Eirôn’s Reprise

My home is a place of pain and of pride,
May my history shock and maybe surprise;
In memories made I cannot reside,
Over life’s table we drown and reprise.

We lost, and in forfeit we laughed and we cried;
We won, and in gaining we argued and vied;
Endless injustice, only Eirôn survived –
Letting go of our wealth, we suddenly died.

Pyrena

All the processed meals
And all the steady cravings;
All those times I’d mostly feel
My esurient sense of failing;
All these glands within me
Like silkworms masquerading,
Blind their burrow-mouths must be,
These ever-unworldly sensations;
Saliva in my pancreas
And bilious in my breathing;
Memories bladder-manacled
To strangely knotted bleachers
From where I sat once witnessing
Impassively, all my days receding;
With those who would abuse me
Only then, to obliterate
And smash these blistered benches –
Refuting my existence,
My purpose; those perpetrators,
Those missing old soul-eaters.

Incomprehensibly then,
Such totalities
And inexplicable mythologies,
I step out from shadows
Framing my toxic profligacy
With rhododendron, rose
And briar-choking ivy
Bordering my inadequacies
Made tangible from the tacit,
Born out from yellowed ivory.

How odd, I reflected
In afternoon relapses,
That our connections,
These mysteries,
Regardless neither of
Cooling distances
Nor cold absences which only show
Just how much we know
Each other’s oldest ossified routines
As we trespass through boundaries
Only then, again and kneaded again,
Transposed into our folded selves,
Our living sea.

Puerto Pollensa

Anchored, then,
Tonight, the harbour is quiet.

Whenever I tripped over,
I landed on a bed of
Stray abandoned thought-cats.
I survived their falling fire
But this explains why
I have so many scratches
On my forearms and back.

I recently remembered
How we descended into
That far northern resort
Looking like tourists lost
In a monsoon,
Collapsible buggies
With razor-sharp teeth,
Drenched luggage deposited
Wordlessly on a side street
By our bored busman
With the darkest five o’clock shadow
I had ever seen –
No change left for gratuities.
Aromas on a warm squally breeze
Of palm trees, exotic and pliant,
Of ice creams with spirited titles:
Granizada, y Helado Suave o Cremoso,
The absurdity of
Watermelon socks
And mouths shaped like shuttlecocks.
Our sodden map was upside down.

If I want to, I can remember
Every item on the restaurant menu,
Every position of every dining chair,
Every taxi driver’s third child’s name,
All those feelings twenty years ago
Of misguided optimism and hope
Now that memory ploughs and harrows,
Swelling and then low like whitecaps
A stone’s throw from our hotel window.
Time’s arrow is stuck in between my ribs;
The trouble is, I do not want to go back.

Even a fast-food chain looks sophisticated
Anywhere else but home;
Home, this starless island is where
Powerfully corruptive usurpers
Paint turpentine stripes
Across our tarred faces.

Everything good we knew
Vanished without a trace
Into thick, corpulent air.

Beckoning

A deluge in May,
Kerbside surface spray,
Torrents overwhelm
Dank country lanes.

Driving in low gears,
Waterfall chicanes,
Wrong latter ways,
Reminds me of childhood

And leaping over streams
Beneath a tarn-light bay,
Beside a dead man’s seam
In long-lost dreams

And longer lesser days.
Over there, a castle, see,
Its ghosts roam free
Through basements, attics

And these oak-pannellings
Overlooking a sodden
Village green;
Stumps received,

And sandwiches filled with
Cucumber and cheese;
The church hall leak,
Well, we can fix,

While men in linen-whites
Played winning willow innings,
Then ominous rains returned,
And a beckoning for tea.

I Caught A Certain Joyousness

I caught a certain joyousness
In a potter’s wheel,
The pedal turns the morning rain
Upon my windowsill.

I found a flawless form of light
In a Blacksmith’s Arms,
She called me from a willow trunk
And brought me out of harm.

I followed through a rabbit hole
The image of myself,
Rolling down a childhood hill,
For childhood was my wealth.

And though my wealth was stolen,
And placed upon a bark,
I sailed across an ocean bare
And dreaming in the dark.

Nothing good may come this way
To remedy what’s past;
That isolated bairn has gone,
The future now is cast.