Ascent, Jeremy Page

A suite of poems inspired by the seven Biblical days of creation:

Monday – Heaven & Earth, Light & Darkness  /  Tuesday – Sky & Sea  /   Wednesday – Land & Vegetation  / Intermission  /  Thursday – Stars, Sun & Moon  /   Friday – Sea Creatures & Birds  /   Saturday  – Land Animals  /   Sunday  – Rest

 

 Monday          Heaven & Earth, Light & Darkness

 

Waking Life

In the dark, God leans over Life and stares,
She’s curled in a blanket, breathing in sighs.
Grey eyes trace her outline; long back, short hair.
Lips fallen open, arms slumped to the side.

He smiles, goes to the corner of the room –
The window. He slides his thumb on the sill.
Through the cracks white slits of light breaking through,
Like a pillar of salt, I’m frozen still.

She rolls over gently, scratches her cheek.
I imagine her eyes, the deepest brown,
And wonder how long she has been asleep –
Curled up in darkness, not making a sound.

He whispers ‘…let?’ I can’t quite understand,
Then grins, the thoughts ticking over his mind.
Rolling around in the palm of his hand
The long string of beads to open the blinds.

‘Let there…’, he breathes out deep into the dark.
God dammit. Why not let the poor girl rest?
‘Let there be…’ I stumble, clutching my heart.
What horrors we might avoid if she slept?

As the last word drips like oil from his tongue
Chaos rushes in and shatters the peace.
My mouth dry as salt, bedroom drenched in sun,
All hell broken loose, life flung from the sheets.

 

Looking for God

as a boy with a bible
‘let there be light!’
a booming voice
from a white beard
flashing silver
then stillness; a quiet day,
a bubbling stream.

now that tired imperative
sets my thoughts off
tilling the void
in a black sea.
look for a pier
we might find him,
that sandal-clad swindler,

waiting somewhere in the dark.
calm, collected.
handsome devil!
hand in a loin cloth pocket
by a lamp post,
the other hand flipping a
silver coin in the dim light.

 

 

Tuesday          Sky & Sea

 

Blue Planet

Naturally blue is a popular choice
with connotations of cleanliness, purification
one imagines the sea reflecting the sky
(even vice versa if you prefer)
they say it slows the
metabolism
it has that much of a
calming effect, almost cathartic in its
reassurance, soothing, particularly light blue,
which is more a health or healing colour; rejuvenation.
for you we’ve moved to the darker side of the spectrum,
strong contrast against the white means precision
knowledge power integrity masculine yet
not too strong or overpowering.
we like to think of it like
afternoon sky
meets
afternoon sea.
further, we propose this scheme
with just a brief flash of silver on print collateral
spot foiled with a matte finish on all stocks.
strong yet subtle; enough (we think)
to set you guys apart.
let’s be frank
green’s been done.
we live on the blue planet.
moving forward, apply this branding
across your entire print and digital collateral
and you will effectively establish
So & So Petroleum
as the future;
the market leader
in your industry on this
blue planet
of ours.

 

Explore

underneath it all
are we all explorers?

I’ve a poor sense of direction.
asked to locate Iceland would
no doubt send an index finger
hovering awkwardly
somewhere over Europe, yet

staring at the ocean
still makes me hate the familiar smell of us
caked in sheets I can’t quite remember buying

standing there
staring at the horizon
the tangy smell of salt, the whitewash
popping and fizzing on the shore like an aspirin

makes me crave some sweet sandy distant nowhere
cheap jewellery, a stranger’s perfume
around my neck like petrol, suffocating

like a lost explorer,
legs swung over the side of a ship
staring out at the sea, craving something

somewhere hidden in that fold
between the sky and the sea.

 

 

Wednesday          Land & Vegetation

 

Sour Fruit

there will come a day when
the last fruit that will ever grow
hangs, an apple perhaps
from a fragile stem
on an unremarkable hill
littered with debris
cigarettes, chip wrappers
when all is still
the fruit, its stem thin
will drop thud in the dirt
flesh seeds core skin
laid on the earth

a creature that remains
perhaps a rat
will dart out from a rock
and somewhere in its veins
greedy cells once in man
will turn its eyes head
spark desire in its brain
have it scan
see, find, devour
bite by bite
down to the last morsel
over a day, a few hours

until just the stem is left
to rot into the earth
and the rat, over time
like all, meets death
a scavenger, perhaps a crow
will find it, and eat
grinding bits of rat and fruit
and us within its beak
no doubt it won’t help but note
when on those cells of ours
that in every body mostly sweet
there’s a couple bites of sour.

 

 

Intermission

 

Wednesdays

wednesdays are nothing days.
intermissions, white clouds,
that awful dark orange that tries
so hard not to be red;
that ice cube tray that
refuses to crack when bent.

no one ever suggested a date
for a wednesday evening,
dinner from that place
you thought you wouldn’t
order from again – but did
on a wednesday.

wednesdays are beige,
lukewarm moccacinos;
they are those brief moments
every second line in which one is
neither inhaling nor exhaling,
that pause soon forgotten
like love, half embraced.

 

Footnote*

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

1 Poetry is in the footnotes. Not the main article.
2 It’s between the lines (crumpled paper in a waste bin).
3 Discarded, dusty. Beauty is shy
4 Hides, in creases.
5 Swells like a headache
6 Is skimmed over like a stranger.

 

Looking Back.

Thinking back’s always a bit like
staring down a cobbled road
that kinks and jerks back down the hill
and spills like ink into the damp valley
just out of focus
that wayward track with the brambles
you ended up on
somehow,
that jagged rock you stopped to rest against
where you were bitten by a bull ant
you grinded with your thumb against the rock.

Thinking forward’s always a bit like
standing by the side of a highway
in a dry heat, mouth parched
staring into the white sun
shielding your eyes with your hands
waiting for a break in the traffic
that never comes.

 

 

Thursday          Stars, Sun & Moon

 

Sapere Aude.*

Setting down an oil lamp
on a desk damp with the cold,
the darkness retreats in the glowing light
swims into the loft.

He looks around with his wide oak stare.

Through the window a streak of light
catches the instruments in the corner
(to be sold by the docks)
a glint of gold; flashing silver.

Under a pen,
edges curled like a sail, a sheet reads
The phases of Venus
things do change!

Things must change.

Adjusting the axis with his cold bare hands,
the telescope is thrust in the night air like a spear.

* ‘Dare to know’ – Kant’s motto of the Enlightenment.

 

 

Friday          Sea Creatures & Birds

 

Frauds

Flying Fish are frauds.
I’ve seen them. They don’t fly.

Nor are they entirely right
to call themselves Fish proper

with their cocky aspirations
of something more,

their pathetic leap-and-land, dive-and-dip,
thrashing their wings in a panic.

Slippery, quivering at speed they
slide beneath the surface then
pop
they arch through the air
caught
suspended as a still pendulum
stuck
silenced
acquiesced
a hated job
gritted teeth
love unspoken
a pen in the drawer

like Flying Fish
we live our lives.

 

 

Saturday          Land Animals

 

You’ve Got to Live

You’ve got to live
man said, his dry bare hands clutching
the jittery hind legs of a large bird
steady steady now
quick as possible
clop, boil it whole and I’ll take the leg.

root veg, honey glazed
sweet and sticky pork bits
crackle crackle bit of fat’s good for a man

you’ve got to live
man said, his dry bare hands round
the ear of a bleating cow
steady steady now
keep it moving
zap prod no no calf that milks not for you

serve it bleu, cream jus
thick rich pouring dish
pour pour of course dear eat until you’re

full cream milk you’ve to skim
the fat off gravy churn churn
heat cool firm rich sharp steel
razor sharp wire parmesan bite sharp
seared sharp beaks crackle crackle prod prod
dry bare hands grab
cold flesh shrink wrapped special 3.99
you’ve got to eat.

 

 

Sunday          Rest

 

Rest

Roses, Only by other names:
Perfume. Desire smells so sweet.
Dove. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Double strength, tough on stains.
Sleep. Eat. Feast For One.
Microwave. Tasty treats.
Sleep. Fuck. Breakfast in bed.
Grease like sweat between creased sheets.

Wash. Repeat. Tough on grease.
Two for one. Linen fresh.
No more tears. No regrets.
Get out. I need some peace.
Please eat. Polished silverware.
Steel forks scratch at flesh; lust.
Somewhere in a room beneath the stairs
Books like ballgowns gather dust.

 

Sabbath

BREAKING NEWS
the violence continues
Live
see it first
More riots in the streets of
We go LIVE
because you’re worth it
this morning
several bomb blasts
We are unable at this point
Audi Pepsi Ralph Lauren
to confirm the exact location
identity of the perpetrator
his whereabouts
are still unknown
police are advising
Covergirl Stayfree McDonalds
if you do notice anything suspicious
call this number
CALL THIS NUMBER
Toll-free
Free Quotes
We go live
LIVE
more riots in the streets of
back to you
because you’re worth it
back to you in the studio
lights fade
Roll credits in three two
one
Oh my
god
slumped in an armchair
crumbs in his lap
and he saw that it was good.

Jeremy Page

Having been obsessed with language and literature since an early age, Jeremy is finally studying and near completing a BA with a double major in Writing and Philosophy. As a professional graphic designer outside the classroom, his long term ambition is to write, design, publish and market his own poetry and philosophically-inspired fiction.

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