Dream Lake

I

Lulling pebbles, soft as petals

fallen by design, lullaby beside

the deep madala waterway.

My hidden lake, free of eyes

not ice; give no clue what lurks

beneath this watery mirror.

To dream is like looking

in a reflection, through

projections of a

part of my subconscious. On this  glass-

like surface, sudden ripples darkly

appear. Close your eyes, honey.

Let go of air – sink into the waterway.

Let it out – soar above the milky way

Let it all out – soak in the waterfall

full of milk and honey.

Gulp. Sink. Gulp, sink. Kiss goodnight

to the growing string of pearls, bubbles

fleeing from my mouth and the dark deep.

Air is lead – locks away my treasure;

air chains my heart within my chest.

II

Mute –no bangs, nor cracks, or pops or whispers…

all muffled under a midnight, midwife’s pillow.

Squalshing, whurlpling masses in the dark,

far below the airy surface. I open my eyes-

no salty stings, just a sugary honed dream

I sing. ‘We live, as we dream-alone.”

Solitary composers crafting

jumbled melodies

in an endless

vortex.

oh Kubla can not…cannot disguise

his floating hair and flashing eyes.

the awe-ful fish the wonder-ful

beauty-ful terrors, entire schools

of fish-gliding wonders in the deep.

They do not sleep; innocence–

sliding like dark shooting stars;

without sun, without moon, without

eyes. But something is watching my

shape…feels my heartbeat…

beat ultra sound echoes

so close to home.

No sound of approach. Something brushes my naked calf,

a hand tickels my hair. This snare of sirens – still those pearls.

Poseidon, where are your pleasure domes? My lady, lady,

Lady of the Lake do you have an Excalibur for me? A light

shines beneath, I invert  and open the element

before me, as if commanding the clouds to part.

Again, breaststroke; again breaststroke part this blue–see for me!

III

I emerge on the edge of an oasis.

no ice, no trees, no grass. From above

it must appear a turquoise eye

in the middle of the white desert.

Image or mirage? Twice, five-times

blank expanse. 70 times 70 Seers

robed in swaddling clothing

approach me. One leans over my

form like a mother, ‘We saw you coming.”

Then they sing in unison:

‘Paradise is a pair of eyes

that open as we slumber.

Sweet dreams as honey suckles

that never lose their savor.’

My dream eyes gulp it down.

I’ve found my VATES vault.

I have become the pupil in

the Iris school. Now I see, oh

now it makes so much sence:

The Romantic “I” is born.

Porter’s Prophecy

One of the Porter Prophets at Pembroke College

Pembroke Porter A.

‘The favorite part of my job is to see 1st years on their first day: they look so nervous, askin’ all sorts of questions… and then ya see ’em grow. After three years they’ve become bright, confident young people who know what they are going to doing with their lives. “

Pembroke Porter B.

“My favorite part of being a porter is to see the students change. Over the years their are a few that you get to know…It’s interesting but within the first week you can already tell which are going to be successful  Just within watching them for a week, some think that’s playtime now that mum and dad aren’t checkin in on ya…but that’s not why you are here is it? You are here to progress.

You are here to progress.”

Porter’s Prophecy

I enter the lodge head down, the porter looks up…frowns.

No need to say, I’m totally nude but for a towel anyway.

I can hear him rant,  ‘Prior, proper, preparation

prevents poor performance,’ but I can’t help but wonder,

beyond this blunder, Can he foretell or spell out my time

here, in Cambridgeshire?

‘Porter Prophet, Prophesy!

Oh please, on one of your rings of keys

you can appease, abate, my curiosity of late

to see what I’ll undertake and what’s at stake

these next eight weeks…

You have hundreds of keys, thousands, galore!

Can’t one unlock a crystal ball? That’s all

I ask – from your aged eye, can you spy

what is in store for me?’

He leans in close. Was I too verbose?

Looks like he’ll beat me

with brass knuckles

and chuckle as I buckle. But wait–

He strokes his white whiskers…

‘I see…I see, a crown. Yes. A King.

A Pembroke King you shall be,

from module one to module three.

In college shall feel like royalty.

You have flown from afar.

and some customs you’ll find bazaar

on your cultural radar.

Baked beans for breakfast,

punting, here, is done on a punt

not on a football green–

in fact, football is soccer,

and don’t make a scene

getting run over on the wrong side of the road;

or a common mocker-ry

of the great English tradition of afternoon tea:

thou shalt remember: ‘Jam after cream.’

I see you spinning fast with a Scottish lass

twirlin’ fast in a keeley dance.

Are you wet from the sweat or the rain?

Unclear… and yet, I see,  I see

you will come to call Cambridge ‘Home.’

Yes, returning from highland heights,  and castle sights,

both fog, and bog, and green fields with a lonely lamb

back home to the gentle river cam.’

He grows silent, my towel’s still wet and damp

Is that it!? A cultural summer camp?!?!

So I implore, ‘But Mister, what more’s in store?’

Again he strokes his white whiskers–‘I see…I see–

Music will litter the streets with their beggin’ beats

and a home strung songs will carry you along

past Great St. Mary’s and the Market Square’s berries

and fruit stands. Oh how long can you stand

the spinoffs of ‘keep calm and carry on.’

On to your classes; don’t mind the masses

of tourists; every day you will hear a ‘tchau mi amici,’

‘Je t’aime,’ ‘felicitations amigo’  or ‘mutter mit arbieter,’

if not a  Chinese kid asking, ‘Take my photo please’

Remember, thou shalt honour your PKP parents,

don’t peg grinning Greg and carful Carlos

with his mutton chops – they call all the shots.

with the PA too, they know their job,

but Beware! Beware the mob!

Woe! Woe be unto you,

if you get stuck in that stretching queue,

at the CUS cafe, almost e-ver-y day

before and after lunch you want to punch the guy

that took your last grilled panini of the day–

probably from BYU anyway,

or Hong Kongo, or Cal-i-for-nia-ah.

Remember remember this hidden treasure/greatest pleasure

will endure as the cure for your thirst,

and I dirst not speak too loud for it’s frailty,

the secret is: Commensality

I think, That’s a fancy word but I have never heard

that term before or what it’s used for.

The Porter Prophet foretells and dispels my doubts:

‘It means to converse over a meal,

like: breakfast or supper, or upper-class

formal halls: with suits,

and bowties, and gowns and wine

you’ll think you’ve reached cloud nine to dine

and find new fast friends

that last long beyond the programme ends.

What’s more, I see I see…

Thou shalt respect those dastardly dons

even when their reading lists go on, and on.

Love words. love books, love the 24 hour libraries too.

Read ’em, learn ’em, love em through,

Thou shalt not forget that corpus clock

that ticks and tocks, hiccups, and locks

and eats every minute away of every day

Don’t let it rob a moment of  your 56 days

Love the classes and the grasses,

even if you cant walk on them.

Keep these words in faith without a lie,

and I can clearly prophesy:

that your heart will flicker hot with fire

whenever you remember Cambridgeshire

Soldier 23

The Lord is my Captain. In boot camp

I shall want any more Indian Runs or Log Carries.

He makes me lie prone in green pastures

for escape-and-evade drills:

He leads me into the still, polar waters

at 0600.

He restores my morale and reloads my mag.

He guides me on the path to our objective

for the mission’s sake.

And though I march into the vale of shadows and certain death

I will fear no ambush, for you are with me Captain.

Your nod and your stare, they comfort me, amid my pleas –

Medic! Mamma! Abba!

You prepare a way for my evac in the presence of enemy artillery.

Now I anoint your headstone with flowers; my heart overflows.

Surely memories and battlescars will haunt me

all the days of my life: and I will soldier on

Captainless for now.