Ghosts dressed
For the occasion.

Curly hair,
Tattoo there.

Rocking for comfort,
Not disimilar

To Ceaușescu’s
Distressed empire.

Bare cots,
Blue shoe,

Throw me in
But I come back up.

Throw me, throw me up.
You can demolish a wall

But you cannot wipe
The graffiti off.

A Rescue

I found your children where you
Buried them, deep in my dreams,
For no one would go there
Forraging except the blind
And myself, we had no choice,
Which you did not predict,
And so I found them both, I did,
Wide-eyed, innocent mannerisms
With unconditional love towards
Their inexplicable parents.

Underneath dream-bracken,
You had no time for dignity
Or wherewithal to cover
Your tracks, and so I woke
Both gently, and they held my
Hands as we searched high
And low for their mother,
To reunite you only to show
What you had succumbed to
In giving up your title.

A caravan park on a clifftop,
Seas in my dreams are different,
Infinite wildernesses in grey,
Violent expressions of emotions
Suppressed, we searched through
Excessively overstocked and
Busy campsite shops and bars,
An outdoor pool, a clamour
In chlorine and glorious swimwear,
As busy as lidos’ 1960s heydays,

They held my hands all the while
As we walked the miles we had to
Cover, until we found a white
Wooden signpost with your name
Painted in a blank font as if you’d
Become a coastal village, but
Instead of miles, the miles
Directed me in years, pointing
Towards a hidden beach, a cove,
Sands where truth exposed you

Out of sight and reach,
Or so you thought in my dream
Interrogating and sweeping
Low coasts like a disused
But incessantly-working
Self-determined lighthouse beam,
On the way to that village
As it shifted from being inland
To now lifted above the
Culmination and climax

Of my sorrows. We descended
A makeshift path between two dunes
To where you cavorted with
Dream-formed friends, balls
And assorted balloons. At last I
Returned two beautiful children
To you; your feigned joy appalled
Yet did not surprise the atoning.
I collapsed to my knees, exhausted,
Knees in sand, and woke alone.


A boundless energy of children
On a neighbour’s trampoline,
Mine’s been long converted
By a furtive military.

Depression in ruins abundant,
The city’s stolen heart,
The only buildings standing
Are the empty mosque and church.

My mind of mulchy-mud detritus,
Thoughts like leaves on a lawn;
A modern meditating Augeas,
I found a magpie’s claw.

The shops are all deserted,
Defying life to go outside,
Explosives left below the surface,
The countryside tripwired.

They said it would be different
But the future’s just the same,
I heard the people singing
As they shovelled earth for graves.

The sun shines on the garden,
Those neighbours are delightful,
But my mind was long since hardened
By something far more frightful.