Poems by Jim Ferguson

Jim Ferguson. Photo by A. Valliard.

Excerpt from “Ms Mati becomes a mother”

Drought and its opposite

where it is dead-dry
water and blood
oil and lava
without the flow
                                               the flow
that lets things move,
live, breathe, be themselves
in themselves and of themselves
being as a storm; a storm is only
half itself without the rushing rains,
destroying and remaking life anew
with dryness comes death,
desert crawling over the corpse
corrupt, sterile, stifling quartz,
its arid momentum letting nothing
                                                                            nothing new
flourish, grow, as itself
                                                in itself
                                                                 of itself
Drought is the opposite of freedom     — it grates
against life in its ugliness and horror,
against life’s beauty and despair
Drought is the opposite of freedom
— homophobic, fascist torturer
of all that might flower
so essential
                               water of hope
                               blood of optimism
                               all fluid things
                               spiralling on
                               between the moment
                               second of birth
                               instant of death
so essential
                                              so wet
                                                                                         so filling the void
“so fuckin what,” says Mati,
“this is not my concern
my interest is love,
I am history and the future
I am the effervescent present
my interest is love — liquid love
cascading through my earthquaking cunt
pumping in my heart
streaming through my
clitoris, womb, flesh —
in waves
                                                              and out
not the
                               definite dry-deadness
                                                           of the definite article
                 but movement
                                                                        sense it”


Mati thinks
she’s some kind of shaman
you don’t come the cunt with her
that’s the flavour of her juices
rich —                       
                             of the earth
of the dark soil
                            of the earth
of the crimson blood
                            of the earth
of the sweating degrading decay
                            of the earth
                                 the earth?
molten and flowing
metamorphic and volcanic
brutal, burning and exotic
to our paltry, human skin
Mati’s awright but
cool and tough but
just like a woman
that’s how I think about
the woman Mati,
then what she’d see
if she looked at me now
with her prophetess eyes
that melt your bones
she knows how men
like to look at women
and how to look back at men
right into their eyes
as if there was religious depth in the iris
- ignore the whites -
it always has to be the iris
rich with life-colour
blue and weeping
green precious emerald
brown and common as muck
but therein an ocean of creation,
wild colours not often found
unless you look long into the iris
never mind, if Mati looked at me now she’d
say, fuck that Jim shave and take a bath —
and that’s what I would do
for bathing is sacred so I’d
ask her to come in that bath
splash water on my back
shave the auld gray beard away
go on, she’d ask,
what’s your favourite punctuation mark?
I’d muse on the stupidity of the question
and the fun of it,
cum on her milky-white teeth
as if it had meaning
my fluids too, perhaps,
are of the earth
the soil and rock,
volcano, earthquake, rainforest,
impotent, unless you know where to look
ah Mati, electric, shocking lover
that you were…   

is pregnant
cures morning sickness
with herbal remedies, has
given up sex,
smoking, drink and drugs
sits out by the canal
in spring sun
reading Dostoyevsky,
Leonard Cohen,
Janice Galloway
knows the trick
like Ms Galloway
but is luckily still sane
breathes deep and easy
lets her belly grow
her breasts expand
people row up and down the canal,
laughter and voices, and water
breaking under the oars —
her father liked the water too
sailing and swimming
spinning under and up in his canoe
Sunday is her favourite day to sit 
so busy with boats and mothers
with children and fathers looking
somehow bewildered
as if the women
could send them a message of wisdom,
tell them telepathically
what they are for
somehow fathers don’t know anymore