How sad

How sad. pic

How sad

the ego clings to the fringes

of what is left

remembering in the pallid glow of reality

that the past was a better place

invested with the best of memories

still electric, still with the power to pull

old bones with their cloak of decaying cells

onto the back of an old motor bike

and ride, demented, without a helmet

into the wall of some past glories

How sad

that the epitaph may be spoiled

if the truth came out

that vanity was the ultimate fuel

and not a single prayer for peace

that split skin and blood

were attended to in the urgent blue

of flashing lights

and trained hands transferred the body

to a bed in a place that was

not home

How sad.

Appendectomy 5.5.17

Appendectomy.5.5.17 pic

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

To Claudia and Lisa, ( and I could ask for more). Lisbon 2016.

bar-staff-lisbon

Don’t ask for more.

October sun. Shadows.

Dark fingers witness

the patterns light plays

As I sit naked

with a breeze stroking my flesh

a seagull’s distant screech

and sounds from the street

rise up in music

to colour the air

concealing those foreign vowels

A casual complicity for the traveller

Me on a narrow balcony

four floors up

could be Soho

but this is Lisbon

Below a man clean’s his car

It’s sunday

Outside. Basking. Outrageous

And I could ask for more

Invisible across the tiled horizon

the Tagus is broad and easily able

to carry me on spikes of white light that dance

A playful icing on the world’s shared sea

An old tram powered by a rickety digit

to wires overhead

clatters on narrow tiled streets

that have lain and listened

to hooves and feet and secrets over centuries

absorbing the heat

The wild ego’s in flight vainly competing

against an inevitable fate

clutched in shared space

So passengers are forced to adopt

a humble pose for transit. For experience

To experience the exotic, the foreign

A morsel to remember for sharing when home

When all the tongues share vowels

that conjure sense from excited air

Back home to boast

of where we were

I really shouldn’t ask for more.

To Declan. (my surgeon)

To Declan. A poem. I am gone..jpg

My shoulders rounded, I am hunched

As instructed

Facing away from a man

With sharp steel in his hand

The cold eye of that needle

Contains unsentimental fluid

Poised and loaded with the logic

That will take me away

Before long I am gone

Off into a prayer

My ignorance all wrapped

In total and utter surrender

There could be bird-song

For I am tethered to air

Or the soft parting of warm lovers lips

I am gone

Take me and render me

Your clinical skills

Your cold hearted craft

Are now beyond natural law

Waves

Waves

A human tide rolls and recoils

At injustice, war and lies

And the innocents are tossed against

A changing, formless shore

Whose arbitrary rules discriminate

Divide and preside over misery

Inhabitants of safe havens

Hide behind the mast-heads

Of their propaganda and sensibilities

Unsure in their comfortable shoes

Just how to protect their own

Selfish hegemony

Whilst politicians, those arbiters of votes

Posture and pocket expenses and air-miles

On our behalf

All smart. Considered. Rhetorical.

Trusting to history

And missing irony

For these lives are being dashed

On confused tides

Ideologies that fumble

On cracked foundations

And leave a residue

Of misery that we struggle to hide

I am diminished by

My inactivity

Exposed by shallow thoughts

But truly feel

A sense of loss

That last escaping breath of hope.

Walk on

Walk on

Walk on

Walk on

 

The sports field, fallow now, the season’s gone

Grass grown brown, untended between the posts

The referee, more than a whistle away

And I walk with the dog

Listen to the raucous chants of crows

All black and maudlin

And see random drips of yellow, wild flowers

Self-seeded dreams

And catch the perfume in early morning heat

For summer is here and it slows the blood

Makes more of the senses

When I am at peace

 

 

I have made my own oasis

Cool and quiet

Luxury in peace

Though a fly drones

Determined to annoy

And I wonder if it has a more appealing side

Distracted by philosophy

I feel that now I have enough

And this would be

A good moment

To pass away.

Splinters

Photograph to illustrate poem, 'Splinters'

St Bartholomews Church, Smithfields, London.

Splinters

 

I would do something today

Like explode a myth

Or put air around a tired thought

And smile from ear to ear

In a public space

 

Oh yes, I would

And be generally, emphatically, me

This denizen, this soul

A growing remembrance

Of a life more or less explored

 

I would

And be less confused

More playful

More generous

Just once

 

Because

This blank page is like a day

Full of atoms that may break

Ignite or fall away

Knock on wood.