No Closure

Many questions yet
Buried still unanswered;
I wasn’t built like Father,
Outliving his disaster.

Many answers silenced
Down within your grave,
But coffin-colds are only lined
With grief for yesterdays.

Life is for the living,
How old you could be now!
My blood forged in forgiving,
I’ll survive somehow.

Karmic Roulette

Karmic Roulette,
Where will you take me next
For a spin within your wheels?
Sometimes far future,
Sometimes the past,
Sometimes in blue,
But it never lasts with you.
I am simply your small round
Metal ball-bearing
Sticking to its task –
Give me a place to land
And I will fill the part.

I landed, and entered a city
In the steppes of my heart,
The world outside was crumbling
But these tower blocks steadfastly
Clung to their history, with
Ornaments and crockery in orange,
Yellows and that thick green
I had not seen since 1973.
This room made do as lounge
And diner in one, square
Utilitarian, lighting dimmed
And of all this no more
Than the size of
The God of Moths’ thumbs.
Your mother kept your space
At a table where I now sat;
Surrounded by plastic, mica,
Nothing had changed
In the seven sharp years
Since you’d gone to the shops.

Though the case had gone cold
And closed many moons ago,
Your mother was seeking a groom;
She proselyted about you and I,
Showed me her photographs of you
While saying brown was all
She could afford for your attire
To survive in this bleak room.
She treated you like an exhibit
In a catalogue of stones.
I noticed your smile before
Anything else about your beauty,
Your smile illuminated your face
Like unending tapers in life’s
Chapel while I ate her dim sum.
Here you attended a service,
Here you turned towards the sun.
I assured your mother I would
Meet you on the steps outside
The limestone church, much like a
Place of worship I visited once
In Podgorica, with plain
Outer walls, but the inside
Shimmered in pure gold.

Before that could happen
The wheel turned with its own
Warping thaws of justice,
And away I would spin
Above the colours and
The numbers in red,
To God only knows where,
Destination’s only certainty
Will be you and me apart.

Damage

The damage in you
Transfused
In to damage in me,
I tried to escape
But with all the wrong keys
On my wrist, those tools
Warped in to convoluted tubes
With familial glues filled,
So I fumbled and tripped,
Fell in to the sea,
Just as you fell
Just before me.

This, my children,
You will write about me;
You’ll see strangers in photos
Yet know how they leave.
Decisions long lost
In the thickening mist,
Abandoned our trawlers
To shellfish and rust
Like a ghost’s fingertips,
Difficult to defend,
Impossible to resist
Between the curve of the earth
So high and blue it’s absurd,
And a sandy lane’s dust,
Simple and deceptive as
A molten ring, a goodnight touch,
There is so little remaining
Between what’s left of us.

In another dimension I dreamt
Of coins falling from the sky.
I woke up the next morning
To find eight on my eyes.

Find your own way,
On yourself now depend;
Feed your soul on life’s poems,
Pull the tubes from descendents
With nothing left to lend, or give,
Hear my words echo through:
Resist, resist, resist.

Haiku #569 – #574

569.

There’s no need, dismayed,
I guess I was always this way.
Inevitably,

570.

You used to say,
As inevitable as
Ice, December lake,

571.

Before cracks appeared.
Seven unopened presents,
One a year I bought.

572.

A jigsaw puzzle
Of scenes I don’t recognise,
With a missing piece.

573.

It’s ok, don’t say it,
I know when I’m wallowing
See it in my veins.

574.

I’ll not lose an arm;
My three existential limbs
I’ve already lost.

Maneki-neko No.2

My journey is only beginning,
Slowly with songs we are winning.

He told me I was broken,
And truth was simply a token

He stored beneath my tongue.
Truth received a bung

In case I could be opened
Without him here to co-depend.

Self-kindness looked away,
A village willow with dismay

Silenced Spring with all the same
Fragile leaves of falling blame.

He made a ladder with no rungs,
Butterflies flourished in his lungs.

A cat unpicked my mouth devout,
And now the coins are falling out.

Poem In Blue

You had your blue days,
Confused days when you
Didn’t know one week
From another, or the flames

Of your remaining brothers.
I understood the emptiness
You felt in your liver.
It’s the same for all abused.

We say we don’t want to,
But then we have to,
And then we do.
We should have told you

Instead of just practicing
In front of mirrors
To ourselves. Hopeless
Thought loop, new shoes,

Temazepam in blue foil.
An age of recoiling
Into my self; Time is a
Double-headed snake.

This day is the same day
As twenty blue years ago
When I first parked
In a lay-by to avoid going home.

Do you remember mix-tapes
Where we wrote down love songs?
I drove over the bridge
Into the harmful arms of the past.

Il Vino Fa Buon Sangue

You were born from a glass of wine
My grandmother glugged, from time
To time, though her predilection was sherry.
She met a man who shaved off his name
And slurred his words without any shame
Before sleeping on a last ferry.

She said she had wine in her blood,
Il vino fa buon sangue;
He died in the depths of a biblical flood,
Forgetting lingua franca.

Touring pubs of our childhood,
You urged the same for your son and your daughter;
Everyday miracles misunderstood,
Wine turned within us to water.

Father’s Day

It’s been so long
Since I’ve seen you,
And since he
Has seen me,
I completely forgot
The day of the week.

No cards with a joke,
No hugs for a bloke;
I lost contact with
Kindness, ever since a
Moment of madness when
My best friend would seek

Approval for Life’s tough
Terms and conditions
To be revoked, and
Succeeded, whether
He meant to
Or not.

The closest friend
For sons growing up,
A teacher, confidante,
Learner and leader
Standing up for you
When no one else would.

There at his first
Mistaken application
Of shaving foam,
And advice for a date
Which makes sons groan,
And I didn’t go on.

This was exchanged
For a place with no
Coastlines, no cosy fires,
But that which consumes
And turns truth into food
For clowns and for liars.

The high street in this
Sorry town is dead.
Days felt the same
For so long, a numbness,
A means of just getting by
Without really coping,

Because there are no
Hugs, from me or your
Diaspora of daughters and
Brothers, across from
One universe
And into another.

Death Of An Obsessive (Twelfth Sonnet)

Lunch after Sunday, a walk with our dogs,
Over stiles clambered, some lumberjacked logs,
Through cowpatted herd-fields, a traced rabbit path,
And beyond the axe-pond where sometimes we’d bath,
To find that cottage, abandoned and dark,
From lintel and jambs hanged swallow and lark;
Roofs sunk to woodworm, gnawed holes from the rot,
A cracked window showed the home of a sot.
Children had played on the rosebay-raped swards,
Supper’s at seven, your heels on the boards;
White linen’s fresh, pegged to washing lines sang,
Before words turned beneath ivy to slang.
These losses framed by a mind’s fatal breath;
An airbag inflated, scene of a death.