Death comes Knocking

Can I ask you to wait at the door awhile,
Said consciousness the old trickster,
I’m dining with fear and the unknown just now.
I’ve misplaced their jackets, they’re leaving.

I know they’ve lived here forever
They pretend to be guests.
Oh , you’re coming in anyway?
Make yourself comf…oh, you have.

You say this is YOUR house?
Why is it so familiar then?
My guests seem to have left somehow.
You’ll let me stay though?


Because I had no family
In any meaningful sense,
I had no silence I understood.

Not the silence of omertà
against outsiders and authority
but the silence of within,

the silence of personal shame.

A silence that leaked out
in the actions of co-conspirators,
parents, grans, grandas, aunts and uncles.

It seeped into their cosy knowledge,
until it distanced them to far flung streets
until they had nothing to say, finally.

When they started dying
I tried to talk. Got half answers,
still half-a-silence. Truth was poison.

I have the freedom of the unknown.
I remake them in the truth I choose to give them.
With love.


From capsules of classrooms
we ran, the wind and playtime

sparking the fibres of our nerves
and jackets. Spat out, fizzing blindly,

zigzagging, jumping, blazers
for sails, legfuls of youth.

Fifteen minutes of mayhem
before the clanging bell

died us
back down