Tone Poem #2 – Fruit in Village Plots – Ashley Capes, Mark William Jackson & Paul Squires


Look. To the heavens,
there’s a sign,
drums of thunder are
beating the clouds
into an infinite mirror.
Peacocks bow to
Mother Earth’s breast
and there is nothing
to do but wonder.
Wonder if the Masai
know what time it is,
wonder if the elephant
values gold,
wonder if an angel
could straddle a bongo,
what prisms
would unfold.
Now the bricks that were
fired to confine us
split the watermelon
that gave us life,
and the candle that
burned the brightest
caused us to want
for more light.

by summer the clouds
made a kind of thin white
that blue
would swallow
without unbuckling its belt

hovering over congas
on the beach
and the musical clink of beads
not so musical
after all the wind –
dragging feathers with it
dragging rain
dragging the ‘o’s from mouths
and smoothing the sand
like clinical depression


Heart beats with the tides,
one rhythm,
leaving awe
in foamy wake.

But the angel merely points
to a fragile sky,
arrested by earthquake dust,
we are left
longing for more light.

and I said to them ‘If you send me the last four or five
(and I know you will)
we can do a kind of exquisite corpse thing

like partners who grow fruit in village plots
but stay interested in architecture
and swamped is the right word,
except the water here is very clear and very clean.’

the singers return,
watermelons lay wholesome
and the first spots of rain
so fat and slow,
almost stupid,
flood my sandals

and I hear a trumpet
and I hear water on rocks
and I hear bees pollen-diving

and I know, the crowd
of voices doesn’t get any thinner
down here

Were you there
the night we danced
among the stars
on glassy sand
and took back our destiny?


Never too much perfection, how can that be,
trips on tippytoes and falls into that space
between the sky and the sea,

licentious festivale fucking the spirit free
how she sees the city curl
the edges peel and fields unfurl

Music drips from the skies,
people lift their faces
and open their mouths
to taste music on their tongues,
as poets are called to arms
to herald the fight
to promise freedom
from those who have
held the mind in terrestrial constraint
when ethereal flight beckoned.

And the music was good
and the poet’s words were strong
and all who embraced the rhythms
of the symphony of thunder
were lifted beyond the earthly miasma
above the quake’s aftershocks.


Mark, Ashley, Paul

Jan – March 2010


3 Responses to “Tone Poem #2 – Fruit in Village Plots – Ashley Capes, Mark William Jackson & Paul Squires”

  1. […] The Poetry Slave March 16, 2010 Mark William Jackson Leave a comment Go to comments Over the last couple of months I have had the honour of working with Ashley Capes & Paul Squires on a collaborative poem for Ashley’s Poetry Slave project, and am proud to say that it is up and posted as ‘Fruit in Village Plots‘ […]

  2. […] Fruit in Village Plots […]

  3. “..dragging the ‘o’s’ from mouths..” “…the water here is very clear and very clean…” “ taste music on their tongues..” , and many more lines throughout
    materialize the magic combination of shared idea and writers. great idea, great result.

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