Soft vows subside on the kerb
in a gathering of yellows and browns surrendering
as a light wind makes the leaves skittish
and those with memories,
those most recently released from the bough
and fallen through shafts of sun
form a duvet that wraps itself
against the cold of a new,
This is yet another turning point
against a casual hand that insists
we go blind to history and forget
that time and tide are cycles
we dare not ignore
lest the light goes out.
Sounds coming up to us. These narrow streets
funnel the noise and amplify it somehow, though not aggressively.
Just daily life. Unaffected.
Take it or leave it discourse.
The rubbing along of a more or less polite society
It is music I think. An opera. Small voices confiding.
A mother and daughter. Then the strident tones of a trader.
Rumbling of wheels on the flagstones and sweeping
that sometimes imitates the washing of the sea.
Sea rising in sympathy with troubled air and the moon
and dancing with feathered caps as it races toward the shore
where it rests and tells stories to the incoming waves.
Then they all re-group somehow with an inward suck
and slink back to the great body of water before returning
with fresh stories that only fishermen can attempt to interpret.
Then hasty steps and furtive steps. The drill of some pneumatic tool
and of course the declamatory siren of a car alarm from time to time.
Patrice and I. We in our pools of quiet reflection are content
to sit naked and inconspicuous yet so close to all of the life going on.
We make plans slowly and wonder if we should have another cup of tea.
they are apparitions
wand like figures
on a bent horizon
so diffident they can’t explain
released from the holding room
my body transcends it’s organs
and slips beyond responsibility
to that place where darkness is not king
for the fear has been released
so that white bleaches the figures
whose honed titanium blades slit
the fortress of my containing skin
their spoils are mine, to discard
my body relieved these gods disappear
back to a life of their own
and return to me as haunts
under a black felt brim
eyes dark with a candour
that have seen all manner of things
wonder whether they should plead
for clemency or a piece of that notion
that compassion will cure all ills
for in that stare so many fires
have withered on coals
raked over and left cooling till
soft grey ash is swept up on murmurs of
those whispered endearments
and promises that sustain a heart
that wishes to pump more
than just blood
around the ache of desire
He knows in there
there is no room for mercy
for justice will be implacable
His day is up
under that felt overhang
he has already gone
I never had authority, a uniform
so now, as age advances
and men in suits strut and utter
I am more, not less confused
Their balance sheets and due diligence
find me straggling in a long column
of easily forgotten figures
wrapped in the inconvenient flag of conscience
But in that too there lacks an impetus
that will to fight has gone
and with it any hope
for the spoils of victory
The swagger of the coming man has gone
like a moon shadow
that softest of forms recedes
ambiguous in departure
from the territories of man and boy
going quietly to a greater dark