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J. M. Rose


Sydney, NSW, Australia

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J. M. Rose

Two doth struggle and always will.
Enmeshed in bitter war until
The glassy sheen of a membraneous screen
Splits, and spits into the void
The humbled corpse of a world destroyed.

Or there emerges, reconciled as one,
A blissful unity. Undone,
The treacherous years of poison and fear
Dissipate in love that warms
Their frigid hearts and turbid forms.

But in the arctic void, love grows cold.
Pinned through punctured wounds of old,
Each one steals whole what the other stole
And squeezes through the narrow door,
Knowing who had left before.

Between the hackneyed plots and lies,
This discordant mass is polarized
But once a turn. A light that burns
Through sudden righted blocks of stone
Illuminates the maddened dome.

The old campaigners disagree,
Only the initiate sees.
The fissures close on their frantic blows,
The world in ignorant darkness spins
As the worned groove again begins.

the rules


J. M. Rose

Did you hear?
You can break the rules.
But you have to be young.
Or overworldly.
Or dead.
Just the right mix of the above.
Like mismatched spices
That might just work.
Too much will kill you
Just as sure as none at all.
That's a great line by the way.
Pity its not mine.

Watch the stars shine
And then eat their breakfast cereal.
You that is.
Gobble it up with the rest of the bullshit.
It's a tragic misconception.
You're not tied to the railroad tracks,
You are the railroad tracks.
Nailed to the ground though
Your sex, or your stomach, or your head,
As the American Express rattles its cattle
Over your crooked spine.
Don't look up now.

Rip yourself out.
Don't look around,
That's what got you into trouble
In the first place.
Suck out those traitorous orbs.
Ignore your chattering organs.
Slash those meaty strings
And slide into soliptic bliss.
No cattle. No shackle. No shell.
Just glorious momentum.
Swim through you,
Whoever that is.

Now you know.
You can break the rules.
But you have to be brave.
Or slow.
Or alive.
Or none of the above.
They make you think you're thinking.
It's beautiful.
They're not. You are.
And remember ...
I'm the last person you should be listening to.
(That one's mine.)

the cycle


J. M. Rose

At dawn, the Earth is woken.
Cool soil and grass with dew like
A tended garden of diamonds,
Warmed by the light spilling and filling
Voluptuous rolls and hollows.
The first ray,
Shot from the lowest point,
Strikes in an instant like the holy spirit.
The land is anointed by the first messenger
And begins to breathe aloud.
No longer slow, subtle inhalations of darkness,
But deep heaves and patient sighs
That swell the moist and supple earth,
Stretching and flexing gargantuan muscles
As a new day is expired.

The sun is a hole in the azure curtain.
Light explodes angrily through the crack.
We cannot see past for the fury,
Cannot glimpse the truth.
The rude souls of beasts are stirred.
They raise their heads in worship
As they rut and graze and slay.
The lion seeks his daughter,
Streaming through the limbs
And thumping hearts of prey.
The jetting blood is the life,
The myriad offspring of the sungod,
The warmth allotted to mortality.

There are places where light is a fable.
A myth memory forgotten by the priests of darkness.
Through foetid dirt or frigid murk
Blind, gasping bodies writhe and twist;
Deprived of the life, they toil and froth in Hades.
No overseer to ensure their madness,
They are cruelly born insane.
Cold from conception,
They hate life and must extinguish it.
As the sun falls, the lesser beasts revel.
Gibbering in delight as the land creatures
Turn in confusion,
Quake in fear,
Tasting the living death that is so close.
The moon weilds a dirt encrusted scythe.



J. M. Rose

The sapphire shine of a newborn sun
Bleeds across the splintered land,
Dousing haggard weeds, long since begun
Their life, squeezed from parched sand.

This brown star drops its wasted warmth
On a cracked and barren station.
Extending her radiant flares towards
In futile immolation.

Gloating over the forgotten tomb
Of an orb too cold to care
For life, or loss, or brilliant hue;
This brilliant grin is unaware

That life so close to death is death
And death so close to life ...
A touch. A brush. A gentle breath,
A welcome fade into the night.



J. M. Rose

This flower's life has ended.
Lustrous pulse o'erthrown
By hopeless growth untended,
Grasping roots forlorn.

Diamond blood no longer runs
Through jaded chambers,
Or caresses flesh warm thorns,
Now snagging bitter barbs.

The steely stem has failed
And flaccid minarets
Circle a godless eye,
Assailed by cold, black spirits.

in passing


J. M. Rose

I know a man who drowned on high dry land
And burned in the frigid snow.
He passed choking life and with reaching hand
Received the final blow.

The senseless beating of a thousand fists
Slugged his blood to flow.
These scarlet sprays jetting cataract mists,
Where he is he does not know.

Like a mewling beast sloughs its battered skin,
Shaking off the weepy husk.
Before his eyes the hated scales begin
To reform like pitted rust.

The path that led him there he chose;
His pyx, his soul was bare.
He chose not a thing but had suffered those
Callous Gods that threw him there.

the end


J. M. Rose

As I down and dying lay,
Those who'd stay I'd sent away
To leave me in my nexoid state,
Close my eyes and contemplate.

But all I heard
Were gutterbirds

Pecking at my cherished dreams,
Now pallid ghosts along with me.
Drowned the merry chirping cheers
Of untroubled stripling years.
Drowned the fiery rhetoric
Of proud and passioned intellects,
Each one knowing only he
To understanding held the key.
Drowned the sober round of men
In grey and weary conversation.
Lost in the singsong multitude
Of fragmented near wishes.
I turned away from this barrage
and sought refuge in authentic vision.

But all I saw
I'd seen before

Now bereft of all their might
In ruthless time's refracted light.
The constructions of my clever youth
Were nothing but a bitter ruse.
The evening sun that awed me so,
My own approaching twilight glow
Crept into the secret vein
And ghastly dimmed the silver rain.
My burning visions come to this
Vapid, shabby state of myth.
Faded by the passing days
Into washed out might-have-beens.
I left my senses to their plight
And clung to erudition.

But all I knew
Or thought was true

Wavered in the sickly dark.
A gorging feast on dusty tracts;
A surfeit of my fathers' learning;
My eyes on all the world, discerning
Through coloured glass the rigid truth;
All squeezed into a single noose
To which my choiceless head was hung.
The knowledge of the ages stung.
To learn this learned star of mine
Sustained me with its desperate shine,
But bowed under the fearsome weight
Of the marvellous unknown,
And collapsed like rigid salty spars
In a whirling storm of blood and bone.



J. M. Rose

What yearns, this starving beast of mine?
That stirs me with its subtle laugh.
What insidious sorties on my behalf
Plotted well before the sleeper's dawn,
The sluggish sombre light that crawls
Across the scored and blue lined shore.

I see the pillage in its path.
The slashed and mutilated men,
Survivors picked among the fallen.
Bare and bruised in their infant state,
Rescued from their bloody neighbour's fate
By callous whim and circumstance.

But born aloud, the warrior's cry
Reverbrates the wakened world.
That golden moment, the aural pearl.
The victory to the sleeper then
And to the beast the fallen men.

the end (final verses)


J. M. Rose

[append the following verses to "the end"; cheers]

But who was I?
If but to die

Was to lose my print in that final breath,
Folded and smoothed in the wake of death.
My works and words become their own,
Arisen from the blackened foam
If drowned they were on passing through.
Detached, and with a life imbued
Attributable to no living man.
Who was I, if not a grain of sand
Washed onto the sleepy shoals,
From the lamp of God the briefest coal?

I knew it then. The spark that flared
In virgin flesh, and leapt
To touch along the mortal skew,
Ignited this, and simmered that,
But fused in spirit all too few.
Suffice to be it touched a one
Whose touch returned a brilliant sun,
That pierced the perjorous star of lore
And showed the dismal fleshy door
For what it was, a sensual play.
Suffice to me, before I fade
And sink my head beneath the waves,
'Twas not for nought, if I had loved.

The Dreamflier


J. M. Rose

On a basket of air the Dreamflier slides
And circles slow, pausing in flight,
Before falling soft and bright
Against the dark horizon of the split infinite.

The sun-cut shape flickers in play,
To beatific tunes unknown,
Teasing a dance alone
Across the rippling half dome.

Seeping molten drops of sun
That stripe a painted lie
Far above the parted sky.
The Dreamflier is not for you or I.



J. M. Rose

Funnelling their warps and weirds o' sights
Along the crowded jester streets,
They ply their trade with crude delight,
These many-shaded freaks.

Watch your purse as you traverse
The windy tripping ways.
No plea for those averse
To tributing the fey.

But your coin of the realm is dead weight
The farther down, you see.
In the sloping streets the inmates greet
Your shiny soul with glee.

There are worse things than being blind robbed
In the blackest of the black.
One of the things you'll now be sure;
You won't be coming back.

Lyrics to an unpublished song


J. M. Rose

I see the seas of fire where all the ships have burned.
I see the seas of fire where all our love has turned.
I hear the voices of those ghosts who linger by the sea.
Reaching out into despair, I know they sing to me.

Where are the voices?
Faces faded and disappeared.
What are the choices?
Leave me stranded on a distant shore.

I can feel the sunset sliding off the mirrored sea.
The sky is dying bright and hard, tonight I will be free.
I can shake off the naked scars, and let the waters claim me.
Dive into deeper wells, my eyes are closed, my mind awakes.

What are the voices?
Call me from above the sea.
Where are the choices?
To live in fear or ecstasy.



J. M. Rose

Thine eye dost speak to me
Of lovers crossed and mystery.
A hidden lark betwixt the moons
Of Jupiter and cold Neptune?
A brief sojourn on solar dust?
Methinks this is no ordinary lust.
Thy glittering tail sweeps a circuit
No longer round my sun.
So be it. Your brittle heart
Ensures this affair is done.