Making Room

In our showery garden, England, early June,
a put-your-feet-up sort of afternoon…

But we’re working hard to fill the yard
with all of our back room.

We’ll manage this clear out to perfection,
practical, achievable,
to do before precipitation
weakens our determination.

Pick up stuff, pack up stuff,
ponder, put it back perhaps?

Different pathways came together
bringing gifts of our endeavour,
soon the house was full to tipping…

So –

We’ll take some time for contemplation,
deliberate, meditate,
not shrugging off or moving on,
but taking stock and making strong.

Scrap an item, save an item,
wonder, fill the bin, collapse!

A merry-busy-fruitful afternoon,
in our showery garden, England, early June.

Ti amo

I’m so sorry I can’t be with you tonight
high in an Italian mountain wilderness
sipping red wine from glasses we found
in the dimly lit kitchen where we simmered
al dente spaghetti on a single electric ring
and licked the salt of olives from our hands.

Remember the first time? Holding hands
in the room where you are alone tonight;
warming our hands on the same electric ring
and listening to the sounds of the wilderness
as we enjoyed simple dishes, simmering
spaghetti, impatient and hungry for all we found?

I wonder, when you arrived, whether you found
the bed linen I washed with my hands
in the room next to the spaghetti simmering,
and made up the bed, comfortable for tonight,
safe from the strange mountain wilderness,
comforted by bolognese cooked on that single ring.

It might be some little while before you ring,
an hour’s difference disrupting rhythms, we found,
leaving us each dancing in our own wilderness,
unused to having so much space and time on our hands.
I wonder if you will want to talk much tonight?
after a day in the sun, bed made, spaghetti simmering.

Tomorrow, when you are properly settled, simmering
gently in the warmth of the medieval stones, ring
and we’ll swap stories; perhaps leave it tonight,
giving you time to reflect on whatever you have found,
gemstones and kernels to share, held in your hands
like a prayer in the Italian mountain wilderness.

By now you will be sleeping, unfamiliar wilderness
of Italian dream-scapes shifting and simmering,
heat taking leave of mountain stones, dear hands
perhaps reaching for mine, wanting to be held, ring
me in the morning, and tell me what you found,
but know in your heart, I am with you tonight.

Two dear hands in the wilderness
where tonight dreams are simmering,
ring in the morning, to tell me what you found.

Different Tracks

The very opening lines of rail-road relationships
splinter intentions.
Parallel people like us may never roll together,
our distance fixed;
and stations may fall before we two deign to meet.

When you slide off your own confounded tracks
it is me who cries,
your own oily tears lost in gritty ballast;
and at my earnest signal,
you uncouple us roughly, re-align and speed away.

Walk in the Dark

Something lumpily is squeezing down my windpipe,
Something drippily is lipidicing life,
Something clumpily is clogging up my childhood,
Something slippily is causing me some strife.

A boil erupted on the face of my acceptance,
I am hampered by the truth we hid so well,
Walking evidence we couldn’t really trust them,
I am cankered by the tales we couldn’t tell.

Zoo for You

I need a massive elephant to hold my love for you,
let’s face it to be barking frank I need a full on zoo.
I’ll bring some pretty penguins and a dolphin and a duck,
to quack about the way I feel, I can’t believe my –

look

to do you justice honey bee, I’ll ask a roaring lion,
and forty furry monkeys and a snake I can rely on.
There’s room for rhinos, heffalumps and owls in a bush,
and huge orang-utans and spiky whatsits we can’t –

touch

I’ll introduce a growling thing with teeth and not much hair,
but keep it well away from meerkats, other cats and bear.
The dolphins all will do a flip, the seals will throw their fish,
when love’s humungous tiger grabs your collar for a –

kiss.

The Spirit of Accord

Conjoined by circumstance, we were as twins,

collective fate upon respective dials;

you docked your pirate ship inside my lines

and blocked me with uncompromising sails.

.

To square the round we drew our swords to fight,

inflicting wrath on anchored minds with spears;

decisions ground with sharp wit edged with spite,

in altercation boxed the other’s ears.

.

In case you tried to sail I slung my stones,

and what I strove to build you ran to spoil;

you flared your nostrils, stamped upon my bones,

I danced on pins to pitch my burning oil.

.

You curdled coffee with your sour grapes,

my rancid comments rattled down our time;

but now you’re gone I miss our fierce debates,

it seems as though your voice was also mine.

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.

Hand Recital

These two hands are both my boundaries and my open gate

raised up to signify life and catch my breath, and as I ponder

they take the pen to write, dipping sotto voce ink,

and hearing hidden passion with sentient finger tips.

.

How these two friends push and press and work together,

folding over dough in pas des deux parenthesis,

gathering to cup a warming brew or comb through hair,

iced blue in deep snow pockets, in summer – full red and ripe.

.

Comfortable in prayer, who would judge these anguished two

for uncommon deviation; a desperate grab in tightened times?

Ignited in knuckled protest, closing angry fists as if to fight?

Look down then to your left and to your right.

.

My industrious two return to sew and knit and thread

and wrap and cut and spread and meet and reassure

and weave between expression and caress.

And when you go they’ll wave and wipe, go mix a cake.

.

Each day they pick and pour and weigh, these two hands.

In doubt they shift and shy, but regrouping bear me up,

my loyal retainers, remaining after fair has faded,

brushing ebb and flow as time is plucked and dropped.