Two Nightmares

Last week the Nazis were busy, stripping flesh and muscle from bone,

flamethrowers burned travellers in crammed train compartments.

I watched the skins go in the heat, then the veins bubble and flare,

muscle and sinew blacken then vaporise like film on fire.
This week, they were back. They crammed in through the front door

shuffling shoulder to shoulder filling my grubby house.

A woman who presents home improvement shows on telly

supervised. Furniture got smashed and thrown out of windows.
Garbled German shouts as the rooms are trashed. The Nazis squeeze 

back out through the door, their collective boots echo down the stairs. 

The woman is appalled she has let this happen, but as I look around 

the house it is white and gleaming and through my terror think
“This is actually fine.”

In My Most Scurrilous Dreams

In my most scurrilous dreams

I go to the shops, make tea,

maybe read, or walk around the house I live in

during the regular day.
I waste the chance to fly,

transgress boundaries,

to rub the lamps of sleep.

 

On waking, I smile at this,

knowing these ordinances of self-denial

are commenting on the surrealism

of my everyday existence.

Screech

Wheels took the edge of the curve in the night.

 

The low screech of

a whimpering animal.

 

The car slid acr

oss the black-top lanes.

 

A rusting crash-barrier

waited to be hit and

broken.

 

Two stiff arms rolled

the steering wheel into the spin.

 

Mindless panic freezes muscles.

 

Maybe music plays.

 

A mile off,

pottering on the hut’s porch,

 

I hear the faint, low

screech of a whimpering animal.

Cemetery Nature

 How any grass has grown here,

defying stillness, puzzles.

The birds dive, as if to warn,

unflappable. Their space.

 

Hoopoes, swallows own the air

swing low, go close

a breath away, dive you

back to the primal past, excavate

your fears.

 

Intruder.

 

Green reeds silently whistle-

line the ghostly Eridanos.

 

Yet still.

 

Demeter smiles,

 

seeing red,

red anemones popping up

fraternising with Canna lilies

orange high,

 

chamomile scenting grasses.

I Look at “Pretty Concrete”

Pretty concrete 

wet in its fresh newness

would shine a shiny wet

 

and acquire lines

and then lines of dots

before setting.

 

We’d lift the protective wood

and make our mark.

 

Initial the future.

 

(I look at this little detail of childhood

and wonder why

these small perfections

have assumed such importance for me.

Well, half wonder.)