Lost Ones

Looking backward through our archives
shows how soon we will move on
Grow fatigued of graphs and figures
that we’ve heard and seen so long.

By the time that true accounting
is unearthed for us to see
We’ll be on the next agenda
in our sketchy history.

So I write four simple verses
for the ones that are denied
The simple dignity of counting
in our losses nationwide.

May the twisting of the figures
and refutal of the right
Never hide the human tragedy
of those we sadly lose tonight.

Footsteps

How do I know where
you went away to that day?
But I imagine

a very thin line
between adjacent spaces –
We can almost touch.

Maybe we could walk
perpendicular pathways
and swap philosophies?

Our respective footsteps
on the dusty paths, a sign
We shared a little time.

Then, dressed in sparkles
perhaps you’ll up and choose to
smile and dance away?

Lynn

So sad to learn, today,
A friend has passed away
Her generosity
was limitless and free.

So much was in the sandwich
She bought to class one day
A present for this teacher,
Who loved her quirky way.

So sad to find her absent
When she was always here
Exuding bubbly humour
Which got us through that year.

So many fates were twisting
Our children grew and changed
Relationships departed
But our friendship remained.

So long, my favourite student
You’ve graduated now
The Alumni of the heavens
Will welcome you – and how!

Lad

I didn’t know the lad, but he was part of our community and I know he will be missed. As each cherished person is missed. If he has to be gone, the lad, then I would like a picture to remember him by. I didn’t know him, but I want to remember him now, even though it makes me sad. So I will sketch him in a few words, and when he sees my sketch, he might point and laugh, and say “Silly, that’s not me!” But I won’t mind. I won’t mind at all.

Swimming in his shoes

Red sparkles on white horses

Delighted laughter

Cost

I can’t be certain,
but waiting in breath-held clouds
while the sky cantankered on the knoll
I was surely petrified.

When later I fought to rise
from knees wasted in prayer
my robe caught on the buckle
of the lone soldier’s obstinate shoe.

Salt tears, searing pain
from your desperate wrench
and the high price of absolution,
hung, sharped, in the setting night.

And we will never be away, or will we?
Can we ever utter gladly,
Now we are done with this?
For the home we made together
is still reflected in reddish water.

Old Friends

We lose them, don’t we, one by one, to time or aspiration?
What seams we sew, must rip to grow: unseemly alteration.
By stealth, their tide begins to ebb, and tangled in the mortal web
they may forget or shift away from our attention – not to say
we love them less – but like the moon, a distant crescent
glanced at briefly, still in our rounded knowledge there completely.

Look in my face now I have lost some valued constant from a distant past
and find the line which holds me like a kite, and fix me to my missing moon tonight.

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.

Nothing to Lose

L and G
O         A
S          I
S         N
reluctant bedfellows;
Gain forever stealing the quilt
whilst Loss lies facing the wall
cold and crying.

But in the stillness of the night
Gain begins to feel afraid: there is
Too much
hidden beneath the mattress
Too much
resting upon the next day’s transactions
Too much
stacked up and ready to fall upon him
Too many
angry people with a stake in his heart.

Gain taps Loss on the shoulder:
“What is it like to be in your place?” he says.
Loss wipes his eyes and turns over,
he thinks for a while then puts his arms around Gain.
“Let me share the quilt and I’ll tell you,” he says.