Umbilicus

Constant reminders
In my body’s retirement
Of your indelible
Indiscretions
Dissolved into me,
My skin the sea
Filled with your molluscs
And a coprolitic fossil
Of your movements,
Your impossible
Puzzles and befuddled
Cryptic sentences
Like lugworm trails
Where the blight receded,
You see his sand-cast there
But not his burrowed body,
For flesh and form
Took leave long ago,
And all that remains
Are contusions.

Emerged from your gulf,
Urgent as a siren
Until the giant waves
Rewound, every mole
A continuum from times
Of settlements in iris,
Unfunny jokes,
Inverted laughter,
I made no demands for
The complexities of your
Shell-emptied nautilus,
Salvaged from a sea-bed,
Thrust up through a hole
With samphire-weed and poison.

Seagulls squawk and spiral
On a Fibonacci horizon,
I do not own a hair on my heart,
I do not own a thorn-seed;
I was born on Steppes of Despair,
And that is where I am mourning.

Dehiscence

One day, this existence
Will all be water
Under the bridge disappeared,
A life as fragile and as delicate
As the dehiscent fears
Of a daffodil descending,
Or dreams in the oblong
Wrongs of my bluebell tears,
Or the crinoline ribs
Of a single chicken’s egg
In a bowl, on a table,
Her perfectly oval
Smooth essence of Soul
Controls internal elements
And hides the chalazae
Of you and I
In albumen and furrows.
In the furthest distance
Untravelled, a dog is asleep
On a Mediterranean
Mezzanine painted
In daffodil-yellow.

Outside, the ruffled pigeons
Are courting again,
Their chests as wide
As the yawns of lionesses,
Just like last year.
The glazed terracotta breaks,
And another ten the same.
I reach into my own senescence.

The Withering Tree

The leaves upon the withering tree,
What’s good for him is not for me;
Mid-March grey, by May green,

Where he went cannot be seen;
Do dreams prolong without him?
Those stowed within his mind, it seems,
Harboured for my doubting.

Changed my clothes, change of scene,
Their remedies, a routing;
Bury me under a withering tree,
Atop the Oxen Mountain.

The Drop

Familial disasters
Bore disasters in me;
I am a master of nothing,
Not even Serendipity.

If only I could have such feelings,
My soul made for annealing,
But I am not for kneeling
And that is all there is.

Be wary of the door you choose,
For one is black
And one is blue;
Deeper than the lake
A bruise,
Deeper than the mines
A truth,
Where the Lady is buried
In an old borrowed tune.

Sacramento

Ego-buffeted blustering coast.
I hurt the ones I love the most.
Seaweed thoughts and neon foam,
The loaming mantel hides a ghost.
Shipwrecked, re-wrecked,
Where’s the host?
The crow-man left the crow’s outpost.

Feather-blossom, light as moon,
If we leave you’ll see me soon,
Apple-wort and rotten trunks,
Ego-thorn and ego-dent,
My life there’s one experiment.
The ones I loved hurt me the most,
Sacramento, holy ghost.

Damoclean

Lifelong I have walked in sole-bare shoes,
With the trapdoor of my thoughts
I am going through,
Like an inverse Damoclean sword,
Like a parapet above a bamboo pit,
Each stake sharpened
By your silence as wide
As a black hole’s gingival abscess
Or a behemoth’s grin.

I walk with a shadow
Owned by self-sabotaging indiscipline,
Infrequent in me, your company,
I trod the floorboards while you
Flossed your wolfbane teeth
With cider-froth and
Complacency.

Only lately,
That lateral door’s secured
By love,
A love that endures
Longer and more fast set
Than a Trappist’s bloodstone whetting,
More than the Gordian knot
Where once we tied to dogwood
In this self-same moment
An ageing satrap’s ox;
And I, my love,
I will no longer drop.