Ivor Daniel

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the poet

Ivor Daniel’s work has appeared in the Cheltenham Poetry Festival's wildfire words, Steel Jackdaw Magazine and Writeresque. He lives in Gloucestershire, where he works as an English tutor.

the poems

Perfect Bed

00:00 / 00:56

            I dream I am at Bembom Brothers

            Dreamland funfair park

            with Tracey Emin.

            Hard by Margate sands.


            I know I shouldn’t drink that Vodka

            on the Helter Skelter.

            Apart from that,

            a Day as Perfect as the Lou Reed song.


            We Kiss with Fish and Chips Lips,

            Join Hips. A Turner Sunset

            Going Down.


            I guess it is the Golden Hour.

            Blair’s Babes

            and even some of his men MPs

            are busy Changing a whole heap of things

            for the Better.


            Back in your room

            we remember that

            we even Changed the Bed this morning.


            The linen soft and cool next to our Optimistic skin.

Questions & Starlings

00:00 / 03:01

            Wow! Can the sun set blue azure and flame at the same time?

            How do starlings twist and turn as one?

            Who decided this is called a murmuration?

            And who was that, going behind that awesome tree?

            No...It couldn’t be..


              sweeping

                  turning

                        swooping......soon arriving

                                                from all directions.

                                 swelling     then melting     then swelling.

                                     streamlining

                                 safe in such numbers.


                 pirouetting protection from predators.

                  twist

            turn

               swoop

                     swirl

                                      your genie is out of the bottle.

                                 shape-shifting

                   unsolid sculpture of starling.

              you spinning top     you sundown twister.

                                  a magic carpet has slipped its cave.

                                         . ...a cloud of iron filings .. ...

                                        dancing from...

                               ..and to ..

                                        . . ..an ecstatic magnet.


                                                     if we could cast the ashes........

                                                                 of our loved ones

                                                      as elegantly as your silken swirl

                                       then that would be the perfect way to go.


                              intuiting when to turn

                       in complex shifting patterns

                                         through a liminal space

                                                     between remarkable and miracle.

                                                                  flying like no one is watching

                                                                             or maybe

                                                              like God could be   watching.


                                                       oblivious of compass points and rocket science

                                         yet also knowing more than this.


            murmuration   motion   poetry in motion

                              your swarm is the truth.

            black mustard seed beauty.



                                                           then     in the last of daylight

                                                                  at the secret signal

                                                                    a final funneling

                                                                   collective swoop

                                                                         down an

                                                                          unseen

                                                                         chimney


                                                    to   land   on   your   roosting   grounds.



            I labour with my leaden words,

            and muse on whether starlings know

            how spellbinding they are.


            And God.

            Is that you behind that awesome tree?

            Is this the last, the only, evidence that you exist?


            Was this your hobby all along:

            the choreography of sunset starlings?


            And is that just the slightest hint of disappointment on your face


            at how the human cohort of Creation has performed?

Tread Lightly

00:00 / 01:31

            I navigate

            the micro fathom ocean charts

            of flat portal

            ice puddles


            on a January farm track


            With their trapped air bubbles

            whorling patterns

            coils

            gyres

            spirals

            curls


            Trapped otherworldly whirls


            Secret as fingerprints

            coiled like intestines

            mysterious as a foetal scan

            marbled as the white fat in Spanish ham


            Iced lava lamps

            but underfoot


            Liquid light shows behind psychedelic bands

            but monochrome


            The frozen surface flat as frosted glass

            The patterns captive        Zany


            This is the cat ice

            So named because it can only

            bear the weight of a cat

            Cold-pawed      agile


            Although I am yet to meet the cat

            who would leave the warmth of the hearth

            to test ice puddles with its paws

            or fret on other scientific laws


            as hydrostatic pressure

            capillary action

            et cetera


            I make a resolution       to tread lightly

Publishing credits

All poems: Exclusive first publication by iamb