The Blinded Deer

Secrets stored within you,
Only you could know,
Frozen in five fevers,
Melted in a snow.

You stood within a blizzard,
Tied against their drums,
All those ghosts surrounding
For whom no few succumb.

A blinded deer in forests deep,
You memorized her ways,
Awoke within an hour,
Head circled in a daze.

They found you on that ferny bed,
Emptied by your hand,
Lost to all who you adored,
A future fire fanned.

Forest Lodge

The past is a lonely huntsman
Walking on shards of ice,
Those sharper endings present,
How winter ways entice.

I found a dampening cabin
Beyond that gated path;
I couldn’t explain what happened;
I could not find a start.

But whatever you might imagine,
The truth would bruise your heart,
The curtains dank in ambers,
Shelves all empty and dark.

A sign above the doorway,
Inscriptions fading in moss,
I read my name spelt backwards
And woke into my loss.

Exile

Bereavements are eternal,
Curdled in blood;
Uncured, diurnal,
Bereft by time’s flood.
Each one is complex,

As sure and unique
As rings we keep hidden
In petrified trees,
Felled through our forests
Of fossilised dreams.

And when bereft,
The grief is unending;
Truth’s sinking incisors
Deride all impressions,
Like scars from a moth

Made marks from her teeth;
The moth is a moment
Where your love in exile
My fate made complete.
Although these events

Have long since deceased,
Like an arrowhead
Truly, poison-dipped,
Buried in muscle
Or abscessed knee

Conditions our gait,
Makes hobbled hopes weak.
Mine is the kind
You’ll seldom see,
The grief for my child

Alive without me.
Therefore we are haunted
And also the ghosts,
For life left us daunted
And tied to our posts.

Harbour Bay

This is my weather-cape,
Haar, drizzle, mizzle-rain,
This is the reason
I crave the seasons
From Autumn through
To March again.

But though these isobars enliven
And my nerve ends are untightened,
As ferns befriend
Merest shaft and bend
Through forest canopies of light,

The ninety-four dialects
For coastal rains are choral sadnesses
In parachute refrains;
The front of the weathers I love
Is the end which keeps you at bay.

Cloud Poem

I caught a glimpse of the lady
I would love eternally,
Retained in the shape of a bather
In a photo reflecting the sea.

The sacred four-horned oxen
Walked on stones in my heart,
I prayed I may evaporate,
And fall into her arms.

As my quiet prayer was calling,
Deathly forests distracted me;
From clouds I started my descent,
Ended in your memory.

In one such forest’s fated clearing
A brook of crystal waters dried,
A spring to feed the falling prayers,
A place of rest for a bride.

The clouds merged in to mountains,
Mountains gave birth to the sea,
If only longer I’d waited,
And brought an end to all misery.

Hair’s Breadth

The evil that people did,
And evil that people still do
Is reason enough why I’ll be returning
In a soul-equipped igloo.

On the backs of whales I’ll hunt
For injustices in the thaw,
My harpoon deeply impaling
The abandonment of law.

I’ll sail across death’s forests,
Hear humpback’s distressed call,
By their skyward fire at night alone,
Warming my hands as I fall.

The moment is my throne allayed
Beyond that icy floe,
Eternity, hair’s breadth away,
Watch me as I go.

Across The Glens

Across the glens
And through the trees

In Monarch antlers
Pollen breeze

We’d meet with love
And remedies.

A stagnant pond,
A ferrous stream,

By dreaming frogs who
Spoke in croaks of

Folklore and their journeys,
They woke a whisper of moths

Under mossy lichen-logs
Where we sat, held hands

And fell asleep in folds
Of wisdom and each other’s

Loss as if in blankets or ferns.
No one else could understand,

There’s no one quite like
You and me, for compassion’s

Company, not a single queen
Or king or woman or man,

Across the glens
And burning land.

The Drowning Bride

The Queen of the Skies retired,
Long live our runway king;
Her assignation had three names,
It’s best not to question pretence.

Eulogies for a fuselage,
Front pages in the press,
But forestries are macadam
And all the workers left.

Newsreaders are enthusing,
A partisan casting and bribe,
Like praising skills of a killer,
Some words as sharp as knives.

They’ll read from flooded desks,
Drenched laptops and manilla files,
By sinking sails and tillers,
About my drowning bride.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is filled
With roads downhill
And greyness still,
Timber yards
And paper mills,
Mist, and rain;
Houses built
With wooden slats;
A girl in the pines
They left for dead.
Furnaces, steel,
Forests feel
Endless. Settings
For a thousand films
And TV series will
Give glimpses but
Never the essence.
Rain on my mouth.
Interstate routes,
Rivers, bridges,
Flow until just south
From the ridges where
We met and loved.
A glove, a rustbelt,
A Methodist church,
I dropped my prayers
In roadside dirt.