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.

Skylark Song

I find a form of comfort
In the ley-like lines,
Dowsing in our jumpers,
Rains from time to time.
A nimble skylark hopping
Between sharp rose hip drops,
Blessed as ivy on the tor
And snow on mountaintops.
Deft she pirouettes through thorns
Which prick a human finger;
I recalled a union there
Wherein my heart she lingers.
If you see a skylark rare
Within a trellised vine,
Consider how the heartbeat there
Is more and more divine.

The Temple

One day all this will end,
Futile as the Sea to consider
Existence when the
Weeds reclaim the roads,
And far offshore offload
Post-coastline,
Fossils of litter
And a piece that once glittered
On the most beautiful chest
And wrest from the wrist
In swells and scallops
Of circadian
Harmonies.
The Sea then, endures,
Whole cities gone,
And even the parables
And phrases
Of sacred texts became
Little more than plankton
In the bellies
Of mammals with gills
And dreams about fish,
And ancient revenge
By growing two legs,
Just as ours were then, upright,
Two feet, unhindered by water
And waves thirty years
In their making and
As steep as Athena’s temples
And her garlanded head.
Irreparable trust,
Covenants rust
On the Sea bed
With traffic lights
Stuck on red,
And where once there were highways,
Rivers instead,
And then, a watershed.

And yet I would sacrifice
And trade
Ten oceanic years,
Arduous, longer
Than man-made metrics
Of time and place
And longer again,
For a day in the shade
Of my one beloved,
My one true friend.