Natasha Renewed

You were the envy of centuries,
Your love the unplundered loot
Under plum-coloured helmets
From mud-lusty Danes of Harthacnut.

You moved into a house
On a slope (made hazardous,
I imagine, by frost and ice
That yet must be a long way off
Along another horizon),
Next door to my grandmother
Who rested dutifully
In the annex
(Like an old mole
Upon your jawbone,
You resigned yourself
To her perspiring presence)
Carved from a former saloon
Where of an afternoon she snoozed
While keeping vouchsafed in a jar
Her one last sandstone tooth.
O how a home that could not exist
Yet appear with a simple veneer
Much like any other rooted
On this strange village street,
The only difference being
When you opened the door
There was nothing beyond
A jaded porch, lavender
And heather turned to dust
Along with dried
Forget-me-nots and
Compass points made moot.
You had changed your name,
I do not know why,
To Natasha, your eyes
As wide as a frontier
Where swirled surprise
And regret in those glass bowls
Once burning like calderas,
And in your hands
Scentless celeriac,
Cauliflower florets
And a head of herring.
Somewhere along the line
You bought eggs from a garage
In a parallel place and time.
At the very extremeties
Of our dormant love,
I knew too late to appreciate
That which I could never touch,
Neither ending nor the essence.

This dampening dream-like nature,
A long green duffel coat and hair
Once vibrant as sunsets
Over Mediterranean ports
And on to far Aden
And golden Sharjah,
Cities we knew a long time ago,
Now grey as a downpour in May
With a woodland scarf,
A husband – I could not meet his eyes –
Two children and my phone
Running low of charge
Like my soul, which is why
I step through my dreamcatcher
To wherever you are present,
Mapless, stateless revenant,
In a rendezvous pretences,
Preferring to be this lost,
I would rather be surrounded
By all those silent deaths above
Than tortured by the humdrum sounds
Of life removed from your love,
Modern and irrelevant.

Wreaking

I hope my deadening soul
Wreaks havoc on them all,
I wrote then to my shogun.

He replied, may I surmise
That life is for the living?
I disputed his wisdom,
And held my breath in my hands,
And spoke alone without reply
That I am unforgiving.

My forehead is a wintry beach;
Slower than a ghost proposed,
Boat-bells sombre in the fleet.

When battalions disembark nearby,
Enfranchised and embittered,
They won’t disturb the dreaming folk
While scarring Hope with scissors.

A single cuttlefish appeared in blue,
I stared into her inky liver,
Then just as sharply darted by,
Bloodied and barely delivered.

Valedictions

Valedictions for you,
We do not accede;
Valedictions for you,
Nor do we recede;

None superseded,
None to subscribe,
No more spun your wool
For pulling our eyes;

No souls contorting
For far-faulted causes,
No more conforming
Under horse-trammeled forces.

Valedictions for you,
No longer we thrive,
Only lessons unlearned
For liars survived.

The Hermit Of St Kilda

A sturgeon in a muddy bath
Atop one wayward cleit-bound path,

A bunion-coloured troubled moon,
Swallowed by his bleak lagoon;

Bothy ghosts with bridal sedge,
Perilous steeper western edge.

He floated on a flotsam-skiff
Disembarked, in gloaming mist,

Footsteps in her foaming surf
Winds were purging sands and turf;

He knelt, and kneeling blessed,
Wilder elements would contest,

Existence, akin to snow still falling
Intrinsically, all thoughts appalling.

An aching storm then passing through
Shook the eyes in that lagoon,

Lugubrious eyes, ugly too,
All the things he never knew.

Dead-way eyes, and deadly too,
For all who looked within the gloom;

Rising above, more than self,
Prayed upon a skerry shelf,

While sturgeon, eel and salmon fled
Back to where the city bled.

Along A Weir-side Way

How slow the snake uncoiling
On weird cerebral lawns,
Grips those moles now grieving
And how the wagtail mourns;
Feet of gruesome coots are blue,
Uprooted and reborn.

His weir-side way gave us today –
Barbed our briar impressions;
His river’s course, unnatural,
Fallacies abounding wherever
Escapes briefly water or weather.
Too late the discourse and the dawn;
Too late misplaced starlings imitate
A feather’s fate forlorn.

A garden in his stomach then,
His bowels behold the bones:
Where self-conceited owls will plot
Their death, I walk the weir alone.

Alignment

Your smile illuminated a night.
The Moon is loosening Jupiter,
A cat is lowering bark;
Southwesternly, further too,
Venus, Saturn, mistaken stars
Are found aligned at last
As I walked with my dog
Through an unlit park.

Light rebounds from behind
God’s eyelid, a pinprick
In a twilight sky extracted
From the uncuttable diamond.
And if so dimly lit
After years of travel,
Like the last burning candle
On a galleon returning
With a South Atlantic vase,
If this could reach my sight
By quarter to ten
As I stand in awe
On the frightening grass,
Then I will see your smile
In a dampening daylight,
Restoring a long lost past.