Exile

Bereavements are eternal,
Curdled in blood;
Uncured, diurnal,
Bereft by time’s flood.
Each one is complex,

As sure and unique
As rings we keep hidden
In petrified trees,
Felled through our forests
Of fossilised dreams.

And when bereft,
The grief is unending;
Truth’s sinking incisors
Deride all impressions,
Like scars from a moth

Made marks from her teeth;
The moth is a moment
Where your love in exile
My fate made complete.
Although these events

Have long since deceased,
Like an arrowhead
Truly, poison-dipped,
Buried in muscle
Or abscessed knee

Conditions our gait,
Makes hobbled hopes weak.
Mine is the kind
You’ll seldom see,
The grief for my child

Alive without me.
Therefore we are haunted
And also the ghosts,
For life left us daunted
And tied to our posts.

Harbour Bay

This is my weather-cape,
Haar, drizzle, mizzle-rain,
This is the reason
I crave the seasons
From Autumn through
To March again.

But though these isobars enliven
And my nerve ends are untightened,
As ferns befriend
Merest shaft and bend
Through forest canopies of light,

The ninety-four dialects
For coastal rains are choral sadnesses
In parachute refrains;
The front of the weathers I love
Is the end which keeps you at bay.

Cloud Poem

I caught a glimpse of the lady
I would love eternally,
Retained in the shape of a bather
In a photo reflecting the sea.

The sacred four-horned oxen
Walked on stones in my heart,
I prayed I may evaporate,
And fall into her arms.

As my quiet prayer was calling,
Deathly forests distracted me;
From clouds I started my descent,
Ended in your memory.

In one such forest’s fated clearing
A brook of crystal waters dried,
A spring to feed the falling prayers,
A place of rest for a bride.

The clouds merged in to mountains,
Mountains gave birth to the sea,
If only longer I’d waited,
And brought an end to all misery.

Hair’s Breadth

The evil that people did,
And evil that people still do
Is reason enough why I’ll be returning
In a soul-equipped igloo.

On the backs of whales I’ll hunt
For injustices in the thaw,
My harpoon deeply impaling
The abandonment of law.

I’ll sail across death’s forests,
Hear humpback’s distressed call,
By their skyward fire at night alone,
Warming my hands as I fall.

The moment is my throne allayed
Beyond that icy floe,
Eternity, hair’s breadth away,
Watch me as I go.

Across The Glens

Across the glens
And through the trees

In Monarch antlers
Pollen breeze

We’d meet with love
And remedies.

A stagnant pond,
A ferrous stream,

By dreaming frogs who
Spoke in croaks of

Folklore and their journeys,
They woke a whisper of moths

Under mossy lichen-logs
Where we sat, held hands

And fell asleep in folds
Of wisdom and each other’s

Loss as if in blankets or ferns.
No one else could understand,

There’s no one quite like
You and me, for compassion’s

Company, not a single queen
Or king or woman or man,

Across the glens
And burning land.

The Drowning Bride

The Queen of the Skies retired,
Long live our runway king;
Her assignation had three names,
It’s best not to question pretence.

Eulogies for a fuselage,
Front pages in the press,
But forestries are macadam
And all the workers left.

Newsreaders are enthusing,
A partisan casting and bribe,
Like praising skills of a killer,
Some words as sharp as knives.

They’ll read from flooded desks,
Drenched laptops and manilla files,
By sinking sails and tillers,
About my drowning bride.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is filled
With roads downhill
And greyness still,
Timber yards
And paper mills,
Mist, and rain;
Houses built
With wooden slats;
A girl in the pines
They left for dead.
Furnaces, steel,
Forests feel
Endless. Settings
For a thousand films
And TV series will
Give glimpses but
Never the essence.
Rain on my mouth.
Interstate routes,
Rivers, bridges,
Flow until just south
From the ridges where
We met and loved.
A glove, a rustbelt,
A Methodist church,
I dropped my prayers
In roadside dirt.

Tundra

You said that my chest
Is where the caribou’s
Hooves leave their trail,

The pine cones in my
Bones and breath
I held until you felt

The forest’s cloak of snow
Fall to the frozen ground,
Heralding a Spring in you

As wide and vast
As the experiences
Of sudden tundra

We shared in wonder
By horse and sled,
Under a permanent blue.

The Bear And The Clown

A bear broke out of the forest’s cage
And ambled down to the village;
He snuffled for truffles behind the café,
And sneaked between orchards unnoticed.
He ate the flowers on the graves
And rolled on his back in the meadows,
Then lolloped into the small village school
And rumaged around in the cupboards.
With his great brown snout he singled out
A costume in blues and bright yellows,
Draped on his frame he adjourned
As a circus-founding fellow.
‘Look at the clown!’ the villagers clapped,
Gathered around the bold creature;
How he danced and bellowed and crashed,
Tricked, tapped, turned over for tickles.
‘This must be what life is like in the capital’
Someone cheered, ‘Where reside talents and
Craftsmen, there are parties and all
The riverside paths are pleasant, for walks
On a Monday afternoon with your lover’.
But unbeknown to each other
The clown was a bear under cover
Of grotesque red shoes and a nose
Which squeaked if you squeezed it,
And one child squeezed it, ah the mirth
Ended instantly as the bear’s maw drooling
Snatched the poor child and absconded
At pace back into the forest, before the
Villagers could believe what there own eyes
Had seen, there on the village green,
For you see, a bear is always a bear,
With only thoughts of fish for the famished,
No matter if dressed as a clown or a man
And into a forest banished.

The Song Of The Moon

I used to live in a forest
Where all the world was dark,
But now I live in a clearing
Where at last I see the stars.

I used to live in a strata
With amethysts purple and blue,
But I could not touch their colours
Until worlds were opened by you.

I used to live in a town without words,
As silent as the night-sea;
But now I reside in the poem
And I gather the oceans in me.

I used to live in an aperture
And watch the lights flash by,
But now I remember the camera
And let the memories lie.

I used to live in a forest
Where all the world was dark,
But now I can see the trees and the berries,
The song of the moon, the heart of the stars.