As promised, here are some recorded readings of my own poetry, complete with a display of words for each corresponding one.
Click on the titles below to access each recording. If viewing this page on a mobile phone you should still be able to see the accompanying written poems with their intended line breaks, though some of the longer lines may spill over. If so, use your phone in landscape mode.
First Published in 2022: 'The Momentary Clock'Understanding ChaosThere is nothing here but the fullness of summer, with its birds and beaks tapping out the hollow sound of hours. Of many hours; of many moments; of many summers on reseeded ground.There is nothing here but the whole of summer. I will make my sacrifice to imagined gods.©2022Peter Hague
First Published in 2022: 'The Momentary Clock'The Microphone of Love The microphone of love is a terrible thing. It whispers all our comments into the smothering street. Where the burden of semantics deranges all our words and our hearts are ever swollen by this bullying betrayal. I saw you at the bus stop heading for a plane to fly you out to anywhere and lose me in the game Love’s microphone was listening but you never said a word. You went away, not in silence, but singing like a bird.©2022Peter Hague
First Published in 2022: 'The Momentary Clock'The City of PalmsYou must keep the virtues and the low volume of your populous. And not be degraded by the discomfort of turmoil. That deafening cacophony of the broadening minority who seek to pull down the palms of your Jericho.©2022Peter Hague
First Published in 2022: 'The Momentary Clock'A Hex on the AnointedI came down from the mountains to listen to the people. They hated each other and spoke with dark malice. They had grown their own cancer with a murderous media who dealt in histrionics and preordained conclusions. There was no rationality, only febrile monstrosity, while the West bewitched its heart with a mistaken woke... and with the accepted guilt; and the rotten heartache; and the terrible self-doubt of a wounded conscience. They did envy the mountains though – those static lords – keeping as always, a perfect distance. I will return with a vision – wide and calling – a broader interpretation, and a new kind of peace. ©2022Peter Hague
First Published in 2022: 'The Momentary Clock'I Think That's What She SaidWhose afraid of Virginia Woolf?
“The charm of London is that it is not built to last, it is built to collapse...”
just after the usurping oligarchs and the greed of land-grabbers and the tax-haven millionaires have all arrived on their golden bedsteads – squeezing their way around idealist agendas, yet comfortable with the old song of coming terror. Their deepest pockets are filled with bullets, and the ability to kill a wilderness of poets. They use communist words that speak of money – which is always the hallmark of rich propaganda. The wrong sort of people appropriate the arts; those we call cuckoos – who forge in the fire – who replace the monuments of the compliant and gullible,and build hollow trees from the eggs of birds.
(I think that’s what she said?)©2022Peter Hague
First Published in March 2022: 'Louder Prayers'The Mask Becomes a SmileDo not worry, you are safe in our hands. This poem is not a claw aimed at your guilty conscience, or a threat to your existence in a soured neighbourhood. We are not ‘The Outer Limits’ and are not concerned with controlling every aspect of your next hour. We leave that to you, while offering an embrace and the added encouragement of a firm handshake – a random display of plausible humanity, yet both practical devices to fill an episode of the above. For we have heard tales of engineered and mutating viruses – and offer love. We also offer a badge of honour, gifted in the form of a trusted mask – awarded at a safe distance and with a printed smile. For if ever humans needed the art of levity, it is in this last mile. © 2022 Peter Hague
First Published in March 2022: 'Louder Prayers'Expecting No GodLittle by little the stars are closing in – winking out their simple light,to grow the sky into a fire of feathers –
a fearful thing –
firing-up the furnace of our being and of our final spring. As we crawl out from earth – dead and empty-handed but with wings.
© 2022 Peter Hague
First Published in March 2022: 'Louder Prayers'Time Being Is A Difficult Place /2What is living? This fixed twilight? Poems say nothing because no one listens. The news is uncomfortable and is grown from agenda. What is this living that betrays its cohorts?
To avoid misunderstanding the best words will be redacted. Soon we will listen only to unlit pages. And these worst words will underpin the utterings of salvation. They will be uncomfortable reading when society flounders.
Abandon all poetry for the hills of prayer. Abandon all prayers for the skill of whispering.
Say any words with no god listening. Say any words with no god laughing.
Play host to the chequered memory of sanctified meaning, in this redacted mood of twilight and terror. © 2022 Peter Hague
First Published in March 2022: 'Louder Prayers'A Pagan PageantHas my country become a pagan state – having chosen a path of eclectic religion? Not supporting the word of a single god but allowing many gods to evolve as a pageant. An uneasy pantheon, wired to commerce, or signalling green, as the colour of virtue.Are we a cabal of regulated mysticism, involving rare beasts and emotive signs? The ancient scriptures are retained to appease those who trust in nothing, lest profound or relic. Has charity been devised as a plausible miracle – an interfering panic of commercialised delay? Some of the gods are lesser-gods now – considered unworthy by common dissent. And by the weakening deference of waning interest that sneaks its whims forward, under simmering stealth. Are these the sly tools of undermining intolerance or just the many layers of hades in the making?And is this the blank flag of a tenuous administration, sliding wilfully down the pole of deconstruction? Sending signals of sunrise to more persistent men – those employed in the worship of blind intolerance.They were nurtured with faith, as were we, but we developed its peace into legislated law. Yet some loyal, devout and commanded souls are not easily doused-quiet, or darkly outshone. Their peace comes with meek and vanquished souls and the timid apology of the surprised overcome – an insidious easing, by the subjugation of fools and the surrendering folly of cowering love.Some religions are indifferent to adjusting dials; negotiations are no use to established prophets. They will not tune in to diverse stations, to sing with an idealism – given pluralist voice. Western freedom has lost control of its freewheeling choice. Christianity has been cast into the crux of a begging bowl, via the promiscuous mask of its own eager liberties. Yet peace shall arise with its persistence of faith – and advertise Hell – the size of billboards. © 2022 Peter Hague
First Published in Anima 2017: and 'Louder Prayers' 2022Walking On WaterIf 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 someand 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 grailhidden 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 thenand 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. © 2017 Peter Hague
First Published in 2021: 'Summer With The Gods'Where We LiveLife is a death sentence – and that is where we live.There is always life in the bundle of travelling – between the sentence and the death. And that is where we live: in the travelling. In the shallow root of it all. In the perfection of uncertain balance. In the adventure of the spanning bridge. Arrival is feared, though somewhat welcome – accepted as huge, unkind, unavoidably certain. And that is where we live.© 2017 Peter Hague
First Published in 2021: 'Summer With The Gods'I Saw the WindI saw the wind this time. I saw its frowning face: a beast, annoyed at the freedom of the promenade.It threw our hair across our smiles – sticking to your lipstick – outwitting my grace.It pulled at the shirts of unflinching men,rippling the fabric of cloth and brow. And also the skin of short-sleeved women, who had seemed as firm as adolescence till now. It was a staring wind – no match for gusty talk or blustering cities, but one that caught the senses with its small tirade. A mild wind, really – more an ambition; a common grumble on the lips of God while the sun sparked through his special cloud. It was nothing to interest a restless kite; a castle of sand; a disturbed crow. Nor the ruffled gull that blinked and stood it out. It was just something to dwell upon – apart from a rare, seductive peace, which was blown away now, gone.© 2017 Peter Hague
First Published in 2021: 'Summer With The Gods'Birth is KingThe world seems a monstrous place – a place of evil and abused logic. Here, they say that death is king, but birth is king and death is nothing.Death cannot equal birth’s endless spasms that wrap our wounds in a healing clay. They smear the frame of human bones with an elaborate resistance – death sent away.
But soon, this borrowed throne of birth will overflow and tip the balance. And the bones of humanity will be laid bare. Stripped of their immunity of safe deliverance.Then the dark lord of death will reign once more – the dark lord of death, being the nature of balance, and the balance of nature, being a god, above kings. © 2017 Peter Hague
First Published in 2021: 'Game of Function'Ageless GamesThe sea, my treacherous friend, has overlapped the sand in search of incredible dreams. Rolling those stolen horizons – back from the perished nightmares of her drowning souls Death fears no death. The sea fears no death. And cannot bring a caring wave to launch this brutal hour of ageless games. ©Copyright 2019 Peter Hague. All rights reserved.
First Published in 2021: 'Gain of Function'Self ProphecyWe were born looking backwards – for that was the place of knowledge. We re-enacted the components of history, that held examples of a trodden future. Some futures were labelled prediction, while guessing had no scent or favour. All we knew was: we grew like branches – from the rogue stem of delinquent behaviour. The nineteen-fifties were the measure of intellect. The nineteen-sixties were of war and freedom. But these decades were disciples of the coming apocalypse, and its screw is inching into your future’s ear. It is blowing in the face of this frowning millennium and blowing in the wind when you fail to listen.©Copyright 2019 Peter Hague. All rights reserved.
First Published in 2021: 'Gain of Function'The Queen of BeesAs 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 2019 Peter Hague. All rights reserved.
First Published in 2021: 'Gain of Function'Lives MatterWe are all enslaved now. A virus owns our lives. I watch it creep out of sight, from behind my new, procrastinations. Whole days spent hiding insidewith the windows shut and the curtains closed. Yet the dumb TV seems full of crowds, intent on breathing each other’s air.My mind is sealed by fear. I hear the pause of the super-spreader – some poor guy who lives on cigarettes and blows propaganda in your face. He won’t stop until the virus kills him,but it won’t kill him – he’s the slaver’s son – a true captain of cancel and revenge. He knows the score – He knows the whip. And has come to bring the world to its knees.©Copyright 2019 Peter Hague. All rights reserved.
First Published in 2021: 'Hope in the Heart of Hatred'The Perfection of MemoryIf you leave me I will stop –caught like a ship, by rock.Left alone by the refusing windon an unwilling ocean of stilled pretend.Only the invisible sunwill light my strange, new boredom –an empty bowl of skywhere a moon means nothing. With you the sea is infinite.With you the sea is willing.But if you leave me, I will stop.And with everywhere to goI will go nowhere –a ship, beached or caught by rock.I will be barely able to roll with a waveor roll on a sock,or comb my hair in a useful way.I will wait with lowered eyes –confused and hollow –tainted by my own coward lies...where you are still perfectin my forgiving memory.©2021 Peter Hague
First Published in January 2021: 'Hope in the Heart of Hatred'Live PerformanceWe can live if we want to –right up until the Sun explodes.We can live in joyful dirt, like toads...but only till the Sun explodes. It will burn us into a blackness, then,without true form or consequence –yet a cloud that needs no biological glueto bond that eternal persistence:the cosmic essence of me and you. We are small enough to start again –cleansed into the comfortable shapeof nothing.© 2022 Peter Hague
Origins 1990s. First Published in January 2021: 'Hope in the Heart of Hatred'CamouflageLadies and Gentlemen! We are about to go onstage –bending make-up over broken skin,with the effort of a reluctant voyagertrying to close a suitcase that has far too much within.This is a performance in itself,so appreciate our efforts and the risks involved –we may not be top-drawer,but a surplus of lust at least aspiresto the lewdest beckonings of the worst top shelf.And do not mind if our manners come adrift,failing standards from time to time...and try to avert your eyesshould we lean too far, or you feel offended.In reparation, I urge you to laugh if we get up-ended.We have a real ‘off-stage’ suitcase too.It is over-burdened with fabric remedies –the hats and clothes for the ailing shape.And just in case nothing suits,we can always throw about these intemperate bones...‘The Cape’ – the last resort – the actors’ folly –a foil designed to take the edge off the naked ape.We will no-doubt use camouflage and some sticky tape –for the misplaced thoughts our orchestra reveals:That sad beauty, which finally shames us. © 2022 Peter Hague
First Published in 2021: 'Hope in the Heart of Hatred'Girl On a WallSeeing you there was a shock –in comfortable Lincolnshire.Beautiful and strongin the grime of Main Street.A mask, smoothed tightacross a soul of overwhelming features –a look that made me want to make something else –to make something of myself.In the heart of all difficultyyou seemed life’s easy.Seeing you there –sitting on a wall and waiting for what?Is all a man or designer needsto draw the layout of his lifein an exceptional way –to put a face to it.©2021 Peter Hague
As well as these recorded readings of my own poems, there are other readings of my work, and also the work of others in the video section of this web site.
"Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard."
"Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard."
A Place in the UniversalHere, on the bright side of deathI occupy the right side of my heart. I am at the centre of my being – a line scribed from head to soul – a blend of genes, running pole to pole.I am at the centre of my living dial – at the confluents of patience, blood and bile, and all revolving in the universal smile – that inherent affinity – dispensing an axis for all. ©Copyright 2019 Peter Hague. All rights reserved.Published on Twitter – 18 November 2019.
“I think that at the bottom of all art lies the impulse to preserve.”
“I think that at the bottom of all art lies the impulse to preserve.”
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