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Say a rose by any other name could smell as sweet?
As sweet as Sugar-bushes do?
Antirrhinum's alarming -
calm Dragon Snaps with Calf's Snout dew.
Rosy Marie, Campion and Bay:
by names as these, sown words may grow
to garland love and life, and so
a bed of roses round
all thorny problems sow.
© Kevin Stanton McClintock 2003
Drunk on mead most mornings, noons and afters;
stealing from each crimson bell-hung purple
purse, in woolly black and custard kit, you
stumble (you can't flit) from pot to pot to
dip your wick and wipe the amber nectar
from your chops. When you have done and fumbled
backwards, sticky feet and froth-smeared trousers,
you tumble forth and stagger round the leaves,
fall in another dive and guzzle there
for hours. Then swinging from the tap room door,
make off for more; to bang on buds tight shut
that open late. Buzz off to bouncers brave,
to bring the wife her tot, and feed those kids
tight-swaddled in the clubland of their cots.
Here are some bones,
here is some hair
here are some toenails
and there is the stare.
Here is a bud,
there is a shoot
and here is the bird
that gives two hoots.
Window Pane Reflection
In youth, inverse voyeur, I watched the world;
aperture, akimbo legs, a hurdy-
gurdy head my camera obscura.
Unpinned, black holes for eyes, the world when flipped
turned out inside, left right. What right word left
for liquid, light-bent quiddity? Observe,
two views I'd spied and both deserved
their parity; so crab wise I alike
would walk beneath the firmament of earth
and down the corridors of tilted trees
hung perpendicular to taunt the sky.
Now, in a narrow window's casement eye,
transported to that transposed plane, my feet
now head for their antipodes so meet.
For Paul Southwood
From out his tardy bed at dawn, he makes
his simple way to walk, night's work undone
by hedgerow-blossomed lanes and daylight's flakes.
He zips along, dog-spooking in the sun;
the spokes of his gaunt iron frame shave light
from off the morning's bright and metalled way.
He hoves to where his bread is buttered: tight
attendance to his post, invites the day
chéz lui; and having so the light addressed
his hours are parcelled-up and franked first-class -
not pigeonholed, just sorted: work/rest -
the best of ways for daily rounds to pass.
But first, his unshined brain from briny sleep,
his feet, his gummy hands, his legs must creep.
The Patio Through Binoculars
A gang of biker slugs have settled round
a campfire of old bread, to chew the fat
and eat the carbohydrate that they've found.
Across the barren plane, three metres that,
in gastropod calligraphy, might just
spell death, two elephantine seals rear up
to taste the air with ink-eyed spots of lust.
One turns its upright torso round to sup
the sound washed up upon its sensate shore,
but ignorant of washing-up, ignores
the flying saucers and returns once more
to map its progress on the sandstone floor.
Refocus, and the corrugated pair
asweat in rubber suits reform; denote
a largo treble clef and bass, then dare
to synchronise an exclamation, quote
unquote. Their testament is really in
the leaves they've scored; their will, upon their skin.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever
For one who from old Lethe's sodal fountain drank
uncouth, to then commend the poison chalice to the lips
and superciliously chortle
at this joyous nous,
proposed in youth
by one so swiftly sifted by the hands of time,
so mortal - from such thimble-rigging cant
I naturally shrink;
yet, for some forgetful souls
for whom 'delight' must conjure only
mirages of reminiscence,
it's already high noon
on the picture postcard
sunset strip horizon,
blue chip high
drunk up, consumed; a memory of tasting.
This squandered bliss - too hard to hold,
to lose, too hard -
floats off on forever feelings
on those those teary torrents
shed by all those unrequited lovers
dearly wishing to be nearly dead,
we, with unaccustomed clarity
long sightedly percieve
in glasses, darkly, just what it is
up its cardsharp's sleeve.