Ode To My Addiction

When feeling down in deeper depths,
Self-loathing flooding ten regrets,
The sure bouy’s back and surfacing fast
On waves that whisper ‘never last‘.

There is my rock to which I cling,
Where oldest sirens preen and sing,
Dressed in feathers I caressed
While pecking at my sunburnt flesh.

In succour I bloomed for an hour or so
But little considered my loosening soul
Would fill where prayers refuse to go,
In briny, speluncar fish-bone holes.

And though on sailing I depend
I always return to that place in the end,
The flock is feasting on my heaven
While my senses drain and deaden.

I convince myself, like many others,
That I’m alive and that’s enough;
My brothers below betray such comfort,
Empty-eyed beneath the bluff.

I woke, the awful crows transformed
In to an ambulance outside dorms;
A student there departs once more,
To a different, distant shore.

An Old Panoramic Photograph

Let’s drive the coast road longways
And park at scenic views,
Though no sight there’s more beautiful
Than margins holding you.

I cannot visit shores again
For there’s too many blues,
Returning from my armchair here,
In reveries renewed.

Children today don’t use cameras,
They wouldn’t know what to do;
I still have your scent and sunglasses,
Each day closer to a truth.

Your smile could light the vista,
Your hair could tame the dew,
And though I’m frail, it’s not so cold,
When memory’s kindled by you.

Sea Poems

I.

Somewhere on the sand
I wrote your name
With my driftwood-stick soul
And sun griddled hand.
The second time I visited,
It was washed away again.

II.

To find sea glass, I need
For the sea glass to exist,
And to exist myself.

III.

Marvel in greens,
A million different greens
In the sea and seaweeds,
Colours of good wishes
Stored in your emerald ring,
A life’s cargo jettisoned,
A series of jades and viridians.
Clouds play with their
Unwed fingers absent-mindedly,
For in clouds are formed dreams
And so we see the shapes,
A tortoiseshell, a carapace.
There’s a pillbox there
Encrusted with an
Ennui of barnacles,
Bulbous carragheen
And thongweed spleens.
Grown men used to stand here,
Shivering midwinter
In mushroom-coloured fatigues,
Sharing reused cigarettes
And the substance of regret,
Cleaning their muskets for
An invasion which did not exist.

IV.

One day my thoughts too
Will be as immaterial
As the bladders of archaeopteryx
Once imperative and cawing
On this lonely coast,
Evolution’s spindles
Created a curlew out of you,
And then a kittiwake of me.

Ode To My Panic Attacks

It comes in waves,
Sometimes discretely,
But no less completely,
Gentle laps at a lake’s edge
Then grabs at my ankles
And pulls me beneath,
Rolls me over, death-rolling
Crocodilian behaviour innately
Only with sharper teeth
To drag me to where
The Lady of the Lake
Once lived, once breathed.
The lake and I are one
Entity; this is our unforgiving
Symbiotic relationship.

Sometimes it’s more obvious,
Similar to pounding surfs
Midwinter on Cornish coasts,
Devouring, all consuming,
A beach where families played
And lovers greeted each other
With trysting passion and embraces
Before our eyes transformed.
The dismal dunes are lost,
Subliminal caves, deep gullies
In my dreams are subsumed.
Eventually, whole cemeteries
And villages will fall from the cliff,
That line of rocks looks like
Petrified rooftops, they’d say,
People as yet unborn
Will stand on that new front
And read about losses
On interpretation boards,
On sea wall defences and piers,
Boulders imported from Norway
But ultimately futile,
Binoculars around their necks,
Words on those rainswept panels
As symbolic as the wings
Of albatrosses our sailors hung
Outside their cottage doors
To ward off spirits from
Unclaimed wrecks.

I woke up on a shower floor,
Seas tortured me and
Then returned to prior forms,
Purer forms of love,
And the lake again my lore,
To where they both waited
As just before.

Dina Morgabin

These kisses we missed
In other lives elsewhere,
These exquisite moments,

No wonder we arrived
At inevitable reunions where
I dreamed for years

Of lifting you up in my arms,
Passionate embraces,
Time repaired.

For as long as the seas
In our heritage are green,
And as long as the skies

Are propped by the dreams
Of atlases may we continue
To breathe and complete

The abstract truths
Dormant within our ribs
For such profound time

We almost forgot we exist.
My focus here is solely on
Your beauty and your gifts,

Your experiences,
Harmonising pleasure,
Retuning the truth

To satisfy the needs
Of an uncompassed ocean.
Here on this island,

Here with your bliss,
Now and forever
We will exist.

Surfaces

I walked towards my own ghost,
Floating only as ghosts can float;
Like a drifting bouy, slow
On surfaces strange and remote,
Where no sounds exist, no
Harbour alarms, no tired boats.
As certain, yes, as infinite
As armadillo scutes wrapped
Round a universe’s components,
Defending flesh, soft underbellies
And then bones, shrew-like thoughts,
Or the scent in my kitchen
I left behind of burnt toast.
He beckoned me into the folds
And fabrics of his being as
He smoked new fogs through his nose,
Billowing over a greying coast.
We were the same shape, for
Sadness bloats the lonely minds
And comforts like a winter coat.
I stepped inside his fashion,
Morassy cold moments, bitterly
Cold, where he stood and told me
About his life, such unrecouperable
Losses as though he had gambled
At the great southern casinos
Where everyday players lose
Their chips and notes, he wagered
His soul, and now pays
For his choice, which was not
A choice, by taking listless nightly
Walks along the seawalls draped
With grieving molluscs, barnacles
In grim mourning costumes,
Along the shores
Of consciousness.

My pillow drenched with sweat,
I moved to reduce the clammy sense
When my hands fell through
Where the pillow had been, and
I remembered then, with unending
Awe and horror mixed at the
Contemplative designs of
Suffering, there was no kitchen,
No burnt toast, no rendezvous,
For looking back I realised again
That I was the ghost
And he was the man.

Landfall

Soul’s Landfall,
Where I defended myself
From remembering you,
Groynes reaching
Out into the grey-brown
Wash of Forgetfulness,
And gabions, their
Amnesiac nets protect
A sandstone cliff.

My memories then
Collapsed into
Themselves like
Immemorial dark stars,
Like crumpled photographs
Which re-posted
On social media
Are tagged with negative
Phrases like Missing
Hurt, and Regret,
Where other minds
Have memories as clear
And well-composed as
Chandeliers, with
Configurations in
Crystal set.

Arriving at theatres,
It’s as though,
Expecting me
To speak at length,
Audiences near and far
With craning necks
Gasped when they became
Aware of my tonguelessness,
My arms and elbows
Meaningless, and
Pinned to my sleeve
A still-beating heart.

So with hatches battened
And shops boarded up
I stooped into storms,
Eyes in water, weather-worn,
Where lashing gales made
Their own Landfall,
Battering just behind me.
Incapable of gazing backwards,
Pacing forward unprepared;
This is how a limbo feels
For the lonely
And the scared.

If you have someone to hold,
Hold them again once more;
If at night you lie beside
The unspoken beauty of love
Then love with words reformed;
And if you’ve lost no less before,
With Patience and Time,
You’ll be together once more.

Ode To Penelope

I have a fan beside my desk,
Utilitarian blessing of relief
(For I am a Leader
Of First World Anxieties
I mainly caused myself),
Presented its purpose
Conceptually just yesterday,
Unboxed and assembled
In the candleless caverns
Of my inner critic, brand new,
But you also bought it for me
From the supermarket
During the languorous lost days
Mid-heatwave, and I knew
This happened because you
Woke me from my sleep
With a dream of the receipt.
You had the oscillations set
To relieve me from my self,
The cool assurances
Like nautical miles
Measured one knot after another,
Like a necklace for a Goddess
Flown over an oceanic shelf
Returns me to a slender skiff
On the Mediterranean’s
Peerless blue hues, as blue
As the ineffable workings of the soul,
As blue as sacrifices to
That Goddess of Nets
With sea-sick sheep and goats while
Fishing for golden orata;
The great sea, infinite blue
Like poetry, glistens
And dances in a reverie,
Just as the same soporific
Waves subjugated Odysseus as
He traversed its gentle crests
In search of a cure
For hysteria.
O Penelope,
How a man craves his opposite
And the irresistible forces
Of his afflictions,
As conditioned as a dolphin
To click and swim
With supple fins
And graces, nattering like
Old acquaintances about
Their Italian diet and
Their penchant
For eviscerated fish.
No rainfall here
For another year,
But I have my fan and that feels
In the moment more vital, for
I outlasted Diocletian of Split,
And though it may only be good
For fanning heated air,
Perhaps that’s all I need
To survive another year.