Ode To A Long-lost Dead Friend

Where did you go, Joanna?
And where do they sing Hosanna,
Or are we all on mute.

And the relatives who cared –
In works they put a spanner.
I just wish this world was kinder

And that one day I might find her,
A resident of some suburb
In the golden ziggurats.

Ode To Hurt

We cannot just close off hurt;
This is as absurd as trying to cram
An already full cupboard
With one too many of multiple toys
Destined to remain unplayed,
A little mouldy here, a little frayed
Around the ears. For hurt
Is always stronger for us,
And eventually, as inevitably
As fir cones on a forest floor,
The cupboard doors open
Not with an announcement,
Not with a crash of cymbals and drums,
But a quiet undoing in the night,
So that on awaking, everything,
Everything has departed the mouth
Of that destitute space,
And there is nothing left to say.

This is why we watch each other
From across an indifferent room
Where strangers are in a hiatus,
We may as well be further away.
No, it is better to leave these remains
And sometime purchases from shops
Now closed, where people worked
Who now are dead, and businesses,
And love, oh how we live,
Where living brings an end to death,
But hurt there, dressed and exhaling,
Looks at itself in a mirror, and begins.

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.

Autumn Market

No season’s quite like Autumn,
Foliage on the ground;
History is a spiral,
The falling leaves I found.

Socrates travelled to market,
Agoras in Autumn were full;
So many things I do not need,
Our one conditional thought.

To wintry comforts precursive,
Gates to snow and frost,
We could not see the arbours
Without ever feeling a cost.

They brewed a hemlock soup,
He drank eternal drops,
Delivered me his empty bowl
To place among my props.

Keep at bay my Summer,
She tells me I’m alive,
I’ll keep the Autumns burning
And maybe then survive.

Mausoleum

When you evaporated from
This godforsaken place,
Something inside me
Likewise quietly escaped
Through three brass valves

Which sound the bells
Of souls and fortune we
Sometimes take for granted.
The organ stops underfoot
Created calamitous notes,

Wooden pressures of self-respect
And a better taste for goodness
Evaporated also, and pews
And candles and last laments
Lost all colour and remnants

Of purpose, and the steel sutures
Became fused into my skeleton.
I walked on ravaged plains,
Desert heat transfering
Into my bones where roads

Once flooded with yellow pelatons,
Until that fated journey
To your mausoleum, built
In the old marble museum
Of my diminishing future.

Song Of The Sand

A grain of sand I did not own,
On a beach I did not know,
I kindled in my hand like sticks
Until it turned to blood and stone.
From stones there scattered
Seven pebbles, seven roots
Within the middle, and
From those roots did climb a devil;
And I did see there shoots of growth,
Of Time Above, and Life Below.

Skulldugerry and his mistress,
I have seen foul play;
A body in a brazier,
A human with no name.
They brushed their hair,
They drove to work,
Wedding planners,
Dividend perks;
We can only feel rain falling
When our eyes are blind as worms.

A bison-shaped cloud shifting
Dispersed the holiday crowds;
I was alone on the beach again
Wishing to breathe new life
Somehow, yes, through my hands,
But all that remained was the loss
Of the waves, and song of the sand.

My Dirigible Life

My future fears have never formed
From scientific findings;
Derisible angst inside me soars,
Dirigible life’s kept grounded.

I have not survived an earthquake,
I have not lived through wars,
Where the breezeblock innocence
Becomes a flooded door.

So fears veer to the abnormal,
Stretched by days alone;
My therapist said I’m hormonal
In a cobbling I didn’t own.

Suffering always flushes men out,
Short of battle or bliss;
More freedom’s in the evening skeins
Than anything I might miss.