Issue 25: Lyndon Davies

from An Allotment

Mugged ripe for the set-up

sorcerers spinning itch                                                                                        

through high weather in blight hall                                        

once cordially explicable

messages sting half-wild

even dumber in my ears haw

by the plot waver                                              

fitted skew as to purpose

listening just and watching now

into growth but hardly yet

a wisp or a whisper

wedged close neat in chivvied

suppled half inch top of it

Required each pact                        

flourish in a moment particle

keen wick to its heft                      

here in common no winged creed

for flat silbury or mere button

traps in eye pushing form

from oath to earth eased                            

all into it for a body ekeing

awe out of righteous parish

bluff host for a glut blushing

ebullient through stone share

fused hand weed or not weed

raking a new planet core

All gone suddenly leaving

me with the primal

leaf-ears what you handle

weevil or subterranean

bugaboo that was music this is

silent as a creeping enemy

sap ruction then rash of hoar

beating flight back

for grudge but held anyway

in two hands that goes almost

without saying if you must

soft say it though even if you can’t

green knots in the mush

Only that one stuck

had sovereignty over my intent

lit up her joints trilling

wry sot for a churl’s muzzle

of shaped latex or whatever it took

in the way of normal

forced other as part-animal

somehow at home but home

nobbled sideways and just lightly fringed

with nightmare in the tinge

levelled down resilient

rocked us in our own defeat

desire in the very set-up

Several kinds of injury

dibbed in this swelling plush

each chuckle of crocked pulse

what mischief in a feedback noose

axis materially out of kilter

bites yellow spot

in the infant terrible

deficiency of some kind or over-

production of clement hormones

air of the serried trees

packs mould in our bubble

free as the night free as the killing wands

a wave and it lifts us

Surfing to sink not on

although divine smelling it

in lech of clod

deep rot’s tug some discursive

prodding into variegated humours

what we call organic

accepting the too much

as flute and merry bells

under a ghost-blue cedar tree

led inevitably to tests

of courage and defective trust

exorbitant as a master

criminal in deferred innocence

Never quite cleanly rebutting

subtle yammer at the palace

sore matter of a gap

who dares what and why where

was it uttered from no recorded

narrative just a bead dropping

half crushed from wood’s mangle

there where the trauma bit

imposition of fraught energies

squared off here and squared away

under mesh its apparel

flawless as a weaver’s dream

of summer if summer came new

Whatever came before

considers you from its rubric

slope bevelled by flood-rip

how were the gods measured then

from any river bed under spate

just wait until it settles

far blunt thunder of rolled stones

no wit to coax anything

new until the torrent fades

slim contract for your parcel

admittedly and the sticks won’t grip

won’t penetrate is a scratch sufficient

blessing to be folked by the aery

Suddenly everyone about as lost

as they could be but still according

to a pattern of politesse

algorithmically resolvable

cooked reckoning of implied dues

if any lack left a residue

stamp continuous and the file

administratively complete although dog-eared

in a registry some human fall-out

but the record steady

comforting when that wail leaks

insidious on the other side

of a boundary marked legal 

Fell humming out of sync

and humour out of variable dazzle

mocked lineage whose cued cells witch

into curl or astounded openness

more or less where we thumbed them

clumsy once in glad fetor

or misfires with originary fervor

awake then the tools sprouting

histories of translation and return

are the nymphs rising

fleet in the water tanks and descending

deep out of sight deep

into sight rising

Spark flitting through golden trailer parks

of crimped cirrus the line forks                                                   

to accommodate each shift

still branching as night quickens

unzipping its gaunt cicatrice

of velocities I lie down

into nowhere and the fault starts

all racked in its steeping nest

of low fraught melodies every mission                               

of the stemmed messenger

into the heart of panic

blithely tearing us now where we thought

god help us it had come to tickle

Stirring up felons

of all kinds in the leery dark

ruination of fine cloth

neither cruel nor human

except in the telling of it

making light of weakness

in the property hedge drilling through

or under it or gliding over

as the whimsy takes them

fun for the nagging tribes

of midnight but the ripples growing

ever faster and more destructive

the further out they travel

Not even pausing to consider

by the time the wake hits

trounced in its midden splash

of offerings any reason

to remain even partly calm

strung up in the wires listening

at both ends of the equation

distance as breaking flush

of speculative intimacies

not quite as immaculate as displayed

on the packet but still

illustrative of what it could have meant

to live in a platonic universe

That last wail of the one stolen

once hers yes but carried through

by witness an event

less event now than transformation

into submerged continuum                                         

of the sacred it's the one seeing

who suffers bodying it raw

for the others but all that

has already foundered or pushed through

into surface a tableau

of poised attributes on the crumb

spear and wing and knob and pagoda

as if something is being figured

From air and to heir

what history and then the stirring hum

of somebody knowing something

I don't could I ever

framed in a heady landscape

decorous in part-resemblance

to all previous versions of itself

this disturbs me elsewhere

than I was once those seductive ridges

pulsing with interrogation

of their place in the woolly scheme

and ours curving round

consolatory without confirmation

So that what just slipped past quietly

or seemed to without notice

turns out to contain the crystal

peaseblossom cobweb

twin bastions of the running ditch                                           

no point keeping watch

a fish jumps or a star

erupts when and where it must

looking down into forage I missed everything

I'd thought but the radium

was spilling its own christmas

blush over these rough bunched stalks

thrown back as I lay flummoxed

Tassels and dinky bats

glaucous flags of the state of magic

lodged swelling under uprush

spires of a bidden jewel

many low mounds egging

themselves into prophecy or assumed

some clue's there if we could just

be patient in the midst of travel

blind atrophy and attack

by unspecified alien adventurers

keeping our sky-burials

under wraps until we know

who's giving the eulogy

All soaking in by capillary action

down the hairs and along the unspoken

leads even this clogged

pre-intentional nature takes a hit

for nature now thoroughly stuffed

with required nutrients

moistures of Zeus or Moloch

it is all energy

and reserve for a spate of clowning

excess if the hat doesn't fit

cut your bloody ears off if the shoe

doesn't fit cut your bloody toes off

Grimm isn't it

Some body I once fled

on heat for all possible fictions

not yet shocked by the transport

costs wear to vehicles and continually

revised manifests that inherited monster

confined to a dexion-lined

stakeout with 360 degree views

readied itself for the choice

of decor and inter-cellular behavioural

typologies gait swami-wisdom-packages and all

necessary adjustments of angle

from a totality of gathered samples and specimens

couldn't even budge when the fire took

No adventure playground

sufficiently byzantine or dicey

no beam no corrugated 

sheet for the sagging roof

of a niche scooped

into rotten brick dust fibreglass

lagging and asbestos chunks

quite broken enough or rusted back

materially/ethereally to its last jag

you are where you were

even when you are somewhere else

flutes singing from crag to crag

and there is a cave Thyrsis of rough music

Then furls itself into a species of veiny mace-head

slobbered all over by larvae at this point

we are given pouches of sweet money

obols and Medici escutcheon-knobs

already their own purchase therapy and display

and then the kisses start

red pouts in a scratchy bush

continually something hidden we're constrained

to wait for on a different time-scale

via differing systems of regulatory alignment

each evocation finding its exact response

in a circuit strangely open to it although retained

under shelter where we keep the organs

Eyes in the greenwood smart

each living its new normal

inextricably before the old

arrived where they'd ever thought it should

so none of this adds up

put down the steady cam lets have bumps

in the film even effigies

need to shake out a cramp

occasionally it's quite normal

for reality to go full arse

over tip on a raised paving slab

your blood on the lichen

limned horizontal face of elvis

In effect inexplicable

indecipherable or at least

impossible to untangle cleanly

and that is the story

further complicated by sudden colour shifts

weaving in who'd have thought

you could eat monkey-puzzle nuts

fatigue has its store

glands fattening in a leathern sheath

as maps fall in a flurry

from the bowers that mothered us

all this for a wary onset

but the toll unforeseeable

At the edge of measure

gift recognized as gift

what's coaxed from the furnace

broached by a sallow mite

or multi-mythical destroyer spun

from the iron core

to this altar weaving

illiterate enzymes into pulp

and fibre just left to be taken up

as flavour of a million flailing

galaxies come to roost  

in a drowsy rite in a comic

augury charred on a pot bottom

Lyndon Davies was born in Cardiff in 1954 and now lives in Crickhowell, Powys. He is a poet, critic, editor, publisher and cultural activist, whose essays have appeared in Poetry Wales and the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry. With his partner, the painter Penny Hallas, and the poet Graham Hartill, he founded and runs the Glasfryn Seminar series, and he also organised, with John Goodby, the Hay Poetry Jamborees of 2009-12, continuing these in a series of successor ‘Jam’ events.

In 2012 he founded the online poetry journal Junction Box, and he has since established and run Aquifer Press. His poetry has been widely published; it includes the collections Hyphasis (2006, Parthian), Shield (2010, Parthian), A Colomber in the House of Poesy (2014, Aquifer), Bridge 116 (2017, Aquifer), Reset (2019, Aquifer), The Materials (2019, Aquifer). He has also published two playscripts, The Man Who Painted Mountains (2019, Aquifer), and selected criticism, Resemblance: Selected Prose 2000-2019 (2019, Aquifer). With John Goodby he edited The Edge of Necessary: an anthology of innovative Welsh poetry 1966-2018 (2018, Aquifer / Boiled String).