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by DavidRMorgan

David R Morgan
You read about me in the paper and you cry.
Or perhaps you'd been crying already and read the paper 
and saw what had become of me. 
I was late getting here, 
I soared down from above to your windowsill to have a look in. 
My feet teetered there; I'm new to this and am not so strong yet.
I watch your cat from my perch
and he natters desultory remarks at me from his chair 
and I realize we could have gotten along. 
He is lazy and dull but not so dumb.
He has learned his lines. 
He's playing his part. 
He's doing what I never could.
The body?  The spirits shell. Big Bang residue.
Oh, what is a body but a rest stop for clouds? 
The papers talk about how I was drunk, had lost everything;
how I'd found my way onto a building 
and had drunk myself over the ledge one rainy evening. 
They do not talk about how I rose up from that discarded body, 
shook my feathers and flew.
Now that I'm here on the outside, 
talons gripping at this cold wet stone, 
looking in at you circling about your kitchen, 
knife in one hand and crumpled newspaper in the other, 
I realise with immense regret 
that I've forgotten to teach you how to fly.          



The Next Room


So old now I see,

the fine remembered

garden and its jasmines

has been pleated 
until it's no larger

than a happy little hand,



with the floral-patterns of

my mislaid childhood’s bedroom,



a graceful butterfly,

with the end of his satin

wings, polishes my recollections

all by himself.


The Old Dream


Stars mingled with smoke, 
smell of burning meat.

Dogs barking, saliva silvering the sky,
children crying in the night. 

Whenever I walk out I see you there. 
Doing what? I say.

Doing what? 
The hill stands above you

like an older brother. 


And still I have not finished with you. 
The sky is flooded with moonlight.

And still 
we have not spoken our last words.


Today’s Special


The lobster is a bird on stilts,

in the genus of 
black-neck, black-wing.


It cooks intelligently,

is well developed, has 
been pointed out by Heston Blumenthal

under the name of quaking pincer pudding.


Its body shows 4/5 generally animal.

The hindquarters are composed

of a cluster of 17 robotic metal 
spools, on divergent axles.


The lobster is the only 
carnivorous bird that flies backwards;

digesting first and ingested later.


First Love


The street before your house 
was all dug up.


They were pulling pipes out

to seek the source

of the leak.

The paving stones were propped

up against Ash trees

and Silver Birches too.


Long trenches lined 
the street,

swimming legs wide open.


I had to walk the plank 
to reach your wet embrace -


to soak myself in you.




Where We've Been

The scientist found a mountain

bursting with impressions

and indentations of things

that lived before there were bones.


I saw a drawing of a rock-hard sea creature

three feet long, multi-legged,

mouth full of row on row of jagged plates.


A first predator,

first nightmare,

first symptom of madness.


Our ancestor was born in that same era,

in that same hot ocean;

a slippery little wormy thing

with the beginnings of a spine.



So Comes the Light
At the precise moment of death
it is not the darkness that comes,
but brightness, for the pupils of 
the eyes open their widest.
The electric lights in ceilings,
the milk white moon, the blazing sun;
stars, comets, nebulae,
the great band of the Milky Way…
the Big Bangs first light
all… all fall into the brain.
There are no lights
too bright for the dying.



Horror Story


clammy in the

cavernous cellar 

green brass-rim 


with death



Ghosts Dancing in the Moonlight


Ghosts dancing in the moonlight as the moon

holds its breath.

Sad ghosts. Horny ghosts. 

Bone weary, grief dancing ghosts, whilst
their families sleep aboard th
is injured world.

Ghosts, whose spouses

turn at night to the wall weeping, who
have sired grown up sons and daughters 

whose memories turn to them, like
little hurt children with outstretched arms.

Fields of ghosts swaying like flowers.

They will sway this way forever, until

the Earth is healed …


the Moon exhales.


A Word Well Chosen

Nests are arrayed and shingled in the air 
beneath the wandering sponsorship of a word 
well chosen. When mating calls are heard 
ancient atoms move in the desiring pair. 

A pinpoint in the unending eons tells

of the cyclical universe’s baptistery; 
the unicorn prances, eyes arched in mystery, 
and zebras pass by musing on parallels. 

Within the fact and fiction of life’s defining mind
timeless griffins have vague wings outspread 
and even the outnumbering, never ending  dead 
are sung and not to quietness resigned. 

They have all gone like music from science’s keeping 
towards the total truth; forgetfulness in sleeping.



A Baby Dragon



So bolder and more primitive, 
I'm coming back to what I once believed...

that this whole vast world extending 
through space is nothing, 

just a bubble on a stream, wash 
after wash of matter dissipating...


so with a shovel, I 
chopped its head off. 

Scaled skin and flame sack salvaged, 
the meat we fried in butter. 

"It tastes like chicken."

We said.


The scales you wore as jewels.

The flame sack burnt my soul.



Why poppies?


Why poppies? I ask. She shrugs.


They remind her of dry red sunsets
over the desert, 
red robes covering certain Rania women…

of her buddy blasted near Al Bu Hardan
his eyes burned black in his head, opened
like a red blossom.

That night, she dreamed poppies sponging up blood.
The next patrol, she carved skin like petals
from captured insurgents.

Now she paints poppies. Paints poppies all the time.
Her fingers spread crimson everywhere
as the sun sets.

The poppy blooms.


A Fault

in Stephen Hawking's Voice Box



Laughing pierces the durable 
and  is itself 

you will meditate 
for velocity 

to make the little spin 
we feel within a certainty 

strung through 
the pivot comes loose 

we quick behind the glaze

 you will be The Astronaut


and at the center 
like a crystal fist


we discovered the gland 
inventing the universe


Monkey Stops Whistling


Stand to attention all the empty bottles;

the long-necked beer bottles from the antique stores,

the wine bottles and pop bottles left on beaches;

steam off the labels and line the bottles up, the green ones with

the brown, black, yellow and clear ones.


Stand to attention all the empty bottles;

the beer bottles whose labels have been torn off by

neurotic fingers

and the bottles sent back by the breweries because they have

cockroaches or dead bluebottles at the bottom.


Stand to attention all the empty bottles;

the bottles afloat on all the seas, those with messages in

them and those without any.

Line up the bottle that killed Malcolm Lowry with the bottle that

killed Dylan Thomas ( I think that’s a record ! ).


Stand to attention all the empty bottles;

the bottles that killed all the drunken monkeys,

poets nobody's heard of and the poets who spoke all their lines

into their bottles and all that weren't smashed on frozen

roadsides, when flung from car windows.


Stand to attention all the empty bottles;

the bottles of shadowy glass we look through darkly

when we want to see the ghosts of our former selves

and the bottles Dr. Jekyll drank from, and all the Jekylls

whether on the stage, on film, on television or in our souls.


Stand to attention all the empty bottles;

all the empty bottles, yes all of them,

from the past ,the present, the future, yes

because I’m telling you now, right now…

the party’s over.


They will fly


Regime change is a bitch, and we never saw it coming. Although I suppose nobody ever does. One day you're in public service, the next you're out of a job. One day you're on top of the world, the next, in the gutters of the Emerald City and being driven out of there, too.

One day you have wings.

The next you crawl.


The next you crawl. I still have nightmares, some nights, of those last days: the smell of burning flesh, the pain in my back, the shouts that followed us for days and nights of nonstop running, running some of us had never done in our lives. The blood that marked our path until it stopped, and the tears that kept on going.

She gave us wings; the mob lined us up, one by one, and took them away again.

It hurt more than I expected from the sounds of chopping coming down the line. It sounded more solid: like an axe moving through nerveless, stubborn wood, something that could offer at least token resistance to the blade. The wings made no sound as they were piled high in the centre of the green-paved square, feathers ruffling in the afternoon breeze.

"Death to the Witch!" they cried as the torches came down and the stink rose into the air. "Death to her kingdom!"

Nobody goes up into the mountains.


Nobody goes up into the mountains, so we went up into the mountains.

There is little to eat; those we have not lost to pain or injury we are losing to despair. Those who are still brave, still strong, are building a life. Our gardens are not like her gardens. Our caves are not like her castle, and when we pluck fruit from the trees we have nursed so carefully in crevices, away from the wind, we have to climb their rough and horrid trunks.

These days, we do a lot of waiting.

We wait for their anger to heal, for their memories to fade, for our next generation to be born and weaned. For this I believe: the wings of our children will be their own. Not grafted: inseparable from their small brown bodies by axe or trial or fire. They will hunt through the skies, play in the clouds, alight on the tops of trees instead of reaching from below. They will bring us news of the world, delicacies from afar, sights to be tasted and savoured on cold nights. They will not walk, or crawl, or beg.


They will not walk, or crawl, or beg.


© DavidRMorgan 2011


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