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Jim Hogg

Lin Zhao

The four winds blow us children
Who do not run before the storm
Woven delicate as spider’s web
From all the elements of stars
They catch the monster of the age
It’s thorny shaft hard anchored
And hurl themselves full on it
To kill it by the drip of blood
By the sand of dragging time
And the sparks of smouldering hope
That rare and precious blood ignites

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The Fulmar's Wing

There is a green hill by the sheer
and final choice that overlooks
assaulting age and edges near;
a certain view I’m tending to.

The codes are old that predispose
a man to think of bargains struck,
of honour lost, one deal to close
a story running out of luck,

but not of hope for some years yet,
though dragging out I couldn’t stand,
beyond that testing chance beset
when I at last forsake your hand.

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Rome Must Be Destroyed

A handful of dirt tossed in the air
tells us nothing,
tells us everything.
Microbes grown from next to nothing
into a monumental mind,
the planet become a useless buzzing head
spinning itself a billion lies,
we orbit the sacred self,
a web of morons.

At Zama did Scipio commit us?
Or did Cicero light the fuse with a word?

- like the dust in the air
our little eternity
turns on the whim of the wind

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The Night Broke Away

A shadowed northerly, late winter’s bite,
Lifted long waves, ran them deep into night.
I fixed them with you, when first you refused,
So far between us; remote as the news

Once in the paper I fell on your name.
Not quite believing, I read it again:
married to legend, coincidence said.
Still, history leads wherever it’s led.

Maybe I tried that much harder with you.
I buried the trail and burned down the view.
That’s how it stayed, ‘til the night broke away,
Here, where the breakers break over today.

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Read Without Bores

Boat without oars,
horn without gores,
wound without sores,
hair without coarse,
drive without fours,
strain without force,
sore without source,
shots without scores,
wild without boars,
cold without hoarse,
who’s without doors
dream without snores..
rains without pours..
sing without soars
spawn without spores
enough without mores..
not without implores..
flattens without floors
whole without bores?
glass without blowers

[...] Read more

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A Bee Reflects

Buttercup, I am the fluxing
structure that connects.
You and I are the universe,
a dancing couplet specked
in the whirl of timelessness;
the flaming flowering
of our singularity.

Buttercup, I fed the leopard
through the veins of time,
contriving sequences:
the hard poetry of hunger,
the gravity of death,
a single cell to petals
to tragic wings

Buttercup, we are rolling,
though a long darkness
through our lonely selves.
We are the flickering spark

[...] Read more

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Years

It's not the sea of life
that bridges or divides;
it's the wave of time that breaks
circular upon us
all the flotsam of the age elapsed

With chains for sails
we never launched on trembling dreams
never skimmed unleashed across freedom's surf
never danced out of ourselves
in the challenging winds

But the stars still colonise
our jealous eyes
still try to scribble us
fearless and undiminished
into some fading margin

Now ragged moments spin us out
modestly, from rain that refreshed

[...] Read more

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Never

A bank of parched grass and a spark:
golden flames weave and wend
across the blue divide
and catch us unawares

Unable to douse or steer the blaze
it rages through our lives
welding us together
and settles to a flicker

Until the frost and the rains
crack the harried surfaces
and the poles of opposition
wedge the cores apart

But we lash ourselves together
against the weathering,
and the swithering within,
and steer a course for breaking waves

[...] Read more

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Bertie

A harrier released,
he stowed his oxygen
and staving standard expectation
leapt early from the long range bus
-no masses in attendance-
and boring blindly to the core
battered thumping steps we only heard
along the smudgy edge of crumbled soil
in unseen raindrops doubleblown by spouting underlip and wind
and, deep in a cliff of shadow,
tore northerly past random patient stones and us,
all his knees undoing, down the graph of time
he never thought to read;
and crushed the need
you might have thought, til osteopathy
cagily winched him upright
and balanced his pounding again,
into the cluttered night
of the haring world.

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Lines to Light

How bright the sunlight blazes through
The windows of this sullen hall
To kiss the dreams that children drew
In innocence upon the wall

How darkly promise falls from grace
And human sympathy retreats
To leave so little moral space
For those whom worldliness defeats

I have no power to command
The smitings of that ancient book
I have no answers in my hand
Or strictures none of you can brook

For I know only this much truth
That all our standing tall still leaves
Us lower than the most uncouth
Of all the creatures Earth conceives

[...] Read more

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