Telling

As kids
We got stories
Flung at us at night.

Crepuscular voices
Implying our shadows.

Fictions were just that.

Now
I throw my own tales:
The real childhood fictions,
Where silences maliced the air.
Unacknowledged truths which guzzled away
At the raw remnants of folk’s hearts,
And were so powerful
That only a child could tell.

Namely

Words copulate with things.

We force this on them.

 

The leaf here

will never move,

 

will never sway,

 

but, in our minds, off of the page

it impregnates reality:

helps us humanise an alien world.

 

Our universes give birth to meaning.

 

Love is the name of everything.

 

The Illusory Solstice

Passing by. 

The yesterdays,

yellowing.

 

The people constructed,

brittle,

drying.

 

Autumnal memories

distancing, distanced.

Impalpable.

 

Through winter’s silver birth,

the illusory Solstice

standing still, reflecting.

 

The same old Spring.

New life chittering.

Time to slap the baby.

Combustible

With the sound down on the telly 

the scroll repeated how an onboard device

may have caused all those deaths.

 

And silently, the newsmen

and politicians talked. It was impossible

to readjust the volume. It felt like sacrilege

 

when the silence of the screams would be desecrated

by the everyday sound of professional guessers.

When I could finally move I went into the kitchen,

 

put an unopened tin in the microwave and set the clock

to 30 minutes. Then watched the timer and waited.

From My October Window

This year’s last leaves,
yellowing

and in their tens now,

shimmy with

the whisper of a breeze.

the stark tree, now,

a fragile chandelier.

 

These little deaths

necessarily falling

in a cycle of renewal.

And this October

I remember

some Autumn trees are yet young.

I Was a Pre-teen Dalek

At the Boys Brigade annual display

I was a Dalek. An alien life-form in

a metal skin, this time made of wood though.

I got to scream “Exterminate!” at laughing families.

 

I then soaked up those families applause

as I left-wheeled,

right-inclined

in a thick navy jumper and grubby haversack.

 

The highlight was,

from behind a backlit screen,

pulling sausages and a step-ladder from a patients stomach.

 

You should have seen it, mum.

Lighthouses

Invisible lighthouses in daytime
dotted, unblinking

in the haze.

 

Hours I’d sit scouring the far island,

hunting, eyes squinting,

sat in the sand, knees hugged to chin.

 

But at night, familiar winks reappear

just where they should be,

 

rhythmically sparking the dark,

lighting me up inside.

Usurper

Usurper,
Oedipal me

I smiled thinly

grinning him down

from the peak of his wife’s affection.
Mistaken,
for so I was,

I climbed a vacant chair, a throne,

merrily thumping straight-legged.

The joy, mine alone.
The abdicant,
pub-rushed and boozy,

on coming home sat in a seat

heated by someone else’s arse.

We all bounced our secrets around the room in silence.

Until I can Paint with Words

Razored through the rub,each considered mark

an artist’s insinuation,

stretched sinuous, black, 
sure as coal.
Asserting primacy of 

image over word,

and in stark revenge,

I approach a 
Rothko in a room.
Dipping 

the brush of a pen,

held indexed 

and thumbed into 
mindblood,
applying that 

red to print,

I stroke 

a sentence as horizon
to barely visible hate;

a swept wash 

of pale skin, nibbed 

to puncture and relate, 
delivered to paper

a paragraph,

redder
than any artist could wring from their mix.