Making me a Cardigan
Watching her flick the wool
In deft lilac loops
Talking as she knits,
Knit one, yarn over.
The gas fire hisses
A hot grid in which ballerinas
Shimmy and twist, yarn forward
Passing the slip stitch over.
The apricot wallpaper yawns
The angel cat puts his paw
Into another slipper
Such a dearhearted person.
The antique painting shines
The lady leans forward
To help us with the pattern
Her stiff black crucifix
Against her fruiting bosom.
The clock chiming eight, the mossy sofa
The walnut wood with its odd devilfaces
The draught under the door
The glittering glass doorknob
Night presses behind peach silk curtains
The front door is one hundred years old
That should be enough.
The crushed violets in your drenched hand
smell of nothing, the ionone numbs the senses,
Like ghosts they cannot wither, being as they are
already gone into some nervy hinterland.
Josephine, you called me, the shadow on my breast
blue like a bruise or a bird’s wing, or something
chemical. The more you called, the less I thrived,
as though the name were not freely given
but stolen from another’s face, a mask.
Such wasted flowers I never asked for
Still reappear unasked –
Like dust or sweat they faintly linger,
Now I wear my hair pinned tight –
to stop it coiling round your finger.
Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2018
I was thinking of visiting you
By now you will be mystified by leaves
Haunted by squirrels and small slow maggots
Fingering and boring into the sainted bark.
I feel you in the sunset when the shadows
Skitter over my hands and upturned face.
In the night I hear your low thrumming breath
The way of sleeping which is simply rusting
Composting dreams into mole hills.
Bracken sprays its spores across the humus
The deer rise astonished
Their bright muzzles wet with nuzzling
The mush of viridian and sap green grass.
I truly think the forest took you.
I swallow the juice-truth and it neither comforts
Nor disturbs; as in a deep wisdom
Or a mournful song, or the peet-peet
Of the little owls, or the spread of light
From a lit orb; I could go on
Weeping into the chasms of my heart
Stumbling along word paths
Searching in all the godly places-
The stupid lost loving little life of a beetle.
Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2018.
Picture shows detail of a winter scene by the artists and poet
Minotaurina – stitch on silk and monoprint- Veronica Aldous
I was dreaming of a letter and of red dye seeping
When the lightning came with its cold supernal finger
Snapping the bone of night
So the room shivered in frightful agonies
Impelling me to fetch my pen and write-
As if that would change a single thing!
I live a borrowed life
Where I still may bear children
Make love to a broad backed heat
Compromise the position to please
Bargain and choose-
Electricity is inexorable
I cannot believe it is not a god.
Veronica Aldous 2017 all rights reserved
Their voices peal a gamelan of tones
Perhaps there is a paddling pool
Wriggling toe-fish in rubbery water
A too cold breeze…
I only have these little sounds to play with
A rockpool of reminders
Where each sense hunts
And stings another.
All rights reserved 2017
Photograph Veronica Aldous. – Cistus Rock Rose
Toshiro licks his finger
Perfects his brow
One pink wet moment
On a snow white ground
As a plum exudes resin
He expects her to open
A man cannot always be a god.
Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2017
The Perfume Tree
When I awoke the sun was turning the tree
Into an angel, a celebration of white edges
The sun turned on my belly
The wind blew a little warm sigh
As if I cradled a happy child there
None of this can be undone
Even one part is sanctity.
Veronica Aldous 2017 All rights reserved