A Birthday

I forgot about you today.
That is not true.
That is another oxymoron.
But I did not know what to say
And all my candles are blue.

I forget about you most days.
That is not true.
I reused a tealight this morning.
And yet, it does make for an easier way
To dismiss all that you did

And did not do.
There is sometimes no greater gift
Than memory. Deny it,
Not even to refine it,
And grown men panic

And split themselves in two.
There was a future form of you;
We did not meet, touch, or approve.
And yet, sometimes it is so much more
Helpful to forget a resemblance,

Where dreams become punishment,
And hope is meted in knots,
And comfort in blots of confusion,
And when there is more hindrance
By remembrance consumed.

Gully


Fresh autumnal rain.
More memories, less gain;
When will I feel real again?

Bricks in my lungs,
Ballast in my brain;
Cargoes containing offal

At the county dock detained
Host more value per grain
Than weights of my breath

Weights of my stains.
In a vision or a dream
Or pulleys in between

Leaf-angels concealed
In that forest unsealed,
A garland of garlic

And damp pine cones
Adorning a gully
Appears more comforting still.

In the distance,
Ambulance sirens,
Playground ebullience;

Good luck to the teary drunk
Trying to abstain.
This is the Year of the Ox

I explained, your wealth;
Deaf ears and ailing health;
I did not let that tiger inside you.

A cessation in rain;
In time, I came to realise
Nothing here will ever be real.

Heliopolis

We are not a voter,
We are consumers and buyers.

These are not politicians,
These are bloated
Showboating liars,
Even then ineffectual,
Snakes eating
Regenerating tails.

There is no singular truth
From mouths of proven beasts
Gnawing on their sleazy deceit
And trimming with pliers
Their golden-tipped nails,
Helium balloons for heads
And guru gullibilities
For their beds,
Faux democracy
Feeding compliance.

I will not be beholden
To misappropriated rules
By the imbeciles set,
Held up like an orb
At the end of a staff
In which all greeds
Do swirl and laugh.

Rise up suffrage
From the dead,
Thrown under
Busses in blue
And also the red,
I do not need a uterus
To be this much misled.

I would rather chew
My own ear off
Than align myself
To the greater and
The lesser of these two evils.
I have fooled myself
As much as their
Legerdemain
Fooled me, but now aware,
And no longer scared,
In writing we will find
Our liberty, I have said,
So rise up,
Rise up suffrage,
And bring out your dead.

Swan In A Restaurant

Lately this bald lake
Is a beer can graveyard,
More litter than fish which
Occasionally float
On the surface, lifeless
And bloated and stripped
Of their sequin-coloured
Sequences.
Still, a scent of bergamot,
A lost incongruous
Birdwatcher with
Binoculars on a cord
Around his neck
Says a cheerful hello
And we are on our way.

A single bold swan
Wandered into a restaurant
Beside the lake
Yesterday as we ate,
Yellow tag on her ankle,
Perusing for food,
Brazen and tame.
She could take my dreams
And sculpt with her beak
A series of images
With memories interlaced.

Little then required to inspire me,
Just you and me and a song;
For many years afterwards,
Years after you had gone,
I wondered whether that swan
Had ever visited at all.



The Fatalist

Traffic in a far distance,
Autumnal walks in mulch.
I close my eyes and make believe

Those engines are the sound of great waves
Turning on your distant shore,
Where Jura-soul enfolded shoals

Find a foreign form.
Just as I closed my eyes, too,
When for a first time I was struck,

Two contusions, and blinding sores,
Then, I imagined I was deported into a land
Of hair-brained herbivorous dinosaurs

And manticores with massive horns
And grainy giant mammoth jaws.
In front of my mustard eyes

It is always November and raining,
And too often of late
I am straining

To recall
Why I ever
Rewound the parts of it all.

Too often of late
I have found myself
Accepting my fate,

As I close my eyes,
To wait,
And wait.

Never A Grandfather

I do not know your age,
Or rather, what your age would be
And all that now to me would mean,
If you were here, alive somehow.
Seventy-four, or seventy-three;
Some people once remarked
That you looked a lot like me.

You neglected every milestone
Beyond your event horizon’s beak
At world’s edge;
Never seen a sunset,
Just an endless bleak and
Ghastly eyeless glass waterfall,
Like a flea-infested mere black hole,
Full of gassy gravity
And its own invested energy.

I disowned you years ago,
Of course, and consequence;
(I thought you should know);
The silences, interruptions
In faith and the quiet
Self-confidence
Derived from permanence,
The planets in their place
Are no more than dusty molecules.
Actions resonate, in blood,
In deoxyribonucleic bonds.
So much is invisible
To the naked eye,
Wouldn’t you say.

Your grandchildren,
Beautiful in their individual
Ignorances and unwrongs
Of your divestment
And your imposition undoing
Of scriptures, and your dance
With Fate, and behemoths
Devoid of any talent, yet
Too great for you
To contemplate too long;
They sing a new psalm
Cut from a brand new song;
Every birthday, yes,
Every marriage,
Every great-grandchild
In Life’s Great Carriage
You deprived yourself of,
Every candle blown out,
Every significant moment
Like neonatal visits
And yellow blankets knitted,
Like a despot overthrown
By populist senses of goodness;
And graduation mortar boards,
And then the inbetween minutes
And hours of simplistic wonder,
Blissfully ponder,
A trip to the beach,
A vanilla ice cream,
Pretence of a wizard,
A long Christmas list
And bedecked Christmas Tree.
Dreams of a gizzard
Are all that are left,
Dreams out of reach
For the deeply bereft.
Never a grandfather,
Never would die
In a world you created
Where mistruth resides
You outlive, outsurvive;
Never a grandfather,
Only a Dad,
Only Death’s Bride,
Only a Dad.