Marking time

You will be seen shortly

 

If you could look at old photographs

for the rest of your life would you be sad,

not knowing what the future might have in store,

unwilling to wait for it

 

Deep voiced chatter below from the young men

who were boys not so long ago – unaware

that Dad is in his garret going stale

trapped in their expelled air

 

Above an aeroplane drones against heaven

sketching time, spreading dreams, reminding me

of the past

Of how elastic time can be. Except that it has stopped

 

The spring in the step of the man in that old picture

has uncoiled – it lays flat – lacks – kinetic energy

lives on in the losses of the past

Moribund. No better word for it.

 

Now people go out into the street to worship

care workers

clap and cheer to show solidarity against a single

malevolent cell

 

The wait goes on. The future stalled

Their voices below rumble on unaware of the past

because they live in hope, inviting the future to ‘come on in’

while my hair is grey, extinguished, so even pixels concur

 

This lockdown may become a permanent thing

I feel it’s characteristic embrace

A painless drowning – ennui

And ask again, why has it always been this way?

One COVID day

Tribute

 

I opened my diary this morning and realised today would have been ( always was ) my mother’s birthday.  We have a magnolia tree in the front garden that blooms at this time. I will go out and photograph it to register a poignant memory of a remarkable woman.

Love you still Mum. Mike.

 

forget me nots  are blind to reason

for they share a common cause

not forgetting, they will always know

what you were like and never fail

to applaud

those memories of you – long after we have gone

misty eyed

and blue

A telling

A telling. pic. poem with words

 

the sound in an Irish voice last night

made me feel nostalgia for an ‘old’ place

on the coast of Donegal

that sentimental muscle in me loved

the lilting refrain

of men who remembered pain

and still

raised a smile and spoke with precision and wit

of times gone by, of dreams gone awry

with an evocation in the air they displaced of ancient associations

the heinous sins, the grief in troubled souls

of men and women who have known

the cling of pain

rising up through words to make

something solid in the air, something lasting

a flag to wave and tell of hope

flailing

Flaining. a pic

 

like a Speaker in The House

groping for words – for Order, Order

and spluttering in the midst of so many chosen  mots justes

falling to ground

the scrapings of wisdom in those passionate arguments

that swirl around him

are dusted with the aroma of salt and phlegm

with so much indignation swelling on waves of righteousness

even the buttoned leather upholstery is self-regarding

as it harbours safe seats

whose members have much to say

their propaganda bleaching the very enamel from teeth

 bared to make the most of emphasis

as they ride on the beast of persuasion insisting

that possession is nine tenths of the law

all of them,  frayed ayes and frayed not’s

Right Honourable Friends

sweeping the floor, divining in the dust

for what to make of history

as if

Barbie dolls

 

 

they needed permission to be exuberant

repression and prejudice joyously exposed

flaunts publicly in the face of all that approbrium

and dances in the streets

of a capital city alive – stripped of the nods and winks

the brothers and sisters and in-betweeners

make a riot in plain sight

the anarchy of self evident truths

rituals and history unstitched to reveal

reality made to lurk in the mainstream

a marching band with glitter and horns

tattoos and stencils, face- paint and flamboyance

defiantly, brazenly, a baby suckling at a breast

the  parade polishing itself as it progresses

a serpent in a rainbow that pulses and says

look at me

a flexed, honed torso wearing only a gold posing pouch

and on his head a fan of barbie dolls

next to him a woman – the two of them – an exhibit

a romance in a cameo of the human race

everywhere the promise of a crescendo

and nowhere the commonplace

this then a reflection of everything we can ever hold dear

the many questions and troubled faiths conjoined

as if

Inca’s, temples and ruins

Inca's, temples and ruins. pic

 

the sun sweats it’s golden harvest

showering gifts and glistening just as

the ancients worshiped with their beliefs

shaped by pearls that were tears of the moon

come down like mercury to measure and reward  faith

 gods and idols worked so hard to stretch out into space

yet for all they knew the earth was flat

and now

we do the same but we have invented a vacuum

a spinning-top

moving fast and making danger commonplace

so now we face a holocaust in which

all that knowledge may go to waste

and all the dreams go dark

cold cuts

Colc cuts. pic

 

you vet my bile                                                       you see it coming

                                                                                because you are guilty

 

with taut phrases

learnt by rote and experience                                  you gloat and preen

                                                                                 with no false modesty

to put me down and deny

me of coherence

of a challenge                                                           in my naivety

 

Unfairly

you squirt corrosive phlegm

and here I am now, years hence

still smarting

still wiping with passionate indifference

at the hurt on my face

 

and those around me live

in their scar-tissue

and would intrude if they could

upon my own but I have made myself immune

as damaged DNA in an unravelling helix                 I never loved you

                                                                                   your last words

and of course I live on

with echoes and pain                                                 you win.

DIY

Get a grip.jpg

 

I spend my time engaged

on Home Improvements

it’s tiring work this self absorption

incessant, monotonous and repetitive

and if I’m honest, for all the huff and puff

I’ve botched it

I am not polished or buffed

or what my son would call ‘hench’

I’m grey and lined and display all the hallmarks

that come with age

Will this disappointment  turn eventually to fear?

I am rust on the smooth haft of a padlock

it’s sheen a parody of atomic numbers

that emit pulses – half lives – I’ll take them

let me glow

I just need a minute to be myself

I’ll put down those spanners and that wrench

I’ll be less morbid

I’ll sparkle

just before

I put all the tools away

whispers

whispers. pic

 

the voice is

a stretch

a cord, a line

not taut it spans time

it is a lament

unfolding from the quay

a ship’s hawser, thick fibres worn

uncoiling under pressure

an umbilical cord still intact

calling soft murmurs that echo

in the cave of a living history

and metaphors are all we have

for loss

the voice is

a cord, a line

a semblance of everything

that was ever mine

lost in darkness

even lost in smiles

the learned lies

the unnecessary loss

and grief

burning spires, artefacts

rust on beauty

and the death of stars

which has all been the daily news

on a loop that is

my loop and

the voice is

a stretch

a cord, a line