Shush

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.

Playtime

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

Let Me Be The Dream

O won’t you sleep my boy
in the dark mid-day of death
with your won’t-close eyes
in the mist’s fraught periphery?

Don’t you sleep my darling
in memory-fog,
don’t you dawdle there
in the half-light yearning.

Can’t you sleep my heart
in early evening shadows
with your can’t-unravel mind
and your love enfolding?

Let me be your heart.
Let me sing your rhythm.
Let me be the dream
you need for sleep.