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
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.
Put a light to the day
throw it like a fire cracker
peel it like a juicy banana
wear it like a fancy bandanna
open it up like a tin can
and pour it out like a waterfall
test it like the ultimate cure-all
take it for a walk and
giggle uncontrollably with it
welcome it home
and make it contented
plump it up like a pillow
and sleep comfortably upon it.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Half light five am
when the bus comes to take us:
where are we going?
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.
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
You got this far
everything said and done
taste the chocolate drama cake
butter icing boy
cut yourself a slice of
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.