Dan Tindall

 
 

Poetry

Micropoetry

 

1

There is nothing inevitable

In history except

The need for persistence

In driving back the wolves

 

2

Nature is honest

But lives without a moral code

A mirror for man

 

3

Occasionally

In Politics

You get someone

Without dirty tricks

 

4

Struggle

Success

Failure

Death

Success

 

5

There’s nothing civil

About this society

It has forgotten about mercy

Love

Justice

Piety

 

Logan's Run Revisited

 

In the modern coffee houses

Once the employees hit 30

Their wristband goes from green to red

And they're (metaphorically) dead

Off to some older hipster hangout

To sell cereal bars and sweetened milk

Under the watchful gaze

Of Charlton Heston in his final 7Os

Hip cool movie

 

Jesus McClay

 

Jesus McClay was a freedom fighter

But times were hard so

Business was the order of the day

Gotta protect the people

By taking subscriptions

Ten percent

Because if he didn't

Someone else would

Might

Well it's there

It ain't screwed down

So it's up for grabs

It's a living

Not an ideology

Protecting the people from

His fistful of fools

Pay up or be made to pay

The Jesus McClay way

 

Mental Altitude

 

I am solely concerned with the relative mental altitude

of myself and the few folks I consider friends…

 

Yet I'm always fascinated by my beard

It changes my face

Why?

A few millimetres of extra

hair growing and it's

Another me

Jesus

Dude

Actual Jesus looking rough

What?

The sort of thing you think of at 4am

and insist on making a note of when

you think everything's alright

but it ain't

Just because

Eddie’s novelty gunship has a

New album out

With tour

Tower

Lighthouse

Mister!!

The lights on the back of your car

Are facially bizarre

Spirits of the nothing I guess

But still freakin' me out

At 4.18am

 

How the day went...

 

(How the day went from the blissful early morning to sweeping sunset, without pause or patter, without sugar or smoke, without the benefit of a sudden departure from the script)

 

We boarded the caravan some little time ago

One door each way

Frosted glass panels

Dim light from outside

Illuminating the drab nylon covers

On the grey chairs

-          These magazines are about 100 years old

-          The pages are stuck together on this one

-          That must be for gentlemen only

She stares at the clock

She looks beautiful in this pale light

Cheekbones lifting her face

From the doldrums of approaching middle age

-          What are you looking at?

-          You

-          Well stop it, it’s annoying

Once upon a time

She wanted nothing more than my adoration

But now she has grown bored of me

 

Up she gets

Swift

Fluid

Animal

To the door

Raps her fist on the surface

Hard

Twice

And again

It sounds curiously flat

There’s no sound from without

Again

Again

 

On the table there’s a magazine

‘Bliss’

I pick it up

Pleased to find it’s not sticky

It has stories of human tragedy

Heart-warming reunions

Cute photos of people’s kids

Doing cute kid stuff

 

She is called

And then gone

 

And beyond the limit of this horizon

I am surprisingly early

For an appointment

Of my own

 

I'd never heard of Osip Mandelstam

 

I'd never heard of Osip Mandelstam 

I guess that makes me a very bad man

To be unaware of the human cruelty 

Of the combination of police and poets

Slowly murdering a Silver Age

Of wonder at a golden future 

Until it's found 

Stained mud with blood

Beneath an ugly watchtower 

 

I'd never heard of Osip Mandelstam

Nor his Stalin Epigram

Produced as evidence of his crime

 

          How scared and bitter must someone be

          To punish a poet for poetry?

 

I'd never heard of Osip Mandelstam 

But I have now 

And so have you

No excuses 

You know what to do.

 

Analogue

 

Meetings

Greetings

Half a floor

And a dangerous fool

Who will stop at nothing

To make himself your enemy

Make herself your boss

Steal your time

Space

Sunflower

Streetlife

 

(breath)

 

Beware the foul stench

Of a slippery

Shiny

Slime trailed

Devil

 

Everybody knows one

Sometimes two -

 

That's why me and you

Stick like glue

On our life-raft

Of the daft

And no compromise

Keep it civilised

Old fashioned

Analogue

True

 

Two Clocks Ticking

 

Two clocks ticking

One second alternating

Same make

Same mechanism

But no matter how you reset them

There is a temporal schism

That keeps them apart

Parallel seconds

In the same time and space

Racing to the end

Which will happen twice

According to the Accurate Time Company

And their high quality device

 

Sleech

 

I once read that Belfast

Is built on the same

Sludge that

Gently holds up the

Most serene republic

A soft mix of sand

Silt, mud and

Salty water

Full of air and rotted filth

Slowly compressing

Sinking into the rising sea

Held back

For now

By a mechanical dyke

 

So while you can

Take a walk along

The Lagan’s side

Over the Royal Arches and

Go skip beside the angled

Railway pontoon

To find those guardian columns

Defending neither saint nor scholar

Just parkour on the holocaust memorial

And the quiet wall

Of half empty office blocks

And restaurants that change hands

But retain the lack of footfall

And look past the many houses

Of some little hope of justice

Along Chi-Chi Street

To the toy-town Imperial domes

And spires 

Of City Hall

Home of the Dukes of hazardous hate

Battleground between forgetful histories

Set against mountains

Such landscapes

Such a stench

From drains and slow underground rivers

A thousand years

Of collective waste

 

A thousand years of unwanted kings

And hopeful poets

Starving teachers

Blinded workers

Priests and thrifty counterparts

Lies and deadly close companions

Last gasp of the

Would be gods

 

Dream serene

That this floating

Drowning

Adopted home

Should one day open its

Beautiful eyes

And be free