The Empty Chest

Pity those you left behind
From your fifteenth circle;
Sighted yet by you left blind,
We wear these robes in purple.

Grieve for those who unlike you
Refused to die through choice;
All moments ever lost anew,
Death sings without a voice.

Warm yourself with winter cloaks,
Sincerely, I hope that you do;
No hearts here carved on homely oaks,
No candles for the untrue.

Some loss cannot be quantified
No matter how we measured;
There are no numbers left to guide
To those we would have treasured.

Umbilicus

Constant reminders
In my body’s retirement
Of your indelible
Indiscretions
Dissolved into me,
My skin the sea
Filled with your molluscs
And a coprolitic fossil
Of your movements,
Your impossible
Puzzles and befuddled
Cryptic sentences
Like lugworm trails
Where the blight receded,
You see his sand-cast there
But not his burrowed body,
For flesh and form
Took leave long ago,
And all that remains
Are contusions.

Emerged from your gulf,
Urgent as a siren
Until the giant waves
Rewound, every mole
A continuum from times
Of settlements in iris,
Unfunny jokes,
Inverted laughter,
I made no demands for
The complexities of your
Shell-emptied nautilus,
Salvaged from a sea-bed,
Thrust up through a hole
With samphire-weed and poison.

Seagulls squawk and spiral
On a Fibonacci horizon,
I do not own a hair on my heart,
I do not own a thorn-seed;
I was born on Steppes of Despair,
And that is where I am mourning.

Never A Grandfather

I do not know your age,
Or rather, what your age would be
And all that now to me would mean,
If you were here, alive somehow.
Seventy-four, or seventy-three;
Some people once remarked
That you looked a lot like me.

You neglected every milestone
Beyond your event horizon’s beak
At world’s edge;
Never seen a sunset,
Just an endless bleak and
Ghastly eyeless glass waterfall,
Like a flea-infested mere black hole,
Full of gassy gravity
And its own invested energy.

I disowned you years ago,
Of course, and consequence;
(I thought you should know);
The silences, interruptions
In faith and the quiet
Self-confidence
Derived from permanence,
The planets in their place
Are no more than dusty molecules.
Actions resonate, in blood,
In deoxyribonucleic bonds.
So much is invisible
To the naked eye,
Wouldn’t you say.

Your grandchildren,
Beautiful in their individual
Ignorances and unwrongs
Of your divestment
And your imposition undoing
Of scriptures, and your dance
With Fate, and behemoths
Devoid of any talent, yet
Too great for you
To contemplate too long;
They sing a new psalm
Cut from a brand new song;
Every birthday, yes,
Every marriage,
Every great-grandchild
In Life’s Great Carriage
You deprived yourself of,
Every candle blown out,
Every significant moment
Like neonatal visits
And yellow blankets knitted,
Like a despot overthrown
By populist senses of goodness;
And graduation mortar boards,
And then the inbetween minutes
And hours of simplistic wonder,
Blissfully ponder,
A trip to the beach,
A vanilla ice cream,
Pretence of a wizard,
A long Christmas list
And bedecked Christmas Tree.
Dreams of a gizzard
Are all that are left,
Dreams out of reach
For the deeply bereft.
Never a grandfather,
Never would die
In a world you created
Where mistruth resides
You outlive, outsurvive;
Never a grandfather,
Only a Dad,
Only Death’s Bride,
Only a Dad.