3 Re-published poems from Peter Hague

photo by Kym MacKinnon (unsplash)

Three of Peter’s poems first published in a now defunct literary magazine called ‘Anima’.  Issues 4 – 2017 and 5 – 2018

The Fish-Eye Lens of Death

You cannot see the world
without some form of distortion.
It wraps around your head mysteriously –
half of it unsure
and held only in memory –
it is a second gone by 
and anything can happen,
especially in that blind spot 
of unnecessary coordination.
You cannot see the world
from any other place than where you are,
even with technology –
certainly not –
that would always be suspect and unsure.
It would likely be awash with trickery and invention.
No, you cannot see the road behind your back,
or those leaving as you turn.
The world makes you nervous that way –
makes you squirm,
until you rest in the fish-eye lens of death.
Then, with closed eyes
you are blind to nothing.

©2016 Peter Hague


Walking on Water

If I could walk on water, would I be a fool 
to think it was more than just tears beneath my feet?
That kind of skill never leads to very much,
like magic – its praise is never quite complete.
It will always seem a trick to some
and you would never gain their trust.
A true messiah would be an ordinary man,
whose wisdom leaves such elaborations out –
especially potential feet of rust.
If I were walking on water now,
I would be standing in a similar room,
on a similar street, in a similar gloom,
with a similar, tear-stained carpet at my feet,
and the warm blood of my own grail
hidden in defeat. 
This carpet is a map of things to bear,
with ripples instead of wear and tear.
I could distract myself and dance with castanets.
I could allow fishermen in to cast their nets.
But I would probably move myself on then
and start the process once again –
to summon an angel with a single click…
or just to hang this dripping carpet out 
and beat it with a stick.

©2016 Peter Hague

Out in the Estuary

I have the mind of a swollen river.
It has become brown and dirty these days –
scrubbing at its banks with a rebellious message; 
whispering with insidious lips.
It keeps me awake and makes no sense – 
washing at the roots of established trees, 
but I will not sign up to being part of the sea. 
I am a river – and between these falling shores 
I have set myself free.
			
I will languish in mud and bide my time, 
with an old, broken boat and other debris.
I have an enlightened opinion of my rippling life 
and let it pass into the blur it must be, 
but I will not follow that dilution into the sea. 

I need no details of waves and tides 
and have come to a halt in a soothing sludge. 
I am the torrent of spring that never was – 
I have seen too much and blessed it by 
and I am frozen like Lot's wife – looking back 
at the fresh water of new beginnings, 
yet undeniably tasting of salt. 


©2016 Peter Hague


5 poems from “Gain of Function” by Peter Hague


Book Review: Peter Hague “Summer With the Gods”


A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peter Hague






5 poems from “Gain of Function” by Peter Hague

Dogs of Any War

War sneaks up on you like a dog. 
It won’t tell you who wags its tail, 
or who calculates the angle of its ears. 
It will be financed to include death on all sides. 
Later, you will entertain its guest presence 
at the solemn remembrance.
It will spit in your eye.

If only we could be free of these demagogues 
who stir the controls of high office – 
devoid of skill, practice or purpose – 
the latest Sonny Jim with an army up his sleeve.
Men without insight – men without eyesight. 
They turn up for lunch and dine on your patience – 
they farm the discord of your own bitter hatred, 
then spit in your eye.


©Copyright 2020 Peter Hague. 
All rights reserved.

The Queen of Bees

As she walked the streets, the zealous bees 
flew in and out of her extensive pockets. 
Some thought it monstrous – others pitied her. 
Some thought it tragic – while others blamed magic. 

Most people threw coins into an upturned hat 
she had glued to her hair, using spoonfuls of honey. 
Never once thinking – The Queen of all Bees – 
should be scarce of money. 


©Copyright 2020 Peter Hague. 
All rights reserved.


A Trail of Feathers

Humans hurt humans 
and restrict everything else.
Yet cats are licensed 
to wander in furtive cycles – 
the strides and stops – 
the ranging eyes. 
The guilty pleasure 
of frowned upon blood. 

Loved by humans, 
they are obliged to linger, 
choosing the killing fields 
of leaves and lawns. 
Stalking communities 
of local birds – 
plotting their version 
of human atrocity. 


©Copyright 2020 Peter Hague. 
All rights reserved.

Bandwagons are Ignorance

The clamour of the bandwagon –   
its banners and its burning flags,  
is soon to fail – on tired ears. 
Its confrontation drives the wedge 
that sends the party home. 

It wallows in a threatened peace 
within disowned, disabled minds, 
where frustration, time and fake tv, 
hold us hostage to false belief. 

But we are permanent individuals here, 
not needing to weep on gathered shoulders – 
the world won’t spin our barren way 
because we slide on the blood 
of expedient injustice. 

It won’t listen, beyond that first wave 
of blind, hollow ignorance – 
where the loudest unskilled voice 
chimes only for the bitter crumb 
of redundant apology.


©Copyright 2020 Peter Hague. 
All rights reserved.

The Way of Paranoia

If you develop eyes 
in the back of your head 
they will only serve 
to dement your courage. 
They will introduce thoughts 
that blister and distract – 
that follow and question – 
reproach and chide.

Set your gaze forward 
to binocular distance. 
Develop a camouflage 
for the sacks of your flanks. 
It will deny the suspicion 
of psychotic persistence – 
deny the endurance 
of neurotic scrutinies.


Book Review: Peter Hague “Summer With the Gods”


3 poems from “Summer With the Gods” by Peter Hague

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peter Hague


Book Review: Peter Hague “Summer With the Gods”

The latest book from Peter Hague is 73 poems that is an exploration of a poet. As he deals with last efforts in trying to figure out this whole universal perspective. What is the cause of these constant twirls around the sun each day? What makes sense and doesn’t? How does a god or “gods” see and do they judge now or do they let you figure things out? These poems have been worked on for 5 years and it shows Peter (the poet’s progression) in trying to solve his own answers. With a unique pattern of word formations that could only be Peter Hague’s poetry, he is able to keep you guessing on where the poet is heading with finding out his ultimate answer. The book has 5 phases to work through “Visitations, Rumours, Obstacles, Encryptions & Reprisals. Beginning with a wonderful observational poem through a mind searching and determining “A Watcher-god” explores how a god can either be the cause of beauty, yet overlooking to see what everyone does with that beauty, and even yet determines whether you pass a judgment or deemed an invitation. Peter’s language is impeccable and imagery in this journey is like reading a fiction novel at times trying to figure out where this journey is leading to. The moon perhaps? Just as magnetic is the poetry in this book.

Peter is influenced by wonderful writers such as T.S. Eliot, Leonard Cohen, Philip Larkin, Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, Kathleen Raine among others. You can see layers of these great writers in the crust of Peter’s writings. They laid down the footprints in sands for him to walk in and seep in what is left of their genius he picks up in his journey.

https://www.peterhague.com/

https://amzn.to/3CEpZEm

3 poems from “Summer With the Gods” by Peter Hague

2 poems by Peter Hague for Before I Turn Into Gold Day

2 Poems by Peter Hague : “Eco Warrior:Future as Promised” & “Dark in the Woods”

3 poems from “Summer With the Gods” by Peter Hague

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.

https://www.peterhague.com

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




2 poems by Peter Hague for Before I Turn Into Gold Day

Geoffrey Wren (c)

Stranger Still in Utility Sunlight

to the memory of Leonard Cohen

Leonard, it is time for the Moon. 
I know you are a poor lover of its simple ways 
and think it somehow shallow, 
but I still have a job to do; 
a challenge to bear – and by the way, 
I still think you retired too soon… 

Okay then, Leonard, let us forget the Moon – 
it is time for the Sun. 
I think you entrusted your safety to the Sun 
and that is why you left for Greece. 
In fact, I think you are still there – writing: 
perhaps a third novel called: 
The Book of Longing for Something Else?

The Sun is gracious – it minds its own business. 
It shines our shoes – it keeps its distance. 
It wears no mask or stranger's face.
It is a friend to our eyes in what it does best – 
out there beyond our current position – 
that of basking in the dividend 
of legitimate shade.


This is Silence 
On the death of Leonard Cohen 2016

Thank you for filling the silence 
with a wisdom we could claim. 
Thank you for filling the darkness 
with a holy flame. 

You sat at your usual table;
we gathered your final light – 
as you spread your words like playing cards 
and signed a treaty with the night.

We followed the lines of your poems, 
and your songs, with their luminous thought, 
that now become rumours of our own demise – 
in this field of wounded hearts. 
        
So until then, and though we have your song, 
we will miss your breath of carefulness 
in a silence that seems wrong.


A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peter Hague

Avalanches in Poetry 2 entries by Peter Hague :  “I Did Not Want it Darker””Between Leonards” “Following Leonard”

2 Poems by Peter Hague : “Eco Warrior:Future as Promised” & “Dark in the Woods”

Wonderful Artwork from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by artist/writer Geoffrey Wren

5 poems inspired by Leonard Cohen by Robert Frede Kenter (Before I Turn Into Gold Day)

3 poems by Ethan McGuire inspired by Leonard Cohen for Before I Turn Into Gold Day

Poem “Eclipse” by Joan Hawkins for Before I Turn Into Gold Day

3 poems from ps pirro from Fevers of the Mind Anthology & Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

All of the poems (revised) from Avalanches in Poetry for Leonard Cohen Week by David L O’Nan
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