Metal (my father)
Blood is like rust, crawling in crystalline
forms, unmaking geometry as benign
and calcareous kaleidoscopes
across the skin of human thought and hope.
Hopes are forged and riveted together,
children cast like coins or fathered
by a hammer swung in rhythmic comprehension;
a pattern to be copied through generations.
So I was made in the fire of my mother.
I am melted and reformed through ardour;
orange iron bones, ferrous flesh –
a conscious corrosion of all histories past.
Wood (my self)
Standing straight in bound fibres,
muscular trees are cut and dried like flowers,
roots and heads discarded. A stolid torso,
doughty arms sawn straight by metal jaws.
I marry wooden limbs, arrange assignations,
match-make, half-house, dove-tail for tension.
Un carpintero whose eye lifts and measures –
designing a fit for all parts with pleasure.
The passage of my saw through plank and rafter
marks the passage of its future and hereafter.
A creation through destruction, cutting to heal;
a shelter of roof and walls for life concealed.
Rope (that held me)
The beginning and the end are difficult,
but chiefly the end, whose strands, laid out,
are hard to unify because it is the nature
of fibres, once twisted, to unwind into the future so
this rope, by which my life hangs,
was made with the stalks of nettle and
each thread rolled between finger and thumb
to sustain a tension once begun
and every thread spiralled in will be
thicker as strands and strands, three on three,
together give the strength that hold me
clear of the earth
Paper(that holds me still)
An elegant summary, this sheet,
a temporary suspension of disbeliefs.
My life reduced to lines and flat,
sheaves of information caught, stacked.
A page is made from all the little pieces,
all the ends and scraps complete it.
Swollen with water; confused, adrift,
then squeezed and held until they stick.
My skin reproduce upon a skin,
pierced by points and cut thin;
a bold tattoo that beats the drum
of my life in words and pictures.