Cold Feet

Cold Feet

Cold Feet


Fear lurks about in shoddy garments

The apparel of shifty looks and snide remarks

And though I am no stranger in that domain

Today I would feign ignorance of dread


I have opened my eyes to a new day

This page is virgin territory

For thoughts pressed in the leaves of this book

Are rising. Are in a funny mood.


A slow crawl. A little jig. Open arms

I sense a smile, unbidden, spring,

about my face

What nonsense is this? A mutiny?


Mum. Helston. 1948.

Mum. Helston. 1948.



Nothing but the quiet sympathy of mourners

Stretched around the ground

Simpering in half-choked grief

The suitable clothes, mostly dark or neutral

Lay down a grid

For professionals in tuxedo’s and studied gait

To do the solemn walk

The car, black, an echo now

Is set to heel

While stones form an arch

That tears flow through

And we are greeted by music

Bade to sit. Reflect

That life is a mirror in which we see

The survivor and his secret thoughts

So. Mother. I think of you.

Six months you have lain

Beneath those marks we made

Around your grave

Can you see the soles of my shoes from where you are?

God rest you Mum.




Two crows are ragged

Black and flapping

Irritable at the air

And in the tree

Which is a mass of fingers

Against a grey, truculent sky


One son has gone, willingly, to school

While the other lingers here recalcitrant

Not prone to make the journey out to college

That pebble on the way to adulthood

The two of them etching a pattern on this day


And I in my mighty ego

Sit robed with tea and pen

And pontificate in warmth. At leisure

As the crows and the boys have gone

To leave me in mystery