Ode To Loss

I missed my coast-path daily,
Habitual old rabbit-paw friends;
And daily my undressed heart is
Stopped, sunk and restarted.
This is why a government
Installed defibrillators
In disused telephone kiosks
In every town and village.
For Dear Lord knows
I was not born to enrich anything,
Nor with only obals to pay,
Those coal-pennies tied by my wrist;
Nor to be so opportunistic
In blustery thoughts
And deeds as unrobust
As the grounded rusty trawler
Rattling in abandonment
As to dismiss
My heritage. I am from
The northern fringe
Where death is expected
And life’s an acquired taste.
Spare me accusations
Of being awfully maudlin
Or as morose as those unfed mosquitos,
Lethargic beneath the cliff-top lamps;
The near-dread ghosts unappeased
On their deathbeds are
Entitled to lucid oaths
And tiptoed pleas.
What use is a coastline, anyway?
An edge, ellipse, an ending;
Good grief is not for mending.
In those silent dunes to our left
Just over your shoulder
A young boy died,
Tunnelling with plastic spades
The sands gave way to
Somewhere colder inside.
I carry that family’s sadness
Compassionately and completely
Yet without their approval
Or knowledge.
Unwanted gifts,
The authorities in joint-wisdom
Installed a wooden sign which reads
Non giocare su queste sabbie;
Back then I misinterpreted this
As do not live now or then again,
Not more than a day or two,
That’s all there is remaining.
And over there, beyond
Greenish sea-sump pools
With seaweed symphonies and
Cruel ghoulish-claws of June,
Is where that lad’s car
Fell fifteen metres down the scar
Then through lagoons
Only to reach its rest
Wedged between a dream
Or two. He survived;
A farmer’s daughter now his wife,
And if not for him and
Loss of loss
The authorities in their
Infinite wisdom glossed
Would not have installed
A heras fence on this eternal cliff-top,
Although in autumnal winds
The fence would drop,
Often taking flight just like a
Dull metallic gull or
Mournful curlew’s song
From last year’s furloughed crop.

Umbilicus

Constant reminders
In my body’s retirement
Of your indelible
Indiscretions
Dissolved into me,
My skin the sea
Filled with your molluscs
And a coprolitic fossil
Of your movements,
Your impossible
Puzzles and befuddled
Cryptic sentences
Like lugworm trails
Where the blight receded,
You see his sand-cast there
But not his burrowed body,
For flesh and form
Took leave long ago,
And all that remains
Are contusions.

Emerged from your gulf,
Urgent as a siren
Until the giant waves
Rewound, every mole
A continuum from times
Of settlements in iris,
Unfunny jokes,
Inverted laughter,
I made no demands for
The complexities of your
Shell-emptied nautilus,
Salvaged from a sea-bed,
Thrust up through a hole
With samphire-weed and poison.

Seagulls squawk and spiral
On a Fibonacci horizon,
I do not own a hair on my heart,
I do not own a thorn-seed;
I was born on Steppes of Despair,
And that is where I am mourning.

Passerine

To a fetlock’s height on unicorns
One Sunday morning you were born,
Weaned by a mother who hung her best dress
Beneath a seasoned turkey breast.
Snowdrift, westward, soon apart,
No sewing kit stitches a cold broken heart.

A blue tit warbling I once heard
On the crooked, downhill turf;
Later, I could not account to myself
For blood on my fingers,
Five or six feathers in my heart
And other forms of Cubist art;
Blue eye of my needle
Where the downy snow starts,
Returning home,
Her song in my chest,
To an empty bath.

L’eternità è intatta

Rain doesn’t stream
Asunder the sea,
Nor be in hurries
Today for my needs.

I’ve seen through storm-troubles
For years less remembered;
By its own great weight
A sea- bed is tempered.

Ashamed of existing,
More waters have laws
Than my calcified heart.
Il mio calore è per l’inverno, sempre;
L’eternità è intatta come l’arte.

The bones of an ocean’s regrets;
Troubles redoubled
Do not go away,
When years are persisting
And the sea is still grey.

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.

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.

Hallmarks

Where do they go?
Soaked in grief,

I walked to the valleys
On a road with two.

Hallmarks, a white van,
A lost dog still howling

While as dead as the moon;
There is no end, no, not soon.

For years, insomnia grew
As empathy clotted

In violets and blues.
An empty bed, a job or two.

Some returned later,
Much more as survivors,

Adults and artists,
But all were haunted

By what men might
And some indeed do.