...premature requiem 7...

you me
light from your mothers room
yellow on black grass
and yellow on your hair

tomorrow you may be dead
therell be no comfort found
in the motion of white wheat fields
or the gull cries of the long handled pump

ive hated you before
i’ll hate you then
when your skin remains still at my touch
and your painted face makes me feel stupid

i wont look at you
i’ll see you in your mothers face
hear your voice in hers
see you old when she tilts a kettle

if i dont run i’ll sit with her
she’ll hand me stones dried grass
the corpse of a bee
she me sifting through your obsessions
these are the ribbons you wore
the hat you stole
these are your fingerprints on porcelain

i’ll be allright on my own
i can negotiate sliding doors
and commentaries

i’ll walk where you me walked
unable to remember conversations
i’ll think of flesh in flesh and that time in dieppe
when you remembered being born

...requiem 15...

Ive seen you from a high place
walking through yellow

Ive heard you say
there are years for me to be free
give me chains and absolution

Ive heard you say perfect music
is upturned cans in rain

Ive watched you cut fish
put violets inside

Ive seen you walking through blue
your reflection sliding on chrome

Ive heard you say
have mercy on have pity for the alarming windows of

I’ve heard you breathe in a field
say why walk so quickly - there may be broken insects

Ive seen you in a river wrapped in red
Ive seen you ride across roofs on a stolen cow

you wrote this in chalk on the wall of a red barn:
the vitality of skin is the breath of a hen

these words in warm light became faint
you me and those who inhabited us
the only ones to read them

...celia svenssons mother said...its possible to make two small flutes from the bones of a fully grown mouse...(seduction 63)

that day your mother bought a fretful cow
and saw john the baptist climbing the water tower

and at night your father on a chair
near a lake playing a harmonium
the chair leaning in soft earth

in late afternoon you me on an embroidered cloth
saying this that
see a mandolin on the lake
rising falling moving towards the bridge

behind the mandolin a pig in the arms of
is that mary magdalene

minutes pass
you talk of grapefruits and celandines

mary magdelene says bring me quickly
fourteen dogs and a cantaloupe
a basket filled with violets and fish

the pig says
behind a white barn celia svensson
lifted your skirt while her mother counted mouse bones

you remained unconcerned
this was your home

the first faces you saw are here
the first skin you touched

this is whereyou made yourself come in august heat
on the handle of a yellow pump

this is whereyou pissed on dandelions
while a caravan burned

this is where you showed hairless skin
to a blind man who touched

too dark now to see the stream

walking to the red house near the lake
your father leaning hands moving
his back to the water hymns from his mouth
and songs concerning industry and amputation

your mother says
he writes five songs a day
the melodies borrowed from cattle and hornets

later you slept
i walked through juniper and fish scales
found your fathers harmonium near a horse

in early light i watched you wash
skin lit in a yellow room

i’ll remember these things when im dead
and the unworn shoes i gave to the stream


...it may have been a magpie so early on a branch...as if instructed...

i combed your hair
that night on a green ship

when the ship reached land
i carried your bag
rested a while on those mossy steps

in a yellow room i made tea in blue cups
you wondered were there folded prayers
beneath the straw mats and the curving boards

you saw your mothers face in the creases of your shoes

filled the shoes with celandines
denying any sense of ceremony

i watched you open shutters
lean on a sill legs crossed at the ankles

i watched you reach to touch bark
saw your hair move in air
watched you become porcelain

the room became cold
you closed the shutters
lay on a low bed said see how cold my skin

you talked of chinese ink
sticklebacks and white walls

i wanted to bring you a bird or a bowl
a folded prayer or incantation

instead i slept when you slept
waking before you deliberately


...always after rain...

she’s walking

she’s taken a left turn off a street
to where a canal is

she’s walking on cut stone
where stone ends
wild flowers and other plants
industrial buildings a low light and seeds falling

figures walk each side of her
others pass her from behind
their shadows darkening her coat

the sound of shoes
and moving air

there she is lit and breathing beneath a tree
she looks back at where she’s walked
looks left to where she will walk

the canal is in the north of the town
her room in the south

she thinks of the distance between
begins walking

at a market she chooses a bowl
knowing she may not like it tomorrow

she remembers where she bought her coat
who was first to see it
the first thing she put into a pocket

had she not had to avoid a snail on the path
she would have remembered being born

...leaves against glass to waken them...

you me in august pretending to love a snail
the spaces between stones
and that fly drowning in a goats eye

you me in october
standing too long on that famous bridge
the dead escaping your my mouth
an infant on a ferry showed her tongue

you me in december unrecognisable in frost
wrapped in wool and feathers
not searching for words
comfortable with creaking cupboard doors

your mother said sound the alarm
youre a pretty pretty pirate but my honour is gone

a priest said do you do you take
do you take take do you take take take until you die

a fisherman said buy my flesh and eat it
in memory of yesterdays sea

moving air between wires said
was it the widow who stole a pheasant
was it she asleep in that tree

you me in this house behind ivy
waking in a half light
breathing the history of every spider

come come come to the window
theres a prayer braided in wheat
its not the river repeating the prayer
its not your skin or mine
its not the roots of the walls or the windmill sails

come come come to the window
kneel with me in curling dust
its too late now to buy bread


...requiem 2...

she was at ease in damp rooms
and in the company of plane trees

one time in an alley in amber light
she left a cup newly bought
amongst weeds
inside the cup a word on paper:


she could be sanctimonious
comfortable with her mouth on the mouth of another
but was easy to forgive
her head inclined that way

if a bird flew across glass
its shadow on polished wood
she might say
see how the shadow of a bird leaves no scar

she said such things to seduce
to annoy

she was at ease beneath cotton
her skin against skin

she was at ease in frozen fields where earth curled
and broken birds hung from wires

this is the bracelet she lost seven times
blue and a lighter blue
a circle in dust on a sill to show

one time in an alley in amber light
she left a cup newly bought
amongst weeds
inside the cup a word on paper


she placed the word in a cup
in an alley that leads to a red bridge
to a river where lights move in air


17.06.1949 - 22.10.2005

Richard was born in Guernsey, a small island off the west coast of France, and has left fingerprints/ footprints across the world. From 1974 he was based on the UK mainland, first in Wales and then in Luton, Bedfordshire, where he worked with those damaged by drugs and people. It was here that he honed his listening and concentration skills which later would help him develop the ability to sit quietly throughout long nights in a state of 'detached attention' - waiting for poems to take shape.

The bulk of his poetry was written 2000 - 2005, a period of intense productivity. He contributed to blackmail press http://www.homestead.com/nzpoetsonline/index.html
and was a frequent visitor, mentor and contributor to the performance poetry discussion board http://p210.ezboard.com/fperformancepoetryfrm1

Preparation for publication of his work is in progress. The book has not yet got a title, but is
being edited by the poet and artist Christina Conrad with foreword and introduction by the author Billy Marshall Stoneking. Those who are interested in contributing money (they will be credited in the book and receive a copy or copies depending on their investment) should contact Christina Conrad at grillostone@yahoo.com She will respond personally to every expression of interest. ~best billy marshall stoneking