Ode To My Son

Do not count our losses
Like loose blue beads that save;
Though bruisewort and wild mosses
Overwrought my daily grave,
In your deeds I only see
Hope devoid of hegemony,
And how a heart embosses.

Those fathers who fulfil their duty
Know the mark of every day;
Self-assured, and inner beauty,
You are both the prayer and way.
In your deeds I only see
That I made you and you made me,
Undismayed by aged mutiny.

If I revived myself to life undone,
Though they recant such powers,
I’d expunge the knife and shun,
Take rain from May-time showers.
In your future we will find
Solutions for my weaker mind;
Happy Father’s Day, my son.

No Way Back

Forever will it be the case
That those I love most deeply

Are not the ones most likely
Dissipating in vague apparitions

To be missed every long grey
Overcast day.

When Love and Loss entwine
Through ramshackle

Outback outposts
In my abandoned mind

One suffocates the other
Until there is only ivy,

No jasmine for fragrance,
No berries for wine;

A vast and dusty plain ahead,
My road home, my signposts

Disappeared without a trace,
And I am standing here,

A village sank in sand
But gravestones remain standing

Throughout a land made parched
And perilous, so very long ago.

Endless Moons

Your smile lights up your face,
Your face lights up a room,
Light this world around you.

For you are vibrant candle-life
And concomitant fuel;
Within that waxing we will find

There burns another two –
Red and orange flickers,
In Chinese Lantern hearts

My lungs like old balloons.
Tea-lights in these lotuses
Over lakes, beyond pontoons,

Causeways through a thousand
Tiny, endless moons,
A route, a moment in time,

A kiss made statuesque
Within my memory of you.
Your smile lights up your face,

Your face lights up a room,
And when the night has found its place
Your light’s inside me too.

Temple Bar

Your love is my temple
Where we enter
In reverential
Silence.
These tasselled
Tabernacles
Inside you
Are draped
With silks and refined
Ores from the shores
Of the Aral Sea,
Luminescent shells
And gold-leaf murals
Of peacocks and grapes.
This temple, (just like that arid bed
Once home to sea-cucumbers
And one exotic fungus which
Expunged all poverty,
Caused wars born from
Tribal animosities),
Flooded once, yet while all
Around the shops and houses
Resounded with torrential
Waters and furniture pounded,
(They were engulfed by the love
Of the Lord all around them,
Inundated beyond survival),
Yet you stood firm,
Outlasted all the others.
Your love is the beginning,
An entrance, the frame
In which my adoring form
Is made out of shadows.

We are a communion
Our love out of your love
Conducted by a lightning rod
Until earthed in a channel.

I must be mistaken
If the worth of sleep is awaking.
A telephone rings briskly
Somewhere in brittle distances.
I get dressed and feign existence
In the inbetween life
And all its anodyne mechanics;
I go to work solely so that
I can live and pray again
In those shadows.

Red Moon Blues

I am your red-moon camisole,
A cheongsam of satin,
Lunar satraps patterned there,
A chaffinch in the cabbage.

I am your wardrobe’s winter-wear,
I trapped to bay a blizzard,
Then husky-sleighs across the lake
Beneath an eagle’s eyelid.

I am the fire in the hearth
When you return from working,
And water-ice for your champagne,
Cheongsam drapes a surface.

You Are My Orchard

You are my orchard
And I am the apple;

You are my court
And I am the gavel;

You are my fishnet,
Trapping my salmon

Pink, anadromous,
Under your trident.

You are my bread
With spread raspberry leavened;

You are my harp’s head
And I am the chords,

You: Calliope, Erato,
Terpsichore, and I am

A new murmillo, absorbed;
We dance and we pause

While wild a world billows,
Resist the red pillows

And red-fonted clause
In a river once thawed.

You are X upon X
And I am your ink,

We wake from our trance
And bleach their gold sinks.