Once Or Twice

A deeper life,
An appropriate life,
Days mixed like blends
In Chinese Five Spice.

A meaningful life,
Enriching life,
All sounds entincing
If once, or twice.

Repeated as dreams
Repeat these beating
Hearts, our living surf,
But diving deeply

Only serves for purposes
Of strange, unusual shapes
And species, brings up
Forms untouched by rain

Or sleet or snow on my
Tongue, then leaves me
With a pressurised head,
And a moment of hurt.

The Falls Of Athabasca

Re-reading your lines,
I’m teasing out new meanings
Which were not mine to find,

Like a novice tasseographist,
The leaves I thought were soaked
In languages like mine,

Or a youthful panner
Trekking northwards from
The Falls of Athabasca,

The lucid water, freezing cold,
Brings precious stones to surface,
Misunderstood, inevitably, for gold.

The planets in their place
Do hold, and I am grateful
For evening breezes are sublime,

But I would trade that race
To heavens of a simpler taste,
To read again our love in rhyme.

No More The Sea

No more the sea,

With its treacherous talk

Of adventure,

Of poetry.


No more will my soul

Yearn for the unsolicitous cliffs

Where the heart of cars

Departed once precipitously,


Left a plume of matted flowers

And an exhaustion of maternity.

No more the tortuous sea,

Its intoxicating sea-salt mist


And all the grey variants

Which number in their hundreds;

A fleet of adjectives:

The fret, the mizlin, haar


And ollund-blue boar drizzle.

The dormant sea, then,

The plastic sea, soulless,

Unfathomable, unloved,


And uncontested by molluscs.

No more the sheer sea, and its seasons

Of sudden shifting patterns,

The pale green glass


By a beach of burn-brown burrows.

No more love, no poetry,

No sea roses, no infidelities

Of language; but instead,


A constant mourning,

A dropping down of flags,

A pinching out of lanterns.

A silence. A warning.