The Flight of the Figs

Once upon a time
I was a fig

(Yes, a fig)

full of little flowers inside,
plenty of endless dreams…

I was born
in a casual tree
of those that nobody grooms,
of those that never get rain,
of those that drain you to death.

Shrivelled,
punished by birds
who picked on my white sweaty sweetness
and left me scarred,
but made me stronger.

One day,
an arrogant orange,
of a garden nearby,
called for a meeting of peers
and suggested the idea
of forming a fruital system.

(Yes, a fruital system)

The rest of fruits agreed.

So, the orange stood in the centre,
cause she was too tangy to spin.

Everyone else
came forward
in a perfect queue
that started to curl
coiling outwards
around the self-proclaimed star.

The apple, the peach, the pear,
the lemon and even the grape
found quickly a place
in a galaxy they called
“The Juicy Way”.

They all looked so lush,
immaculate,
divine,
waitrosy,
as they floated
in their glorious ether
of mechanically smooth subjects.

I want a place in this system,
I said.
I want to be an aster too.
I deserve to be there,
rotating
in harmony
with you.

The apple and some others
started to giggle
with patronising
swivel-eyed disdain.

I am sorry my love,
said the eloquent
smiley
sunny leader,
but this is a fruital system
where everything works
out of our own

combined

accord.

Everyone wins,

everyone contributes.

The magnetic fields
of our respective masses
are already balanced.

That is why we levitate up here,
so graciously.

If we take you on,
we will have to open the floodgates of the universe.

How many more fruits
could we feasibly accommodate?

So, after this rational rejection,
I had no choice
but to become
a zero-hours planet,
also known as a comet.

(Yes, a comet)

So now,
I am a wrinkly wild comet
full of odd rugged cracks.
I am not round,
not even pear shaped,
I have no clouds,
no satellites,
no green bits,
no rings of dust,
no frozen lakes of gas…
but I don’t give a damn!

I am a prince of the universe,
planets fear my freedom,
no one knows my trajectory,
it is hard to land on my surface,
I come and go as I please.

But if someone

if someone on behalf
of that master of creation
messes about with my equations
pushing me out my orbit,
I may end up crashing
on one of their gardenly planets.

And, who knows?

If some shepherds see
my falling tail,
flying in the night
in the skies in winter,
they may grant me godly status
an invent a religion
at my place of collision.

Who knows?

I have nothing to lose.

I am a wrinkly wild comet,

I am a pirate
in an orderly show of stars
who learnt their moves
in the Youtube version
of the Book of Genesis,
in the phallic columns
of The Sun Says,
in the go-home section
of the Daily Mail.

Watch them
as they tamper
with Victorian
time machines!

Watch them,
as they sink
in the black hole
of their Brexit!

Unlike them,
I am my own choreographer.

Only infinite heavens will tell you
what I am made of!

Simple!

Watch me!

Watch me as I fly!
with millions of figs like me
away from a supernova
of stupid national greed.

 

Copyright © 2016. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

 

Originally published in Poetry Life and Times as “The fig”
http://www.artvilla.com/plt/the-fig-a-poem-by-tony-martin-woods/

 

Image ”Bursting at the seams” courtesy of ESA/Hubble, Creative Commons Licence International 4.0 Attribution (CC BY 4.0)

The Grapes

The grapes
don’t die
in the vineyard
with the harvest
in the summer.

 

They transcend
and translive
victorious
in the wine,

 

like the poem in the song,
like our talent in discoveries,
like parents in their children,
like a nurse in our health,
like a friend in our strength,
like teachers in our wisdom,
like rebels
and activists of the Common
in ordinary
endeavours
and achievements.

 

But our labour,
our paid labour,
is taken away
in corporate cloaks
to private shrines
far in some islands
for cultural worship
(our cultural worship)
and power,
the power hoarded by few
that is used against the many.

 

And the soldier,
poor soldier,
is sent to kill and die,
sacrificed for national pride,
(or political reasons
reserved for great minds)

 

sacrificed
for whose mother?

 

sacrificed
for mother-what?

 

The wine
of the grapes
of the land
of the peasants
is a miracle of humanity.

 

Copyright © 2016. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Inspired in the poem “La transvida” (“Translife”), published in Spanish in Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess). Murcia. Diego Marín. 2015..

 

Image from Æsop´s Fable 2, “The Stag and the Vine”, in John Ashton (1882) Chap-books of the Eighteen Century (p.465). London. Chatto and Windus, Picadilly. 1882. Found in Flickr.com

A rendition of the Fable:

A Stag, pursued by the huntsmen, concealed himself under cover of a thick vine. They lost track of him. Supposing all danger to be over, the Stag began to browse on the leaves of the Vine with the intention of eating them. The movement drew the attention of the returning huntsmen, and one of them, supposing some animal to be hidden there, shot an arrow at a venture into the foliage. The unlucky Stag was pierced to the heart, and, as he expired, he said, “I deserve my fate for my treachery in feeding upon the leaves of my protector.” (adapted from translation by happychild.org.uk)

The Enemy

A silent needle of pain
reached my most intimate guts.

 

The implant had been successful.

 

The enemy,
the very enemy,
was now living within me.

 

He had travelled far,
leaving behind
his tower of glass so vulnerable.

 

He had penetrated my sacred orifice.
He had installed himself in my fortress.

 

He now survives
of my own blood.

 

When I am happy, he is delighted.
When I drowse,
he dreams of new victims
for his offspring,
to take over,
as my spinal cord
runs out of steam.

 

No battlegrounds in open landscapes to fight him,
no guns or catapults to shoot him,
no visible target,
no struggle outside,
no point in being outside:
there is nothing outside the system, my friend,
just a little plant pot with frozen seeds of insurrection
and a tape-loop player with a Workers’ Power litany.

 

So what’s the strategy?

 

I will travel to the city of Babel,
where languages were made.
I’ll listen to common voices
rejoicing plural routine.

 

I will then climb to their ziggurat
to see the world at my feet
admiring the prosperous valleys,
coveted
by irrational hills,
and all the roads and the rivers,
lines in the nurturing palm
of Goddess’ gracious hand,
which rests when the day turns silver.

 

And when my enemy
is in sleep mode,
the jet black total guardian,
speckled with seminal beams,
will whisper to me
how to challenge our destiny,
how to turn our demise
into the brass of a swing
that will muffle History
with its tales and defeats,
enticing our Future,
to dance away from its fate.

 

And in the morning,
my enemy,
excited by the occasion,
yet concerned by the rarity of the air,
will find his way through my nostrils,
will pop his private head out,
and cast his calculating,
seductive,
chary warm eyes
on the public riches of Earth
claiming hegemony,
imagining business deals:

 

All that wealth to amass,
so much outsourcing required…
planning, measuring, counting…
my saliva tastes like cocaine.

 

And then,
the gentle Zephyrus
embracing the rebel Haboob
will make me sneeze,
launching him out,
all covered in snot:
A projectile to nowhere,
rising,
like nationalism in England,
then dropping,
like the profits of The Daily Mail,
driven away
by the winds of Babylon,
for my enemy,
my very enemy,
to finally splash
on the waters of the Tigris,
drowning,
adrift,
in the Arabs’ River,
as he meets his match
in the lost
under-lands
of the Persian
blue Sea.

 

Copyright © 2016. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

 

Picture: Two figures representing either Zephyros, the winged god of the west wind, holding his lover Hyakinthos in a close embrace; or an allegorical depiction of Love (Eros) desiring and seizing the beauty of youth. From http://www.theoi.com/Titan/AnemosZephyros.html

Resurrection now

I have decided to start my own resurrection

now,
today,
before I lose my strength
and sense of humour,
before I am told to go for good,
before the scroungers that await for me to bleed dead
jump on me remorselessly
to celebrate my life
stuffing themselves
with my bittersweet flesh.

So, this is the plan:

I will get myself out of my current body
(this requires some effort:
you need to do as if you close your anus tightly
pushing yourself upwards
rotating your shoulders
and inserting downwards your neck,
as your new body needs to be born through your head).

Then I will get rid of all the dribble with nice white towels
and get some new clothes that I would have bought for the occasion
(a red t-shirt and black loose very soft trousers, with cotton pants).

I will then leave my corpse lying on the sofa
with the TV on,
something cultural,
and a very hot drink
in a nice stars wars mug
next to me
on the floor.

Then I will go out,
buy the Private Eye,
to see what they say
about the tory hyenas,
the media liars,
the ukip shit
and the bankers who fund them three,
and get a haircut
whilst I read the magazine.

Then go to a shop
and have a coffee,
and a piece of cake.

Drive to the pool,
in my non-resurrected green car,
and have a swim.
I will come out refreshed
and pampered.

I will then buy some Elvis Priestley sunglasses
and some flowers
and stand round the corner of my house
waiting for the ambulance
and the cops
to turn up
to discover my ex
lying there
with a calm smile
and his eyes wide open.
I will be the first to show my condolences
and say great things about me
cracking jokes on how I used to be.
I just want to be there, you know I mean?
checking out things,
being in control of my own post-mortem history,
and ready for when my wife and the kids come:
a simple blink of my eye.
over the Elvis sunglasses,
shall suffice for them to know
that the quirky looking guy is me

again,
with no rejections and
no strategic silences any more
free to go, and say and do,
free to start the same revolution,
free not to fall in the same traps,
free to look after my family,
and many good friends and strangers,
free to help them to resurrect,
free to help to save the planet,
and free to bypass
my former enemies,
who now,
after all,
remember
that I wasn’t so bad.
???!!!
…Lovely, but too late!

Copyright © 2014. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Paradise

I

El paraíso vacío
Is a colourful white universe
Covered in woods
Where rectangular leaves
Of softly creased textures
Secretly stem
From online branches
Of centenary trees.

Limited liability
Unlimited luck.

El paraíso vacío
Is a room-not-to-be Where
One cannot linger
For they will charge you to do so.
No souls live there.
Just cows
And riffles
And chocolates
And briefcases.

Limited liability
For a haven
Of unlimited crime.

II

El purgatorio repleto
Is certainly hot and busy.

Red shores drawn up
By tides of barren magma.

Sexy dudes and babes
With little or no clothes,
Tight cheeks,
Perky noses,
Dark blue eyes,
(Or light hazelnut with sunflower sparks)
Whisper in the toilets
In a cool code
And pass urine,
That goes down a pipe
For it to be mixed
With footballers’ sweat,
Bottled in small vials
And sold in airport lounges,
Shopping brothels
And malls.

image

III

El infierno amorfo
Is not a trendy place at all.

It stinks badly of burnt
old
angels’ hair.

It’s inhabited by the classic baddies,
you know,
Paedophiles,
Murderers,
Corporate hawks and their like
Alongside the dull,
The uncommitted
And a bunch of bought-again Christians,
But you can’t see
Any meaningful faces
Cause they are melted.

The squeaky voice in the loudspeakers
Advertising junk food
And plastic toys
And useless utensils
Cannot fill the air
As there isn’t any left.

When the hour strikes
The flight attendants read out
News and safety instructions
Which eventually drown
In the background noise
Of well oiled machinery.

IV

El paraíso pleno
It’s a place of Love and Action Where
everything matters,
Everyone cares,
But nothing counts.
A place Where
Everyday,
Before dawn,
Wide open full coffins
Are ritually laid
In the gardens
Of pubs
For pagan nuns
Who fought in the War
To break clouds
Of red skies
With yellow songs
Of hope and sarcasm
As the laughter of the people
Raise the purple from their night.

V

Listen to the birds
As they tweet
Come down the tower
Touch
Sing

image

Copyright © 2014. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Paintings by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516)

 

 

 

Feliz Navidad de parte de Diosa

Cuando los pobres pastores cayeron en la cuenta de que en realidad el cielo albergaba suficientes estrellas para todos ellos y para todas sus descendencias por los eones de los eones, sus corazones se inundaron de amor e hicieron las paces para siempre. Como hacía frío, quemaron unos libros de justicia hipócrita que había por allí. Desde ese momento, dejaron de buscarme. (Diosa 3 12)