Three poems by Peter Hague from his new book: ‘Summer With The Gods’, which will be available in paperback and hardback. 184 pages 73 poems.
The backbone of Peter Hague’s work seems to be at least in-part, driven by an intriguing autobiographical investigation – part confessional, albeit developed with imagist coding. Much of this ‘search’, as we may call it, is based on the endless cycle of proactive yearnings for the simple truths about life and the role that reason and understanding play in our thoughts, as well as in our daily discoveries and awakenings. One thing is certain though, he manages to inject into his work a constant newness of unfailing excitement.
Mission and Beyond My solitude is manifest in a cold corner of the Moon. I am limp in a crater; abandoned in black and white – weak and tight amongst the seminal debris of a rain of stone. The horizon seems too close here and space appears more dangerous than on Earth. It is bigger and more valuable – uncomfortable too, where the mood of infinity calms the rattle of local chaos. It is an immense cave, stacked like a warehouse full of stars, and with me, a dim workman on the loneliest night shift, looking for orders to assemble and despatch. Playing that ignorant game of efficiency, with its worn rubber-stamp. We are allowed to forget the other, tormenting present, even if we still harbour a nightmare past. But for all my authority with wires and beams, I cannot play them far enough to span the common sense of this boundless brain of space. I feel more alone here with each silence – as empty as Lee Harvey Oswald in the Schoolbook Depository – down in the restroom, drinking Coke – trying to look natural – as someone shot the President – as if he ever could look natural, with a face like his – a face chosen for guilt. He was conscripted by suspicion itself to look through the square window of his alibi and wait for the police to bestow brief innocence upon his awkward head. Just as I look now, peering through a culpable visor that hides my truth – both suspected assassins expecting a light debriefing back on Earth. Oswald was not a natural man, as I am unnatural here, in the dry Dallas, Texas of the Moon. No one knows if I shot out the sun, or claimed this shadowed crater for its creeping cold, but I will be blamed anyway if the mission fails – “I am a patsy.” Mission Control are drinking beer and champagne and celebrating a victory which is all their own – happy their precocious rocket worked at all, with its overrated technology of tin cans and fire. I have lost everything by coming here. I have lost my way. I have lost my keys. Though I may have found the meaning of austere. I am losing my faculties too – I am a shivering loon on a derelict moon in a spacesuit sealed with glue. My memories have leaked past this polymer skin and filled a virgin planet with their unique plague – making an atmosphere of suppressed guilt or at least something irresponsible and vague. And although it may seem to register as weak, or vacuous, or impossible to measure, I can barely get my breath above this pressure. I cannot see a single thing in a suddenly laden air – it is like a fog to me and weighs me down, tired as Ophelia, beneath a watery film – almost clear, but undeniably there. I have tried my best, as we all must. I have tried to swim in this dry dust. I have attempted to photograph my presence here, out on this unforgiving, bony limb. I have tried to crack my helmet and make my mind go dim. In light of this, I have decided to explore the value of my own existence – a gross deviation from the scientific mission, but the Moon is not the stone on which this corporate adventure shall be written. Earth’s guidelines seem so rigid and futile here – a plan, emphatically briefed, but never discussed. In truth, it was little more than a rude intention to take some snapshots and collect some dust. I am going to push off this planet now with the easy gravity of my new frogs’ legs. I am defying my superiors and going on – to search for the remains of God instead. (c) Peter Hague 2021 The Ghost My house is like a ship. It creaks as I walk in its bowl of wood – especially at night, in the sea-quiet atmospheres that fold thick and deep; that haunt the air of plastered walls – these sheer cliffs, painted white. The journeys I make are simple, yet profound. One voyage takes me to a lower floor to find a ship I hear-tell has run aground. Its captain replaced by blesséd bone – a shipwrecked sailor, swimming home. And behind the noise of all this wood and wave and stone... I am a splash, that otherwise makes no sound... the last, lingering thought of a persistence, unbound. (c) Peter Hague 2021 The Importance of Clouds I could attempt to disperse the clouds but clouds do not listen to lesser gods – self-proclaimed gods, who rule by chaos – yet prove weak and powerless when countering the manifestations of clouds. To transient clouds we are conceited meddlers – scribbling fools seeking majesty in poems. Or some other improvisation of impatient thought that turns our rutted cogs a measure. Clouds do not move aside for poetry, they are the scenery of its highest domain – shifting or still – glorious or dark – without clouds, we would not have found our breath of words – these fleeting animations we must name at once, using reflexes forged in the hearts of the ancients. It is an aura of sound without formal structure; a synthesis of moods, seething in rapture; a momentary recognition of glimpsed potential, lending brief clues and mysterious epithets to the vague identity of fleeting gods. And that is where poetry ignites into song – with playful clouds full of words and faces. All looking back with liquid stirrings, then gone. The blue sky and sun are intruders in this and have never been part of poetry at all. They are a skulking happiness, hidden in vagary; a deluded world we cannot connect with; a lingering place where all time waivers and the parched dictionary slams its words shut. It is an iron mouth in futile meditation; a proven stage for the thinking of nothing; a distraction of belongings and soothing heat. It rubs its lotions of desire and silence into the accepting canvas of our translucent skin. This is the silence of sun and beauty – an easy page, neither turned from, nor begun – the host of paradise in one long sigh, parching our living entity into a husk. The sun and the sky are a lasting covenant, hiding behind the cloudy words of night – when the smoke moves aside for the poetry of stars, revealing the eloquence of our darker terrors. (c) Peter Hague 2021 A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peter Hague Here is the amazon link to Peter's new book: https://amzn.to/2Zc3ojK