Blue Door

A door is here before me,
Painted lower blue,
It has a personality
As much as any door might do.
This door said something to me,
And hoped to expound
Profoundly about
His love of locks and keys
And things like this which fit
Sometimes perfectly,
Although I can’t be sure
Because I am not at all
Proficient in languages
Of barriers between here
And there, in this case
Made from old oak trees.

Sometimes he would be drunk
And talk at length about how
Things were better in the past,
When doors like him had respect
And weren’t just for walking through.
Sometimes he turned maudlin
And sad for people’s passing hues,
Who only caught a portal,
And missed his greater truth.

He is permanently locked up now,
Shackled, chained and bolted;
No one visits the other side
Since the gardeners all revolted.
People continue to walk by
On their way to shops
And markets brimming with fish
And semi precious stones.

Where there are weeds, I see Time;
Where there is pollen, I see potential;
Where there is a door like this door
I see what did and didn’t happen,
And that’s why I’m still here
On a shore distant and remote
From all I adored about you.

Step Across

Your room
Perfectly preserved,
Just the way you
Last observed it;
Same duvet cover,
Same sash.
Your favourite band
In a poster, yellowed
By the years, an empty
Glass on a bedside table,
An undisturbed pack
Of fears.
Sometimes I draw open
White chiffon curtains
But it’s still too bright,
Even this far removed,
Our eyes adapt
To darkness, as if
All of time
Is night.

A bookmark,
An elastoplastic strip,
Outside your window
A satellite dish.
We were such materials
In the continuity
Of loss. Sometimes
I wished and convinced
Myself that you would
Step across that threshold,
I’d hold you, the hug
To end all that could
Have been better defined,
But some things are not real,
And some are only crimes.

Compass

We’re North and South together,
Where East meets skies out West,
Where one devours the other,
Then sleeps within our chest.

We’re swamp-surrounded temples,
Six seasons sought defeat;
The vines our veins resemble,
Our ivy leaves complete.

We’re secret treasures guarded
By codes within a rhyme,
A compass shape is hearted,
A clock devoid of time.

Untitled Poem #11

The Devourer of Time
Preys on my mind,
Like hawks trained
On rodents, as cats
Play with mice, without
A single sight until
Their swift descent or
Claw-flexed pounce
And then it’s too late,
Just a final moment
To know mortality,
It will die with Time.

For a little while
I got away with it,
Quick-witted weaving,
A duck and a dive,
I threw Life’s towel
Into the ring and Life
Threw it back at me.
Fooling myself in to
Believing I was beaten
By other shadow-boxers,
Boxing with darkness,
Never with light, and
Praising those winners
Who were really beginners
When considered within
A divine love of night.

Humanity is its own
Casualty, a dog and cat
Are no more real than
That which our individual
And collective minds
Conceive and bind in
A conscious contractual
Agreement. What then of
You?, cowardly death,
Contriver of causality.
The less I see of Nature,
The more I see of Greed;
Without converging on
These matters, this
Would not be a man,
And you would not be me.

Shrapnel

Sometimes all I am able
To think about
Is how much I miss you.
Heightened like this, days
Become a singularity

And matter falls out of
Form. Couds fill the sky
To light’s diminution,
Resounding flatnesses
Fill fens in my mind’s
Resolution to turn itself

In, like a culprit for
Crimes it did not commit,
Preferring prison
To alternatives of freedom,
In these moments I cannot

Adequately submit a
Description or trace a single
Word unsaid or unfamiliar
Place which rest like shrapnel
Lodged in my head, disrupting

The usual waves replaced
With an abridgement, taking
Away the every day, replacing
Time with unforgiving motions,
The public and private spaces

Merge like fir cone coats on
A forest floor. I tread over
Deadening moss, and explore
Where I live on coastal margins.
There are giant trolls sleeping

Underneath some freezing stars;
Abject stars, promising soulful
Poetry yet as devoid of organs
Fit for a soul as decaying carrion.
You can see their breath form,

Those toeless ogres, with
Smokestacks from afar,
They morph from the cups
Of devastating magic in to
Sounds outside my window,

A roadworker’s drill, a mosaic
From children playing during
Break-times still. Occasionally,
The trilling from the throats
Inside starlings and lost angels.

All I can hear today
Is your disappeared voice,
All I can see today is
Your face unchanged and it
Devestates me, caught in time,

Caught off guard by a photograph
Framed where I sit on the lip,
I turn you to the outer world
For a while – I hope you don’t mind.
It’s as though my body is ill-fitting

Without you, but it’s not
As though anyone can return these
Particular loose garments,
The shops are closed.
The dots remain disjoined.

A profound lethargic depletion,
I should rest in that photograph.
I did not know I’d have to survive
Without you again. Existing
Here is the incomplete half.

Aftermath

You’ve been shopping again,
Cruising aisles and clothing
Racks left in a season-ending’s
Messiness; sales are on four
Polished parquet floors
Inside my night-time mind
Where these more
Pleasant dreams
Sometimes reside,
And also you in spirit-form,
Sometimes hiding
Within me yet without me.
A paradox with summer storms,
We slipped into my department
Store with expectations to avoid
The rains and post-pandemic
Hordes, oceans of traffic lights
And umbrellas, holding hands
As we gladly made our way
Through this homage to
Commerce, this palace’s
Obscenely gigantic doors,
Deep green frames, lintels
Propped by angular art deco
Demigods with impossibly
Muscular jaws. I won’t be
Jealous of a statue in obsidian,
I sought myself, to reassure.
I’d visited here in different
Dreams several years before,
Alone and feeling lost,
Uncomfortable
In my only thoughts,
Though I have atoned
For those stones
As you know,
And now like everyone else
I can buy coffee, and tour
Menswear and menageries,
Counters and clocks.
All the fish have been caught.

Not knowing what you bought,
Jewellery perhaps, a camisole,
I could see beside your green
Heels three or four bags,
In purple and pink fabrics,
Even the inexplicable methods
For carrying purchases about
This city where you reach
So deeply in to me reflects
Your personality as perfectly
As the death of inadequacy
In Elysian markets.
Your ways delight and inspire
A primal circuitry, native,
As old as the hills of men,
Indigenous, sacred.
I just have bags under my eyes
From the tiredness, trenches
In my dreams are drenched
By July’s torrents. I longed
For the fresh air pursuing
A storm’s routes, its brute
Force, the airborne cousin
To the scent of grass after
Its mowing, from where we
Gave birth to a word: Aftermath.

I remembered in that dream
The store bags had lines from my
Haiku printed in white fonts
And I looked to you, as beautiful
As the day our friendship and
These sentiments too were born,
And I knew then the meaning
Of dreams where we met
On a simple bench in a store,
Avoiding the crowds, sharing
Moments of quiet reflection
And your laughter like lucid
Streams over those stones
I threw back in to the water,
A pure invigorating air
Only found in the Highlands;
Hands held, biding our time
Until the end of the storm,
For its end is on the horizon,
Then we may leave this building
And travel home once more.