Umbilicus

Constant reminders
In my body’s retirement
Of your indelible
Indiscretions
Dissolved into me,
My skin the sea
Filled with your molluscs
And a coprolitic fossil
Of your movements,
Your impossible
Puzzles and befuddled
Cryptic sentences
Like lugworm trails
Where the blight receded,
You see his sand-cast there
But not his burrowed body,
For flesh and form
Took leave long ago,
And all that remains
Are contusions.

Emerged from your gulf,
Urgent as a siren
Until the giant waves
Rewound, every mole
A continuum from times
Of settlements in iris,
Unfunny jokes,
Inverted laughter,
I made no demands for
The complexities of your
Shell-emptied nautilus,
Salvaged from a sea-bed,
Thrust up through a hole
With samphire-weed and poison.

Seagulls squawk and spiral
On a Fibonacci horizon,
I do not own a hair on my heart,
I do not own a thorn-seed;
I was born on Steppes of Despair,
And that is where I am mourning.

Seven Abysses

Should you go to descend
Those infamous seven abysses,
Beware of the bones you’ll find.
I am not one for spelunking
In karst dolomites of my mind.

Endless mineshaft’s metal cage,
Canaries for the gasses;
From Flemish sellers
Brought those birds, sold by
Old oblast-men with molasses.

Rattling seven strata through,
No safety gear, no time for fear,
Down to a sunken pool;
Its secret waves will gently spool:
Thoughts are born in here.

Arriving in your evening light,
Sunsets seen renewed!
There’s no such thing as death
I said, collapsed on our bed
In a miner’s welfare cottage.

Damoclean

Lifelong I have walked in sole-bare shoes,
With the trapdoor of my thoughts
I am going through,
Like an inverse Damoclean sword,
Like a parapet above a bamboo pit,
Each stake sharpened
By your silence as wide
As a black hole’s gingival abscess
Or a behemoth’s grin.

I walk with a shadow
Owned by self-sabotaging indiscipline,
Infrequent in me, your company,
I trod the floorboards while you
Flossed your wolfbane teeth
With cider-froth and
Complacency.

Only lately,
That lateral door’s secured
By love,
A love that endures
Longer and more fast set
Than a Trappist’s bloodstone whetting,
More than the Gordian knot
Where once we tied to dogwood
In this self-same moment
An ageing satrap’s ox;
And I, my love,
I will no longer drop.

Skylark Song

I find a form of comfort
In the ley-like lines,
Dowsing in our jumpers,
Rains from time to time.
A nimble skylark hopping
Between sharp rose hip drops,
Blessed as ivy on the tor
And snow on mountaintops.
Deft she pirouettes through thorns
Which prick a human finger;
I recalled a union there
Wherein my heart she lingers.
If you see a skylark rare
Within a trellised vine,
Consider how the heartbeat there
Is more and more divine.