Benefits Of Os

The benefit of pillows
Is in comfortableness,

The benefit of willows
Is in suppleness,

The benefit of minnows
Is the bigger stream survives,

The benefit in life’s billows
On a softer evening breeze

Is to feel within my grotto
I’m somehow still just me.

Harbour Bay

This is my weather-cape,
Haar, drizzle, mizzle-rain,
This is the reason
I crave the seasons
From Autumn through
To March again.

But though these isobars enliven
And my nerve ends are untightened,
As ferns befriend
Merest shaft and bend
Through forest canopies of light,

The ninety-four dialects
For coastal rains are choral sadnesses
In parachute refrains;
The front of the weathers I love
Is the end which keeps you at bay.

Do Not Become Their Eulogy

Create a world you want to see
Before all’s late for you and me;

Find a way you want to be,
Do not become their eulegy.

Life isn’t so straightforward,
These things we sought for granted,

Daily demands subverted,
Faint-hearted life is hardest.

I’m only here to celebrate
Qualities which you elevate,

So please, in this old Bostonian snow,
Do not dream of letting go.

Melt Like Butter

Butter on its own
Isn’t much to write home about,
But melted in the middle
Of a croissant, on a
Crescent-shaped plate,
At a hotel morning room
In the early fabled light
Only found in Istanbul,
Is transcendental.

And now I’m writing home,
Meditation on its own
Won’t fill letters from heaven,
But meditation on a lotus
In the eye of the dharma elevates
The breath and the floating moment
Into something translucent
As I meditate, alone,
On a parcel of butter.

Karmic Roulette

Karmic Roulette,
Where will you take me next
For a spin within your wheels?
Sometimes far future,
Sometimes the past,
Sometimes in blue,
But it never lasts with you.
I am simply your small round
Metal ball-bearing
Sticking to its task –
Give me a place to land
And I will fill the part.

I landed, and entered a city
In the steppes of my heart,
The world outside was crumbling
But these tower blocks steadfastly
Clung to their history, with
Ornaments and crockery in orange,
Yellows and that thick green
I had not seen since 1973.
This room made do as lounge
And diner in one, square
Utilitarian, lighting dimmed
And of all this no more
Than the size of
The God of Moths’ thumbs.
Your mother kept your space
At a table where I now sat;
Surrounded by plastic, mica,
Nothing had changed
In the seven sharp years
Since you’d gone to the shops.

Though the case had gone cold
And closed many moons ago,
Your mother was seeking a groom;
She proselyted about you and I,
Showed me her photographs of you
While saying brown was all
She could afford for your attire
To survive in this bleak room.
She treated you like an exhibit
In a catalogue of stones.
I noticed your smile before
Anything else about your beauty,
Your smile illuminated your face
Like unending tapers in life’s
Chapel while I ate her dim sum.
Here you attended a service,
Here you turned towards the sun.
I assured your mother I would
Meet you on the steps outside
The limestone church, much like a
Place of worship I visited once
In Podgorica, with plain
Outer walls, but the inside
Shimmered in pure gold.

Before that could happen
The wheel turned with its own
Warping thaws of justice,
And away I would spin
Above the colours and
The numbers in red,
To God only knows where,
Destination’s only certainty
Will be you and me apart.

Ode To A Parking Lot

All our loved people,
Indelible, said clearly,
In my thirteenth sonnet,
(Did you read it?
I haven’t, I imagined you
Subtly and too kindly said…)
Each incredible, unique,
Who for whatsoever reasons
Are in parking lots
Of businesses which
In this moment are as
Unrealisable and mythical
As Pegasuses appearing
In supermarket aisles
On the left, hooves heard
Between the edamame beans
And the deeply bereft,
Or Orion’s coordinates,
Illuminated blue in new
Speedometer needle sets,
With your one head
In your two beautiful hands,
I am with you all
Each and every one
In our millions, our army
Of sadness, sorrowful troughs,
Because I too am that moment,
And I learned to overcome,
And when I overcame
I owed it for you,
As a penance, at cost;
I bleed and I bled,
My fervent words for your love.

I became through with a world
Designed by others
Into which I was buffeted
By their Shannon and
Fastnet blustering rough.

Do you remember
When things mattered,
Before they feigned
And they flattered.
I cannot remember a thing,
My life’s no more certain
Than a butterfly wing,
But in a butterfly’s wing
Is the sting in the sin
Of all that matters
And entertains.

Some drive away, hands on the wheel,
Some go on to thrive
And some to steal;
But one or two don’t, in the car
Or the woods, and I stay
With those love, the misunderstood,
And that’s why when it comes
To paychecks, a glance,
I’m not with your goodness,
For I left all that time
With the dead in a trance.