Issue 22: John Welch
When I dragged it this far
To pull it into the sun it was
A moment to be still.
There was no one at all where I fell.
Lost in you
Is the pause I fall into.
Sculpting what has been lost
You had left me a space in the air.
What’s demanded of me, a random particle
Being just enough here to rhapsodise
Is to care for itself,
Negotiate unseen commands.
It raises dark glasses towards the sun.
Words thicken into a braid,
A missing step lurches me forward
Something to cover the place – a pen
Held upright, one like yours?
Each morning starting to climb what I’ve made:
‘The thing that tears me apart is the thing that makes me’
And ‘The one true voice was the one that did not demand’ –
Was I trying to please all of you at once
Which is why I wrote my name, just here
On the silence of a wall?
Leaving footsteps behind
To turn aside, ironist saunter
A bird’s caught in flight
And shot clean out of the air
As an infant makes
Its passing sign.
I had shared out my voice
I can still hear its patient drone.
There’s something that takes my breath
Being not quite what I had wanted to say
To the one I’d imagined
Poised on the lip of the wind.
That paper trail layered with good intentions
Its almost extinct rustle.
What remains is more or less siftings.
A patient darkness falls across them
Gone into the void of sound.
A CURE OF LANGUAGE
And as I live the life
This being one not quite doing it
Is what I like,
The moment when it breaks,
Language as substance abuse?
It changes when it bleeds.
Most exhibitions are bleak little affairs.
Taking the language cure
As I said to the baby –
What did you find down there?
I forget where I just put it down
Is it something that falls from the sky
Like rain that waits but doesn’t quite fall?
It must have silent roots.
Still it hasn’t found me
John Welch was born in 1942 in London, where he still lives and where for twenty five years he ran The Many Press publishing pamphlets and books of new poetry. His own collections have appeared from Anvil, Reality Street, and Shearsman who have recently brought out his latest collection, In Folly’s Shade.
Copyright © 2019 by John Welch, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.