Sorry

Poem. Sorry

wove down Bunkers Lane

re-living an old familiar route

across country, short cut

where once I encountered black ice

and slid into a hedgerow

another time on a bend

a pigeon flapping, one wing stripped to the bone

I stopped

we were both helpless until

I put it out of misery

Other times I might have been happy

Bunker Lane doesn’t care

on down into Apsley, the Mill area

where I once lived

All changing now. The pub on the corner gone

Ebberns Road beside the canal

my first wife and I lived at 69

I had my first and only acid trip there

Now Ebberns Road doesn’t care

And in me. In my soul

I want to say how sorry I am

for being so much less than

the man I should have been

To the pigeon, to the ice, to my first wife

I do so want to honour you.

All about it

all-about-it-pic

A drab, slate grey pall

is drawn across the park

and further for all I know

perhaps even to Uzbekistan

wherever that may be

My dog and I simply walk

a familiar circuit on wet grass

past dead or dying vegetation

surrendered to the season

Dull markers below that impassive sky

In all of this I try

to extract a sense of beauty

out of blind optimism

A duty to the light

that struggles to excite my humanity

That indentured quality we know

in service to respectability

The socks and ties, pressed shirts

and fear of the face on time

are all stitched into the blanket overhead

And back home for tea

Silent rain becomes insistent

watchful for the pores

of vulnerable fabric that will allow

the damp curse to pervade

A lesson in the shaking dog

how violently she dispels

the cloying elements from her coat

eats the proffered food

and slumps down vacantly to sleep.

One Tree

one-tree

wood sweats on the stress

of a knot

curled lines of bark strain

in a semblance of growth

A sign of

the extrusion of life through pain

but this suffering is inarticulate

unless you count

my concern

for visual clues. My heart-beat,

my complicity with wood,

my drowning in a beauty

so shy it would prefer

to stand alone.

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.

Good Morning

Good Morning

Good Morning

 

 

Soft pillows on a breeze

Roll across the blue drape,

curtain of beyond

 

We are clung hard by gravity

To the still surface of our world

Imagining. Always a little short

 

The obvious is always staring

Large and blunt

At my inadequacy

 

Implacable odds

The bookmaker smug in money

And I in self-pity. In fear

 

For sadness is lost time

I cannot inhabit that

Not all day. Not every day

 

So I would rather

Blush beneath my host

And live well in the weather.

Prize fighter

Prize fighter

Prize fighter

 

 

 

Everything suggests that I am late

The memory, the notes on soiled paper

Remorse and nagging doubt

 

My skin and my eyes. My hair

All indicate that things have changed

And I am shocked!

 

Picture books hold vestiges

Of my fading self

That I open now with caution

 

So where has the locomotion

Of all my life

Been hiding. In which siding?

 

For all the guides. Almanacs

The legends told

I am not familiar with them all

 

A shadow falls

Stooped in changing light

And fleetingly is all of me.