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Edward Hughes: poetry...truth & lies


After a time,
(Some 19 years or so),
I asked him,
And straight out,
If we had a relationship.
He denied it flatly.
I went on loving him the more.

Edward Hughes


Where are all those things?
I can't remember.
Still, I have the symbols.
What were those things like?
We were not acquainted,
But I painted pictures.
How many of those things were there?
I reach for the matchbox.
What could those things mean?
We need to talk.
What about?
Squiggles, daubs, and matchsticks.
What about those things?
I lost them long ago.

Edward Hughes


When Mother died there was an absence.
It wasn't her;
Mum's still a fixture
In many a memory,
Each sharper than mine.
Her's was a life taken
In its unsuspecting flow,
Before appropriate time.
This yawning gap
Served as a warning:
Fickle fullness leads not to resolution;
Everything must some day drain.
I now look for lightness,
Not light.
I'm eyeshut to fleeting image,
Immune to all experience,
And ready to discharge any ballast.
I'll keep going so long
As my ration allows.
I seek permission to float free;
Untethered from illusive gravity.
To look down
On the filled world,
And its emptying.
To really realise
The scant sound portion
That's rightly mine.
To rise above,
And simply dream the real,
As all ideals unwind
Midst the down-there dying.
To relish earthiness,
Where truth abounds,
Scorning the buried world.

Edward Hughes

Christ! Rather You Than Me

I thought I'd shook
Your dust from my feet,
And left you behind entire.
But some part of you
Did more than stick,
By stealthy insinuation
It slipped right through,
And so I carry this alien piece
A cancer
Set in place to deride
The bigger part
That once was mine alone.
I resent its insistent voice
Putting down my faint self's
Waning plea.
And worst of all
Its bragging right
To claim the better part of me.

Edward Hughes

When We Are Allowed

Before the end,
I'd like permission to be,
And, only then,
To do.
It's not a lofty state.
Nor an amber sealing.
It merely pre-suppposes
To destruction,
Failed to do
All those things
Expected by others
And yourself.
Let's face it;
Unless you're really- you
In the doing,
The end is dressing gown tears.
The not-really you,
Driven by imaginary needs
(Yours and others),
Spasms with futile jerks
Towards the insatiable fiction
Around good works.
You're on the treadmill
Of an illusory useful life,
Going nowhere,
Red faced, and perspiring.
Take five.
Allow the really-you
To breathe,
And come alive.
Find refuge
From all the needy,
And their stinging,
Stop feeding
The gaping maw.
Show all not-reallys
The open door,
Including your not-really self,
If needs be.
(Which they probably aren't).
There is damnable difficulty
In fishing any real
From a deluded soup,
But we need to!
Mind though,
Dont re-route to existential;
Vain utterers,
Schmoozing beggars all,
Prove metaphysical stutterers,
Held in Heidegger's thrall.
Their language;
Knave-made silk,
False-promises fulfillment
From deeds arising
To satisfy the needy, and their ilk.
As if there's meaning in
Damp fireworks fizzing stoic.
As for aggrandizing
Empty hopes, and infant dreams
As a dignifed- absurd joke,
It's bloody patronising.
Let's eschew,
And return to
Non-Ontological basics:
You are,You will,You do,
With pre-lapsarian grace,
What should have never been,
An empty, alien place.
Let's make it now our familiar redoubt,
Keeping all the grasping,needy,clamour out.
Come home,
And make ready to finally act
On your being-as-becoming
Exhaled through living's fact.

Edward Hughes

Darkening Day, Lightening Mood

Lengthening days,
And I mistime
My evening walk.
Returning home,
The dog and I,
Conservatives both,
Are radically beating the dusk:
No deepening shade around.
Still lighted canopy above.
Annoyed, I shoot an upward glance
In vain spite, to hasten the darkening.
Into my well-lit view,
Hoves a captured starling horde.
Trawled squadrons,
Pulled by a vessel unseen,
Are testing the limits of the net.
Yet, all the while,
They're dragged to another fly-past
Their nightly roost,
Behind the ivy screen,
Fronting our street's big house.
Each pass allows a few more birds through
The net's neck-end to take their rest,
Before the wheel away
To sail the dusk-dark clouds again,and back.
The vessel has a benign intent,
Its twilight voyage serves to prevent,
The riot ensuing from a mass descent
Of the starling mob.
That quarrelsome, bolshie rabble,
Would, in an undignified, fruitless, scrabble,
Fail to roost,
Though the moon were a lamp in the sky.
And I chuckle to myself as I watch
The captive remainder fly,
Now exasperated,
But soon to take their ease,
And, once roosted,
Free to squabble as they please.

Edward Hughes


The world,
When I look at it,
The world I live in,
The world;
The world,
I'm in,
And thinking about.
The world
Is amazing,
Is frightening,
And all the time:
Just now.
And the space.
The speed of light.
The high explosives.
The guns.
The HD TV.
Clarity now;
I can think again,
But not about next.
I'm still amazed.
Still frightened.
And I want to damage your face.
Rub you out,
You're amazingly offensive.
Frighteningly grotesque.
I want to record my voice
Directly on to CD, now!
But my internet is not connected.
Do you want a cupcake?
My brothers know.
My Father,
He knows
I'm not boring.
I'm amazed,
And in a constant now.

Edward Hughes

The Heron Of Milnsbridge

No bigger picture,
As an English crane,
Enfolds in generous wings
All the relics
Of faded science,
And jaded industry,
In the merest detail.

No story to tell,
As the stilled sentinel,
Invigilates in sacred vacancy
All the rush-by
Of bland days,
And futile fevers,
In a throw away non-remark.

No meaning,
As its neck uncoils,
Launching an unthought spear at
All the promise
Of lives unmediated,
And progress undreamt,
In a startling act.

No divinity,
As this sentry, once more at post,
In unsought sovereignty over
All the deeds
Of herrings red,
And wider squalls,
In another non-event.

No end,nor ends,
As the crane takes flight,
In itself, and by its placing, to
All the usual situations,
Of pale theme,
And rythms familiar,
In, what is now, a little more.

Edward Hughes

Towards Latent Sufficiency

In a locked room,
We chase various tales.
None our own.

Other species criticise
All this surfeit flesh and bone.

There are no good letters,
Not even a humble handshake.

The dinner party test
Once served,
But the rules became too cruel,
Rendering England's corpse to soap.

Posturing men,
(The usual now),
Told us what we always knew
In lies:
White gold intercedes.
Genius strokes.
Springs dry up
As oceans de-luxe recede.

Let's take up arms
Against the tyrant-truth,
For this our error world,
And all got-up to please.

Edward Hughes


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