In the Russian Wood

I searched through the trees
in the Russian wood.
The bullish wren,
reciting from the brush.

The towers loomed
in the pale morning
air, spring waking
slowly in the green lawns,

and the chaffinch
showing in the elder.
He was soon to sing.
A Chinese woman threw

a ball to her baby boy,
he motored
after the rainbow-coloured
thing. His grandmother

floated in their wake,
the gentle manoeuvres
of a knowing,
loving mother to more

than her first,
and foremost.

© Daniel James Greenwood 2011

The Dripping Park

The dripping park:
black and sodden cotton,
the brink of dark,
exultant, the dripping park.

I am speaking Russian –
‘Meenya zavoot Danila!’
and you are overawed like a child.
You reply fluently so I stop.

You move beneath a pink umbrella,
and in the near night I miss you.
The rain meets your curls,
your white cotton.

The dripping park:
black trees and shivering ponds.
Cars are fizzing on the outside.

You step into a hidden pool,
taking a tissue from your bag
you wipe your ankle down,
your hair lurches over as you bend.

We are on the brink, the break of dark.
The lanterns lull.

We are leaving…
on cracked and caving paving.

© Daniel James Greenwood 2011

Like Starlings

I am like a starling,
I mimic people passing,
and craning from the roof,
I whistle a little tune.

We are just like starlings,
with iridescent markings,
we gather on the roof,
we play our little flutes.

I am but a starling,
I call to people passing,
and perched up on the weathervane,
I play my little flute.

We are all like starlings,
we sing to people passing,
our bodies made for dancing,
we sing our little tunes.

© Daniel James Greenwood 2011

If I am not in love

If I am not in love
I can be found,
tearing pages from children’s colouring books,
letting them into the dock.

If I am not in love
I can be found,
mugging schoolboys
for their headphones.

If I am not in love
I can be found,
sinking rowboats
in Regent’s Park.

If I am not in love
I can be heard,
speeding past your house
blaring funky house.

If I am not in love
I can be found,
burning plastic figurines
in midday alleyways.

If I am not in love
I have been known
to throw stones, at the windows
of the Sefton Palm House.

If I am not in love
I can be found,
pouring thick black oil
into my sleeping neighbour’s pond.

If I am not in love
I can be found,
belching in the cosmetics aisle
of a monolithic supermarket.

If I am not in love
I can be seen,
picking my nose and sat at this desk
by my bedroom window.

© Daniel James Greenwood, 2010

For Anna

From her sickbed she
heard the cranes cry
and flee, from the
dry autumn field.

She listened
to the golden oriole,
singing in the spring,
she knew of where they flew.

It was her willow
and nameless trees,
felled along
the avenues of her childhood,

they opened
and taught me how to be,
to sense the life of the land,
and its song.

© Daniel James Greenwood, 2011

Liverpool is

Liverpool is baggy black tracksuits and bristled haircuts
Liverpool is tight blue jeans and flowing hair
Liverpool is a man suckling cigarette stubs outside the Adelphi
Liverpool is a falling crane
Liverpool is a gale halting you on Renshaw Street
Liverpool is Blackburn girls, Burnley girls, Shropshire girls, Derby girls
Liverpool is kissing on hot midnight slip roads
Liverpool is your arm across your breasts in the dark
Liverpool is the volcanic dusk
Liverpool is the smell of microwaved animals
Liverpool is pigeons eating chicken wings
Liverpool is the old violinist of Bold Street scratching out a tune
Liverpool is jobless and underpaid
Liverpool is a street of abandoned houses
Liverpool is an open sky.
Liverpool is Old Swan: aunts and uncles, cousins, scouse for dinner, lots of kisses
Liverpool is cinema: scaling rooftops in the dark/the juice of putrid pigeon flesh/stalactites/decade-old popcorn still for sale
Liverpool is pissing in the sink
Liverpool is Allerton and artificial football pitches
Liverpool is eleven-a-side in deepest winter
Liverpool is lolling my calf muscles in the back of your Dad’s car
Liverpool is blood in the corner of a bedsheet
Liverpool is coming into Lime Street
Liverpool is cracked paving spitting murk
Liverpool is cathedrals like ships anchored inland
Liverpool is an open sky.

© Daniel James Greenwood, 2011

The Feral Youth, The Unemployed

The feral youth,
the unemployed,
a mob of laughing teenage boys,
are burning towns to black.

The feral youth,
the unemployed,
a gang of hooded teenage boys,
they’re turning up in packs.

The feral youth,
the unemployed,
these fashion-conscious teenage boys,
they’re looting what they lack.

The feral youth
are now employed,
they’re robbing houses,
malls and stores,
and they see nothing wrong with that.

© Daniel James Greenwood, 2011

The Crow on the Crossbar

It was a grey November
afternoon, I walked
the leaf-lit street,
I sent slender letters.

I took to the Rye with adventure in mind,
where dogs scattered tame,
and their walkers strolled
aimlessly along.

A jay barked
at the young heron
(burping)
on the bridge.

It watched me down its beak,
and the brown rat,
ambled across the passage,
underneath.

In the alien plane
wood, redwing
were rumoured.
But all I found:

the conspicuous corvid
and the murmuration
of feeding, fleeing starlings,
(autumn’s little darlings).

On the Common I called
myself a writer,
the crow on the crossbar
eyed me lustily.

I kicked around the dull ceiling,
with dark birds and leaves,
the spectre
of a stillborn summer.

All was sweet in the concrete.
The grocer filled his
bags with sold veg
and his willow canes lay in a bunch on the pavement.

A couple asked for the ashes
as I took to the undulating
paths of the old cemetery.

The magpie perched tropical
on a gravestone.

I touched the frills of turquoise
lichens, eyed the portals
in the condominium
of the dead and fallen

birch.

Helicopters were whales
in the deep sea sky,
the moaning after noon.

They lay the boy in his grave
and gunshots skipped the gloom.

*

Luv u fam,
Miss u fam,
Neva guna forget u fam.

© Daniel James Greenwood, 2011