Foxhole

Straggly sprouting rust-coloured roots
Define my vulpine life;
At dusk, I stare up from my earthy-bedded
Denizen, up this red tubular shoot
I dug out with my snout
To observe a dutiful Moon,
Rusty too, old ruby shoes,
With my paw I claw for an awful truth.
Distant Moon, you are unrepentant,
Occluded too,
And unlike most other liars
Have nothing to say that’s new.

Dark chute, daylight blues,
I rest my head on my outstretched legs
And watch the ostracised humans
Moving to work.
I once had whiskers of fire
And I would dream about you,
Fearless dreams, dead dreams
Starving mutual fuels of desire and truth.
Along with those roots there are
Long-buried plastics and also bones
From crones and a Viking tooth.
At times, it is stifling down here and
I have nothing left to chew.
Our litter, by some absurd urge
Of the Great Dictator Nature
All outgrew their rooms. Of course,
You were the apple of my eye
And I thought, I believed
Habitually, against my better sense,
Ritualistically, squeezed beneath a fence
That I could not live without you.
This was a lie, for whom Nature
And I inevitably colluded.

New bins, broken lids,
My nose is still the same as yours
(Although olfactorily mine is more highly
Evolved), and I am not immune
To crossing busy turnpikes
In the early evening light
In the hope, as thin as the unblinking
Eyelashes of Moon, dodging lorries,
That a car might careen
Through a new reality or two.

Fumina Bianca

How sweet the sombre Moon,
Her constant timbres
In tremulous rhythms,
Crepuscular hues.
I have my own yellow
Contusion or two.

How easy for you,
Overdue now the Moon,
Pregnant, permanence,
Your statues in temples
Are resplendent and nude,
Only a subtle
Lightless
Subdued.

Pendular Moon,
Appearing too soon,
Indulging indolent soldiers
And causing seven hundred
Saboteurs in your shade to
Swoon. They planted a flag
On your granular calcified
Caldera where entombed
Pulmonary metastases
Are cultivars which once
Were those sluggish
Bedfellows’ scimitars;
They rest on
Their thuggish elbows
Your silence,
Your rays on their chest.

I reached for my own sword
And found bread
Shaped like crescents
Instead.
The sharp tip of the route
To the Moon
I witnessed,
Its lactating tip bore
A causeway from my bed
Into new nocturnal views again.

A witness to misfortune
And efforts in mute,
Disasters reduced to mere
Moments, and the life cycles
Of the great and ancient
Volcanoes rendered into
Wispy smoke,
As the dragon incarcerated
With potent stones
Woken by a cough,
Or announcements
From His concave staff,
Heralding a Pope.

Grey Moon

Grey skies, grey moon,
Lanterns abandoned on the old pontoon;
Coldest rain, not quite snow,
Furloughed ghosts on shoreline roads.

Grey skies, blue moon,
Soonest mended isn’t soon;
I found you in a curlew’s tomb,
Curfew banners and a clue.

Moses basket, river child,
In the mists we walked a mile;
Surface bobbing sombre boon,
Grey skies, a greyhound moon.

Aphelion

Snow falling on the sea,
I noticed how snowflakes floated awhile
And then we disappeared.

Somewhere out there is Sun,
But sunlight is not for everyone
Down here.

The lathered cabesters returning
And a chacking huer’s thirsty
As he conducts the fairmaids home.

How beautiful the ocean
If only from a skiff,
How beautiful the drop

If only from a cliff,
How beautiful the missing
If only we may live.

Somewhere out there is Moon;
Aphelion wilderness
With a little less gloom.

N.B Lathered, Cabester, Chacking and Huer are words from Cornish dialect. Fairmades or Fairmaids is an old Cornish word for pilchards.

Hallmarks

Where do they go?
Soaked in grief,

I walked to the valleys
On a road with two.

Hallmarks, a white van,
A lost dog still howling

While as dead as the moon;
There is no end, no, not soon.

For years, insomnia grew
As empathy clotted

In violets and blues.
An empty bed, a job or two.

Some returned later,
Much more as survivors,

Adults and artists,
But all were haunted

By what men might
And some indeed do.

Yellow Moon

The nightjar knows my window,
Brought to my attention
On a sandless sirocco.
A diaphanous cotton curtain,
Duck egg coloured, coveted
Under an oval rococo sky.

Yellow moon, rarified, rarer
Than blue, gravity carries
Waves of vibrant life on
This town’s fringe, car horns,
A far dog’s bark, moored yachts
With light bulb strings and

Distant bells. I lay dreaming
On my chaise longue beneath
Windows with symbols like
Love unattired, perspiring
Slightly on my lip, I sipped
Some milk in my sleep

And counted the many statues
With their harps and arrows
Until it slipped, transpiring
That you could not arrive in your
Current form, and nor could I
Leave, though love, how I tried,

How I tried and deceived
The seven symptoms of my distress,
Kept apart from the night-princess
With life’s strings I strived to
Contest, I awoke in a sweat,
Only to find I survived instead.