neville johnston

Sample Poems

my village-snow

from the bridge
my village-snow

sleeping crisp in the winter sea,
in the drifting sun
warms the christening wind;

and in the distance
no horizon time nor space
and all is sealed in the ciphered spell
between the grist-walls:

come love with me, let me
take your hand
to a whispering tide that we cannot see
to the fire-brand touch of eternity
at the hill-top steps

shall we bask in the sun till the spring comes?

 

march of the autumn soldiers

long dead, slow soldiers march the fields
to the token tower in the sun:

listen; hear the drums upon the shore
riding on the polished wind
among the trees

listen; hear the flags
flapping fresh upon the waves
crowning the hero wind upon the shore

listen; hear the dead cry
listen to the crying dead; listen
just listen to the wind

yesteryear, one autumn day
I walked the bleeding shore
I kissed the crying wind among the trees

slow soldiers march the fields


web of spider

web of spider
growing wider
in the cottage of the window
shad-flies bodies clutched in limbo
like the poppied post-war graveyard
as spider spider clambers onward

web of spider
taste of cider
to the man who licks the wet lips
bones and half-bones churn in quick-nips
where the fattened eight-legged monster
ravaged wild the beetle-spinster

man the shad-fly in the net-mesh
life the spider sucks the soul-flesh

on the night of all nights

in the desolate park
           on the limbs of the elm
                       and the poplar and oak
all bared to the bones
white carpet of snow
           was clothes to the wild

midst the weeps of the willows
           the hushed voice of God
                      warmed the sharp chill of wind

the colours of stars
          on the driblets of ice
                    that hung by the stream
                    asleep in the cold

were prisms of love
           when man found God
                    in the nature of things
                   on the night of all nights

 

in tempore

o see the bows of burning time
tacking away at a pregnant sea
dark ships in sail;
o see the mad reaper come for his dues
and a sad world cries
how little time
how little time before the storm

births and baptisms leave their mark
of temporal joy
and a desolate people cry from the shore
how little time
how little time before the storm

o see the mad reaper collecting again
how little time
how little time before the storm


the unsophistication of milady

permit me, milady,
from my humble poet’s dais
to unsophisticate you

i will use words
to pull clasps from upswept hair
to let golden shafts of light
fall like moonbeams flowing down
upon mountains of your breast
into valleys down below

i will use words
to light candles in the eyes,
deeper than the deepest blue,
to fathom kingdoms of the mind
where nymphlike creatures dance and play
with Muses of the poet’s day
in nature’s bliss

permit me, milady,
to unsophisticate you


the genesis of morning-sounds

the genesis of morning-sounds uplifts
the lazarus of soul
into the symphony of cricket-cries
and the robins-in-the-Christ:
the colour than the voice no less:
terns a-sea, white wings in sail,
blue blossoms sporting in the wind
and sea-foam reaching to the clouds
and in the multi-magic of this swaddling world
your thousand senses ring aloud
and lamp you in the eden of my land:

this is the abc of poets’ psalms
this in the holiness of heaven’s time
the genesis and exodus of soul

 

stagecoach

like a rhinestone cowboy
you ride shotgun
on the stagecoach of my heart
careening down
the stonepaths of my soul
to Somewhere;
you swear you do not care
if we go to Anywhere
as long as you pick off
one by one
the outlaws from the hills
of the town called Nowhere

 

whippoorwills

almost a long long time ago
when comets seemed to come and grow
I was intangible
I was wind, air, fire;
then took form
like whippoorwills
resurrected in the night
in bold desire

and in the second stage of time
my sun grew higher:
I dreamt the dreams that never slept
in the long sleep;
that never kept
a watchless vigil in the night
of smokeless fire

and so myself I give to you,
small sacrifice of print;
to you, my father and my mother,
who gave me life:  to run, to play
in the distance of the cays
and the foothills of the trees,
wild as whippoorwills in the night
almost a long long time ago


If in the epitaph of wineless glory

If in the epitaph of wineless glory
the written word must live or die
at the biting prick of mockery
of that dead halfsoul, convention,
that druid of the deafsea murmur
wrapped in the womb of time
not yet brought forth,
a foetus in my father’s house
that died in labour,
stoned in the hollows of its tomb,
the death before the birth;
then Muses blow your trumpets in the storm
as men erase the worldly o
the stricken t, and cry
to hell with such a crucifixion

The chalice full cannot be fuller yet
but then flows over and stains
my wifecloth in hellish clangour

forest for the trees

i am less than a proton
in particles physics:
einstein thought he knew
the fundamentals of mass
when the atom was split
but he passed me by;
if only he had looked
telescopically
he could surely have seen
my voyageur soul
smaller than protons
making its trek
in the multiverse

love poem

you are my rose of joy
and from your lips sweet kisses fall
like petals in the damasked hall

upon the balance of your love
i find a verdict true
for the loveliness of you

within the realms of wind and fire
my heart consumes in deep desire
the meadows of your eyes
the softness of your thighs

now, in celestial visions of the past
i feel you still, my queen of hearts,
no furs, no lace,
just hands, breasts, face,
in warm embrace

Available For Sale

Songs of my Seasons

Rimes of Passion

wild as whippoorwills in the night

the chalice full: poems for the common man