Holiday Snaps

Dad, in his Pegasus trunks, dark-
Him skinny and pale, he
Could only dive into the sea, not walk.


He had to have a no-going-back entry
Into the cold and the wet,


And every night a three mile walk uphill for a pint
Cursing the rabbit hole he fell into coming back once
Giving him an ankle like a snake that had swallowed a cricket ball.


The photos from then tell me we
Still held hands, and in each
One I’m looking up at him expecting something.

Hallucinating You

I hallucinate you into existence, my dear dead friend:
wear your denims, one week worn in the holiday hills.

I walk around caressing, pressing their grubby thighs.
I nuzzle the nape of your neck in the night-warm duvet.

I read you, inventing clues, collapse us into timelessness
Hold my hand up in the black air and wait for reciprocity.

I pare the gentle skin from the imagined ink of a committed thought
I presume we’ve made love without even knowing.

Death is the distance, your pulse alive the butterfly wings
Which stir me.
I envisage you a graceless dancer, bursting with fire.

Gift to a Grandson

Walking with my two-year-old grandson
Along the avenue by black naked trees
And on thin frosted ground
In the bright winter morning, I showed him
The whiteness of his breath.

The moment could not be undone.
He giggled excitedly at the phenomena,
Hitherto unnoticed which, he gradually realised,
He had an element of control over.
Breath held or expelled.

I had helped make the Natural
Unnatural for him
With awareness.
I thought of this
And everything I’ve written.

To Be Young And Leaving Town

To be young and leaving town.

A new wind’s freshness blowing

convictions that the past can’t stop

the budding of your growth.

Supple truths shape you anew,

Pliant with made friends and lovers.

You have made room with an eager discarding

Of bets hedged, dice blindly thrown,

Sorrows dustily stowed in yesterday’s loft.

But old leaves have a habit of sprouting

In your untended garden.

On Dissolution

Lie me in a dream: all foggy precision,

the snot-green sea of Mystery coldly lapping.

Float me apart: my ever-expanding self,

It’s atoms light-speed bound by no-time.

Lay me, allay me: beyond truth and lies

On the outreaches, where the edges blur,

Where beginnings ends begin

have me seeing being everywhere

Until there is no me and all.

When I lie beside you desire satiated

another rises, the annihilation of self,

Usurpation of us. Weary of the want

To be everyone and everything,

Let the loneliness dissolve and the aching be absolved.

Have me either god or woo-woo.