A popular disease

Please let me out of here

Enter at your own peril

Not for the faint hearted

To be avoided at all costs

Until I die

Put your left arm in

Funny how?

Everybody needs somebody

Exactly

Let me tell you about my life

In other words…

Never nothing no-one

Get me out of here

So many reasons not to say.

A Quiet Ride

Who wouldn’t relish the pink skies
of a twilight winter drive?
Oh, for a quiet ride.

But Anxiety is a mealy-mouthed passenger:
no stuck out chin chest beating bully;
insinuating instead into the drivers seat,
she slips my gears.

Oh, for a quiet ride, but undeniably too
Vexation sits, inclined as though struck,
like a damp yeuk sandwich on the seat beside me,
puckering his lips to sip from
a plastic flask of patched up paranoia.

Oh, for a quiet ride indeed. Enough.
I swerve onto the curb, and
belt unclasped by confident denials, depress
an inbuilt ejector switch. Out they tumble,
rumbled by optimistic assertion.

Ha! In the Hollywood diversion, at last, a quiet ride,
pink skies deepening to best radish red,
conundrums left behind, nothing to remind me
of mistakes, unlucky breaks, driving west…

Okay. Apply the brakes. Get out. Slam the door.
Pick up the pieces, crank the heater,
dry their rusty tears and drive them home.
It seems we are not ready, each, to function on our own.

Surviving, and sucking last year’s fruit pastilles,
we all three, at least, appreciate the pink skies
of a twilight winter drive, but sometimes, sometimes –
Oh for a quiet ride.

Balance

A middling man dances with a deckchair on the uneven beach; his neck burned ruddy by the kisses of the sun. Striped seat tacking, wood frame click-clacking, he perseveres nevertheless, and folds himself into the seat in time to watch his ex-lover leave for new horizons. As she shimmers her feisty goodbyes, an impish sea breeze rises to pick a tune on the string drawn tight between day and night, and steals the hat from the middling man’s head. The middling man throws up his arms to catch the hat, and the chair tips, toppling him. He stays there a while, curled on the beach, salt tears blotted by the still warm sand.

Equilibrium:
so difficult to achieve
so easily lost.

High

Is self-awareness the same as diagnosis?
Are dreams symptoms or manifestations?
Just lately there has been regular levitation
with increasing ability to rise above situations
or step lightly into another dimension
through a literal sphere of consciousness –
which is in fact a flexible paper tube.

Is intoxication dangerous?
Is imagination terminal?
Not only are these  experiences thrilling,
but also make dislocation enjoyable.
I am lying in a meadow of my own making,
sipping beer at the festival of living proof.
Perfectly balanced in my tipped universe
I have seldom felt happier upon waking
and been so willing to surrender to the night.

Butterfly

Climb into this chamber
of reflective domestic surfaces
where your thin girl lies
with translucent skin;
needing to breathe.

Old roses glow
upon blue veins; roots,
stems and features flower
upon a pink pillow. Pins
prevent movement
beyond permitted parameters.

Listen outside your barred
summer window, to sparrows
eating pea shoots and
gooseberries refusing to soften,
as obstinate rain falls.

Fall through the thoughts
of your girl who courts inadequacy and
barely controls the urge for
flight, often alighting
on chairs next to dark
denying eyes, hands fluttering.

Disliking draughts,
you stopped her dance today,
that way you have of
whispering, shifting into
graceful rumba hold, to
pas des deux her from the room.

Bit by bit you have
snipped blue dazzling wings.
Poor attempts at annihilation;
each cut recalling the agony of
her birth, and worse,
the pain of subjugation.

Frightened, feel her
twisting, pulling ’til
your body aches, then
begin to build associative pictures
from tiny be-curtained roses.
You taught her this, once.

Remember early indulgences,
childhood nonsense, spinning round,
she laughed and ran with you,
indigo wings breaking
household things in real joy.

Hours slip towards evening
and she takes and shapes you;
shadow miasmas crossing moving lips
on a vague sense of hope.

Deep inside your broken mind
beset with guilt and consequences
is something carefully creased.
From your unwrapped imagination
she draws two gifts;
a single red tipped match,
and minuscule glass paper, folded once.

Once she had a dream of being alive,
and she was born, damp wings
stretched and held,
innately patient, biding your time.
Wings dried,
but bold beauty bore weights
of conscience and responsibility
like baubles of lead.

Looking past dread
more potent than death,
with a swift shift of consciousness,
with will suppressed,
as manifestation of choices never made;
with freedom thwarted
and joy never realised,
you strike the match
and as the ash of your blue butterfly rises –
you watch the world turn.