Midnight’s Gift

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Midnight’s Gift

Fill my bed with smooth pebbles
That I may lie with you
Beneath the coverlet of water
My face on your shoulder once more
Everything rushes and  groans
Under this unyielding moon
There is that deep violent blue
Whose animus is green
I am confused by our melding
The sliding of skins
But you are gentle as a fish
In your eyes are vibrant butterflies
You clasp my hot shivers
Until my politeness ends
Grasping at anything
That makes you love me more…

 

Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved

Painting by Veronica Aldous  2016 not to be reproduced.

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CARAVAGGIO’S BACCHUS

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I am most honoured that the wonderful poet  Christopher Thomas Schmitz has dedicated this to me and would love to share it with you. 

 

CARAVAGGIO’S BACCHUS

for Veronica

Here’s Bacchus, god of revelry.
His garland autumns like a tree.
His basket holds a lesioned quince,
some shriveled grapes with tannish tints,
a pomegranate’s bursting pulp.
His goblet offers us a gulp
of violet, dark Abruzzo wine.
He’s just begun. We’re right on time.
His wide orbicular carafe
is still well more than at the half.

He’s had enough to rouge his cheeks,
to glaze his eyes, to give us peeks
at so much lambent, youthful skin.
One hand would lead us farther in.
It pulls his belt, the ripcord of
a parachute for those in love.
A bicep says he lifts hay bales
as do his dirty fingernails,
and his rich farmer’s tan is odd
for a mountain-dwelling Grecian god.

Was he the painter’s paramour
who shared a bed the night before,
a model in the morning sun,
a god on canvas when he’s done?
His “tunic’s” just a sheet I bet
pulled from a mattress gray with sweat.
The master sold him to the Church
then combed the lanes, renewed his search
for lonely waifs who by his paints
turn into angels, gods, and saints.

Christopher Thomas Schmitz

11/23/16

Torn

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Torn

The wicked tearing of the leaves, the prescient window
Mouths a savage slur, wind scraping its nails up the path
A mirror smeared with grease marring a girl’s face
As she peers into the distant future
Journeys end with lovers.

Jolting cars slide and judder, their engines as coarse
As workmen’s calumnies and oaths,  a hole divides the street
Somewhere a physicist finds some beauty in his chalky fingers
As the blue globe is crack’d and the white worm slithers
Into its maw, expands and shivers.

What have they done?
She cries amid the burning leaves
The bevelled crystal shatters.

 

Veronica Aldous 2016 all rights reserved

 

Here is a wonderful critique of my poem by a great poet: Christopher Thomas Schmitz.

I am  very honoured to receive such an erudite and informed analysis.

 

 The poem describes a loss of innocence, a loss which may even be a deflowering, a deflowering that may even be a rape–though the tearing and the scraping nails are accredited to the leaves and the wind, and the girl’s face in the mirror is marred by grease not blurred by tears, though cars not men “slide and jutter” with coarse noise, and though a white worm rather than a penis “slithers into the maw.”

What’s extra fascinating here is that the trauma of a sexual assault might well have its victim talking vaguely, metaphorically, self-protectively of burning leaves and shattering crystal rather than matter-of-factly about a horror. But if we accept the premise that this is a poem about a rape, that rape becomes a metaphor anyway for every violation imaginable. Our blue globe itself is conceived here as a chancred apple slithering with worms.

Veronica is writing some of the best poems I’ve ever read. One after the other, they and their characters are fragile, vivid, sensuous, and alive, charged with Eros and haunted by death.

Ruminants

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Ruminants

In the  musky shed their silky skull  faces turn up
Ghost babies lovesick for milk
Hunkering down they clamour and nudge me
Burp breath steaming, pink tongues rasping
Perfect white  nibbly dentures in iridescent gums
Slitted topaz, the  syrupy eyes of dragons

Rapture of slurping and sucking!
One has an infant cough, hewee hewee!
So full of love, my own breasts ache
My lips tremble and I overbalance
As they bite and chew their way
Through my clothes.

 

Veronica Aldous 20165 All Rights reserved

November 8th

mum (2)
November 8th

The feathers settling within the counterpane
Quilted with constellations
The girl under the black satin star  map
How she can fly on the ice!
Switch and turn on a thunderflash stage
Shared her  greasy fish with the cat
Who nestles  above Orion
Purring love’s sleepy name..

 

Veronica Aldous  2016 All rights reserved

7th November

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7th November

It reads the correspondence
Turning the pages with a diamond ferocity
Each sizzling stanza a picotee
Of  blackening vermilion
Acrid  solicitations from a past
Which no longer hisses and fumes
Counting the years with long fingers

Once I was a cherry
In the mouth of  a fat  marital potentate
Then a  litigious worm working its way
Dehydrating  and full of calumny

Something pops loudly  in the heat
It may be the heart of the steadfast tin ballerina
Who once loved a paper soldier.

 
Veronica Aldous 2016 All rights reserved

 

 

 

November 6th

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November 6th

Vanitas

Transfixed by a  climaxing  pomegranate
Rolling in a heap of  ravening tulips
The  indulgence of a dead hare –
Smooth elision of eucharist
And black holes, white cloth spills
A greedy cream over black skins
The lizard gnawing on rotting spoils
After iconoclasm, a boiling orgasm
A bacchanalian cornucopia
Of  yellow kumera,  belching melons
Skittering insects and an  ogling parakeet
Jaded and lush as a pumphouse dolly.

Smearing the canvas with oily syrups
Inexorable moulds and  auguries of exotic fish
Whilst in putrefying galleys
Sugars break out in a  sweat
The artist shrugs her shoulders
Wiping a greasy finger –

Always there is a carcass.

 

Veronica Aldous 2016 all rights reserved