Maureen

Maureen. pic

 

so many words came tumbling out

as if they had been uncorked from this little

Irish woman from Waterford

in front of her the river shone and curved around a weir

white water crashing on the rim of its soft flowing surface

and in the far distance her memories

a fugue set against the towpath with its runners, couples

and people ambling with dogs all unaware of her in her pool

an island on a bend of a fictional river with her husband

who passed away in 2014 – she lets us know of her childhood across

the water, one of nine from Waterford  “where the crystal comes from”

that last with a knowing twinkle in her eyes

of how long ago Edward came to her home town on holiday with friends

and quite by heavenly happenstance they struck up a dialogue

that developed and grew into marriage and a family of their own

he, being a dab hand at everything around the house left her with

a sturdy ship but how she misses him, his presence almost tangible

she sheds a tear and smiles thanking us for listening

 at the end when we make to leave she says

“you’ve made my day”

goodbye Michael

goodbye Michael. pic

 

her voice stretched by emptiness

she simply said;

” I thought you should know Michael passed away today”

he chose a Sunday to go into permanence

and leave his wife and family on the day of rest

today marks the Autumn Equinox, two equal halves of light and shade

one teardrop hangs and waits for gravity to be the judge

our parliament  in tatters, the country in turmoil

and as we read the news

one can’t help but feel that though his mind was in decline

he chose his moment well.

rainfall on a monday morning

 

rainfall on a manday morning.pic-001

 

one son has gone to view a property in Peterborough

the other son went to work in Surbiton

and here I am wondering about Win Wong

a Chinaman I met on holiday in the Maldives

What is going on in my  head?

how goes it as I sit with my coffee in a quiet house

my wife about to go to work

and I am left with the simple task of walking the dog-

I’ll probably go to Sunbury

the earth it seems is spinning on it’s own head-strong celestial axis

and me- I’m powerless as I recall the Tuna Win Wong caught

on a strip of line with one fatal hook

that my wife and I ate that night

on an atoll in the Indian ocean

one night that seems so far away that I

may be still in the land of dreams but

‘one last thing’, she says as she goes

‘please put out the bin, it smells’

Mother

Mother. pic

 

In the garden leaning against an old water tank

that we use to contain the roots of decorative bamboo

leans a wooden cross with a small brass plaque

which marks the fact of my Mother’s passing away

on the 26th of July 2014  “Wally” Much loved by all

It is my own last claim on my mother whose selfless love

was most evident for all the time I can remember

so there it is – like a lighthouse that radiates a soft lament

even as I grow old and speculate

on the dwindling circumference of my life

I feel it’s pulse. Her very own eulogy

and know in time my time will come

and I too may be a legend leaning

in a garden somewhere still thought of

in a beating heart

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.

After Mother’s Day

After Mother's Day. pic

 

in the quiet familiar room

fat, wet jewels sit on the glass above

like buddha’s  through which I see a grey monotony

 

this augurs ill for progress

as it shines reluctant light

on half formed plans

 

and silence clings at the contours

of the view from here

as the horizon yawns, mock idle, sucking me in

 

and there is so much to do

to overcome the apathy

and out-pace inertia

 

to dispel the dank encouragement

of dismal

and light the fuse

for new ambitions

The inevitability of beauty

The inevitability of beauty

 

wind seething chases its tail

mock fighting in a demonstration

of how futile it is to resist, meanwhile

bamboo bends like a vaulter in pursuit of personal- bests

and the sun is benign, spectating as if this

were all an earthbound diversion

 

nature lends a hand here and there

the magnolia flowering now reminds me of Mum

whose birthday came round eighty nine times in late March

and the wisteria buds fat and tight waiting to erupt

and the daffodils have walked their cocky yellow strides

so now the garden centres are looking forward to bulging tills

 

this truly is the time of sap and surge when

I am quiet, watchful and wanting to be on the manifest

as a passenger going forward; am I willing and primed?

do I have what it takes to qualify for the ticket and can I

just let nature take its course

Of course I can. I must

Old photograph

Old photograph. pic-001

 

curling as it dries

on the mantelpiece

a resurrection  of our bonds

with tear drops frozen in amber light

as the day closes around everything

I cannot lose

That photograph, a tied knot, endures

as we age and I reminisce

being lured into our shared past

by casual nostalgia

and a fondness for the look in their eyes

 

All this today we share,

built around the ambition to survive,

so now we erect monuments on shelves in our home

in praise of relics,

those souvenirs of love and loss

that betray us as creatures of faith

How bittersweet it is to acknowledge

that all of it is slipping away

unashamedly facing us but somehow,

if I view it right,

complicit in a kind way

that will allow me eventually

to simply surrender and fade away

Kalami Bay. Corfu.

The White House

 

Half a moon rising over my left shoulder. The sound of water lapping in the bay. Murmurs of tyres on the winding roads and children’s voices rising softly from a distance come in and out of play. Otherwise it is peaceful. Yellow and orange lights form tapers in the water. It is a mood I am comfortable in.