Bear

In the high street you turn from Ursula,

that small wreaking bear in a fine old coat:

well worn dichlorobenzenated reminder

of an otherwise wasted life.

.

Up and down she pads, from dawn to dark,

claws clicking past embarrassed charity,

rather proffering that magnificent maned neck

to the limp lasso of wet and greedy punters.

.

Her hunted life is heft and loaded into BMWs,

to be stuffed and tipped back latersore and sober,

that fabulous bear coat torn and taken from her,

the remains of its wilderness scratching at her back.

i will be I

I last performed a hearty hub

to background sounds of a country pub,

those noisy vets, yet how I roared,

my stance so solid and assured.

My voice was neither fast or shy,

for two whole hours i was truly I.

..

But where were you that dauntless night?

Hunkered low in pain or fright?

Holed up in trouble, clothed in fear?

The mirror twists and you appear.

.

And so we two performed as one,

for loathing will not silence song,

beaten low  – as silver snakes,

thrown – soaring birds, or what it takes.

.

Work with me in meditation,

hear my voice in contemplation;

we’ll rise and leap and crest and fly,

til you are You and i am I.

Stirring Darkly

Though on the surface splashes only briny wave;

there is one regret,

stirring darkly in the deepest corner of a cave.

.

Though I pull my eyes from the oily fear I find;

there is yet something,

scratching saline places hidden well and left behind.

.

If I might switch and dive my life to swim again;

on that returning tide,

I would void my lungs to wipe away one dreadful stain.

Family Ties

We meet to consider old stitches;

knotted to the past by red thread

which, dangling still between us,

is tensioned by remembrance.

.

Our fragile family quilt,

sewn haphazardly by unpractised hands,

requires the nimble unpick of constituent parts

and the renewal of worn twine.

.

Too long we sensitive seamsters

put aside the intricacies of a trying task,

when the damaged beauty of our creased cloth

can be redressed with candor, and restored.

The Sound of Guns

Parricide is not pretty,

but in a time of swallowed splinters,

there emerges a new confidence,

and no one is safe from

the absolute certainty of the Crack.

.

When anger is awake and ungoverned

the Almighty Metal Guru draws near to tease.

The wheel turns as young wreakers and hoakers,

already tucking boredom in their belts,

dash through familial barriers

straight into the Crack’s improbable deathhole.

.

Suddenly, we are all prey:

heavy weights flailing and falling

past previously pitted lives

towards our own bloody demise.

.

Unable to climb smooth surfaces

society begins to fester,

scraping the walls with botulinal nails;

kicking itself with blister boots.

.

Oh, those ugly days of lost heritage;

elders supping tears together, whilst

so many futures are crossed

by the star thin silver reticle

of the Almighty Crack.

Fire

Marking our winters together,

first up in the morning checks the embers,

so any vital signs might be rekindled.

.

Failing that, I journey out to fetch the coal,

perhaps a well seasoned cherry log, our treat,

odour – vermillion. Slipper shod round to the shed,

contemplating cold patterned leavings in the snow.

.

I consider the teeth clenched path; you warm in tangled bed,

then, lamenting the lazy left last time bucket,

slide down to empty tinker crunch ash,

playing the ice orchestra and wishing above all for wellies.

.

Darling, the clinker hill reaches the sky,

in far off spring we will push it down

to the ditch below the snow line,

between where we live and the cows.

.

Swinging up to the house to scrunch last week’s news,

I lay morning sticks crackling from an orange string bag,

then sparingly, the coal, but leave room for breath.

Striking a match I turn on the life support, a tender touch paper,

sharing the conviction that our winter child will thrive.

Sleepers

We are brickless, backless turtles ridden by nightmares;

nemesis of ideals, monstrous victims of blind eyes,

walked upon inadvertently by vulnerable feet.

.

Keen-edged conceit is a knife that steals amongst us,

slashing our flimsy shelters with its silver tongue,

so we must run out shivering in the rain.

Chemo Café

We all have our favourite seat

the men and women that I meet

whilst mermaids smile and serve us tea

and feed us intravenously.

.

In this cheery place of mine

bare arms are soaked into a shine

then wares are touted on a tray

the best we take the less to pay.

.

In this lively, loving place

anxiety etched on every face

my comfort is a cushioned chair

a pillow and designer hair.

.

In this café where I go

Life’s mélange is all on show:

black coffee corners of our minds

tenacity and mermaids kind.

Mother

When this apple tree is axed and carted to the yard

its old leaves stripped, its twisted branches cut and carved;

when birds and errant squirrels are summarily dismissed,

and mistletoe is torn and puckered lips unkissed;

somewhere beyond the function of its analytic brain

beneath the anxious beating of its heart, the alignment of its grain

we will get down to the nub, that grande dam the tree would be,

except artful years bore sweetest fruit contorting destiny.

Computer Generation

He was once a real boy;

distinctly she remembered him

holding her hand and looking her in the eye.

.

These days, to gain his attention

she wore prescription 3D glasses

and sat in a life-simulating gaming chair;

unsure whether the blurred edges he exhibited

were the result of his stereoscopic obsession,

a definite change in generational perspective,

or the tears in her empty nest eyes.