It’s like when you get
the tin and give it four
minutes in the microwave
and it comes out all
boiled and bubbly, and
boiling, you know, impairs
the flavour but you have to give
it two or three
or it’ll burn the roof
of your mouth off and as
you wait for it cooling you think
if I’d only set it at three
it would have been hot and perfect
and supped then and there
and now here I am waiting
three or four minutes
wasted time later
rueing the past, anticipating
the product of my actions
knowing I’ll never make soup again.
The sky smashes
on surface-thin sea.
the up and under.
A trawler chugs blindly
out of sight.
A seabird bashes
through to a cold underworld
killing fish: thrashing
Still on the shore
lap and lap.
Liam and I are in our old flat, packing up, ready for the move. We put boxes out on the verandah. Our cat, Zappa, who doesn’t get out, sneaks through the open front door. I worry Susie will be annoyed by this. Tired of the packing up I lie on the sofa and pull a blanket over me, as I fall asleep I notice my shiny black leather shoes. Susie wakes me. She’s not angry and suggests I go out to look for Zappa. I go along the road and see Zappa disappearing slowly over a grassy hill which I can’t get to but I know if I detour round the woods I’ll meet up with him. As I circle round I notice the animals are slightly wilder round this way, and as I’m thinking I’ll never find him an eagle rises huge in the sky opening its wings and hovering there. My first instinct is this is a threat to our cat but I am in awe of the animal and realise this thing of beauty brings no danger. After watching it for a while I decide to head back to our flat. As I retrace my steps, Zappa comes happily over the grassy hill from where he’d gone and happily jumps into my arms. We both head home.Such a pleasant dream, from Susie’s reaction to the missing cat, to the happy reunification, but most of all for that magnificent eagle.
Your sharp little pencil,
its fine lines slice
deftly through the dishes,
the prepared meals, the niceties.
Where the fleshy heart of intellect
pulses on the undefined
frontline of desire.
You are a new Sun on an unexpected morning.
Not reading French, I read you in French
and grapple the ghost of your clever hands,
prod recesses which surface with re-viewing
and trust to Faith the translation which haunts the shadows of me.
How we romanticise lost wars,
close eyes for the first
kiss of the first bomb.
Throw ourselves into
the killing carnality.
Tell virgin soldiers lies.
Get patched up,
return to the front.
How we cling
to the possibility of victory
when every daily defeat tells us otherwise.
The band of brothers of lovers,
the walking wounded
who have wound up dead and alive.
A murmuration swoops, curls
blackly against creeping dusk
seen silently from the window.
I imagine the camaraderie in furious wings
the machinations of large populations
where all are bound in keeping an even distance
and rarely stare a neighbour in the eye.
I don’t deny the beauty of it, the collective mind in flight
but all this is from where I stand, and
not the birds-eye view of
small town minds where small good mornings
and bare civilities keep us comfortably apart.
do not blur
or get edgy
but in an important sense
just are not there.
Everything is fluid
and undecided until observation.
It’s not uncertain.
It’s the way it is.
There are pulls and pushes-
But these are all internal events.
Now ageing, and living
the long months of low sun
where slate grey or silver sky hung,
where bare trees scratch black lightning,
peppered hair on virgin white pillows.
Dreams bled to monochrome.
I wake to find Her back to me
and the rolling hills of blanketed hips.
My hand on her hot rump
a warm reminder,
as a sun-baked rock at midnight
of the gone day’s heat.
Tamp the baccy down-head of the cob pipe-
get it lit, hand shielding.
Screw her eyes wi the squall
stood there between the front door and
her oak chair three feet away
Her man the chandler gone
old nets heaped on the beach
Wet rigging, crates.
Me at three, with new thoughts, in shorts, gets a smile.
In the ground, with nothing still,
rotting and living,
nourishing another day. For today
just isn’t ready.
In the silent mutual walk to the graveside.
In the being, the togetherness-
the sole sounds the acknowledgement
of all our footsteps slow-marching.
We carry your memories around
lighter than the casket we allowed
you to be buried in. We have to
believe in your resurrection.
But three days is a long shot.