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Poetry by Morag Emmerson

A woman dancing out of Carrigower Hill overlooked by aspects of consciousness with a smile.

Gary McKinnon

I wish I knew how to tell them in Westminster how much this case blights the lives of all the British eccentrics who have been keeping their ears to the ground I imagine.
It casts an old grey shroud of dread to dare speak ever knowingly of all the blasted shame that grits your teeth here

lying on the dark shores of the nation
amid the flotsam failing frequently to keep abreast
of the turning tide

and great evil thing in the pit of a split and smashed heart somewhere
beneath the ocean of possibility
those shuffled and spat their shame black and red upon us in welts. How to speak,

How to speak gets so peculiarly hard when the hard men are so cold
it turns your blood turgid.
The ice expands.
The walls crack.

Waldschmidt's Class

Throughout the summer I struggled with my silence.
Two books I dared not review.
I continue
to dare
not Yet when
I wrote some crooked words I witnessed too,
oh so much to bear witness to,
a pain inside subsided slightly.

Dreamers and Rebels

Mickey Z said we never could have enough dreamers
poets, artists, activists,
romantics, visionaries and rebels

as though it was alright to blurt out what is firing you up right then and there,
and take your place in the race to speak your heart,
to make a start ripping the veils off the wounds

letting the air back into the lungs
here where it aches so
starving for freedom.

Come stillness, come meaning of moments,
life flooding into itself, crowning itself with glories.

Ordinary simple things enough
to hold there, hold on, we're coming;
hold on, we're coming to get you.
We're coming to show you the way.

It was not a taser

It was not a taser he brought
but a bright yellow coat that he wore
out of place, breaking the rules of courtesy.

And what he had in his pocket
was yours.
Was yours.
Your 3 piles of gold,
your rumpled little diary my beautiful,
your keys, your passport.

They bled, they bled.

And those words I can't remember
made a tunnel in the air
and out of it a well
a vortex of sighs

for I had not known we were so despised.
He cast your things down
upon the table, and into the well
he threw your clothes and shoes in words
like bursting and hammering and kicking
to incinerate or return their scorned mess
to us,
who love you
however dead,

however dead
and gone.
Our champion,
our laughing deeds,
our shining one.

The Door

We go through the door
with practise,
to regions of pure splendour
and a wealth of wildness.
We do not know why we go through the door,
we do not know how.
Not knowing with practise,
we leave behind the desolation of slavery,
and sail as free spirits
into the tumultuous beauty of the dark.
We have no bearings and no destination.
We are wandering nimbly without direction,
our only home in our selves.
The wind between our ears sings of nebulous palaces amongst the stars.

As we sail
into the tumultuous beauty of the dark
we sing of our palaces amongst the stars.
We sing of our palaces
and we dream of our songs,
as we sail
into the beauty of the dark.

Soft Air

to find a moment
that was fresh and clear
like this
walking into July rain sky greyblue soft
all over.

Such perfect air
delights the free nation of my skin
that sings joy
at this touch
this air
this day.

Freedom delights the perfect nation
of my skin.

Saying hello

Finding it slow, saying hello.
Momentum is gone before the first movement occurs,
the deed is not done.

The deed is not done,
the bridge hangs in the air
like a bird;

Like a bird that sings from time to time,
combing the pale sunshine.

I want to tell

I want to tell my truth
before I die.

It concerns resonance,
and fluctuations in the nature of matter
that occur
in the radiating consciousness
that emanates from the centre
of every I.

It concerns ripples in viscous matter
and sharing discoveries of meaning
between all our selves
regarding being and this universe.

For we shall
serve our beautiful purposes,
bringing confirmation and proofs.
Shifting all sideways just enough here and there.
Initiating currents and sowing seeds
that there shall be so much
to look forward to.

It is in every little thing and thought
that we each stitch the nature of our times,
and take our place
in all polyphony,
singing our own true song.

Making new memories

Making new memories in the dark
you cast your mind out
upon the swelling turbulence
that engulfs
and swallows you whole,
blocking out all the light
and the air and the stars
and the future
limps away,
out of sight.

Until later.
Only stay
long enough,
only stay long enough
to notice.

The whispering grasses,
the warm breeze upon the hill.
Shadows of clouds
chasing themselves away.

Who drifts at anchor

We never know
to whom we will give

who drifts within us
at anchor,
swaying upon our breath,
transparent in the darkness.

A Song of Stone

Of stone I was but not no more,
my waters lap upon the shore,
my song is longer than the day,
my tears they all are washed away,
my tears are washed away.

My tears are washed away by tears,
my song is longer than the years,
my voice is faint and loud and strong
and all my life I sing my song,
my life I sing my song.

My life I sing
in seas of song
that lap upon the shore so long
and in the wind you hear me cry
upon the hill beneath the sky
the hill beneath the sky.

Of stone I was but not no more,
my waters lap upon the shore,
my song is longer than the day,
my tears they all are washed away,
my tears are washed away.

Moon Gazing

That kite like shape of light
Around the moon
Is melting down like honey
From a spoon, folding itself
Upon a joyful tongue.

I have supped at your elbow

I have supped at your elbow
and bent my ear
to the blue veins and the pale skin there,
I heard your dancing pulse

And mine did find
the chimes and the rushing streams of your desire
the finest partner for my mind
through the dark night to the quiet hour.

Now the Enchanting

Now the enchanting night arrives
And beckons us to catch the drips,
For there is honey in her eyes
And madness lurks about her lips.

Her breast it is a downy lawn
Where unicorns and princes play,
And at her hip there hangs a sword
That spears the sun and kills the day.

Welcome the night that withered me
And from my promise stole the bloom,
For in her hands were starry flowers,
And at her word I blasted gloom.

No more a nymph in wreaths I lie,
Sobbing upon a windswept shore;
For through the open moon I fly
Before the dawn, beyond Death's door.

I have seen my lovely turn

I have seen my lovely turn to treacle.
I'm telling it to warn all other people
Not to spread their fondest friends on bread,
For all the sugar rushes to the head.

I have seen my lovely turn to sand
And warn you now, when holding your friend's hand
Don't grip too hard or twist his bony wrist,
His most might turn to drizzle in a mist
Because you touched him on the vapourous gland.

And I have seen my lovely turn to wrinkle
Because I tapped his solemn with my twinkle
And shocked his atoms into whirling roads
And crossed his wires and tangled up his nodes.
I'm warning you, so watch your sink or swimkle.

One for the Road

Trapped, cornered, holed, done,
One for the road and another one.
Battened down, blighted, split in half,
And a third to make the prisoner laugh.
It isn't you and it isn't me,
It's the rope between that makes us three,
And for our sakes I'll have one more
To rattle the handle of the iron door.
You'll jerk the chain and stroke my head
And kiss my body in our bed.
It's five for the words you won't believe
And six for the home you'll never leave,
Seven for all the faith that's flown
And eight for thoughts which split the bone,
And nine for fear and ten for pain
And now I'll just have one again.

The Woman Who Was Said To Be

The woman who was said to be
Unsuitable for amity
Was in the pasture
On her haunches
Cropping grass quietly
The way that cows and horses do.

When I approached and offered her
A handful of delicate, green blades
She raised her face
And gave a smile,
Her mouth crammed full
With sweet, moist green.

I turned away,
I climbed the fence and went home
Leaving far behind that calm kind
And gentle silence.

Which reminds me of a white rabbit
I saw once and it nodded to me
Underneath the moon
As if it knew

I might
Despite my gloom
One day find happiness
To crown my foolishness,
And with it drown
All terrors
Of the mind.


In the sorrow of the night
You looked absolutely
Seraphic, darling,
Whilst you undid the doings
And undid me then
I thought I was in Heaven -

You undid Heaven
Whilst you undid the doings, darling,
And the effort of forgetting is great
For me, greater than your effort in seeking
And finding the buttons
To undo.

The buttons of my heart
Are all undone and there's nothing to be said
That's not contained perfectly in a scream.

My heartbeat
Is crawling across the pillow towards me.

Joy Unrequited

I celebrate
With wine and food and song
Each page I write
That's still addressed to you.

Love may be passing
But I toast the flight
In little glasses that could not be shared
At little tables not designed for two.

Oh Dear Odile

Oh dear, Odile will catch a chill
Sitting on the window sill,
Tossing her heart to the boys in the street
And pulling it back, like a kite, to her feet
Where it flutters and begs for another flight.
She trembles and stutters her sorrowful plight
To the empty air, to the lonely night.
When the boys have gone
She lingers on,
Swinging her heart
And her legs
In the dark.

The Guest

I'm listening for your footfall up the hill,
The road is quiet,
The house is empty but for me
And I've uncorked the bottle of festivity,
Impatient, tired and lonely.
Blame me love, but it's my only company.
I drink to absent friends.

There is a candle in the window for your guide,
Wavering, delicate and friendly.
I'm sorry I can't meet you at the door,
Too drunk again.
I may not even hear your knock,
Lost in my own nightmares.
I wish that you'd come sooner,
Shared this time,
And kissed me
When I didn't reek of wine.

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