Topaz

Underneath two ribs
Of a lunar-like mountain
You exist.

Underneath incipient
Residual intent they buried
With ritual laments,

With your future there
Scattered, Time’s amulets
Mattered, these grimly

Iridescent moments
Stuck in weathered endgame
Frames of dunes and rocks,

Like emerald in oil,
Like a child when locked
Within the habitual dragon’s eye,

Though you cannot burst through
To our labours of today,
However much we may wish

And no matter how much
We think about this,
There, you exist.

I travel to that mountain,
Dull-brown slopes
Smooth and exposed

By denial, or worse,
Colluding through
The exclusion of truth,

The Athabaskan sun.
In my mind sometimes,
Touching barren surfaces,

The inner host’s recipient,
Tomb of an empty womb
Imprinted in my thumb.

Amethyst gates to a park
Stay resolute and fast,
By hematite chains, padlocks

And the timings of hearts,
Some are beating here still,
And some we can’t restart.

Kush

I rode through the snows
Of your Hindu Kush,
I walked through galaxies
Of entropic daytime-dust
Some hundred-soul kilometres
North from Rawalpindi
And the lemon-lush yards
Of green Abbottabad.

Returning to foul play,
All the way from Asia into
A Nottinghamshire ginnel,
Far, far away from palsied peaks
Of syncretic embezzled goddesses.
There is a certain ability
Of the English suburban
Populous, to keep a garden
Tidily, and a house
That I cannot share
Should I dare to return
To that sandy airstrip of grit.

In a dream within a dream
She passes for me
Daisies through our fence,
Although there is no recompense
For what I have seen
Between a sunny meridian
And that mountainous defence.

Flotsam Song

With cellular losses like flotsam
I could not see myself as old;
I had no thoughts to reach that far,
I would not be so bold, it felt
Like contemplations of reaching cold
And insurmountable peaks
Of Cordillera de Nahuelbuta
By driving a ’64 Ford Mustang car
Up those yellow buttercupped cols.

We had all this love to give,
Unused in their atoms’ aromatic fronds,
So this love was abused by the sea,
Our hearts of dark samphire drifted
Underneath the empty stars,
With childhood messages enclosed
On well-preserved papyrus.

When a product shipped in a box
Across the raging ocean
Disconnects, we search for lost instructions and scratch our heads,
Then hit re-start
And massage hope,
But there’s no restarting love’s long-lost hearts,
No manual, nor compass, nor rope.

Beachcombers found the seaweed,
Its on their kitchen window sill;
And jellyfish beaching swiftly bloat,
Being mostly made of water
They evaporate like coastal ghosts,
Leaving only purple rings in the sand
And a feeling that something was lost
And towards a far-off land afloat,
Where everyone is old,
And now and again I remember there
All that it meant to be young and alone.