Cassie, age 1, in the Park

Sunday daisies, crazy paved,
graze your blonde head amazed.
A crown of velvet thorns is laid
whilst toddling the parklands.

Giggling in wide-eyed wonder,
laughs the language of the weather,
sunning on your squinted peepers.
Tugging at the grass- hands,

gathering in the newest beauty-
the best of hours it pulls up roots.
Suffer the little flowers who come unto thee.

Arms stretched Christ-like wide, unbalanced
reaching for your juice-cupped chalice,
your Earthly father beaming back-
As mad as a baby can be.

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Bookburning

Moira, 69…or Mary, 68
as you variably were today,
placed in blank indifference before us
like a bowl of wax fruit.
Silent, we sat
in tight-packed black-suited rows,
blanking out the hired-hand minister
who barked out the garbled facts of your life.
The unwelcome ringtone of a baby’s cry
mocking the soulless soliloquy-
and we, the bit-part fascists in this self-funded drama
should have worn our armbands-
because what we did was,


we burned our books today.
And the memory banks that fleshed us out
with forgotten childhoods,
have gone up in smoke.

I Will Blow Blue Smoke

I will blow blue smoke
around the dimmed cornices of our 3 a.m. bedroom,
for you do not have the puff to announce your death.
Your breath stumbles and trips
from your wanting, lavender-blue lips.
Pushed up by overfilled ash-tray lungs.
Enough.
Cough your hopes up-
all your hopes and breathless aspirations.
Your liquid memories have flown from you.
Your dessicated, tenuous, dry
cigarette-paper-thin grip on life is strengthless.
If I could inject a viscous sentence
a gelatinised word or two to hold you together…
Lifeblood from my fingers to the keys to the page to your eyes to your heart
then woman I would.
But
       you are a wisp,

                                 a blue airless wisp.
 

As a Boy

As a boy,
when I picked up the papers
I would think that dead folk
always took fuzzy photos.

I’d see
Miss So-and-so, 29,
murdered and blurred,
and always
in pock-marked black-and-white.

Mr. Memory-gone,74,
staring and hazy,
but only later working out
you were blow-ups
from cheap family cameras.
Pictures lent in despair;
unfocused focal points
for daily reports of death.


And when I look at my own collection-
parents, their parents, aunts and uncles,
they are sharp and clear,
with just the memories of
who they used to be
clouding me over.