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Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Anglophone parts of the planet are full of Michael Copes, and some visitors come here looking for other ones. Just to clarify:

not me1 not me2 not me3 me1

I’m not Pastor Mike Cope who not only preaches but writes inspirational verse;

I’m not Mike Cope the NASCAR racing driver;

I’m not the murder suspect Michael Cope from Manchester;

I am a jeweller and sometime writer from Cape Town, South Africa.

So now you know.

 

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We watch the signs

We watch the signs in numbness and regret.
Midwinter summer, chaos in the year,
And still our money’s on the outside bet.

Why this unease? We know that some upset
Will switch our fortunes, now at full career.
We watch the signs in numbness and regret:

The hurricanes, the polar ice in sweat,
The rising heat, the changing atmosphere,
And still our money’s on the outside bet….

Oh, if our stumbling nag would only get
A move on…. But it won’t. Let’s have a beer
And watch the signs, in numbness and regret.

It isn’t over till the end, and yet
It’s over long before. Hopes disappear,
And still our money’s on the outside bet.

By now they’ve reached the final straight, and yet
We look away, while at the edges, clear,
We note the signs in numbness and regret.
And still our money’s on the outside bet.

I

Three seconds in space
Three minutes without breathing
Three days without drinking
Three weeks, no food in the place

All the shutters opening
All the doors unlocked
All the water rushing in the race
All the dust motes tumbling

Each character discrete
Each leaf its own face
Each always changing
Each hooked into the lace

II

Only the bird-calls slice the wind
Only the shining sun, the cobalt sky
Only the air remains when the birds fly
Only the flood of flight in the mind

Always the mountain, leaning high
Always the boulders rolling down and down
Always the tough gorse intertwined
Always the fire when the gorse is dry

Nowhere the wind except the moving air
Nowhere the bird and no sun to shine
Nowhere the green mountain but in the eye
Nowhere any thing to hide behind

III

Money in the bag where none has been
Money the token of our mutual trance
Money all gone and no advance
Money the menu and the cuisine

System of plunder and of chance
System enfolding all inequity
System defining whatever’s seen
System without midpoint or stance

Body moving in the heat of day
Body the projector and screen
Body forced by an unknown dance
Body at the centre of the scene

IV

In particular the fruit on the windowsill
In particular the afternoon sun
In particular details only the one
In particular the old coffee mill

On the shelf with its fingered sheen
On the counter the kettle and bowls
On the saucers the cups to be filled
On the slopes the particular green

Beyond the window the mountainside
Beyond the crow momentarily still
Beyond flight the afternoon sun
Beyond fast clouds the sky is full

V

Hooked into the grid, the machines
Hooked through the grid to the mines
Hooked in, the considering mind
Hooked through everything that’s green

Green the mountainside up to grey stones
Green growing in slow time for light
Green cornucopia in the south-east wind
Green bloom of algae in the mind

Flowing air on the mountain’s flank
Flowing currents of the deep sea
Flowing through the grid, fire
Flowing from the burning green

VI

When the wind is from the North there is rain
When we turn from the sun there is less light
When all the rays blend we say white
When they move through a prism colours return

Stir up birds and they take flight
Stir up the pot or it will burn
Stir up the world and it comes back again
Stir the hearts of people and there’ll be a fight

Ease up and it all goes easier
Ease the imperceptible light rain
Ease in the flow of things, shadow and bright
Ease on exhaling without gain

VII

If you stop at the phrase you can’t be free
If the phrase gratifies you then you’re done
If you don’t go beyond the words you’re gone
If words catch at you, you start to believe

What is happening is finally one
What chirring crickets and far cars
What manifolded complexity
What time and space for the race to run

Then will be was is now one system
Then you’re implicated and also free
Then there’s the dialectic rising sun
Then what to do about pain and misery

VIII

Every time I turn around the world rotates
Every nerve working to build the view
Every belief infusing what is true
Every thing pumped by tri-phosphates

Tumbling to comfort in a slew
Tumbling at random to the attractors
Tumbling downward to the easy state
Tumbling we hope to stumble through

The source of everything is the deep flux
The source of order is the inchoate
The source of the world is the view
The source turns as the head rotates

IX

This parabola from the sea to the sky
This green slope, these houses and trees
This hand these hands hands like these
This morning two cream butterflies

Light shifting among the leaves
Light wings of a high gull
Light everywhere, not just in these eyes
Light more than the eye sees

One source of light the sun
One bird flying north in the sky
One structure whatever one sees
One system nothing to devise

X

Wide eyes attentive, head upright
Wide heart touching the details
Wide ocean sounding of whales
Wide sky dark and light

Long paths winding like tales
Long lines queuing for food
Long journey of far starlight
Long time to waste in jail

Deep notes sounding in the throat
Deep dream, and deep insight
Deep sea, and three white sails
Deep mind deep wells deep night