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

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.


A poem is a cluster of words
You can hear them go crunch

A poem is a deep dive into
the immersive pool
of the unconscious

A poem is
the right words in the right order,
     or left words
left in order

A poem is captivated by the lasso
blank space-time that surrounds it

A poem is a collection of the heart’s missed beats

A poem is a shopping list for the soul

But most of all
         a poem is a toe
                     stuck defiantly
in the door of eternity


Fallen Suns

There are fallen suns

And lifted moons

There are empty promises

And full hearts

There are days beyond reach

And moments of joy

There are wonderful people

And heartless haters

There are endless possibilities

And only one outcome

There were too many wars

And many peaceful interregnums

There are billions of souls

And each one is beyond compare

There are so many deaths

And each one is beyond repair

There are infinite ways to love

And each one obliterates despair

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
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.
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.
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



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.



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