Winter Chill

The grandfather clock coughs

and then they are all at it,

armchairs belch their stuffing,

tables drop all their leaves, cushions deflate.

.

The radiator complains of a temperature;

the bed winces when I lie on it, so

I perch near the moaning fish tank

watching eczema paint peel from sore throat walls.

.

Later, I grab my guitar, but it winges and slides

out of tune with the day,

offending the aching ears of the television

which begs me to turn the sound down

real low.

Reach

The quick flick change dealt by the day

is hard to reconcile

when trauma preys on happiness

and grief tugs on its tail

and like a rusty spring, resolve

grows brittle over time

so every heaviness weighs more

than once, when we were primed.

 

But do not turn away from me

to spare me from your care

I also suffer silently

don’t be afraid to share.

Perhaps, if we tessellate our years

collaborate our smiles

we’ll find new ways to gird ourselves

to bear life’s rocky miles.

 

Gone

Soon you will be to me

absent as moon trees

distant as a lonely prayer on ancient lips

intangible as a strong forgotten taste

 

Like an improbable hypothesis

snatched from the breath of a wayward student

you will wing it into the theoretical landscape

shape shifting then

less now than nothing

leaving only dust motes and regret

to mark your passing.

Cyclist – for Bradley Wiggins, Shane Sutton and cyclists everywhere

From the moment he slid into a saddle

he wide straddled the earth on a thing without wings

aerodynamically bound to conquer contours

race rivers hurtle hammer and shift he had the gift of speed

the physical need to flex his legs and work a precision machine

feet flashing bending bridging the cadence of his heart changing

to meet the cardiovascular thrumming of the pedal fall and rise

 

as if he rode in the slipstream of the gods.

Dark Earth

I am the underbelly –

the inside of nothing: unfixed, undefined

not to be touched, done to, undone

nor enough included to be cast aside.

 

I am after the last thought

beyond the undiscovered isle behind dying eyes

beneath a broken tongue which may not speak

in the well of deep behind angry teeth.

 

I am postliminary in-consequence

dangling over the lip of impossible.

 

Yet still,  I am!

Empathy

You understand when I fill my bath with acorns
and happily crunch through wash time

You comfort me when I talk to the mirror
and cry because no-one is there

You nod in agreement when I put my coat on backwards
so I don’t have to leave for the office

You accept there is a bit of my hair I never brush
because I fell out with it years ago

You are my chosen few
and I will try to understand you too.

Hotfoot

Thing about souvenirs of time gone past
you make to move they try to hold you fast
the hands they used to tie her with their warnings to the gate
brought out the knife to cut her tether and a reason for escape

There is no running when your feet are bound
those too full arms will pin you to the ground
she would wear no shoes of lead now or the wishes of the dead
now running free was playing on her cards and dancing in her head

Turns out running is a thing she had to do
because this life was in a hurry she was too
she ran till no-one tried to stop her then she stopped –

Thing about travelling life so hard and fast
is the love you leave behind your running past.

Birthday Wishes

This is your day
swing in and stay a while
toss your coat on the banister
pull up a banjo
jam to the sound of your
upbeat life

You got this far
everything said and done
taste the chocolate drama cake
butter icing boy
cut yourself a slice of
paradise

Now is the time
your options are opening
don’t tinker around the edges
take it away
wear a shiny hat and
go fly high.