Never A Grandfather

I do not know your age,
Or rather, what your age would be
And all that now to me would mean,
If you were here, alive somehow.
Seventy-four, or seventy-three;
Some people once remarked
That you looked a lot like me.

You neglected every milestone
Beyond your event horizon’s beak
At world’s edge;
Never seen a sunset,
Just an endless bleak and
Ghastly eyeless glass waterfall,
Like a flea-infested mere black hole,
Full of gassy gravity
And its own invested energy.

I disowned you years ago,
Of course, and consequence;
(I thought you should know);
The silences, interruptions
In faith and the quiet
Self-confidence
Derived from permanence,
The planets in their place
Are no more than dusty molecules.
Actions resonate, in blood,
In deoxyribonucleic bonds.
So much is invisible
To the naked eye,
Wouldn’t you say.

Your grandchildren,
Beautiful in their individual
Ignorances and unwrongs
Of your divestment
And your imposition undoing
Of scriptures, and your dance
With Fate, and behemoths
Devoid of any talent, yet
Too great for you
To contemplate too long;
They sing a new psalm
Cut from a brand new song;
Every birthday, yes,
Every marriage,
Every great-grandchild
In Life’s Great Carriage
You deprived yourself of,
Every candle blown out,
Every significant moment
Like neonatal visits
And yellow blankets knitted,
Like a despot overthrown
By populist senses of goodness;
And graduation mortar boards,
And then the inbetween minutes
And hours of simplistic wonder,
Blissfully ponder,
A trip to the beach,
A vanilla ice cream,
Pretence of a wizard,
A long Christmas list
And bedecked Christmas Tree.
Dreams of a gizzard
Are all that are left,
Dreams out of reach
For the deeply bereft.
Never a grandfather,
Never would die
In a world you created
Where mistruth resides
You outlive, outsurvive;
Never a grandfather,
Only a Dad,
Only Death’s Bride,
Only a Dad.




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.

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.

The Lakeside Path

There is a Preacher waiting
Beyond the seventh lodge,
These words prepared are gravitating
If goodness leaves its watch.
A Gravedigger from the village
Gave birth, to a Perpetrator’s wires,
We cannot restore the image
From before you wandered the mires;
For they excavate an oblong hole
And with a Carpenter conspire,
As single-minded as the mole,
The mole with a mind of fire.
Earthworms hoarded in his tunnels,
Thoughts down there we cannot absolve.
The criminal-in-waiting constructing funnels,
Humanity stirring sanity, when mixed dissolve,
Paid to lathe a cedar box
He slipped into the void,
The space and filling where a fox
Had life’s spiders all destroyed.
The woodland will witness silently
How soil’s disturbed so easily,
The muted lake’s complicity,
The backhoe rested queasily,
His bed a spade, his mind now trapped.
And yet these three men are moving still,
We hear the sounds of Time elapsed,
While you are stones on the furthest hill.
We remember your joyfulness and laughter,
Mellifluous more than spring-tide streams;
We love you all forever after,
In waking grief and grieving dreams.
We’ll cloak your permanent youth in gold
And resurrect your beauty;
Something happened which can’t be untold,
Conforming to spinsterly duty.
We are faster in our failing,
We carry your bones in our cages,
We are stronger when we are ailing,
We have suffered the fourteen stages.
The ingenuity is endless
Of mens’ cruelty so defenceless;
Our daughters all now friendless
For those nights loom long and senseless.
Guard the path beside the lake,
Daughters home before seven,
May you never read this at the wake,
For there are no rules in heaven.

[For S. and For U., in my thoughts and prayers when I wrote this].