https://blognostics.net/blognostics-an-innovative-experience-in-literature-poetry-and-art/2020/09/16/layers-a-haibun-by-jenny-middleton/

Layers 

Oozy silence warbles inside bridge tunnels, their stock-bricks dank with moss and dimness – climbing. Trains percuss above, electric and brittle with low-fi hum then roar. Their interiors shooting passengers to the city. Seated inside, he is dressed in cut denim – slit to reveal his skin –a brightness bulging from the overlaps of wearied cloth, he crosses his legs, boot to knee, and scrolls. Pink scars of healing flesh lope beneath his clothes as he fixes his eyes on her - seeing she knows more than he wanted to share.

Then it is Balham and bodies press into carriages and eat the space to odd intimacies, pilling lives amongst old metro newspapers and tattooing suits to coats and stillness – breathing. Day opens here on the rails, its juice bleeding with sticky segments of bisected time and when she looks for him again, he has gone – the gap he existed in – closed ­- severed with the slide of electric doors, filled now by others and outer echoes.

 

tracks slice mossy day

jolting with electric darkness

a city bleeds lives

Wandle

Published at Blognostics.net

Between concrete and a straggle of bank

River Wandle glides, bruising weeds beneath

to a floating mane of green shimmery hair.

Sexy numbers and etc are graffitied to

jostle noisily on a run of corrugated fence

and always there’s a murky, rogue

perfume filling the rippled air.

We wander past pylons and the electric

hum of trams cutting

their cadence at the bottle-broken, 

rusted footpath;

slowly,

tracking to London the water works

a memory of disorganised summer,

splashing, punching and treading

the green-greyed stone sharp bed,

the oily sheen of rats watching

quick from dank weeds

with the knowing that we shouldn’t.

 

These days the fish are back.

The Monument

Rising fiercely from the flat, grey street.

the column commemorating The Great Fire

runs step to step to sky,

its smoky, grey stones

snatching as visitors' breaths

just as the heat brindled, wagging

flaming timber to flaming timber, once.

Above us, the fire is all gold leafed glory,

crafted to a sphere of taut metallic

tongues telling of our almost destruction. 

From The Monument's cage

we can view London and the crawl

of our ashy past still wending with today's 

wash and charcoal twist of Thames below,

etching our gaping lungs with air

and ancient things in flow. 

 

A Woman Divided. 

(This poem is inspired by a painting by Dali and was read on the radio show Late Night Poets.) 

inside the screech of birds is deafening

soaring and pummelling thoughts to clouds,

my arms fling upwards to embrace the emptiness

of sky and solidity of stars.

ripping myself in two is a daily task.

I tread the yellow shore with care

make lunches and walk responsibly to work

feeling the shackles of life cry at my ankles

as seaweed clasps the crags of rocks.

the horizon snips, snips redly at me,

sails through me as I try to hold myself

to account and grasp the bitterness

of burnt out days and make them fly

from a woman split, a woman spilt,

a woman divided.  

Bridge Watching

An arc of iron over us always

leaning above

the cold leaden-green flow

of river lapping endlessly

at the gravel scatter shore;

firstly visible and then tide smothered 

daily,

yet offering transit.

 

The climb is all smooth steps

stone foot fall worn 

into waved depressions

by so many other journeys-

to the stretch and view

of change and its 

gradual similitude 

and so it is the path leads

pushing backwards and on.

Spring Virus

A sky stretched thin as gum

pans its slow camera at each scene

we run at, this spring, frostless,

eyed with sun, sharp with cursing

and spearing its sugary beams 

at this chew of rationed days

as we repeat and repeat our lives

isolating them to the momentary plash

of water shadowing our hands

and sketching our wrists with stringy,

twiggy patterns of whispered resolve.

The virus invisible and washed

with stories flooding faster and faster

between us as we gather all that means any

and abandon our cities, trailing to the path. 

Morning Feeling

She ghosts the narrow soar of streets

hunched with morning and dimness;

drumming hollowly awake

with slackening sleep winking away

from the splutter of sheets to this push 

at pavements, boots heavy with lethargy.

Work; a sloped walk to come.

Engines are churning somewhere west

of here and emptiness is engulfing.

Crumple

 

Blades of ceiling fans whirl

brushing heat downwards

as if a land closes small against a sky

and balls itself within a mind,

leading it muttering with fevered night

to the blankness that faces us only

 

when alone,

taunting us with its contradiction

of silence amongst the hum of a distant city.

 

and the unslept dark lizards

itself inside, marking out

doubts; chalk lined as crimes

and Sleep, a welcome executioner

to this unspent crumple of hours,

is as unknown as all history.

Voice

so many crowding the carriages each

voice vying with the track's clatter.

I sit holding still,

feeling

a word beat bleakly in my palm -

greyness fluttering in gauze -

its ache real and needing release.

scudding my mind ideas gloom a horizon

and burn themselves to air,

my tongue breeding pain to empty 

un-listening eyes.

and all around from rough ground,

sliding from an encasement of leaves,

new voices quiver

freshly.

The Visitor

 I open my door and find you waiting

Amongst autumn and falling, failing light

Dressed in the thickness of a dun overcoat

The verdurous twine of ancient forests

Un-scrolling as you speak.

Your cracked lips shape islands as words isolate

The truth of your visit and the sickness

Of plastic churns grey in our ocean guts.

Inside I offer pain-killers and recycle

Panaceas of wisdom.

We analyse the figures

And skate through thinning ice against

The brooding night as the drift of damp moss

Grows through our conversation claiming

A small victory against the great highway.

Did you call too late?

Outside the concrete is spread and setting.

These Hard Worked Hours.

office windows; squares of unflinching

yellow lit geometry.

from the train I watch them slide

their flickered familiarity to darkness

and watch the dizzying feet

of countless commuters 

dust the ruler-line platform

with the news-papered security 

of a repeated journey.

and inside minds lurch to life

with the jolt and halt of stations

hoping for

a few hours of chosen chaos 

to decorate

these hard worked hours.

Behind Us

against the evening

I press home

through long streets

and bewildering journeys

searching the music

stave of the paved street

for your echoes

and imprints.

A day too late

I am told later.

and the shabby subterfuge

of stumbled words

stands shadow like

behind us

Haiku String: Mirrors.

Reality's mirror

silver image smiling pretence,

homage to the world.

Inside a heart lurches

uneasy with its daily task

blood ribbons unfurl.

Windowed city streets

people wait, concern ticking 

slow behind glass eyes. 

Lamenting from Space

Paved, tarred streets smother us

Dreaming, stilled.

Beneath, 

grass echoes its longing

and verges, glades

and meadows ache

in our fox soul of red souls

as we tread wearily,

ceaselessly towards a confinement

of city.

an astronaut I heard

lamenting from the station

cries knowing amongst our gains

loss lays heavy lidded

bleeding breaths, mon-oxide doused,

to a paling sky.

 

Shoving up between each step

weeds protest their places

abandoning all

pretence we scatter home

to find waiting lonely

and wilting, shedding leaves,

our own

journey in green tears. 

 

Digital Selves

 

Dials shifting with digital tides

Throb inside our unblinking eyes

Data coded irises encrypt

Identities with sky scanned script

Secrets shift amid security

Beneath each programmed byte

Powered nanoseconds green light

The home with wired wonderment

While hovering optic mirrors gloat

With messages and smooth drones

Deliver messages to phones

Proclaiming health and happiness -

Hope?

Cut Flowers

The cut carnations blare

A luminosity.

They have become flares

Floodlighting the dusk cloaked city,

With a cultivated fluorescence.

Their blooms pirouette

Tutu ruff heads,

Twisting in the creeping night,

Their petals trembling

Like pantomime comic clowns,

Yellow wigs out of place.  

Ungainly, quivering and nodding

Bowing knobbly stem bodies

Against the glassy chill 

Of the listless vase.

My eyes clamber to them,

Like two dying bees desperate to hug

Their brightness, eager to offer

My body up to the imagined heat 

Of these dissembling Olympian torches;

Pyres of summer light.

So aloof, so aimless and absurd

Bunched together in the throes

Of certain death.

And so it is we travel. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curve

The curve of you waking wisw