You can wind my key and make me speak;
make me reveal what I meant at the time.
For I am a clockwork poem – poised for the telling –
a creature in resonance with the envy of weapons.
I am armoured with precision and subtle pledges;
angled with a soft heart, made good with bone.
I sleep one-eyed, behind the shards of palings –
and the billboard clouds of enormous fences.
I will return to my position via the autotomy of time;
discarding whole decades in an easy process.
The key that winds – unlocks the door
and the truth of the poem steps out of its frame.
You will shoulder me proudly – as a trusted stranger,
stumbling with the duty of accepted pursuance;
matching my steps through the space between ages
and settling for adventure in place of doubt.
I will guide you beyond the scope of your peers;
past all experiments and beneath all pretensions.
I will take you to the truth I found in mansions,
and in all the crevices of the passing years.
Your eyes have the energy of the coiling spring –
your mind is the key that turns again.
Turn it to trigger these clockwork poems
and prepare for the dichotomy of a cog’s embrace.
Comfort Poem at SeaTo the memory of Hart Crane. 1899-1932
It cannot be death without a poem –
something to wrap my agony inside before I sleep;
before I rest beneath this vertical tide
that falls away so steep.
Write the words across my sheets –
the billowing pages of unfurled letters
are the only wrappings I can take;
the only sails that will carry me forth,
beyond the chains of a snagging wake.
Can you not just see I want to sleep?
Let the weight of words
carry me down
The Old Skills of Applied Austerity
We live our lives like fugitives in the rough and tumble –
a chanting of souls who fear no evil.
As bathers, without soap or water.
When we are all strewn across the post-apocalyptic chaos,
we, the eternal peasants, will be a revelation to behold.
Accustomed to pain and the simple devotions,
we will teach you all –
you surprised and manicured people.
We will teach you the skills you will need for coping
in the face of a sudden and universal malevolence –
in the jaws of an abyss you refused to revoke.
We live our lives like fugitives in the rough and tumble –
stand aside and we will guide you home.
Purchase Peter's book below:
Bio: Peter Hague has written most of his life and always returned to it, like it was some sort of duty - a way of explaining the world - or testing it. His five books of poetry, including 'Summer With The Gods', 'Louder Prayers' and 'The Momentary Clock' all display a landmark development of his talent - one defined in a period of re-invention which began to take place around 2016. Also available are 'Gain of Function', which is a collection produced during the febrile atmosphere of the pandemic, and 'Hope in the Heart of Hatred': a 'bridge' between his earlier work and the work he is doing now. A number of other books are in production, encompassing both his exciting current work and a revival of his early output, stretching back to the nineteen-seventies. He has finally decided to concentrate his remaining years on a quest to become a voice in poetry. Throughout the preceding decades Peter Hague was a creative director at a number of design and advertising agencies before going freelance. He has also been known as a digital artist, going by the art name of 'e-brink'. There is an e-brink web site displaying many of his creations. Website: https: //www.peterhague.com Twitter: @PeterHague
Midnight SquallIn Memory of Anne Sexton
Here at death’s doorway –
gothic and brooding.
Depression is king –
I can’t be happy with anything.
Any burst of Sun.
I have checked my sextant
and I am rowing home.
I have done my hitch!
I have crossed my canvas –
stitch by stitch.
(c)Peter Hague 2020
"Bio: Peter Hague has written and studied poetry for most of his life and now has a number of books available including ‘Gain of Function’ and ’Summer With The Gods’. His main occupation was Creative Director in the field of advertising and design. He has a dedicated web site at https://peterhague.com and a digital art site at http://e-brink.co.uk He posts frequently on the web
*These first two poems were written in response to the war in Ukraine and first published on Twitter. They will appear in a new volume of poetry in September* The last poem is from Peter’s book ‘Louder Prayers’
The Poor Pariah
Where will the world go now without Russia –
without its complex weave of power and monstrosity?
Where will the world move to sit apart
from these endless instalments of misread glory;
from beyond this confusion of the rebirth of empire.
The philosophical conversation of war and peace
still burns in the anxiety of the Russian hearth –
with the crime and punishment of jealous blood,
where the vanity of conquerers justifies death.
We will need a place where their guns are silent
now we have found our own guns wanting or misplaced.
We will disguise our weakness with sanctions and aid,
while firing sterile criticism at logistical targets –
wounding ourselves with the backlash of expectation;
falling for the politics of jingoistic representation.
Mediocrity has been embraced by the crumbling West
and nursed to a position of fragile health.
We will conduct a proxy war of pompous psychology,
passing forth munitions from an imagined safety –
while always underestimating the crude march of ambition
and the patriotic fervour in the idiot soul.
And Death Shall Have No Opinion?
If I wear your flag on my lapel
will it help you win the futility of war?
Or will you be displaced by reckless courage –
buried beneath the illusion you were fighting for.
My badge of promises may not be secure;
it may lead you up a deadly path –
where the earth is scorched and the trees grotesque
and we all play dead in the aftermath.
A skein of geese crossed my path;
high in my window and heading north.
I was on a treadmill – ebbing into the future;
moving like a time machine –
moving like a V shape.
Wolfpack Contributor: Peter HagueA Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peter Hague3 Re-published poems from Peter Hague
“Bio: Peter Hague has written and studied poetry for most of his life and now has a number of books available including ‘Gain of Function’ and ’Summer With The Gods’. His main occupation was Creative Director in the field of advertising and design. He has a dedicated web site at https://peterhague.com and a digital art site at http://e-brink.co.uk He posts frequently on the web @PeterHague”
Features artwork by Geoffrey Wren, poetry & stories from David L O’Nan, Ethan McGuire, Tom Harding, Joe Kidd, Robert Frede Kenter, Joan Hawkins, Ankh Spice, Arthur L Wood, Sadie Maskery, Kari Ann Flickinger, ps pirro, Peter Hague, Lorna Wood, Benjamin Adair Murphy, Attracta Fahy, Christina Strigas, Barney-Ashton Bullock, John W. Leys, Amy Barnes, Jim Young, Elizabeth Cusack, Richard LeDue, Michael Igoe, Samantha Terrell, Lisa Alletson, Carrie Sword, Samantha Merz, Janet Beekman, Lennon Stravato, Catherine Graham, William Taylor Jr, Kat Blair, Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, S. Reeson, Shane Schick, Gerald Jatzek, Merril D. Smith, Jim Feeney