Longing

Chess Mates. I have this sense of impending doom.

 

day by day

the long column

of little steps

ascends, as if

 

no greater power could command

nor small urge arrest

the strident pattern

of controlled desire

 

while sleep conceals

the gnawing pang

daylight reveals the currents

that play with a pain

 

no two thoughts can unwind

without a third that questions

sweet reason

with a sneer

 

and so we live in danger

here and now

and cite past treason

to re-affirm weakness, as if

 

derision was the message

on a welcome mat

as we attempt

to douse the fire

 

and put quiet to bed

the questions

that linger in the threads

and fabric of scented pillows

 

 

so,  sleep well with demons

children please

your softly moulded bodies lay limp

without due diligence

 

as those dreams fade

mutate

and pass into a troubled, yet

forgotten history

I sometimes grieve

Dolls on offer

 

I sometimes grieve

for my place sewn into history

sensing the loss

the uselessness of my contribution

so far

how my past is a honeycomb of spaces

and yawning faces

the time left behind fallow

as in a forgotten field

bordered by vigorous weeds

their colours livid and clinging to

footpaths and bridleways whose intimations go unheeded

and now, NOW

the road is lost

though I know you share it with me

because the ache inside

can’t all be mine

heartfelt. again

heartfelt. again

 

your message was lost

and found. in a puddle

the words you wrote now weep

 

that casual transition

from the heart

became a declaration in the dirt

 

do you know

it means more to me now

forlorn but found

 

because it is blessed

by providence and truth

it survives the wound

 

curling as it dries

on the mantelpiece

a resurrection of our bonds

 

the tear drops frozen in amber light

as the day closes around

everything I cannot lose

a bulletin

abulletin.pic_.poem_

 

dogs in the park shamble in

snow that clings to their fur

in a vanishing jacket of ragged threads

 

one black lab does looping circuits

of the spreading quagmire in search

of a ball so disguised by mud it vanishes

 

deer stalk to a tethered pile of hay

left for them as a staging post

for their ancient rituals in this Royal Park

 

and on the High Street oblivious traffic

is cautious after snow and the evening news

where word has it that speech in Iowa is dangerous

 

whipped to a frenzy by a polar vortex

the wind in North  America

instantly freezes boiling water

 

by ‘eck, I wonder what my family

in Cumbria make of it

a ‘breeze’ to them I shouldn’t wonder

a night at the theatre

a night at the theatre. pic

 

I careened through narrow streets

in the darkest of Piccadilly and Soho nights

in ramshackle pursuit of a sea captain

while under my arm I struggled to carry a mattress

and all the time I knew it was absurd

but I kept up a dialogue with him, remonstrating

and arguing with the crew about why and how

he had parked his ship so close

to my car and blocked me in

 

Awake I am left with the residue

of confusion

and amazed at what goes on inside my head

when the day-shift goes out to play

and all manner of other characters move in

to the theatre of my inventions

that bristle with malevolent energy

to prick my pride and expose

my febrile hold on reality

for us

 

for us. pic for poem

for us

a sea rises beneath the ice

in a rasping wet friction of sounds

breathing below the crust

as the sounds of aeons squealing, mingling

in secrets and trysts, murders and

quiet kindnesses

all enslaved to a kingdom in limbo

in search of the mystery above

 

for us

they face one another disoriented

by nature and climate as it circles

the globe

and we, adoptive custodians,  tinker

at the fringes like alchemists

stirring the oceans and gazing

at swirling accretions of plastic

in trapped oceanic pockets

 

for us

extinction will be the longest full-stop

a foretelling of the blindness that holds

the hands of self-harm

we are so insistent, so superior, so deaf

to the echoes of poetry that wails

in the souls of those who have been long gone

but still ache with the loss that is

their knowledge, their lost and floating ethereal gifts

for us

equinox

equinox. pic

 

pearlescent light on down

glows softly white

the swan, regal in its habitat

glides on the mirror of last night’s dreams

oblivious

to all but history and her mate

today

coming on the back of time

which shifted seasons and stepped one hour back

so now the dark water sucks

the summer’s heat into its depths

and all of this the mute swan

reflects