Shrapnel

Sometimes all I am able
To think about
Is how much I miss you.
Heightened like this, days
Become a singularity

And matter falls out of
Form. Couds fill the sky
To light’s diminution,
Resounding flatnesses
Fill fens in my mind’s
Resolution to turn itself

In, like a culprit for
Crimes it did not commit,
Preferring prison
To alternatives of freedom,
In these moments I cannot

Adequately submit a
Description or trace a single
Word unsaid or unfamiliar
Place which rest like shrapnel
Lodged in my head, disrupting

The usual waves replaced
With an abridgement, taking
Away the every day, replacing
Time with unforgiving motions,
The public and private spaces

Merge like fir cone coats on
A forest floor. I tread over
Deadening moss, and explore
Where I live on coastal margins.
There are giant trolls sleeping

Underneath some freezing stars;
Abject stars, promising soulful
Poetry yet as devoid of organs
Fit for a soul as decaying carrion.
You can see their breath form,

Those toeless ogres, with
Smokestacks from afar,
They morph from the cups
Of devastating magic in to
Sounds outside my window,

A roadworker’s drill, a mosaic
From children playing during
Break-times still. Occasionally,
The trilling from the throats
Inside starlings and lost angels.

All I can hear today
Is your disappeared voice,
All I can see today is
Your face unchanged and it
Devestates me, caught in time,

Caught off guard by a photograph
Framed where I sit on the lip,
I turn you to the outer world
For a while – I hope you don’t mind.
It’s as though my body is ill-fitting

Without you, but it’s not
As though anyone can return these
Particular loose garments,
The shops are closed.
The dots remain disjoined.

A profound lethargic depletion,
I should rest in that photograph.
I did not know I’d have to survive
Without you again. Existing
Here is the incomplete half.

Waiting Room

A crack-covered platform,
Weeds penetrate again,
Timetables faded behind
Glass with mildew stains;
Yet still I’m waiting for a train
That was long since cancelled.

The waiting room’s degraded,
Graffiti and lovers’ names spray-
Painted, names now dead or
Vacated as part of a great
Immigration, yet still I’m waiting
For arrivals to shake me.

The church has lost its steeple
And roof, and church-going
People, so I sit on a pew
On my own and look directly
Up to the grey-stained spaces
Where no one is waiting.

A Rescue

I found your children where you
Buried them, deep in my dreams,
For no one would go there
Forraging except the blind
And myself, we had no choice,
Which you did not predict,
And so I found them both, I did,
Wide-eyed, innocent mannerisms
With unconditional love towards
Their inexplicable parents.

Underneath dream-bracken,
You had no time for dignity
Or wherewithal to cover
Your tracks, and so I woke
Both gently, and they held my
Hands as we searched high
And low for their mother,
To reunite you only to show
What you had succumbed to
In giving up your title.

A caravan park on a clifftop,
Seas in my dreams are different,
Infinite wildernesses in grey,
Violent expressions of emotions
Suppressed, we searched through
Excessively overstocked and
Busy campsite shops and bars,
An outdoor pool, a clamour
In chlorine and glorious swimwear,
As busy as lidos’ 1960s heydays,

They held my hands all the while
As we walked the miles we had to
Cover, until we found a white
Wooden signpost with your name
Painted in a blank font as if you’d
Become a coastal village, but
Instead of miles, the miles
Directed me in years, pointing
Towards a hidden beach, a cove,
Sands where truth exposed you

Out of sight and reach,
Or so you thought in my dream
Interrogating and sweeping
Low coasts like a disused
But incessantly-working
Self-determined lighthouse beam,
On the way to that village
As it shifted from being inland
To now lifted above the
Culmination and climax

Of my sorrows. We descended
A makeshift path between two dunes
To where you cavorted with
Dream-formed friends, balls
And assorted balloons. At last I
Returned two beautiful children
To you; your feigned joy appalled
Yet did not surprise the atoning.
I collapsed to my knees, exhausted,
Knees in sand, and woke alone.

A Subtle Shift

A subtle shift unseen,
As my feet’s eyes
Apply pressure
On the pedals

Of my soul, I cannot see
The inner workings, blind
To the ingenuity
Of industries,

A movement of gears,
It has taken years
To reduce these fears
Traducing that same soul,

Ineffable, yet bruising.
I can brew their organs
And bones in a saucepan
With pinches of parsley,

Oregano, and Hope.
Sipping from such knowledge,
This world can slow
Its quiet revolutions.

Slow down, runners,
There’s no need to rush,
As everything unfolds
Now and again, with love.