Gravitate

You gravitate towards
A sadder song,
Ended the being
Where you would not belong,
Hurts to return
And hurts to move on;
Autopilot, Rubicon.

Sometimes, insurmountable
Are these feelings
To survive
An eggshell minute;
To contemplate
Is too much pain,
This world without you
Fingerprinting
Permissible limits.

Sadder, yes,
For if only you lived
To know the joy
In light you sought
And thought beyond
All your perceptiveness,
All your intelligence,
Instead, permeated and bled,
Permeates to this day
With all such grace
And truly intangible poise
Of miracles, abundantly
Transfusing through
Everything we did and yet can do,
In this safely stored-up knowledge
Would you still have demurred,
The abdicator absconded.

In Memoriam

Corridor necessities
Amid vomitoria policies,
A mind in memoriam;
For benches searched
Or even Delphic creeds
Though every turn
Fired memories
Across my synapses,
And how they burned;
I may never achieve
That Field of Reeds
Across the frightening river,
When reason is deserting
And yesteryear still hurting,
Irony is shaped by
Hephaestos beserkly
Hammering my soul
Once golden and yet
Now smouldering,
Malleable, and dirty;
With each strike he sang
A weapon for a war we lost
Before conscription started.

Someone stole the show
While, in cells below I waited;
So I write, not to remember
But instead, to purge, forget,
And now is nothing,
Is all I have left.

Peripheries

There’s a sink that needs cleaning,
A festive wreath to pack away;
Death essentially demeaning,
I can’t see beyond what you did today.

Meanwhile,
The pure agony of existence
Is on the peripheries
Of oceanic ferries
Towards bliss, or heaven.

I can remember every moment,
Pernicious and horrible;
Impervious to me, terrible,
Memories in their tsunamis
And their oceans becalmed,
Crammed into the ecstasy
Of my every waking thought.

Tuesday Morning Observations At The Supermarket

“Give him milk to make him sick”
A gravelly-throated grandmother spoke,

I chose this wrong time
To hear choking from the other end

Of her connection, waiting to pay
For pharmaceuticals and confectionery.

Disabused queue, end of the line,
Kissing in public is frowned upon;

Improbable healthcare professionals
Talking behind me, irresponsibly,

Garrulous, gaseous
Logorrheic overspills

About a young female client
Pleading with herself to kill

If she could just have seven pills.
I heard their saturnine eyes rolling.

We all have our conditions;
Some degrade us,

Some deceive and some distill,
I stood blankly at the automated till

Because all the alerts had run out.
In a patriarchal society

Fecund machines are bestowed
With women’s names

Or pronouns used pejoratively;
Olivia, Marion, Emily.

It reminded me of a former colleague,
Cigarette-blonde hair and eyes

Like falling rain, deceased,
Cancer grabbed her and drowned her

So quickly her doctor
Did not have time for prognoses,

Akin to a storm unforecasted
Or a cast of crabs

Swarming on a tourist beach,
Dragging her into the sea.

Less and less people are wearing
Poppies of the season because

More and more are forgetting –
I met a man who went to war

And nobody wore a flower at all.
Departing the store, someone

Walking four and a half seconds
In my wake is singing words

He heard on the supermarket radio
And I want to find a way

To travel between two worlds,
Suture the irreversible wound,

Turn on a kettle,
Welcome myself home.

On the way, however,
I drove by a broken-down car,

Middle lane, hazard lights,
Annoyance of drivers,

And I observed to my horror
A shell of that disillusioned client

Moments after she did what she had to.
I later learned her name

Was and still is somewhere
Miriam.


Blues And Twos

Resting her guitar she said
I lost my boy that Sunday noon,
He fell far from a fenny ledge,
I hope I see him soon.

The sergeant in his car she said,
No need for blues and twos;
He placed his helmet to his chest,
All prayers I did not choose.

They found him in a peaty lake,
Body naked, face confused;
For other’s sins we do foresake,
A father’s hands abused.

Higher, yes higher,
They emptied out his stomach,
‘Duly Lord made me aspire,
Though I have not recovered’.

O that old marshland song
From where she lit a mallow,
Far too long, and woebegone,
A soul within the shallow.

Pick up my guitar she said,
Let’s drive to that lagoon;
Those missing must have been misled,
I hope I see him soon.

Those missing must have been misled,
I hope I see him soon.

Still To Live

You touched my lips
With your fingertips,

Exquisite verisimilitude
In every moment’s potential,

Fragile as tomorrow’s moth,
Enduring as a marrow-tusk,

And softly you spoke,
Almost inaudibly,

Infinitesimally,
‘Please try and forgive

For when we do not act’.
I did not understand

As gently holding my hand
You touched the very tip

Of expectation
Spiking my existence,

Drifting into a mist
Of memory and reason.

‘I love you so,
This much you know,

But not enough
Still, to live’.

And with those words
I came to know

Crude openings of loneliness,
Closing of a season.