Still To Live

You touched my lips
With your fingertips,

Exquisite verisimilitude
In every moment’s potential,

Fragile as tomorrow’s moth,
Enduring as a marrow-tusk,

And softly you spoke,
Almost inaudibly,

Infinitesimally,
‘Please try and forgive

For when we do not act’.
I did not understand

As gently holding my hand
You touched the very tip

Of expectation
Spiking my existence,

Drifting into a mist
Of memory and reason.

‘I love you so,
This much you know,

But not enough
Still, to live’.

And with those words
I came to know

Crude openings of loneliness,
Closing of a season.

Ever The Lake

A waterfall inside me
Cascading from my past
Floods a field around me,
My stern is rarely fast.

Fix a lantern to my soul,
See volumes on that shore;
Levels rose beyond the toll
While inner tears endure.

I feed the spring of my sorrows
Each time you disappear,
I’ve cried my many tomorrows,
Though dry the eyes that steer;
For passers-by I will deny,
Though ever the lake is near.

Rio Grande do Sul

My life is the size
Of one grain of sand
On a beach in Brazil
Or faraway land,
Further away
Than the south Rio Grande,
Further away
Than the end of my hand.

Yet my soul beats as big
As the Amazon basin,
As bright as an eye
In the swan constellation,
Further away
Than the blessed and the damned,
At my window sill waits
For the ends of a man.

So if you are feeling
As lost and alone,
Remember the healing
For how hearts atone –
Your soul touching stars
Braiding sinew and bone.

No More For Me The Sun

No more did you need for me,
No more for me the Sun;
Desire’s a mangy bedfellow
When beds are made for one.

He turned my pillow inwardly,
History’s eye disinterred;
Bled salt from me, then westerly,
Fulfillment is deferred.

In crackling ice behind a shed
I found a frozen stem,
Within its roots more frozen there
My love is laid to rest.

Blues

In youthful days
I could not know
These ways of you
Would change and grow;
Not for better,
Always worse,
Yet if abeyant
Fate
Is versed,
Who will wear
In blue
This curse.

Considering
These tired enquiries
Distractedly,
Quietly,
Little more than frayed
Boot laces left in a shed,
I trod upon my anguish,
Barefoot, pierced through my soles
By rotten and forgotten branches
Underneath a rosebriar bush
Where foxes were thwarted
And ladybirds courted
A flagless border imparted,
These remains are still
Too sharp to handle
Ungloved, though many years
Have waned in truth
Since numbers were pruned
Beneath a single glass eye of
A newly shot moon,
Long before
The dark in the dew
Of my tears would pour
On the eglantine proof.

I found a long-dead mistle-thrush
Beyond my unwaxed gate,
He brought to me a message,
His gassy eyeballs glazed;
Lividity, a beaten breast,
Downy pall for his heart,
Stiffly pointed scaly legs,
No more worms for the beak.
Absurdly straight, those legs,
A spindly, wiry
Duet of prayers
Offered to our blithely
Tergiversate universe
On my starless
Tarmacadam path;
One last breath
With flames as blue
As the one true host,
One last herald
Too late to restart.

Fever

Fever surged like tides anew;
Well, my father said fever
But mother said he was a heathen
And nothing more could be said
About him, or her, or you.

My cactus-needle fever swept
His scraping rake on the sands of my back,
My back a long-lost Zen garden
Surrended to thistles and to feverfew.
My beard is ten miles long,
My ears as hot as a south-Saharan tongue,
A mirage of Madeira and mechanical raining frogs.

My white blood cells fought in Malawi
Against some boys in blue,
Riotous and corruptive on safari
Around northern housing estates
Sunk in those grains, like an eye,
Like the truth. Next day
The fever broke to my relief,
Though not before my mother
Retrieved from the loft
A grip of dusty rosaries and
A worn sackcloth, each sweaty bead
Counted by the market seller
Who wore lavendar
At his cart of wares
On a distant Thursday afternoon
In Cairo, and also Khartoum.