James

James and I. Collage 2019

 

a day looms in the near future

laden with unknown fears

it is, or it could be, a turning point

a signal, a way point. Certainly it marks

a departure

of our red-haired son with his given name

into the company of other men

other souls who seek solace in extremity

who will bawl his name and push him

to limits we, his parents, never could, never would

and in those moments of strain

where God may not be found but God invoked

this boy, this man, our progeny

will know that our love will not desert him

in that liminal state he finds between his youth and his future

and will he know what I have learnt

that he is powerless, yet as a child of love

he carries us, our love, our future seeds

and he is goodness if he so chooses

And in the morning

Bell weather

 

I sit playing at words and looking

for their ruined meanings as

above me rain detaches itself from the moods

that are clouds that linger in doom

and laugh as they get lighter and pull away

to a heaven that smiles on the other side of the world

while upside down other people find congress

in immaculate thoughts,  just like mine

though it all, of course, is unknowable

and that susurration  of damp pellets on glass,

that rain, is somehow soothing as it washes away

the stain of grief – the echo

that seems to last, to follow and linger

like a partner in a sensual dance

guiding me with soft fingers into vice

 

Tomorrow will try to intrude

and entertain my future with presentiments but

I am caught here in the cloying sense of a loss that is impending

the gravity of doubt that knows me, owns me

so well that I have adopted it and beg to drown

in this timely shower of raindrops surrendering on glass

the drum beat and patter of those renegade soldiers

dividing me from fate as they slip away in disarray

beseeching the spent remorseless air to mourn

other fallen dreams set fast in the earth with encryptions

on stone tablets that are stoic with their enduring love

the epitaphs that outlive sorrow day after day

and all the letters bleed from their wounds, their histories

the kindness of flowers left at the scene

and in the morning

the eye’s have it

An eyefull

 

a wet monday in Worthing when

drab describes it all – like a squall

the pavement leaden but moist

with a sheen that mourns this day

 

the silk trace of rain resembling a worn mirror

reluctant to record the scene

so I kill time as I wait for my car

to be serviced in a franchise on the edge of town

 

here, I am a tourist on the fringe

of this island I am bound to call my home

the sea, a shifting slate graunching at the shingle

of a beach demarcated by groynes

 

that limp out into temperamental water

barnacles and slime worn into their weathered timber –

they are the nerve endings on the fringe

constantly mocked by tides that respond only to

 

higher pulses that have no remorse for

that hang-dog,  beaten look they leave behind

for tourists and thrill seekers, the off-peak

and the lost and lonely on the beach

 

and in all of this I try to find a common thread

imagining workers behind glass and steel

bricked-up and buoyed by duty and the hours

that pay a mortgage – that make it all seem safe

 

I feel small amongst the flotsam of people with

less pressing concerns as they shuffle

on quiet streets that promise things

like Prospect Place or maybe even Paradise ( a square)?

 

in shops Closing Down with only ‘days to go’

I feel the loss of blood, a dilute imperative

the eking out of time as the air goes out

of a blessing that was once filled with hope

Go lightly

Go lightly. poem.pic.

 

buried deep

fingers weave and leave

traces of the suffered

the lost and the all too painful

 

they knead and pummel

vibrate with a conscience

so insistent that patterns emerge

behaviours begin to inhabit

 

the soul

so much that we are simply

hosts to feeling –

the carriers of sin

 

but

the kindly magistrate of truth

will spin a yarn and let me off

wrapped around in ragged lies

 

the cloak of shame so dismal

evoking sewers and silent movies

all black & white – so noir

he’ll lift the veil and laugh

 

a sentence in a swarm of words

all dazzle and blame

will coalesce and rinse themselves because

we all deserve a pardon

Pearls

Pearls . pic for poem

 

I want to speak of miracles

enunciate my awe  at modern things

and give thanks on this bright day

that I am present  to behold

the gifts that shower me

day in day out  but

not seem fey, too abstractly thoughtful  or naive

it’s just that looking out of the bedroom window

I see our neighbour basking in the sun

a misshapen homage to beauty  with his beer gut

his paean to gods and mercies

quite evident in the pose

the shrubs, the seedlings and all that nascent growth

almost showing beneath his feet, his hopeful yards long stare

and I am struck by how much we have in common

and not

how we differ, on the edges, in the beds

in matters of colour or politics, his children at private schools

with hopes for higher things

but we are just morsels – innocents in the food-chain

as that Thrush on the lawn teases out a long fat worm

and a Robin inflates his or her breast in warning

the birdsong reverberates with sweet nostalgia

I must soldier on  just one day farther

in the rain

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.

Make my day

Make my day. pic

 

you’re going to see sense

going to break

like a favourite flavour

on your face

you’re going to crease

and show some teeth

that serious side you’ve got

on display

has been there for years man

you’ve got dust

filling the cracks

and eye’s man, they’re tired

get some shine

on that fascia

make it easy for me man

SMILE