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Best Famous Rg Gregory Poems

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by Rg Gregory | |

The Room

 It is an old story, the way it happens
sometimes in winter, sometimes not.
The listener falls to sleep, the doors to the closets of his unhappiness open and into his room the misfortunes come -- death by daybreak, death by nightfall, their wooden wings bruising the air, their shadows the spilled milk the world cries over.
There is a need for surprise endings; the green field where cows burn like newsprint, where the farmer sits and stares, where nothing, when it happens, is never terrible enough.


by Rg Gregory | |

song and dance

 do you think an old heart can’t sing
do you think an old heart can’t dance
with a love that belongs to spring –
nor i – till i took this glance

in a mirror long put-by – denied
the least touch of light (there being
no cause but to let it hide)
yet now there’s this sudden seeing

this astonishing flow of longing
that gives the dulled glass a shine
and so many lost wants thronging
(must i fear the eyes aren’t mine)

dream has shaken its sheets out
a freshness (discarded) restored
muted rhythms let loud beats out
(scared hopes being reassured)

unfathomable scores its chances
(love’s fingers plucking the strings)
can’t you see – this lame heart dances
can’t you hear – this dried heart sings


by Rg Gregory | |

shape-poems (1)

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by Rg Gregory | |

christmas the delinquent

 i got nothing last year
and i expect nothing this
so i've got to find
if i'm to be rewarded

so all good people
you'd better learn to give
from the goodness of your heart 
or at knife-point

i'm a taker by trade
takers is keepers
it won't hurt you to bleed
it's a good colour - red

give of your blood
you're not having mine
i'm the collector
santa looks after himself

your birthright - get lost
when i'm on my rounds
what i see i snaffle
that's today's lesson

give to santa - or
i'll cut your throat
that's today's christmas
the future looks good


by Rg Gregory | |

transformations

 (service resettlement courses at studio fronceri – west wales)

and the swords came in their varying degrees
of shininess and sharpness – some never
having lost their pristine feel – others with blunt 
tips and broken blades – a few so steeped in blood 
a dried rustiness still stained them - and those wilted 
at the hilt (weary of the code that bred them)

they came at the end of their long days of death-
imagined drills and disciplined submissions
times of pride (trapped tongues and rank obedience)
seeking a balmier game-play for their fingers
they learned languages of metal wood and stone
translated scrubbed land to a fond oasis

built (at last) for themselves and not their service
sowed peace’s patchwork on their shot desires
maybe loosened what dreams had long since bolted
and dared to sigh like breezes (old storms’ goodbyes)
they came as swords (not keen on transformations)
and (landscapes reconditioned) left as ploughshares


by Rg Gregory | |

ulster

 fancy shooting a man dead for an old label

but think
if there weren't any old labels
nobody would ever be shot dead

and all those poor people
whose livelihood depends on making guns
would have to be left to starve

make up your mind
who would you sooner see living
 men with bullets in them
 or thousands of ordinary people
 going about their decent business

there's a lot to thank old labels for


by Rg Gregory | |

southampton water

 song of sea-leaves in an orchestra of foam
branches of violins sprayed across the mind
what is magnetic in a wave breaking white 
drawing the chords of evening to a single sound

i would liken your hair to a slow movement
of seagulls in the wind catching my eye
by sheer virtue of design - i could nest there
as naturally as the anemones nest in the sea

in a promontory of thought i might mistake
the sea-air for a hand brushing my face
for the breeze i think is not so fleshless
nor your fingers so earthy as the rose

and then like an expansion in the blood
sometimes in the restless reflections of the boat
leaning in company across the rail i feel
another sea coming in at the elbows of your coat


by Rg Gregory | |

shape poems (2)

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by Rg Gregory | |

shape-poems (3)

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by Rg Gregory | |

shape-poems (4)

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by Rg Gregory | |

shape-poems (5)

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by Rg Gregory | |

images of snow - february 1996

 snow is a thousand flowers
the chinese probably said
hundreds and thousands this morning
drop their garlands on my head
last night the festoons started
long before we went to bed

snow is a white-furred rabbit
the chinese probably wrote
hedgerows and fields this morning
wear a similar fluffy coat
last night the winter danced back
with a white fur round its throat

snow is a treacherous fox-face
the chinese probably thought
it lurks in wait this morning
for the weak and overwrought
last night it laughed its head off
loving the fear it's brought


by Rg Gregory | |

starling

 a starling sat on the roof 
(i don't know how young)
croaking in an old man's voice
cross with the dapper world

after five minutes or so
it flew away - its grouse over
it was like its feathers
rough and unperturbed

i don't suppose it was educated
the other birds ignored it
it was being raucous - yes
and probably obscene

it touched me to the heart
straight out of a tale
scruffy bugger metamorphosed
(too dirty with the truth)

it saw its grub somewhere
dived before others saw it
its harshness a distraction
the eyes stayed sharp


by Rg Gregory | |

the seed of endymion

 or how most great achievements
 stem from accidental discoveries

two beauties are a joy for ever
ejaculated keats
lusting in ecstasy towards
well-breasted fanny brawne

no no my dearest john
sighed fanny
facing the quivering man
you've got it wrong -from where i am
she whispered - creeping
downwards with her hands
it's better said
a thing of beauty is a joy for ever

the poet leapt with pleasure
at such passionate emendation
he gave in gracefully to what she craved
and in a flash endymion was conceived

and on the page
this brawny breast-fed line
has stood out boldly ever since


by Rg Gregory | |

when the new year

 when the new year
came out of nowhere
and peeped into rooms
it was so flattered to find
all the tv's drinking its health
praising its innocent appearance
it responded with its warm
dark smile and went round
filling people's dry hearts
with joy

over the coming weeks though
those same tv's attacked it
criticising its puerile style
its sickly contemptible face
one year is the same as another
(they said) for the doom
time belabours us with
it took the year all
its length to discover
that the celebration
so welcoming its birth
just happened to be
where the beer was


by Rg Gregory | |

your tiger

 (in china it is symbolic
of darkness and the new moon)

in your night's hollow
the tiger stalks
black grasses have licked 
it into nothingness

hooked by moon
i hover on your hollow's lip
i feel the smell of fire
the leap of a bright cat-fur

my eye is dumb
asking to be devoured
i am trembled over
(a bag of fear-bones)

there is a whoosh of flame
streaking but static at
your night's abundance
tall grass is waving

the moon waxes
the face of the tiger
sparkles in its own glow
offers a striped peace

fireflies come my way
messages are calm
i step inwards
stroking the bright pelt


by Rg Gregory | |

joy-notes

 when the time comes
yield
to the forces outside you
images simply
of your inner compulsions

when the time comes
invite
your enemies inside you
inversions simply
of your face on the world

when the time comes
die
from the fears that hold you
the action simply
of seceding old skins

when the time comes
arise
that marsh birds greet you
rendering simply
the raw joy-notes of dawn


by Rg Gregory | |

symptom

 begin at a chapter you have read before
with new words and a new hand turning
the pages where the print vibrates and the white
paper runs in a stream of many colours

stand with a new light at your shoulder
and wander slowly through familiar doors
into tomorrows no shadows yet have trodden
or come in an old way to a new place

and there i think you will find me entering
from the other side along the same path
carrying my heart in a silver rosebowl
and you in the palace of my heart


by Rg Gregory | |

Penelope

 In the pathway of the sun,
In the footsteps of the breeze,
Where the world and sky are one,
He shall ride the silver seas,
He shall cut the glittering wave.
I shall sit at home, and rock; Rise, to heed a neighbor's knock; Brew my tea, and snip my thread; Bleach the linen for my bed.
They will call him brave.


by Rg Gregory | |

age-old debate

 when the old man said
i know everything
the young girl replied
what is everything

when the old man said
wisdom is mine
the young girl replied
what is wisdom

when the old man said 
i am privy to all life’s secrets
the young girl replied
what is privy

when the old man said
you don’t know anything
the young girl replied
what has a bald head
a tight mouth
and dribbles when it eats

when the old man said
respect your elders
the young girl replied
i will when i’m older


by Rg Gregory | |

grandeur

 loneliness is a state
the lonely cannot reach

it carries a grandeur
that doesn't fit into

bed-sitters or rejected
ideas - it's the label stuck

on the bottle after
the tables have gone


by Rg Gregory | |

bad for ears

 the song wasn't up to the task
of getting through the double-glazing
into the ears pressed on the outside pane
the rest of their bodies had faded away but
the ears were straining still towards the music
in order to know the good times being had in the room
night fell the cold grew and the lights went out but
the ears hung around believing in music until
they froze and dropped to the ground like
slugs that had missed out on the seasons
it was a bad christmas for ears


by Rg Gregory | |

as the snow fell

 the children played games
getting from here
to where the truth was
without touching a flake

needless to say
the only ones who got there
were liars

but while the honest ones
shrank back from
the touch of snow
the liars
were where the truth was


by Rg Gregory | |

blue dress

 i can see through the blue
dress when you stand
in the doorway - the light
come indoors softly like

a cat between your legs
when you walk and
the dress flows
over the curved pebble

of your belly into
the blue pool my eye
is already there
waiting for the ripple

i have the echo
in my own dark waters
it is an old dress
and it knows how to touch

a breast as a hand would
if it could stay
all day and not get
overheated - when you bend

down and the dress
runs up your legs
it is certainly doing
what a hand would

not that i like the dress
it has its own play
but when the hand comes
the dress gets in the way


by Rg Gregory | |

damsel flies

 certain creatures it seems are never seen 
straight on - they occupy the corner of the eye
once sensed (a second look) they're gone
the damsel even more so than the dragon-fly

she's a tough cookie for all her slender flutters
huge eyes strong jaws belie her evanescence
the kind of female to leave love's lisps in tatters
don't get sucked in by her immaculate pretence

if she's a she - she's there not there so quickly
no time to check - a female whisper or in drag
mosquitoes daren't treat such presence slackly
a wispy whoosh - the poor sods are in the bag

satan's emissaries (the devil's darning needles)
mischief makers - tell lies they stitch you lip to lip
they're elusive (haunting) as the best of riddles
forcing you to sense the eternal as a blip

illusion change - stuff timelessness is made of
beauty allure - life's compulsive invitations
what's wanted's lost - it's always on the move
the damsel fly enraptures such predations