Dandelion

My choice to speak and dare to do
I share with other people too,
my own convictions – foul or fair
are seeds propelled in gifted air.

But even if my thoughts seem fixed,
with time or conversation mixed
they may be tempered, tinkered, turned
by what I heard, saw, did or learned.

So in my darkest/finest hours
when often I express my flowers
it is of boldness I partake
and I must know the mark I make.

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.

Stirring Darkly

Though on the surface splashes only briny wave;

there is one regret,

stirring darkly in the deepest corner of a cave.

.

Though I pull my eyes from the oily fear I find;

there is yet something,

scratching saline places hidden well and left behind.

.

If I might switch and dive my life to swim again;

on that returning tide,

I would void my lungs to wipe away one dreadful stain.

Ride

So mounting life we’ll screech and ride and burn

careering round the country without lights

we’ll roll our bikes get up and spit and learn

 and dash on through the dark dragging our rights.

When we are younger helmets guard our thought

as down those lethal hills we shift and fly

our heads are strong our muscles flexed and tort

as hairpins bend and buzz us round and by.

Chicanes defied we leap our faith and nerve

and pay no heed to riders left or felled

unhindered by the boulders and the curb

past flags and friends as though we are propelled. 

When whipped and lapped by attitude we swear

at step and crossroads, brake and all but chunder;

footfaulting in our sudden wheel of care

we grip the bars to stop us going under.

 

Oh Henry!

Oh Henry dear, what have you done?

I always thought that we had fun,

unwinding, zapping dusty ground

under beds and round and round,

you’ve never let me down before,

I’ve always had a dust free floor,

but now you’ve silted up inside

and when I looked I could have cried,

you used to be the cleanest here

but now you’ve lost that crown I fear,

you’ve really made a frightful mess

I hope we don’t have fussy guests,

for underneath your shiny smile

your belly bag burst and left a pile!

Mother

When this apple tree is axed and carted to the yard

its old leaves stripped, its twisted branches cut and carved;

when birds and errant squirrels are summarily dismissed,

and mistletoe is torn and puckered lips unkissed;

somewhere beyond the function of its analytic brain

beneath the anxious beating of its heart, the alignment of its grain

we will get down to the nub, that grande dam the tree would be,

except artful years bore sweetest fruit contorting destiny.

Christmas at Our House

How can we have Christmas at our house?

The rooms look like there was a riot

the table’s strewn over with gas bills

and the reindeer are all on a diet.

.

How can we have Christmas at our house?

The tree is hung over and wonky

our turkey ran off with the tinsel

and we never did order the donkey.

.

How can we have Christmas at our house?

It’s too cold to put out the fire

so Santa will struggle to reach us

and so will the heavenly choir.

.

How can we have Christmas at our house?

but wait, well then maybe we can

there’s a bucket of love up our chimney

and hugs in the fridge and the pan.

.

There’s sweet figgy pudding and music

our voices are merry and bright

we’ll hide nuts in a massive red stocking

and drink ginger wine late at night.

.

So let’s all have Christmas at our house

we’ll cook up a magical banquet

and after the games and the laughter

we’ll cuddle up under our blanket.

.

We all know the New Year is waiting

and we have to work hard and dig deep

but beautiful friendships will give us

the gift of this Christmas to keep.

Sunday

Cards, did you ever stand? Or was my brilliant house of hearts,

young fumbling fingers darting in to rebuild broken parts,

a childish and imagined thing dreamed up by chilly rooms?

Do you recall the way we played on Sunday afternoons?

.

In our separate world were marbles, and a box of dominoes,

each indent to be thumbed, the numbers nought to six in rows,

each globe a tiny planet trapped, in subtle colour rolled,

all added up when I was very young and they were old.

.

And when they called me in at last, I boxed and bagged my friends,

to leave disgruntled kings and queens and keepsies in the end.

One hand still cupped around a shell in which I hear the sea,

I peer through dust of lemon cake washed down with grown-up tea.

Ready?

Time to fix, recycle, sort

make a splendid space for thought

.

Accoutrements will have to go

add-ons may disrupt the flow

.

Stuffed up anger all turfed out?

Bag it; bin the old self-doubt

.

Untangle guilty clasps and chains

dust yourself and breathe again.