwing my

sorry ass overboard

To laud the sharp-shooters – and the sharp-toothed sharks

that always waited below the surface

to devour me

or put a bullet in my head


But how might it actually be – to move away

from this icy sea

To live life on the other side of the curtain

knowing nothing at all

was certain


Nothing – but fairy tales and myths

A tryst of cobwebs, that often bloomed from an egg

with a shaky pair of legs

that somehow sprouted wings, and other peculiar things


Things I couldn't quite drink down, but somehow

wanted around

Becoming myself, an opium addicted clown

as I felt my way around

in the company of wolves and strangers


A strange and mysterious starter – that somehow began

with Angela Carter

But exactly how it sprung, I do not know

This wild seed, that germinated in the snow

and began to grow


And grow it did – and grow it did, under my filthy fingernail


And I watched it grow like a wild-eyed


sprouting catcalls – from a calling card

given by a librarian


Till it hardened like a nail to impale me

with its hardened bony roots

as it grew

Asking for more soil, as it twisted round the coil

of my numb, dishevelled

reckless mind


Where it sought to find a grove

and grind its way

through my chalky pebbled moratorium


The silent hall of mirrors – where paper flecks

of sunlight

choked on speckled dust


No energy left in the rafters

for ascension

though I offhandedly thought

I'd mention

that they never had any power to lift themselves


Because the old fevered cogwheels

had long been

left to rust

to a molten heap of broken gears


Each and every one, finely encrusted

with a broken dream

barren of reasons to ever turn again


But as the wild seed grew – it bounded through

and broke the wall

Till then, who could tell – there was any

daylight at all


Till a burst of airy light blew in – splashing my horrid

feeble heart with shame

While lifting my tired pale soul – toward the sun


An old enigma – thought to have burned out

aeons ago

But there it was – right in front of me

just as bright as I remembered


And there – on the other side, were people

peeking through

Ah – the world was still inhabited

So good to know


So I poked a finger through – just to see

if it was true

but having grown clumsy with people – and no longer

accustomed to light

I poked someone's eye – every time I reached

and all I heard – was Ouch


Maybe it wasn't time – to mingle with

the mountain people yet

Maybe the best damn bet – was to patch that hole

and run


Go back to sleep – back to the land

of dreams

Frozen frightful dreams – a littered landscape

of broken-down machines


Land of thorny broken dreams – where I could

at least

return to being emperor


Playing basketball on my obscure tertiary hill

in my underwear

Tossing crumpled poems in the wind

where they could easily hit – the rubbish bin


And then I could relieve my achy joints

and roar

whenever I scored three points


Back to the land of dishevelled dreams – where no doubt

I could always be – a three-point hero

which is always better – than being a zero


There – in the blinding light of day

while trying to carve my way

through tricky human connections – with tricky

refracted inflections


Because the grand design of my

mirrored fun house

was being a sun-bleached bone


No colours to atone for sin

and no watchers

to sneakily catch my toothy grin


My soul, baked and parched with all the lights

flipped off

with all my feelings kept in dark blue bottles – at the edge

of the world

on my multi-coloured – Arctic ice shelf

where penguins pretend to fly

but nobody notices


But the best of me – was in those bottles

as blue as they were

and now there was nothing left to explore

because I had bottled myself up


Only a bleached white bone with a few frozen

sinews attached remained

in a perpetual state of suspended animation


I tried to keep my bones as dry and dead as possible

so not to feel anything

So not to feel the heaving mass of humanity dying

all around me


The groaning – and the pain – and the suffering

and all the bad things that happen

to good people


I tried to keep the doors from rattling off the hinges

whenever the wind blew

Because the wind blows a lot of bad news – around the world


I tried to keep my thumbs from frostbite – whenever I wanted

to reach out

Because what can I really do – to assuage the pain

of this world – I am only one man


The pretty splinters – I could dig them out well enough

but what could I do – to prevent or halt

the world’s gangrene


So I kept my fingers warm with whiskey – while washing

silky things

And I've pretended not to notice – the general affairs of the world lately

just to keep my dinner down


So I just keep my fingers moving – whittling – twiddling

Whittling out the rot – as I discover it

A long and prosperous occupation – with no vacation


Twiddling – to keep my own little courtyard in order

to keep the count straight

To keep every godforsaken round of news – from entering my fabled castle








View spinoza's Full Portfolio
S74rw4rd's picture

This is an epic poem, an

This is an epic poem, an accumulation of verbally skilled phrases---some delightfully beautiful, some achingly beautiful, but all beautiful, and all giving full evidence of your superlative artistry as a Poet.  I cannot imagine how much time, or how much preparation, went into the composition of this great achievement; but I can see the great effects on the very screen in front of me.  The poem's purpose is disclosed in the final three lines, and these lines draw all the others together in a perfected orbit.  I was once told or read---so long ago I cannot now cite the source---that the purpose of Poetry is to show how efficiently, effectively and intensely the language can work, and be worked:  and this poem demonstrates that to the Nth degree.


Spinoza's picture

a slow growing thing


A long time in the works, indeed. Sometimes it happens that way.

Madmartigan's picture


"A whip – that snapped my smile away

and whirled me up like smoke"


Very cool wording. Nice. 

Do what you can, now.

Spinoza's picture

Thank you

Thank you my friend.