The Curlew

Midge cloud
On a lakeside path,
No reflection,
Salts in the bath.

Stepping stones sunk
Without a plan,
Pipes discarded,
A muted man apart.

Except, momentarily,
A persistent
Irrefutable curlew,
Soaring in my heart.

Unencumbered

I have no misgivings
That Life is for the Living;
Go forth with your luminous

Lustrous and flourishing
Heart! You are the beginning
For so much cherished and loved.

There is nothing so urgent
As the higher sirens unencumbered
Proclaiming emergencies above.

You are the dock leaf
To my meadow-nettle sting,
Salve urticarial rashes;

You are cotton-light soul
To fill such holes
Within my spirit-dwelling;

You are in my tested toll
And heavy eyes at nine o’clock,
Drifting asleep in the old armchair

Where once you sat and sang to me
Until the next alarm. Know this:
Just because I am gone

Does not mean you are lesser loved –
Do not believe all you are told,
Do not descend a buried half;

Do not be deceived
By pre-constructed episcopies,
Do not settle for their losses;

If something is free
Then you may be the product

Of consumerist albatrosses;

And when the expurgating racists
Run our ruinous parliament
It’s time to move abroad.

Life’s a little better unscripted,
A little less choreographed
For the garlands in your heart;

Regardless, I cannot yet
Apologise for the pieces in our
Backwards path those others broke

So long ago, a squandering,
Anonymous in their parts
And we are stranded, poles apart.

Another ending is a start;
For eternity you will be
The finest creation I could conceive,

Yet Death again is stalking me,
And though I called numbers
Their manual did not include

My quicksand thoughts, and I
Become his maddening habit,
He takes comfort in my residency,

The rest is just formalities.
I cannot forestall the inevitable,
I cannot distract tomorrow

From chasing the tail of
Its sadness in gardens of
Summer sun-drowned lambs;

All I can do is remind you of truths
Ever preserved in this poem,
For how proud of you, my son, I am.

Soul Coast

My feet are a foreign land
As I stand where surf relapses,
Whitecaps are my family
And encapsulate with great
Succinctness
And sadness

My lifetime of experiences,
An escapologist, an emphasis,
My bare toes in saline curls,
Where is my soul’s house
In this here and now?
I too loved the feet of her odes,

As measured as moonlight
With feminine verbs,
I caught a punctured headlamp
From a lane that would curve
And chicane until it meets
A coastal kerb, above

The haunting cove,
And I am compelled,
Once again, to restart,
To daylight’s return.
On periwinkle sands,
A mustard-coloured heart.

Dead Sea Blues

This dead sea,
Or sometimes dieing sea,
My trilobite soul
Buffeted by bilbously
Deceased bodies
Endlessly,
Keeled overboard
Under a peerlessly high
Wilderness sky in
Terrorising blues
And refracted perilous green.

Halcyon blanched to moccasin,
Pyrite turned to stone;
Starlight down to calcium,
Seahorse in my bones.
A sun beneath the ocean,
Tarpaulin drapes my heart;
The sea’s relentless motion
Returned to where we start.

The Measure

October rains;
I found a tape-measure
Underneath my pillow.
You placed it underneath
My dreams’ verses
Which revert to dramaturgic
Heathlands and dried,
Harvested high-hung wheat
In faded, yellow sheaves,
Kernels cradling hope
Like a jaundiced newborn
Baby in the arms
Of a nurse’s labours
Which are as wide as heaven,
As firm as a popular truth,
And that is the measure
Of how far our love
Endured and endeavoured
To find one another,
Over the thirteen seas
And under a gabled roof,
A pillow filled with straws
Which fall from the hearts
Of winnowing stars.

L’eternità è intatta

Rain doesn’t stream
Asunder the sea,
Nor be in hurries
Today for my needs.

I’ve seen through storm-troubles
For years less remembered;
By its own great weight
A sea- bed is tempered.

Ashamed of existing,
More waters have laws
Than my calcified heart.
Il mio calore è per l’inverno, sempre;
L’eternità è intatta come l’arte.

The bones of an ocean’s regrets;
Troubles redoubled
Do not go away,
When years are persisting
And the sea is still grey.

The Meaning Of Fish

The meaning of fish
In my angling firth,
My minnow-mind slipped
And did not deserve.

Alluvial sediment,
Disinterment deferred,
Shifting sands seen
On a dark shiftless earth.

Croaker-bait,
Poison hook;
Reeled from a river,
My gauche gawping look.

The meaning of fish
Too late I would learn,
For if not for fish, or
Water-weeds or worms,

I would not exist
From a loch to the burn,
And my scaly-grey heart
Would no longer yearn.