Isolating with Sidney (for the record it’s a stay at home poem)

Sitting here with

Sidney Bechet
Live!
24th Mai
Redez-vous Club.
Him and me
in my 1950 Philadelphie
reverie
a surprised sigh
yearns for the clink and clatter
and the slightly pickled
muffled laughter that,
only this January,
definitely
disturbed the clarity
of the great vinyl
spinal tingle
That is you

You see, with this distortion
in mind
I contort to
send my ears beyond this
long gone Jazz friend.

Now surprised
as I say
in my noticing in
my deepening reluctance
to let it be ‘just one of those things’
those social gatherings
that syncopate
brilliantly only
to end too early

instinctively
I decide I need
to pick myself and
the needle up
and with new found instant relief

I resolve to reach out
and to play once again
within yesterdays social rounds:
discovering wellness
in the sweetest of sweet conversations

far beyond his Georgia Brownness
and today’s wistful uncovering of grief.

Bechet

Traffic jamming Light and Grace

Fuming beyond

this zebra crossing dripping throng

this head down, striding long

Gortex sway of human form

as wiper blades scud and grate

across this screen that separates

my heart from spleen from

gentle grace of

worried lines on

brethren’s face.

 

And yet.

 

unknowingly still I bow, yes

beyond this dashboard reach

for conditioning air

this rain filled rage begins to clear

as Lightening weight accelerates

and soft green shoots now reappear.

An ode to sleeplessness and pain.

Your

suicide
dial
reports
soars
digging deep
into
petal sharp
flex
of
inverted
pride.
scoring
soft
flesh
you say
drains
thought
poppies thought
too
sickly weak
to
salve
numb
fumbling
regrets
of
past
pressed
days.

still.

fidgetting
with courage
you
continue
to name
marauding
nights
touched
distantly
in said
blood clots.
you
scratch
to grip
to
gulp too

tap
tap
tap.

fingering
your sayings
tap, tap
moves we
to call and response
Water
Sister?
No, not that
and pushing
down
preciously
down upon
your plastic teat

you

trickle
sweet saltings of sweat you
imbibe wounds until
they hatch
in overwhelming
whelps of weep-ful-ness
while
in otherness
aches and strains
invite us both
to once again
card-board chew through
battle fallow fields
to warp the walk
from
ego stress.

till
till
tilling
un-
countable
fillings of
past soiled
future
sores
intimate
groans
and
sleepless ness
distanced
becomings
re-erect themselves
in this now
upon
hoarding pillars both
bile and blue
spent and
deformed
with these new
warming
spirits despaired
and passed
between us
in momentary
fragmented
truth

rest awhile

my broken flower

yes

you

my fullness of
stiff regret
breathe and stretch and
profess
movements to soften
further
varicose spills of
forty per-cent
night-time
armistice

you of this
new hope-ful-ness
wishing to
ward off
immersed
confusions of chemical lash
burning yearnings that
crisp the crust, that
deadens dawning grief
in low familiar
yawning dusk
flow slow from
those darkening swills
that translucent soak
so melting here the
salted cubes this
fleshed disbelief
may dis-

appearing again ‘for Christ’s sake,’ you say

‘surely,’

you pause to re-orientate to re-find your currently wearing face within this worn out journal stock:

‘surely, this time, I’ll re-find relief and solid ground within this rolling reef, this ice bound rock.’

and

watching
as you regather
as your precious life
leaves in my lap such

absurdly poetic

stuttering words

of

thanks

I wonder at your strength

I ponder over your wisdom-filled beauty 

Shall we see
shall share again these un-
speakable, most legible most
tenderful privileges of groundings
grown deep within
these suffering joys, these
witnessings of transforming pain.

Whoever is willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to herself, that person is a pleasant shelter…It is enough to recognise one’s nothingness and to abandon oneself, like a child…

St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), aka: ‘The Little Flower.’

(Quoted from Richard Rohr: Eager to Love p.111 & 114).