Category Archives: poetry

Stones

This light-dusted town, pocked with memories

drags these feet between old blocks. Patina shifts, and the

soils of years harden. I am swerved –

westward and that way, past new wives,

shivering children, bottle-green voices,

those who sell and those locked in

to hands scratching deep, having grappled at mornings –

the bakers have left, the workers are hid. Somewhere

.

the sun does its thing, defying the wash

of English temptations, of time spent downwards,

avoiding the days. A road appears – surprising

one who spent time abroad – yet it holds the usual

glittering discs, and tightly packed wraps

of chemical compounds all set for the night,

boxes for boxes, and watery tea

infused with the times of the river.

.

Fate cuts no hands, but my legs are compelled

to step down this path my tendons had lost. I’m struck

at a window, piled high with desires –

softly forced rocks, strung up on silver,

jaspers and jets, vivid value in earth,

selected for those who are pulled to pass on

slices of India, hacked out by a man

whose coalface was lamplit, decades ago.

.

My eye follows wands tipped sweetly with orbs

knocked out of amber, suspending old lives.

Passes through pages, tinted expressions

exclaiming small magics, ways to heal, odes to

even the lamest complaint –

I come to rest on the girl, caved in receipts, and

propped to the side of a pretty collection

of bangles and phone lines, old records, deceptions

.

reserved for those who know their base. A piece

of something catches my air, and movement

makes movement, we bend to the floor.

She knows the deals, chips me away,

shows me a stone that will change

my days. Time is eaten, and weeks petrify

in bed-shapes, hollows, ashtrays carbon-dating

various poses. We identify awhile

.

as one, yet something stops mouths,

even swollen and sore, I look at her stones

refusing her faith. Energy, auras, cosmic detritus

drop from rubbed lips; I harden and shift

such attrition occurs, as if this is

some type of natural process. Erosion erodes,

we are carried in rivers, washing up

somewhere, elsewhere in towns.

.

Now, walking, I notice the beaded masses

painted and plucked, and laden with stones.

New wives, shivering children,

bottle-green voices

gather at windows, gazing to wish

at millennia structured in glittering cuts –

a slice of India, something to pass

for those who can abide the noise.


homes II

The homes are what we leave behind

our breath remains, as does our use –

arguments hang heavy, old oils crack

 

across this painted roof. We wake

in ordinary bedsheets, only to fall back

 

again and more. We keep home still

yet somewhere, old keys rattle

 

aching to unlock old doors.

 

A row of brightly coloured houses

top this town, that spreads out slow

 

to depress suburbs, chuffed too long

with lives drawn in glorious shades. Yet

 

stripped down as sodium lamplight

throws itself, more reasons to stay

inside, the homes we leave behind.


do us part

the air around my heaving face clambers with

smashed terracotta, glass, the transition of hemispheres

hauling a sun from this end to that one.

Dust catches on my lip and words still fail but

 

“one foot falls behind the last, and

he’ll be all he can for you”

yet while we wait for rings on our fingers

and bells on our heels – voices cease to start


for an end again

my half-held breath will follow – it always seems

you cannot help but sack my words and

tie them down between our days to

 

find a moment in which to wish

you’d stayed behind, away from lungs

which forced a space into your home

 

a curled form pressed upon your bed, still

the presence left in air forced out

between antique chairs I re-position –

 

yet still you welcome, me, my being

here leaves an image inside your eyes

a memory: there was a moment, we danced


An Interjection

My barnacled hull has ported – for a moment – and I request a bending of your ears and a pricking of your interests…

Just a few updates. Firstly, thankyou all for your attention. It has been to my unwavering and fragrant delight that so many of you are taking the time to read my poems each day – when I started this blog to display my first tentative (and admittedly amateur, occasionally appalling) forays into poetry, I did not imagine that a) I would still be doing it nearly four years later and b) gather over 500 “followers” and several hundred viewers per day. I am flattered, and grateful.

I just want to direct your eyes to a few developments which have occurred these last two months, and to promote a few who have decided to promote me. It seems only proper, after all.

The last few weeks have seen my work published on the frankly lovely Poetry Breakfast website – almost ironic seeing as I am far from a morning person, as many people would attest to, seeing me stumble around searching for my shoes and complaining loudly whilst others are going about their business, like real people. I genuinely pity any students who have me bang on about old Indian buildings before midday, I really do. Anyway, you can find me here: http://poetrybreakfast.wordpress.com/category/poets/benjamin-norris/ and I would encourage you to check many more of the pieces included.

Also, in the next few weeks, my work will be included on http://vscorpiozine.wordpress.com/ – another poetry/cultural dispatch website I must strongly endorse.

On a slightly different note, I am delighted to announce that my personal favourite work “The Hothouse” has found a fine and fitting home in the dry valleys of California, and will be featured in the next issue of the fantastic poetry journal “A Few Lines” alongside some truly far-out writers. I am greatly pleased about this. If any of you come from the New World, and wear flowers in your hair, I would urge you to get yourself a copy. http://www.afewlinesmagazine.com/

Also, the very dedicated Bonnie McClellan runs International Poetry Month’s flash poetry section through a series of readings online – this year, there is to be one reading per day on the subject of ‘Gesture’. She has kindly requested to read my poem ‘Gesture IV’ at some point over the next two weeks. More information can be found on her blog at http://bonniemcclellan.wordpress.com/

Finally (for now, I’m still waiting for confirmation from two other journals), one of my recent poems will be featured on the popular ‘Ink, Sweat and Tears’ poetry site http://ink-sweat-and-tears.com/  in the next couple of weeks. So be sure to keep checking and enjoying the work on that website.

I wish to say thankyou kindly to all of these publishers for giving me the opportunity to share more of my work with a kind and appreciative audience. And thankyou very much to all of you for your comments, critiques and feedback – it means more to me than any of you realise. I can only apologise when I slip into a level of surrealism and arseyness which is uncomfortable for all. I apologise, but by no means intend to stop.

Love from an icy strait

Benjamin Norris


for the child

The early hours saw footfalls fill, seconds slide and

hit your walls. Lips hung heavy, loose for change but

„We saw it all”, they say, „we were there too”

 

whether screaming hulls or aching towers

or pebble-dashed from here to home

 

all things move and clocks do such things

we can’t believe. Such things can happen, first

 

we stretch to change, and heels slot in from time to

time the time gets eaten, a force occurs and

we become you – piece by shattered air-blown piece

 

whilst crouching in corners, tearing a slice

these are hours for weary, glass-faced men

 

we all march in, our heads hang hard

as the days grow longer

 

suddenly, a striking, and

suddenly, we are old.


for sight

We stay locked in gratitudes, forever

exhaling the ridiculous, as our used

glances done out in oils crack away, for

 

we know they’re scented as we wake

but kick up clouds by sleep again

 

I can only keep things constant, and some –

where inside an old key rattles

 

and reminds us – change is still to come