John Mingay - poem using a lexicon sourced from Peter Dent’s "Yarn"

John Mingay

Poems using a lexicon sourced from Peter Dent’s Yarn, Leafe Press, Nottingham, 2021.


anything but words

to justify gravity
try not to remember
my stubborn lips
by what they say

don’t believe
I was dreaming up
everything in life
at all times
even as if a god

don’t wake me
in the morning sun
when I’ll happily forget
that where we go
you can never find
anything but words

consider being to be
only a starting point
moving us
to another place
a no-man’s land

know that dust settles
without the room
to breathe
as like so many winds


they themselves are lost
but are ready to give
to say they don’t mind
once upon a time
as happens a lot
in worlds like this
where who decides what
under a full moon at night
then arouses the morning sun
with just a word


and though
even if they say
they may not mind
they still don’t know how
to breathe life and death
into the one unsuspecting song
rather to be asking by chance
with an edge of intent
whether I remember laughter
better than nuanced footsteps

even slower

after all
if they are even lost
they are halfway there
halfway home
halfway without consequence
halfway with the world
tapping at the window
your eyes eloquently
saying nothing of anything
that need not be said


after the fact

I felt like I had been sleeping
like bearing true hazard
not of this world

but of an everywhere

until now

now I do mind if I don’t mind
the watching at the window
as if I don’t mind the eyes


there at the window

until now

I don’t believe I’m dreaming
when I go outside
to where I invariably look for laughs

time after time

until no more

it or me

but I can honestly say too
on good advice
that I shall be the killer of my own future

unsuspecting of the imagination

desperate to swear

to shake the dust
from under my skin

where peasants work

unsuspecting of anything
but what time alludes to

and still full of misunderstanding

the chance to create blizzards
is what I know I knew nothing about

even though I have cared to believe
you often consider me too much to face

saying we are growing rusty
or something such

how could I have meant to dig us out

how could I have been happier

only if feelings didn’t count

only if it’s all never over

cocking a snoop

my shadow is sometimes put out
like dead fire might be in a story of miracles

it goes as would some dream of what I stood for


just the delirium of the lyric caged in a cruel world
I know now to doubt in as many ways as there are minutes

those moments I’ve given no thought to and suffered for

as if everything and nothing

yet that shadow is forever only words
nothing more than that

no ambiguity

not with the depletion of the never was
now begun

not with the past hardly a code

a walk on water
before they
haul me on board

heading west

the sun shines
and you let the course you take
take you

comedy at all costs



Copyright  © John Mingay, 2021.