Three Poems

Giles Goodland

Moon, Incidental
You are suffering from a cold
that has not quite arrived.
Streetlamps turn on like impractical flowers.
The light leaking from buildings
waits around the corner for you.
A shock to see trees crumbed into this.
You are the last to enter the park,
the rain is in wreckage around you.
Walking your many shadows home
the rooks are grains of truth,
their voices have the quality of darkness.
At the other end of the park
a man in a fluorescent jacket sits on a bench.
As if looking through white wine he
can see you. It is his job to lock the gate.
Geese speak of that moment of departure
as the river’s text breaks open.
The moon’s dome rises to see its page
ripple over the river’s muscles.
You walk towards the cars bleeding home,
the birds shrivelling on their branches,
clouds adding the usual ramifications.
Information leaks from buildings and trees.
The night holds up a moon clear enough to show,
above the cigarette-glow of a telecom beacon,
imperfections in cloud cover, torn newsprint.
Cranes stand in sleep making the same gesture
that the wind redistributes, and a lamppost
holds a swarm of leaves in place.
Like a song about to waken
in a radio-alarm, moon manifests as a lucid
interval that evenings won't dissolve into.
Glimpsing through cupped fingers
the child advancing
a hand’s landscape computes the future
his cheeks shadow and break.
The orange has grown a snowcap of mould,
crumbs succumb to milk.
Clouds spool over a dilapidated apple.
The real floor is not where
the feet thought, in a world
that still contains you but only just.
As the clock taxes us, cut open a bellpepper
to find a cathedral.
The window has a glazed expression:
a raindrop erases its history.
I kneel in the mess made by
shadow, watching my son breaking
into expression, then breaking out.
White Fog
Dawn picks up a necklace of birds.
Headlights tremble to name the road,
the flashback of a thrown cigarette.
A police-car twitters down
the motorway’s windrow.
The road holds up a version of a day
that bored me last time round, studded
with tail-lights and this sprayback
with a line in the air, a seam of geese.
If consciousness is a stream it is
of vehicles, purposeful, snarling
through a sequence of thoughts.
A river flickers like stock-readout
and a woman stands on a bridge
as her hair reddens.