Alice

Alice drank the bottle dry
Her life shifted
She craved entertainment
Following an impossible rabbit.

Her life shifted
The garden was beautiful for a time
But getting out was a problem
And overeating overcompensated.

She craved entertainment
But was swept away in a pool of tears
People plied her with reasoning
Which made no sense to Alice.

Following an impossible rabbit
Alice joined a tea drinking forum
And met many false friends
Narrowly avoiding heartbreak.

The Poet as Archaeologist

At midnight in the fields of my humanity
I break the silence with a prayer and
stooping on warm ground, cast my coat.

Beckoned by history’s scent, and watching yesterdays,
I begin to collect half answers with a trowel,
for to be fixed and shored would be
to shroud some other light.

In ancient caves I measure gritty bricks and buffers,
unblocking obstruction with a pick,
contemplating potent questions pitted by the night,
without dislodging criticalities.

Complacency is crushed against
the monolithic walls I climb to harness
crumbs of wonder; the sting of straps
drawn tight upon my wrists, borne in good faith.

My ageing ropes are not taut, and not precise;
endeavour challenged by verticalities.
Oh those worthy comrades strung from ropes close by
swing a tantalising rhythm.

At dawn, with arms of love, I drape about the roof
and rafter-dance with mighty beams caught by earth,
refracting sharp from off her face, to
fly me respectfully onto shoulders of toil.

From this place I witness men and women
bending to practicalities they task themselves to shift,
and though their masters quit, they stay
to build and banter still around this busy tract.

Daylight strikes and sceptics lean upon the gate;
my voice quieted by the human tide
I descend unsupported columns, collect my coat,
but string commitment to the citadel of return.

Dusk

Twenty or so if youth declares,
out of fuel on a parky night
blanked by eery-lit unforgiving
dry stone walls, trudged doggedly on,
mile after mile, youth’s gift to push
home through fear with salmon-like
fortitude, back from the godless moor,
like Scott, I boasted, or Kathy,
without a hint of irony.

Fifty or so if age discloses,
an independent woman timed it wrong;
clinging to cliffs pitched deep in night
petrified last rocky reflections
damned by awareness, inadequacy and
grazed knees; sliding towards
the unforgiving sea, mouthing –
I am old, mistaken, stupid, cold.
ENOUGH. Please rescue me.

Playtime

Ding dong the bell for crying out
loud but don’t hear reprimands half cocked
corridors run white socks falling to catch
imaginations lit like tapers ready to

come hail or shine grass cuttings or
snow girls flew out to archeologically
dig this unspoken urgency bending our
bodies into new shapes but never

did we build igloos are for boys for us no
kiss and tell you what no silly games fizzy
sweets like answers lay beneath twenty
serious minutes of comradeship and green

knees.