Cover photo

In Ash on the Sand

Last Burnt Poems...



A final collection of personal free-verse poetry exploring connections to nature, environment, and modern life.

Ade M. Campbell

Jan 2023

[Here available, 2024, as one of 500 limited edition NFTs minted on BASE and stored on Arweave.]



CONTENTS

  • Intro…

  • ‘focus’

  • ‘that sea’

  • ‘down the line’

  • ‘flicker’

  • ‘close to right now and the future beyond…’

  • ‘strange dreamers’

  • ‘a power’

  • ‘don’t stop’
    (permaculture thoughts)

  • ‘trailer for a remote, fragmented life’

  • ‘beyond the dark pines’

  • ‘coffee cup thoughts’

  • ‘from we, lost foragers’
    (more permaculture thoughts)

  • ‘coastal birds’

  • ‘the tree…’

  • ‘beyond all hype and bubbles…’

  • ‘coast guard’

  • 'flashes of happiness’

  • ‘wind-formed words’

  • ‘ceremony’

  • ‘relinquish’

  • 'hey, Future...'

  • Extra note…






Intro…



Having moved from rain-soaked South Devon (UK) to the more extreme weather scale of S.W. France (from 2015), I found myself unable to stop this final, fistful of poems. Some, look forward to continued prospects in a new land, and others hark back wistfully to Devon days, and childhood times there. ‘Larger’ themes I guess also emerged...[eg. towards a 'regenerative art' phase.]

Environment shapes us, and we adapt painfully fast, or more slowly and surely. Maybe writing, reflecting and journal-making are part of this process. In nature, some species ‘dance with ghosts’ for a while, when their environment disappears completely; when their genetic traits have no more application. They need to change, and come up with something new.

My poems are not very practical (and could be more so) but each one wants to say something final, in many ways. These ones are final,  because I’m onto other things, in this diverse business of living, surviving, thinking, sharing, and being...!

1/2023

[Note: AI + Chat-GPT would soon arrive, which led to 'An Ode to Mankind' where some of these + earlier poems I'd 'rewrite' - or expand on - via experiments with the technology. The works here are all the originals.]


‘focus’


where is my focus?
now — finally — close by ?

i sit nearer to its red heart and pray
that this fresh boat is varnished,
sealed enough — and dried
to cast a good song -
a swan song — into the fray.

changing world…
i sit with the stones now
feeling some power still
as the waves withdraw, pulling
the very core of me… back.

i scramble for cigarettes; fast food;
more sugary things — to soak in -
and the lakes;
rich and black -
drilled -
for more dips
into caffeinated depths…

as the fire crackles on
behind the new glass.

.

.

.


[lyrics in image are from ‘riot on an empty street’
by kings of convenience, ack.]







‘that sea’



Death is shining at me
in the distance -
in that great sea -
beautiful -
in the blue light
of faster, former days.

only now I see It — feel It —
closer now,
moving inside me, too,
with those waves
of my annihilation.

i’m waiting to be hooked out;
cast into some sea beyond
even, this golden sun.

.

sure, we’ve worked; we’ve played
in the bright wake;
defied It for some while
shifting our dreams,
tapping on proud castles in the sand;
all these many forms of fishing
for the reeling in — tight turns -
to lend us ‘peace’; notions of control;
while It slumbers there — or wakes;
to shed Its scale, so deep,
Its mystery
wide and ever-tempting; to drink up,
then sleep off on the beach.

it’s no mystery:
that sea is Death
It breathes; It breaks into life;
It brings new life to us more sunken
in the sand; this hungry shore.

hello -
i take a photo and admire the light
but it does not capture this
inner-sea beneath; my turtle soul
blanched and overheating
toiling now more slowly
over its sharp, dry rocks.

It will pull us away you know, or crush us;
shells like stars
summoning tired bones.
and we will go;
fall down on the shore once more.
born — we were, and bound — to slide -
or be winked out;
pulled back to fill the world’s spaces
as our fingers forged new patterns
of its thriving; surviving
shadows.

isn’t it great to love
such an idea of Death?
to marvel for a moment
how everything is shaped by that Sea:
the very shape of this hustling, bustling shore.

yes — everything is Death, or has been:
trees, notched and crooked,
grains of sand, fine-honed those gemstones
beyond so many flickering plans,
brief, sudden laughter, drowned by
harsh separations
barely noticed; in our imprisonments
from each other.

i cannot say much more, of course.
we are Its avatars,
loaned-out creations - and -
It is a force
we ride, and are ridden
far, and away…

from plans, to have no plans;
to pass long before our time is run
or surrendering our selves - to just be old;
tilling the land;
ignored, as worn-out sand-keepers
letting others live;
sharing in their joy;
smiling simply into the wind and the waves
with all other half-baked notions
washed and cleaned and dried.

remember… me?why?
‘i’ was just another of Life’s white lies,
another of Death’s tools
working together for a while

to feed what Life is emerging
in the careless, care-free
flames of those waves out there
whispering
they were always there.

.


‘Oh, how, time flies
With crystal clear eyes
And cold as coal
When you’re ending with diamond eyes.’

[inspired by a song ‘cross bones style’ by cat power and the coastline of s.west england, uk.]


[Collectible as separate NFT]






‘down the line’


.

i see problems down the line;
i look away — look down;
(not sure where to look)
i know they’re inside; i know they’re mine;
this situation slipping us
right out of our minds
though we were chosen — we chose it —
now we’re living it.

it could still break us
over time;
a storm, forewarned,
without measures to take out — into the rain.
this could wreck our train — next time,
then freeze and let the winter in
all down the line.

.

i see problems down the line
my weakness rising; my spirit looking to the door
maybe I can fix it — fix me —
remember where I’m going and still get there
in all this…

i write this — even —
cast it out from the abyss;
it might be enough
but does it really exist?
no… not above the cold dice
inside stark and creaking dawns;
the racing, shunting down life’s noisy tracks
right over thorns…

.

hey, i see problems down the line;
they’ve blasted tires, caused delays
but i think; I hope —
you know —
if it’s all to crack…

i wanted to be there; be free… with you…
for the record
even with the anchors we would drag
across the floor

i saw beyond it…
all problems… even the line…

i knew that Time would wear our chains away
not without us getting frayed
or knocked around
but that some part would hold on fast,
never close that door; our door,
or feel dismayed
or let the darkness eat us up, with all our deeper sun -
so warm -
to the core of the earth.

.

but I should go

this message ends.
Love clings to itself, in fiery dances
enchanted,
gets one big chance
for then
Nature’s furnace calls again — for food —
and it must feed…

…all through the lines

in Time…

.

.

.

.

(c.2019)

acknowledgments to:
‘down the line’ a song by jose gonzalez



‘flicker’




don’t ask me to remember
or to dwell for long
on what lies beyond
thru windows and thru doors
of everything around me… here;
in this mansion of one moment
flickering to the next:
it’s all before me…

it’s where I live.
i struggle not to strive
to straddle Time, and distance -
but just blur them into one.
with coffee gone dry; internet all dead
i’m ambling up and down
my driveway now
letting the grass grow — great…

so,
don’t ask me to remember
what so quickly burned;
yes… a candle needs its wick, and air,
light hands to light it; keep it fit
but, fuel and flame
we’re all the same
burning one another, burning up ourselves
with what has come before;
what might come after…

… at such near cost;
the cost of hardly gazing
thru these stems, so tall
and present;
owned not by time but so much quick life
appearing; tangled up;
overwhelmed — yet unfazed
by the finding of itself, inside it all.

.

.

.

.


[Collectible as separate NFT]



‘close to right now and the future beyond…’


(from an animated photo-art piece, taken on the edge of Dartmoor)




close to right now and the future beyond
lies the present…

.…some new influence
or encounter with nature;
the next hunt and reward
where what our inner nature dictates
lies the beginning of our work;
the tomorrow it can create.

.

mostly,
it is restriction in the now; freedom later,
eyes searching for something to be dazzled by, again

but —

all our ‘meaning’ is defined by our efforts;
by the way in which we do or achieve things;
by whatever box or boundary we are restricted by —
confined in —
on a path to some harmonious kind of being…

where the jewels in the far light can be stared into
because we seized just a few of them;
those that were there, too
right in front of us.

.


(2021)



[Collectible as separate NFT (art + poem)]


‘strange dreamers’


(from ‘Organic Metaverse’ Ai NFT collection)


who or what are we?
where are we going?
our longer legs
which found the solid ground

now stride about, and over it,
balancing; reinforcing rows of toes
which lost the refuge of the trees, the air;
arched feet gripping trunks; lifting us up high like our cousins -
humbled by Time and presence-
now there’s just the breath of the land.

..

we wander off, don’t we?
wondering where to be
and who we are…

our arms, our clutching hands
once hugged those trees
finding fruit and spreading seeds
now,
they scoop the earth
to find and bend at plants; at things; make sounds;
we’re happy with our foraging; our sudden findings
still spreading seeds
within, across, great boundaries.
how much takes root?
how much is cut down?

..

science, i do not know
knows much at all.
nature can take its course:
how to live, can be taught through skills ingrained already;
senses, tuned to the wind
in so many ways -
intuitively testing -
while all this work, and search,
leads us up, and out,
and back again…
short rewards —
yearning towards
some other, endless future
beyond just one more,
once-golden dawn…

where… we had some fun, didn’t we?
monkey laughs -
ballooning out, across the plains.
ridiculous, loveable us
against that crude and cutting distance which those trees had hidden so well
up to the stars
between our families, cousins, old friends
driving away our fears with fresh
but dominating plans.

hey, maybe we can find our way
through the darker days
through more powerful dreams that bleed
away, into the night —
back —
into the light — can you lead us?
back into words, and sounds
the working together —
the knowing of one another;
all we mean to the world.

more energy — we are —
with just one ‘real’ need —
to reconnect our souls
once more to the rich earth,
spread its richness, make more air-
make love —
for young kids breathing, building,
sharing the fruits of small labours
keeping us close and pure, and free, to the end;
to be run down; so beautifully tired all over again
by working with the sun.

just know this, ok…
wise animals
may be simple, and in tune;
unconfined, beyond
territorial disputes
never again —
their own worst enemy.
even — with so many baseless schemes, ideas and fears
obsessions of control —
all cast out.

Life is making us, shaking us, loving us,
hiding us, crushing us
back again, into death.
we will be wronged by others who are right
in the dark of their night —
some justice to be fought or foraged for —
reclaimed, in the light
of a new morning.

yes, the land, the sea — those trees,
still shape us in their meaner Time,
pulling us ever by our hunger, thirst
our mutual growing, nurturing,
cycling, of a system
superbly super-spreading...

…beyond the ceaseless stabbing at more
wild and abstract plans…
to re-possess those perfect, golden lands
which shine to empower us,
blinker and distract,
follow old or reinvented maps
keeping us, calling us
from the bright but buried
campfire bones
still in the deep woods —
but blackened with our broken hopes
of ever finding them…

where so many wait and watch
and waste away
with soon-forgotten tales about the
latest, escapist games,
their heady, controlling,
super-powers which separate
and where the simple meaning of our being
is buried again beneath
the strangest of dreams.

..

.

(2022)



[Collectible as separate NFT]






‘a power’




(from NFT ‘inkgems’ collection)


This
is my real art;
some marks upon the cosmos
but i am not ‘i’ — am i?
only for moments
‘i am Nature’;
a phantom of this force.

so what do ‘we’ become
oh phantom world?
our own ideas of someone.
once, like you,
i spread the seeds of new trees
i tried to become
unseen, but all powerful.

.

maybe ‘i’ am…
maybe ‘we’ are…

.


.

(2021)


[Collectible as separate NFT]


‘don’t stop’
(permaculture thoughts)



‘Organic Metaverse’ NFTs


the guy on the TV
doesn’t stop
knowing it all
(or seeming to know)
but, this other guy
at least, shows
how to tend
or keep in tune
with a ‘productive food forest’.

so can we
make the whole Earth
into a productive food forest?
harness, in harmony
our great technology too
(this time)
for many of us have learned
in the course of our lives
feeling lost is easy
in a too-easy world
severed from the land; the sea; the open sky.

maybe we could
swap so many people
for trees
then have a party.
just kidding -
Nature will do this for us
once it’s burned us all back
since it feels a little late
to start loving her
now we know (do you know?)
we’re a part of the show-
one more energy flow
yearning, ever-burning…

where we’ve been learning
to overcome her;
plunder the reserves
in her deep bones
so wonderfully
to feel as though
we can belong here
for so long…

still learning then…
all just a phase…

energy’s not all bad, you know,
and it does try to make us
work together.

maybe
we can make it thru
to some re-balancing…

if we don’t stop
tending to it all,
or keeping more in tune
or thinking…
about tomorrow.

many will die,
some may thrive
less estranged,
less deranged
maybe even
better than before…

before
this watery, miracle planet
fills up and overflows -
washing itself free of us…
to bloom again…
and spread the next crazed seeds
across the galaxy.

.

it was our god, you know
not all these other strange shows
but unlike this guy
we’ve not been turning up
for mindful worship;
to pay our respects
or pray enough…

but when yesterday’s gone
for those still
wandering about in the sun
unable, or not thinking in the shade -

Nature is the cruel teacher.


don’t you look back

.

.

.

.

[acknowledgment: dave holmgren interview (happen films)
acknowledgment: fleetwood mac ‘don’t stop’]


‘trailer for a remote, fragmented life’




hey, it’s starting

.

fragments of a life

my life is a trailer

i got a little sidetracked you see

by people leading me

out — or in -

thru places, yes,

spaces

strange but now… i’m here; remote working

i’m remote -

cheers, Time.

.

.

i was gathering up; got stuck

but why not come join me,

i’m piecing it all back together

at least I put myself — in this here, this time

i think

between these lines

and my answer is…

ideas — i can throw you some

while we hope to be more local -

AR glasses

closing distance in an instant -

on demand…

.

so come find me… or I’ll find you…

why? and what to say…

the house is warm,

i shuffle about

modernity; edges of a decadence

depriving us of the very notion

of fulfillment -

those pathways to some peace, or ‘peaceful living’.

.

at least let it now be finished… or be reunited…

.

yeah… let’s start again

let’s not be so apart

let’s build our worlds where we can

since everything seems so keen

on falling apart

the movies will stop moving -

ours too -

so let’s relinquish what was always bound

to relinquish us…

.

cigars, fine wine, good song

let’s share

you know, there’s nothing really there for you

those glorious roads

but everything’s here…

.

come on, why not

fall down — together -

since we’re going over -

going down -

then back online, rebooted

and in between

let’s break our own configurations

smile at some mornings,

command new projects,

overturn some motions

and be ever-famous to the stars

we’ve left behind…

.

everything, you see, has changed

outside the present we may change, or never change.

we dreamed; now we do the work

shot for those stars — too far -

then dried our eyes, were friends again

whatever works…

.

our movie starts…

the wind projecting

through the trees we needed -

what we needed -

already playing nature’s roles, we were

while we moved, were moved

and dispersed…

.

…more seeds…

.

ha!

ahhh, you know, it never mattered

our energy, configuring energy…

.

.

.





.

‘beyond the dark pines’



that shore;
it’s been calling us all day
beyond that line
of old, dark pines.
i’m sure, there’ll be treasures to find;
strange, blue wonders
lost in a time;
hidden within those overlooked,
seaweed-soaked, sodden estuaries.

.

.

since it’s now our turn
let’s go down,
to that bustling old sea-town,
hushed for now
by gusts of this great wind
whispering…

of something still to learn
in seeing — what we can see;
some mystery, unknown
in being — simple, free
as all we can be…
keep close and
maybe we’ll make it
back home safely
before the stealthy tide
turns steadily against us…

.

even our small but hardy crew
of fired-up pirates — intent -
on finding, sharing
all the secret light there is
on this bright
and dark earth.

.

and what did we smuggle back?
or salvage:
a fine, abandoned shell,
the smoothest rock,
an old piece of string
to wind around the years
and attach us, bind us, to that source
of everything around
still drawing and
calling us within…

.

and where will we steal such power?
to the pulling moon…
out — to other, far stars…
or put back in that land
thrilling and wild
where fierce, sun-filled daffodils
bunched in the hand
belonged to us
with all the tiny changes;
living signs and sounds -
cold, soaked or warm -
challenges; inciting us
to new riots along the sand.

.

indeed
the sun breaks -
and we too — against
those fast, foaming treasures of the sea
freezing our feet
breaking us back out,
or down
in laughter fits;
falling around the wide, giant bay
scattering; splashing us raw
into its shocking, fresh,
timeless time…

.

but soon -
battened down against a wind -
becoming gale -
battering another night -
and nearly all night long
wide awake

thinking, listening -

at the end — dreaming -
of what more could possibly lie
out beyond those dark,
now darkening pines…

.

you know, I know -
the new kind
will hunt and gather -
maybe find -
something new
to burn and shine
for a short time…
draw and excite
then slip away…


like grains of that shore’s
warming sand
through our ever-young,
ever-reaching
fiery hearts…

.

and these sea-cold hands…
with still, its great
and ceaseless work
causing me to pause, assemble,
and make plans.


.

.


(2021)



[Collectible as separate NFT]


‘coffee cup thoughts’



let me live a life — entirely
within the after-burning,

sweet kick, and swig

of a good, strong coffee…

.

in full-flow
stuck in its warm, energy-glow,
distilled thru the sun’s black fruit -

fired-up — from its froth -

I become the sun…

filling up with Time…
reinventing gods and myths…
becoming known -
liberating myself above all the world -
in inspiration — pure -

without

ever

slipping away, or down

soft — ghostly -

once more, to it all…

….

…losing to the moon;
returned - to that realm of
locked reflection, gloom -
Distraction in command
only
of the waves that will cover
all our statues soon

with these strangely crooked,
crafty towers…

(straining under
white bag-loads
of sodden,
soggy, sand-words.)


.

..

…..


[Collectible as separate NFT]




‘from we, lost foragers’
(more permaculture thoughts)


beyond the TV panel
problems deepen.
in the garden
great walnuts shake their leaves
while all around their base,
they inhibit growth with juglone.

it’s one way
to defend a world, alone
with a magic circle
poisoning off the competition.

.

and we, lost foragers;
with strange ideas
and poisons too
who roamed and pillaged the four corners…

we’ll use some seeds now
from our circles, overgrown
in the needy breeze
we’ll fashion words,
drop them into hard nuts
hoping legacies and learning from before
living within us now
can be cracked open -
sown -
in some life beyond.

.

we’ll reintroduce
the forest floor
we cleaned away
even restore
more open, sustainable solutions.
in our quick time
too quick for thinking
but at least
we got there in the end.

.

our sons and daughters
can carry a new know-how
about living together,
sharing and foraging again.
they’ll have to
find some road ahead, or back,
more in harmony…

.

but is there, even
such a thing
in this hungry, smash-and-grab,
over-controlled,
juglone-soaked world…
as ‘harmony’?

.

.

sure… we can work it out
life is very short
and there’s no time
for fussing and fighting, my friend.
’...

.

.

.

.

[acknowledgment: Beatles, ‘we can work it out’]



‘coastal birds’


.

the wind again;
it owned that place;
we were not supposed to be there
hiding out
on a cliff-edge.

.

below us, dark sea blasted
netted stacks of stones
holding us in place.
that bright morning
black rooks had tried to warn us -
about it all
through their high, ragged calls.

well,
it could now actually be
the end of us-
battened down as we buried heads inside warm beds -
like birds in one of those
dark pine trees
we would fall and not matter to the world;
its turning, booming, crashing storm
rolling out battalions of waves on another dark,
abandoned planet.

.

or else we might — even —
win through in the end -
you’d hope;
break away —in rockets — up to other stars;
some display at least against
that sleeping force
threatening again to snuff our fires
so easily out.

.

for yes, that night, was a battle
only dumb men would presume to dart out into
or describe;
believe they could ever conquer…

we are just birds -
grounded it’s true -
but only birds
fleeing and flung, into new, blue skies,
opening up a while
clasping our crooked worms;
landing more and more
into any safer, quieter corners.

.

did you ever, like,
like this world, we held out against?
where we walked and talked
and decided, what we needed
to decide on next;
where our minds -

still fly and roam, swiftly
stirring our stomachs again -
through the great night -
those nights -
some time ago…

yet only figments to this lost world
we serve utterly and will return to
wake up in again then be worn down,
sleep deeply, snugly into;
for the length of a dream it seemed
to have some need of us…

our fires maybe, are like its deep fire
feeding on its own creations,
where each will face that storm —
embrace — fully what its life is, what our death’s merger means;
for this blind biosphere
some freedom and great sacrifice;
our erasure, for its grind; its continuance.

.

.

.

.

(2021)

reference: dylan thomas ‘the force that through the green fuse’



‘the tree…’


.

… is a closed temple;
i cannot ascend
up the slow-formed, fountain of limbs
like carved pillars
or pay homage to its self-made existence
with my own short life and death;
nor any physical act
of worship, to praise
something which an inner tree in me
is looking up to;
reaching out through these leafy words.

.

my mind tries to follow its routes;
drink it in; explore such a spectacle.
but i cannot go up
except with crude tools, or from this shade
watching like a long-legged pirate
eyeing up its treasures —

since all its deeper magic; high, nautical thrills
sway, locked to us all now;
hidden in thick time
behind walls of its
mute and towering,
true, elemental house.

.

or is it I
stricken blind and deaf
to understand;
interpret correctly its great umbrella art
creating some sanctuary on display -
in which i stand —
against the cruel sky.

.

noises come down;
my eyes are overwhelmed by
light and shadow.
it fills the space massively
with its thin solar panels
fueling a patience and growth
so maternal and alive
with tiny things
invisible to my slow,
thought-dreary gaze;
simply over-awed by its presence.
i almost merge, in longing
to be more embedded and entranced;
charged up
by its myriad processes,
occupying space;
and generating my very air.

.

why and how
did we abandon them…
they may encroach upon our houses but
they have new inhabitants now
enjoying everything:
refuge, food, freshness,
the sudden rush of
height and danger
their lives and quicker deaths
all part of the deal; a cycle
owned and possessed by them all.

monkeys share this secret
without question — it’s irrelevant;
looking down upon us
like strangers;
distant cousins we simply
never knew; never grew up with.

besides, they’re busy, being alive;
serving their quiet gods — keyed-in
to the buzz of each other.

.

who am I? My inner tree speaks.
not a complete imposter
but removed from this great home now
not welcome — welcomed.
it doesn’t matter
we poorer, earth-bound lives
still spread seeds; jumping and traversing
other, stranger kinds of tree.
we ride horses, drawing up,
hushed as ranchers before an ancient Indian chief;
i’ve no idea
what I’m doing here
i occupy space too — but none up there.

one of its winged dwellers — afraid -
casts upward into its network of arms
suspecting me of ill intent,
indeed, I have burned other, whole villages
i can’t remember why.
this is summer
everything re-surfacing
its creatures play
the ultimate video game;
roaming an open world to be truly
immersed in:
one of instant need; no planning —
just to forage and be risky, frisky
on the edge of everything
since everything really does
exist on a keen edge.

.

yet I only know this.
i cannot feel it here, or now.
i walk away; retreat
to carve my own dry sounds
to my lost comrades
clicking on and off
slick gadgets
costing time and money;
lost upon this other,
more encompassing world
we imitate; celebrate
in so many ways…

this secretive tree
still summoning, overlooks
a garden corner with long grass
bending, flexing in the winds’ blasts
but is not overlooked, by me at least,
or — you — it seems
still following? — looking upwards too -
until the very end
of this tree verse
all now spread out; run through
with roots put down into a cultured soil
though they may not go as deep
or go deep enough…

.

not if either this life, or this art
hopes it can outlast
our doomsday secret, hidden in the ruins in that wind
whispering something more
about some rising, retaliatory plan
to either cut us back, or bring us crashing down…

for other, fresh things to grow and fill
the dark space
where everything rests and stands.

.

and i tell myself again…
to burn the last of this written, treelike art
to mint and serve new life;
to simply nurture trees which open eyes
and fill up time and space — far better — in its stead.

.

.

.

2021.

note: tree inspiration was/is a large Tilleul (Lime tree) in S.W France.


[Collectible as separate NFT]


‘beyond all hype and bubbles…’





old photos
feature outlines of pines.
a distant ship
shifts on the horizon.

.

beneath this,
lie the treasures of Time
to spend away, today,
down by the sea,
not always looking ahead
or feeling so numb, comfortably.

.

many, were found -
then lost -
or at least
held for a while…

.

you know, one day
we will forget everything,
our lies, our strange ideas -
these words -
even this wind which brought us;
bound us, so close.

.

will we find our future?
do you think?
no, don’t cry
or be dragged down
remember a here; the now…

your pure joy, rising up
through every moment -
the very first and last -
not written yet — or far off
but snug — as we were -
within that timeless,
time-forged coast -
its new pioneers…

where everything that ever was,
and is -
still is -
forever near; attainable;
forever incredible and possible…

yes, possible…

.

.

.

.

(2021)


[Collectible as separate NFT]

‘coast guard’



in the dark I lie back
thinking of when I first heard such
desolate presence
turning and pounding at a near shore
changed utterly by a storm
quietly raving; crashing and
eroding time
beneath heaps of stones,
under directing stars;
even a vengeful moon.

.

that sound — oblivious to men —
is no friend of
everything we stand for
everything we hold dear.

.

besides
there was only just a TV signal,
a small open fire had warmed
our perched and cosy nest
and life was newly-fired but now so fragile
where our family clan lay —
except for I —
listening…

timing…

the next bleak and random space between each close

and far-off breaker.

.

it really is our dark earth; our troubled sea
conspiring against us;
expelling or at least
getting it all out, or something.

.

under such siege
others slept on warmly
thru that loosening, booming night…
then i too…
buried deeply in between —

and found rest
within oblivion…

before

.

a brand new day -
bound to come back beyond the dark
to herald -

.

brave, fresh adventures
for our greedy spirits, surging
to ride out again; to seek the source
of all that restless power
beneath the near and steady horses of
our parents love.

.

you know
the memory of those waves —
and my fear —
all turned over; changed;
into bright wet sand; seaweed wreckage,
running — to tame a land
of windy, fresh mornings,
ransacked and renewed
for quick plunder together
as the waves worked on, distracted;
so far out —

.

we stole their treasures while they regrouped;
hushed; more settled; sure — but still…
and ever since
i think on it —

.

that sound, cementing us
in a fiercer realm; that time
ruled by timeless, unstoppable stallions
forever charging, rising,
spilling and commanding —
from their distance in the dark —
smothered, yet ever present,
beyond the measured law
of each
and every day
since childhood…

.

since the music and voices grew all around us
and let us softly drown.

.

.

.

.


.

(2020/1)


[2nd last line: see ‘ghost song’ by jim morrison
last line: see ‘the wasteland’ by ts eliot]

‘flashes of happiness’


flashes of happiness
are what we live for; strive for;
quick hits of contentment
as we ride, or play well
this mad, game/storm
of our lives…

but
will you hold fast? will we?
while blasted across blunted rocks;
these crude formations, fading in;
blocking off routes…

will we stand tall, and at the last?
beyond every after; not just the before
we tried to make those moments last.

..

no,
it’s not all plain sailing -
brows furrow once more -
clouds, they crowd back in;
we’ll tow again on that long, and winding line
binding us all;
leading us in — to some far shore -
or as Browning said
‘what’s a Heaven for?’

.

.


‘wind-formed words’


.

Art… [go on…]
is a bit like [pause]
…being continually cut off
on the phone —

hello?

.

oh, you had just been
describing how you feel
about… things…

..

so you lay it down;
try and get it just right
be fair, and true; be clear -
self-effacing too —
it wasn’t my fault
all this selfish being
in this wind —

a few ideas to share to ‘culture’
which — i am sorry
(to say) must be sold,
i am selling…

.

more art magic
can be summoned to rise
like a force, reflecting,
reaching for some high, sunny peak
by scaling through dry,
word mountains…


but it’s a fast fountain -
mighty — or a tiny expression;
it wants to blow thru a person
is it the world talking
through us
you know?

maybe… what the…!

[hello?]

HELLO?!

.

…so now you won’t know…
about the force
and that power outside -
that’s inside -
in your nature.

.

you’ll have to
put your time to some other use.

[The wind presses again. Something falls.]

the air outside
wants to alter us more.

.

[He..ll..ohhh...?]

you needed to talk…
in this way
culture will go on… warping;
filling out, diverse,
contracting…
in…
those storms,
like that sea
fashioning…

.

things will remain
like your words in my brain —
is it from some old song…

.

all set to change things again.

.

.

we’re up next…

.

how this world needs
we steady chain of ghosts
to walk and explore it;
haunt it, and sing;
make some power, unleashed
to control
then make peace with it…

.

just work with it.

[okay…]

.

.


[Collectible as separate NFT]


‘ceremony’



we must destroy
each other
before the world
destroys us

groping, closer
in our brimming homes
high above
the world’s unbounded power,
ceaseless and spare

.

the new, TV news
gathers us in
but i need you here
to share this form I bare —
this body —
with all its fire
for you — for all your kind —
for on my own
i can be strong
but i am nothing -
a ghost enjoyed by ghosts -
i am no stark
victim of your next decision,
or abrupt,
enveloping moves.

.

it’s only someone
such as you —
your feline folk —
who keep me real, and clear:
fangs bared and sharp,
tongue lolling;
my mind primed;
ready to blow.

it’s how it is —
you know —
we all share
in our desires
everywhere;
worlds of desire
destroying — to be destroyed;
surviving — to survive
ourselves
until …our fires die out -
or are subdued…

…and we are freer,
emptier shells
painting each other;
creating games with words;
lip-syncing from the shade
or noticing change;
smiling up at that sun
which will burn us
altogether.

.

others may notice our destruction
even witness it
but they’ll never feel more -
no, they never partook of it.

.

believe me
we’ll have a great feast
and after
start out again
into the unknown
foraging in fresh estuaries.
just as everything we’ve come to know
once was — unknown,
strange and new
this Earth, to be discovered

.

just as we were
discovered
while discovering
in our joy;
destroying —
in this wind’s bitter grip -
amid old ghosts
of the destroyed;
the once-proud, empowered
departed

.

we’ve survived their desire
and must keep on
loving and not hearing,
fearing
or becoming them.

how we laughed at them!
and i recall that chilly breeze
how it made the whole
hushed and flowing scene
of sand; of sunlit water -
flash with gold -
beneath my only small, warmed toes
digging in…
i heard only a few
high cries, ecstatic yells
from other souls — very far out -
lost in the breakers.

.

harsh beauty,
we must perform
our ceremony of fire
enough times,
before all time.

we must remember
this is what we were — once;
it’s what we are —
raw energy
controlled by that chaos — ancient;
older than the hills
around our bones

as we stare back —
stare down —
from atop such soft
but brittle,
shifting thrones
so many fathoms out -
to that far source —
that shining sea…
and hear it crash once more;
hear it roar beneath.


(2021)

[last line: ‘hamlet’]


[Collectible as separate NFT]




‘relinquish’



Tintagel, Cornwall, uk


the game is playing
so control me-
i am the game;
move me; mould me
out across the plains.
this day — today;
what will you have us do?
to get through you,
be fully known -
beyond the burning, up,
in those old, wild stars;
your secret hearts.

.

those scars — they burn
was that you?!
it was… until i could relinquish
and be done with it all,
become
unknown — you know, completely
completed; lost…
in stars i dreamed i’d own
beyond a good home.

.

stop the game, this train
let’s go there — where? back home,
zone out,
watch ourselves, from afar,
you know, those stars…
laugh — can we? Together
when we laughed how I loved you…

.

Life; it need never now, be hard
and it was never
but it will never
stop burning…

.

(Sleep, that tired tide of nothingness, break over me…
far away — from struggle and race,
from where we hardly were…
were we? really?No…)

i was.
i did.
was done… who won?

well… those new trees are growing,
knowing
they grew through me
at least
the burning, burned me
letting me, at least —
and at the last,
laugh a little… or for a while…

.

.

.

.

hey, Future...

you're silent, unknown

and thus - ever -

filled with

our big ideas -

big talk -

getting lost

on a good moment.

.

Tomorrow is

your dream and your struggle

but will soon steal

the light out of another bright morning.

.

our Future is

expected

to be full of power, surprises -

collapse -

world peace?

more time outside?

less?

or a faceless mass

with - vaguely - brave new worlds

in virtual arenas...

.

so you'll be told

whatever...

but I think there should ever be

the ‘us’ - bound to the earth -

coming back to

rough contact,

growing, shaping,

the truth from our own toil, the feeling tired

right here in the now -

from the sowing to the reaping;

the feasting and the bright celebrations

leaping long

into some far after...

.

stay pure

until your pure rest,

your silence, and the unbinding...

of just what it was we felt, or knew,

we once were - full -

and so alive - to one other.

so hey,

are we moving forwards?

'progress'...

or retreating...

further -

down - or far away -

from the sweet love

and personally-enabled glory

which rises up and is gleaned

like honey with the milk -

of what we take directly

and give back

to our lands; our worlds

together

thru greener insight, wisdom -

more foraging and finding -

fresh spice

for some inner, deeper harmony

which can flow; which exists...

.

our environments;

they rule:

they are - really - all we have

to work with, moving you,

still -

along these lines

i'd say -

how they move us all

(so strangely)

shape us

into circles, ever-shifting:

decreasing

outbursts overturning

breaking, reaching

back

into new lines

across the sand

and in this wind

you'll find the way...

..

.

(2024)




Extra note…



Thanks for reading. More poems can be ‘found’ online or off, evolving or devolving, including ‘At the Far Tor - Poems etc. from South Devon’, ’Across the Shore’ (an NFT collectible poem catalogue) plus earlier work ‘Gathered on This Beach’.


  • Ade mc @ Ade’s Press 2023.

    [2024: An additional (final!) poem was added to this collection to mark this full release as NFT.]



Note: No chatbots were used at all, for any of the collections here at Ade's Press.
I will always specify if/where used.
I am currently working on training a chatbot with most of them, as an experiment to see what it can produce. You can access and test drive this work in progress, 'Ades-FreeVerse' via Poe, using Chat-GPT etc. All outputs 'used' must include a credit to Ade's Press.

Stand by for an update and list of all chatbots I'm working on, plus prompt ideas, in another post.


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