At the bar

 

 

My old bones in the morning ache

like cogs and wheels accumulating

rust from a cloying atmosphere.

Decrepitude. It mocks.

But I sense in this calling of time

a humour that goes with the warning

so I can languish in the arrested zone

and take stock

by starring in some delicious dreams

so real that heaven has surely come

and wrapped me in a welcome blanket.

So here, between the light and dark,

the mild and bitters,

I am a novice.

Ready to go lightly and laugh

at the tolling of last orders.

Ladies and Gentlemen. Time Please.

Too many ‘I’s

too-many-is-pic

I was recently offered a seat on a tube

by a young woman with compassion in her heart,

no doubt

but my pride interpreted that as spite

and I refused

left hanging on a strap in mortal decline

and ever since, the scene, it’s implications

re-spooled

play back to me in a quiet yet insistent fugue

You vain ‘old’ fool is the sound-track

following me

trapped words in the carriage of my spoiled journey

A constant rattle and schism as I go about forgetting

that age has put his drape on me

that my vital signs are more evident

to others than to the being I recognize

I can no longer refer to myself in the third person,

casual, flippant or heroic

not now that I am transparent

at large in someone else’s order of magnitude.

I shall stand until I am forced

through stages

to lie down.

Everything

Everything

Poetry is the sound

The wind makes

As it circles your soul

And everything is second-hand

All of it spent air

Turned around and around

And we sit here

In the commonplace

Rinsing the air

And rubbing the threads

Of patterns worn down

Abraded by familiarity

Yet still we come

To gather round in spell-bound hope

Ready as ever to witness

To be in thrall

To absolutes

And know that we can find

In everything

A little of the new

Bang

 

There is no other

The time is now

This scratchy moment

Only partially perceived

This unwilling partner

So entwined

Is mine and mine alone

This black & white photograph

Is history already

Yet her smile and hope

Are younger than me

Forever will be

That fraction has gone

Just part of the chorus

A chime that sighs

Knowing that loss

Is cold cuts we can’t keep

The ache of love

As it waves goodbye

Gently peeling

Out of reach

Alpha Bet

 

A sign of passing time 

I scrabble for words

To mark significance

Because this day is a gun

That starts one whole New Year

 

Take aim and breathe

Seek the rhythm

That comes with age

Blood pulsating in the sleeve of me

 

Amazed still that newness counts

Out-shining the past

Which comfort and fear

Would like to arrest

 

Step forward and go

Beyond this

And tease out the letters

That form my DNA

Short day

Short day

 

The leaves curl

Their lips around the lisp of decay

Mottled browns and yellows in fade

Pressed like newsprint into the path

And twisted into submissive shapes

By the soles of walkers

Their pets far ahead, noses in fragrance

Raking and sniffing for ripeness

A place to pee, scratch and move-on

 

 

Light so grey and low

It will not go dull but turn fast to night

Receiving street lights and car beams

Revealing blurred ambient figures

Distortions. Pallid offerings that roam

On some apparent business

Though in truth it is only early

So that more of the day

Could be precious

The Morning After.

The Morning After

The Morning After

 

 

Last night amongst friends

I felt the void

That lost feeling in company

When I am unnaturally meek

And this morning I felt

The geometry of our warm limbs

Soft flesh on shy bones

And the stirring of a forgotten hope

Though all around the evidence

Belies my vacant stare

While downstairs, one child

Coughing with lungs polluted by smoke

Though he is not really a minor now

More progeny ready to make familiar mistakes

With his deep-voiced young friends

Fellow revellers staying over

From trampling decency

At a party in another home

Are ungainly at this hour

Too soon to heed anything really

They are so young

And I feel that void again

The timid being

Who has quietly held my hand

Invisibly for all these years

Beseeching me to take the lead

To rise and shine.