Pumpkin Brain



Rain displaces
Later autumn leaves.
Nature creates
And preconceives
In these people
An evident worry
And their hurry
With umbrellas,
Heads facing down
Eternally, merely,
Indiscernible, nearly,
Similarities converge
As they submerge
In delayed memories.

People consider rain
As twin for a misery,
Yet I only find comfort,
Only delight to see.

Film studio rain, exotic
Drops sized like swollen conkers –
Hope from her atmospheric
Constraints unfrozen
And released.

Rain berates
My war chest.
When he beats me,
I do not want
For the beating to stop.

I would have tried
Once to help, but my
Pumpkin brain
Had stringy roots
Scooped out
For a partisan mob,
Orange pulpy mulch
For soup or squash,
Jagged teeth,
Unholy nose,
Remnants
Saved to decompose
In a row, in rainfall,
Before a garden grows.

Ode To A Writer

Carve within your soul a space
For all you want to do,
All other lives, no better place,
To navigate for you.

Ego’s lease, no lesser rate,
If others would deprive,
Nothing more may captivate
Than knowing you will thrive.

No more boors to prop a door
Enforcing your denial,
Renounce a vestige of their chores
And write your script awhile.

Create a space within your day
And see your lines alit,
As incremental time gives way
To charm, and grace, and wit.

1461

Alpacas in a rolling field,
And species sold unseen,
Many metres down my shield,
Such places I have been.

You have doorbells now,
I had muse and mead,
Bones did show to me somehow
A foul and future deed.

An owl within your stomach
Flew through all this time,
A blizzard for a buzzard,
Sacred and sublime.

We sacrificed our future,
Seven days of rivers red,
My past both sword and suture,
A llama farm my bed.

Stay The Moon



On a constant path descending
With gooseberry seasons ending
For mackerel sauce we searched.

Hooked many years by fish,
Beneath that bush our every wish
We stirred in gooseberry fools;

Rhubarb too, did crumble,
Time through fingers fumble,
Poured in to an oily pool.

When my peers awake,
They will see that dreadful lake
And fear their fruitless doom,

For I too once was as they are,
And though I watch from here afar
Unable now to stay the moon,

With a bulbous cultivar,
Poetry my scimitar,
I’ll cut my lonely gloom.

Hustings


Blink and you’ll miss it,
This modern cynical
Pinnacle of contempt,
Political legerdemain.

People’s lives under pots,
One, blue, two, three;
Never mind about life
And death issues

And O how they issue,
As long as there’s comfort
In a cable, an act.
The universities will empty

And our world will contract.
A man in a church lay dead,
A city is your bed,
I wish the rest good luck.

Coroner’s Surprise

Open me
And you will see
Not blood –
Dry and with
Lividity –
But instead
Beneath each
Corvid-coloured
Contusion –
Much to a coroner’s
Morbid surprise –
My body did confess
A lifetime’s supply
Of dried tea leaves
No less.

Veins with stains
In browns and greens,
Restorative and remedy
For a life’s mundanity.
Give me no blood, but tea,
Give me afternoon cakes
And sandwich fingers
With wafers and cream;
Give me no war, but traders,
Captains of an industry
Sailing safely through
South Chinese seas;
Give leaders their peace
And sovereignty,
Powder your rusty
Deflagrating buckthorn guns
With wild jasmine seeds,
Elderflower leaves,
For arthritis I have capsicum,
For good memories mustard too,
And when all’s true and done,
And when my ending’s well begun
Bury me with my spoon of yew.

South Of Somewhere

South of Somewhere, Fairburn Road Car Park.
Small town, off from the main route.
Or large village? The first two hours parking is free, but you still have to go to the ticket machine and press a button for a ticket. The information display has yellow print on a black background. The municipal Council crest includes two mythical beasts either side of a shield, also yellow and black. There is a whole language for heraldry. There is a misprint between two symbols for a disabled person, which reads ‘Dabled badge holders FREE’.

I wish it was colder, or raining, or cold and raining. I prefer the rain. People tend to stay indoors a bit more.

I haven’t been here before. It’s only 8 miles north west from my house, but the journey includes country lanes with tall hedgerows leading into hamlets.

A local transport intersection, freight trains and East Coast LNER trains rumble by. Commuter belt, I expect, for workforces in the not too distant cities and larger towns. Smaller Northern Rail pacer trains, liveries of purple and white.

You can draw a straight line almost, from the southernmost city the one furthest north. This is somewhere inbetween.

I feel supernaturally tired. I will be unable to drive again, post surgery, she said. I said I will make for a moaning chauffeur.

You video-called me yesterday evening. You were wearing a silver chain with a silver crucifix. You ask me if I like it and I lied and said yes.

Days merge. And then I feel bad for feeling envious of those who moved on.

People I have seen arrive here are now returning to their cars, laden with shopping and misplaced hopefulness. They seep out from corners and sidestreets, like waxy by-products of my inexhaustible life, like tears. As I drove away, I remember thinking, if there is anyone as hermetic as me, I would like to meet them.

Dolorous

Mockeries
Of democracy,
A companionship
Of loneliness,
Obtuse
Collective nouns.
On a top floor
Of my mercies
We designed –
I do not know why –
A water feature,
Incongruous
And somewhat vain,
A bowl formed
From igneous rock,
Only, a leaky
Feeding pipe
From a fireplace
Caused a gorge
Or fissure
We have to step across.
In this huge new building
People compliment
Beautiful views
But I worry
About that leaking
And a distinct possibility
Of damp in these books.

In the distance,
Or it may be inside me,
I hear a colliery band
Strike a dolorous tune –
A bugler too – and as
With all things lost
Therein lies a
Sombre mood.

I can’t remember how
I parked the car,
Let alone where,
Or how much all this
Shopping cost.