To the Lifeboats

I scratched a sound in the silence
A little not-nothing
to puncture eternity.

A small whimper
floating the assertion
on the infinite sea of not-me.

To swim out,
the momentary hands of readers
preventing me sinking.

Thank you for reading me,
for today I shall not drown.

In a dream I was a kiss

In a dream I was a kiss:
not the lips, hesitantly
forwarded, parting
meeting wet warmth of the other
or the heads angled opposite
but fitting, harmoniously rocking,
or the hands, still part of this,
gently drawing on the back
at a blouse, soaking the submerged
heat of skin. Nor the participants,
nor their coursing blood and thoughts.
Nor the abandonment of time, nor the moment
of intermingling of exhaled breaths.
Just all of this.

I was the kiss.


In the days before child abuse
I’d hang in mid-air
dangling from my arm
like some monkey screeching,
hoisted from seated,
and as I flew, a shoulder
popping in pain
for the first of what would be three
times that year,
I knew my reluctant bones
would punish you,
deem you unfit
for some unshared secret
which even then had dislocated
and bound us.

Spent Time

I have spent
time doing
nothing but ageing.

None of me moves,
but I watch and feel freckles

I see eyes cloud to some
glaucomatous milk, unwillingly
losing spark,

thoughts now trail off in the inner ether.
Never spoken.

I pull at the reluctant skin
on the hand’s back.
It has no thought of returning.
Having exhausted itself on the journey
it peaks in the pinches’ fold.
Eventually dying back to shape.

It occurs to me I could do all this
whilst reading, and I decide to make some tea.


Scotland in miniature
they say.

Maybe in the way
Catholic mystery descends
on hard Protestant rock,

a mist drizzled
on the sure clarity
of solid land.

The dark clouds flock,
their woolly underbelly bursting
on the backs of dark green hills.

Lying Fallow

I lie, pale brown
with a morning frost

encrusting me,
a fallow field

of everyday earth,

from the multiple births of this hard won year.

The visible skin
nobbly, hard
has a still, wintry mist kissing.

Underneath, in my softer soil
worms thread and ravel
readying me for new creations.

and deep, down deep
underneath it all
an unknown core blazes whitely.