p o e m s

Dominic Palmer-Brown

My Inner Garden

I’m guarding
my inner garden
to protect it
and perfect it


Some tumble weed
or strangle weed
or alien seed
might be toxic
like a lake of plastic


So I won’t stop guarding
my inner garden
at dawn,
in the morn
and in the sunlit afternoon


Plants sprouting,
fronds flaunting,
hollyhocks towering,
gnarled old bushes
snarling


Every resident of the garden
determined to have its say
before it fades away
in the mud of dismay


like a soldier in a trench
one hundred years ago


May some connive
to peacefully survive
in a kinder garden


wise and wide eyed, gazing,
technicoloured and amazing


listening acutely
with each petal twitching
in the breeze of chat
that’s snitching and snatching


through the foliage
that I’m guarding,
in my inner garden


Must get out there,
do the weeding


The flower bed is pleading
A million hearts are bleeding
but life goes on,
the plants need feeding
or pruning


Those noisy parakeets need tuning


Must get out there
do the weeding


A spit of rain
a fist of seeding,


the climate goes on changing
inside us and beyond us,
within or without us.

Londinium Trio
Two Rivers
 
City of light and melancholy shade.
 
Moon city,
Sun city,
which city
are you?
 
Are we confused
by two rivers?
 
Are you my bridge over doubled waters
from Left Bank to South Bank
and back again?
 
Are we two sides of the same
rivertimeflow?
 
Are you the Paris in me.
Am I the London in you?
 
O Paris Paris.
 
Home of the idea of the idea of the idea of the idea
 
whose gargoyles weep
for the philosophy of lost generations.
 
City of abstract implications
and concrete,
of victory-defeat;
dystopia, occupation and utopia,
 
of The Last Metro.
 
Come let us speak
from the heart and the head at the same time
to make twice as much sense,
convert pound-pence to euro-cents.
 
Go with the flow that the river invents.
 
Which river?
 
Let time go
fast or slow.
Hydrofoil,
speed boat,
narrow boat in tow.
 
City whose zen
heart beat
is the chime
of Notre Big Ben.
 
If time is up who called it?
Stephen Hawking said you cannot be before it.
 
Predictions of its end are exaggerated,
but never outdated.
 
Apparently,
Time began
with the split of nothing
into two perfect halves
of something
 
and will end when the the two halves meet again
Zen zen zen zen zen zen then
Time will never have existed.
 
In the meantime we may have the urge
to meander and curve,
to dodge the issue as we swerve,
to hold our nerve,
to return life's dodgy serve,
to preserve what cannot be preserved,
observe what cannot be observed;
phantoms the mind has made
in cities of light and melancholy shade;
 
as if we knew what anything meant,
 
or simply be content
to let time's river invent
 
the next twist and turn,
to let our spirits burn
 
as you do in me
and I do in you.
 
So, hold my hand
over doubled waters
from Left Bank to South Bank.
 
I am the London in you.
You are the Paris in me.
Londinium Trio

dominicpalmer@hotmail.co.uk

Unreel

Why should we allow ourselves to feel,
To unreel, if it is unreal,
Like a spool
When as a rule
The line is a tool
To trick or fool
The observer to go further
Into themselves or their lover,
To uncover,
To dive in to the flesh within,
To cross the line that is so thin
Between calm and passion,
To wear our inner selves like fashion;
Because to unshield
Is to Egon Schiele,
To be as naked as we feel.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg8_reDBjUa/?igshid=1p2eu660fkiga

The little melancholias

are swimming and fooling in a pool
in the park in the dark,
dazzled by moonlight
under the first star
to appear that night,
lost and alone
in the depths of space,
and under that star
one little melancholia
refuses an embrace
or to place
sadness
in his rightful place.

Another melancholia
is overwhelmed by obscure memories
that remain
impossible to explain.

The sweetest melancholia
is a melody,
played enigmatically.

The most solemn melancholia
hides in the begonia.

There are many other little melancholias
in the park café….

a half done crossword
a burnt out cigarette
a lonesome cafe table
a deserted coffee cup
ignored by the waiter
who is in
a melancholy mood,
as a lost soul reads
the menu's
faded litany of food,
tarnished by the hands of time,
and a melancholic sun
is setting
resolutely in the sad dunes.

The moon herself,
indistinct
in a mist,
is of course a melancholic disc
spinning on an planetary turntable
where the sound is disabled.

All the little melancholias,
dripping wet,
gaze upon the night's face,
speckled with stars
and on a distant dusty place
where an interstellar rat has run its race
and left in disgrace,
leaving no trace
except for the star-glow
and the deep thoughts of space.

Until dawn appears
and then all the little melancholias
melt away like fears
in a haze of forgetfulness.

Noelism

Hey ho
Way to go
Play the game
Watch that show
Xmas come
Christmas go
Feed the wolf
Stub your toe
Happy times
In the snow
Say you love it
Say you know
All the answers
Let it flow.

Happy tree
Brighten up reality
Brew that Christmas tea
That tastes like an oily sea
Spread this year’s honey from the bee
Look into the advent calendar
To see what you might see.

Let’s dress to kill
Like perfect needles on a tree
Forever falling on the carpet of eternity

Be dizzy
Be fizzy
Be hazy
Be lazy
Be sensible
Be crazy

Be flashy like a Christmas light
Be all there then out of sight
Be confident then full of fright

Be everything at once on Christmas Night
Let’s celebrate our human rights.

Hey ho
Way to go
Play the game
Watch that show
Xmas come
Christmas go
Feed the wolf
Stub your toe
Happy times
In the snow
Say you love it
Say you know
All the answers
Let it flow.


Symbols and Skies

What do we symbolise,
to the gargantuan skies
that fill our eyes?
Our garments may be cloaks of despair,
or wings to the air.

I’m going to wear my favourite t-shirt today.
When I wear it, everything is okay.
Your questioning smile
lingers for a while.

What is the meaning of the silk or the satin
we are wrapped in or strapped in?
When you swing by in that red dress
the world swirls around you in a total mess.
The priest’s ear buzzes with the need to confess.

The swish of you dress soothes the earth’s distress.
A man on a balcony quivers in his vest
and turns to see his naked guest,
wondering, what happened to her slippers.
Did she give them the slip?

I’m going to wear my favourite t-shirt today.
When I wear it, everything is okay.

This shirt it has some kind of understanding,
or so it seemed when I saw you on the landing.
You were wearing your favourite t-shirt, and not much else.

We went into the garden to drink our cups of tea.

The sunlight played a melody
on the table top in front of me.

We were startled by the buzzing of the bee.

I saw the moon
reflected in your spoon,
by the light of the midday sun.

Then we bounced so high on the trampoline,
we went under the skirt of the sky,
& could see into the neighbour’s attic room,
where they keep all their secrets
and play their favourite tunes,
by the light of the moon.

If you wear your favourite garment today -
guaranteed, everything will be okay.
For all the symbols are aligned,
in the stars and in our minds. 

copyright: Dominic Palmer-Brown