The Nightwatchman

Alarm in the distance,
A kettle of noise,
The Haddocks are woken,
The widow has poise;
A light in the window,
With sleepyhead sight
Orange from street-lights
Parry and toy.

Dogs are in mangers,
Fallopian heights,
I am the nightwatchman
On this new estate’s blight,
Built on hopes
In choleric graves hand-held
A paupers’ mate,
False-shamen cradled,
Done-dusted whoremen
And shoremen of late.

How words and meanings
Conspire to change
With time,
Like just deserts,
Fathom and Guy,
Dependent on favours,
Curried and climes,
The bailiwick is easing
The willow in rhyme;
Hell for leather,
Whatever the weather,
You can pitch on my crease
And I will not decline.

Several hours later
These policemen arrived,
Sombre and Sober,
Notepads with lines;
They’re taught a falsehood
Between black and then white
On the unturned pages
Of this error-strewn night.
The thieves long-dissolved
Into brightly-hued dawn,
I woke from my slumber,
Mute sigh, with a yawn.


The Ghosts Of Ishinomaki

Tsunami alarm,
Taxi drivers disarmed,
Higher ground atoning.
I reached a surface
Of realities alone,
Snow falls
Unexpectedly
In the gall
Of bamboo forests
And bodies,
Multiple unnamed bodies
Disposed
Without ceremony,
Candles rammed
In hope,
Aren’t we all passengers
Somewhere?
Husbands
Who had to go,
Puzzles, low light
Over old tables,
A coercive approach,
A lonely widow;
Monk’s robe,
Three to go;
Rain harbour,
A taxi again
To whenever,
Facial masks
Will not last
In heaven.
A meal, a bead,
It doesn’t matter
So much to me.
Harbour wall
Or nothing at all,
Drive me to where
I need to be.
A dozen hungry
Gangrenous ghosts
And I’m the host;
A child’s toy,
Dragon’s mouth
On temple gutters in red,
There is no distinction here;
Yes, sometimes I cannot
Distinguish
Between the living and
The dead.

Escargatoire

A promenade of snails
And promises daily entailed,
Within life’s escargatoire
Resides a finer refuge
From the Summer hails.

Every season
Unseasonal,
We walk a mountain trail.
Those fine Autumn rains,
Appalachian;
More than mizzle,
Less than drizzle,
Somewhere blessed and inbetween.

Reminding me of times
When briefly I felt
Communion with my
Thalassic soul,
And saltwaters surrounding
That long-lost littoral shoal
Changed, in time,
Jurassic coast
Metamorphosed whole
From teeth into salves
And then what else
I’ll never know,
Fuel for other people’s dreams
And other people’s songs.

We gave the world away
To dancers and to singers,
But in the giving of our gift
We salsaed with the sinners.

It will not be so long
Before this Autumn’s gone;
Where do we go, love,
With all our homes eroded
In this unfathomable loss;
Where chances all expired
And the precipice is seen,
Who will build a northern spire
Where you and I once dreamed;
Of weather and of mountains
And snails in their desmene,
And who will put a cross atop
Our church beneath the Sea.

Lavender Weeps

There’s enough air
For everyone,
Even when breathing
Deeply, truly, at last
Inhaling, and yet,
Society compartmentalises,
Hides, keeps, rationalises,
Makes rarified that
Which meantime sleeps.

Waterfall of dreams,
My waterfalls have eyes;
Those without food today
Could have had food to survive.

Three ingredients create love:
Fuel, warmth, oxygen;
The same is true of life.
Those with power to sew
Are often caught with a knife.
There is nothing less above –
Lumber, pine, lavender weeps;
Less selfishness of mind,
And nothing else so deep.