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The title poetry sequence of my collection, "The Bad Seed"

The Bad Seed

9949037b676f84f0e13774888cbcd136by Dee Sunshine29 Oct 2019

This one is sunset red, rich as womb blood,
Thick as flesh:
It tastes of fire and sex
And finger probes the hollow folds
Of dormant rotten mass
While eggshell strips are slowly ripped
With tainted talons and Godless taunts.

The blue is sharp, neon, etheric,
Cauterising the eyes,
A topography of dilapidated sky:
It shrivels the soul
In static strata -
The stark vastness
Of its wide open
Restless space,
A question mark?

And this fibre of daffadown yellow:
It grips and scorches
The sleeping heart
With cruel springtime
Flick knife twists -
A cabbage moth
On wings of vacant hope.

These strands of primal colour
Weaving through light and dark
Spirals of sunken spectrum:
A loom of illumination;
Its cloth,
A spectral aquarelle
Of phosphorescent wash,
An edgeless sfumato rainbow;
But ever deceptive
To the finger's tentative touch.

See this pink one?
It promises purification:
The cold calm recollection
Of selfless, soul-embracing love,
But do not listen to its lies -
For like a siren sat on coral rocks
Its song will surely tempt you
To the massive heaving shoreline
And dash your spirit to dust.

And this mossy Kerry green:
A corrosive mist which dimly caresses
The steely harp's catgut strings,
Ringing out a saline tune
Which rusts the bridge
Which spans the years
From battered birth to wistful grave.

And all these colours, a blurred contusion
And all the polychromatic confusion
From mother of pearl to brown and grey,
A myriad hues of every shade:
From sable strokes on sacking cloth
And pigment smears of clotted oil,
The sheeted mirror of wants and needs;
A lust for life and trust in death,
A karmic cheque of thoughts and deeds,
These rainbow ribbons which steal the breath.


The web is flexible, but tightly spun,
Allowing the illusion of movement
Whilst holding you fast.
There is the smell of cordite and sweat
And a vague hint of threat,
But nothing tangible,
Nothing you can grasp
(And anyway, your hands are tied).

You dance in the shaman's shadow,
A whirling dervish,
Trailing ribbons in your wake,
In acid arcs of burning colour.
You are dancing in a dreamscape,
A shifting topography
Of ruined cities, deserts
And empty highways.
There is a vague hint of holocaust,
But nothing tangible
(And anyway, it's always summer now
In your dreams).

Imagine then, the book of the dead,
Lying unread
On your bedside table.
Imagine the smells of sex and sweat,
The upturned cup of blood,
The vomit pile
Of black bile flowers.

Now, enter the actor, stage left:
A cascade of black narcissi
Clasped to his breast.
He kisses them in the half light
With fat petulant lips
All a pouting;
And plucks them from their stems
With fickle finger tips
As his audience watches, delighted,
In suspense,
Waiting for something to snap.

And in the unlit back alley
Where the wind whips up
The weekend's detritus
A primal drama is re-enacted:
Hunter and quarry
A pornographic hieroglyph -
In the stillness of the night.

And then you're back in this city room
With the rain falling all over the blankets
And her sobbing beside you,
A broken doll
In your thick arms,
A thesaurus of platitudes
spilling from your tongue,
And the echo of a scream
Ringing round your ears.

Then the contractions come on,
And tighter still:
There's klaxons and sirens and bells;
And ribbons, all pretty coloured,
Blowing about like a bloody jamboree.


He was naked on the motorway, running away:
Tattered fetters trailing from his wrists;
The sweat dribbling in his eyes,
He was running blind:
His head, a blur
Of cathode radiation.

It was a particularly twisted sadism
That caused them to inflict upon him
The hollow brands and blandishments
Peculiar to their station.
"Cruel to be kind
And kind to be cruel." They said,
Whilst rubbing together
Their fat glutinous hands
And secreting saliva
From involuntary glands.

And all the while inside,
Deep inside,
The small boy
Who's trying to hide:
The small boy
They cannot touch
Who misses his mummy
Very much.

And through the filthy smog of time
With all its chaos and its grime
You want to reach and grab the light
And assure the boy it'll be alright.

But there's no reaching back now:
The turnpike here
Only twists one way
and the turnpike keeper
Must be paid.

You know these celluloid strips
Lodged in your brain?
They cannot be edited:
Only played
Again and again and again.

They made him take the ribbons in his hands
And tie them up in patterns and proportions
With numbers and common denominations
In fractious factions
Associated with corporations
Where mumbo jumbo preachers preached:
"Each according to his station"
And pointing pedants each repeated
A list of rules and regulations
While tangents curved their measured arcs
Of quadratic inequation
(and this indeed they deigned to call
A 'comprehensive' education).

They said it was good for him, this.
They said it was good, but he never heard.
He just went right on crying
On and on about the dead bird:
The dead bird on the splattered tarmac,
All red blood and neon green.

So they tied him up and made him smile
and stuffed his head with cotton wool
And filled him up unto the brim
With whisky, sex and gold.
They said that it was good for him,
Good for him to be a man:
So he smiled & drunk & fucked & fought
And placed a mask upon his face.

And when at last he was undone
They let him go upon his way,
Past the turnpike and the toll
Then over the hills and faraway.


He watched,
In shock,
The black bird
Spiral and fall
And crash,
Crash black
Into the tarmac:
A slash of black
Thru' a sky
Of silver and neon.

Sweet bird of death,
Sweet bird
In a sick green world.

He stooped over
And watched:
So unable to touch.

Charcoal thing,
So little
In its broken wings
With its broken eyes
And broken beak.

In the charnel soil:
Falling and flailing
In short sharp gasps
Of the nervous end.


These brackish waters
Do not slake the thirst,
Nor put out
The acid fires
That burn the holes within.


This bird is shallow shadow:
A grey echo, receding,
Retreating into grey dawn -
Its bleached bones, broken;
The gawping beak
Singing no song.


This seed has grown within:
A barren twisted tree;
Its roots thrust into acrid soil;
Its branches flocked
With winged cadavers
Who fuck and fight
And eat and shite
Under awnings
Of rotten blossom
And disappointed fruit.


The girl with the sugarsweet smile
Is no longer sweet or smiling:
Her face is copper green,
Scrubbed clean
Of all expression;
Any lingering trace of secretion
Has neatly been showered away.

The only tangible impression
Of any emotion
Is seen in the trembling of hands;
And these you imagine
Viciously pulling,
Tighter and tighter,
The ribbons around your brain.


In the pissing river,
Drinking the dust
Into your lungs:
And straining;
And all the while
The pissing river


Upon the terracotta ribbon strand
The Angel entreats him,
Silently pleading:
"Behold the lamb of God!"

The lamb stares blindly out
From bleeding inward eye,
Crying aloud: "My God, My God,
Why didst thou deceive me?"

Oil black crow
Sweeps a parabola arc
Crashing black
Into the tarmac.

The motorway is empty, eerie:
He treads the tarmac wordlessly,
Ether & blood & ice
Pumping to the rhythm of the night.

The Angel, all-knowing,
But elusive,
Gives a knowing look:
Alludes to the good seed
Buried safe
Behind the looking glass.

Crumpled by gravity,
He peers gravely
Into the glass:
A pool of fool's gold.

The crow,
Black and majestic,
And in one swift
Mercurial leap,
Impales the lamb
Upon his beak.


Stranded on the central reservation,
Soaked in oily spindrift,
With the seagulls calling:
Black waves crash
Upon shifting sands
And the sun beats down,

Along the strand,
Shimmering in heat haze,
An Angel approaches,

Then she's gone:
Just the motorway remaining;
And in the depths of sky,
No stars,
No fire -
Only the pissing river,


Her eyes are red and dry:
The war rages
In the dark corners
Of her head.

Mirrors and windows are sheeted:
Shadowy figures mourn
The passing
Of the dead.


He kisses her hair
And says: "there there"
But his mind is elsewhere.

He blows an indifferent whisper
Into the depths of her ear
And little shivers run thru' her,
Like the shivering of waves
On a cold blue sea.

Her eyes are pools:
Her mouth, a river;
Her body, an ocean.
He treads her restless shoreline,
Uneasily naked,
A starfish grasped
In his soft wet hand.

Fumble fingered,
He strokes it;
And filaments of dust
Detach and fall,
Feathery as spindrift.


She talks about her father;
And the dislocation
In the faraway spaces
Behind his eyes.
Her voice is soft,
Almost sobbing:
It murmurs like the riptide.

Her father had strange eyes:
He was a stranger
From a faraway place.

She touches her breast,
Cries a broken doll cry,
"Papa, papa."
Her eyes glaze,
Skin flowers red:
"Love me, love me," she says.

Her body thrashes beneath him:
An angry ocean,
And torn open.


They fuck on the motorway:
The crows go wild
And fly away.

She is cool, blue-eyed:
Slow as a river in floodtide.

The process is sad and unending:
A funeral procession
Thru' childhood streets;
Past crumbling buildings
And open closemouths
Where lovers trade
Darkling kisses,
Shaky and bursting.

His eyes are ashes,
His lips, dry:
The birds are scattered;
A flurry of black wings
Against a rusted metal sky.

Loneliness creeps upon him,
Wraps her tarry arms
Around his broken frame
And drags him further in.


She whispers her panic into his ears:
Endless channels and passages
Into empty space.
He is dreaming in empty space.

They fuck
In blind, groping fury,
Clinging together:
They come together
And come apart.

Her tears are a dream in empty space.
Her song is sung
And everything is done and undone.

They hold onto each other:
They hold on for dear life.