Everybody Got What They Needed From Me (Except Me)

My counsellor said, exasperatedly,
That title is a generalisation
And that I am susceptible to exaggeration.
I said, this is how I feel.
The remaining appointments did not go so well.

On a village green a well ran dry,
And at the nearby cricket pitch
The yearlong deluge washed away
Protests more and more obscene
Chalked on a scoreboard by
Openers for a disgruntled team
Still wearing pads beneath their knees.
Villagers gathered under umbrellas
Scratching their waxy heads
With unusual visages weathered
And perplexed, looked up
To all redoubtable heavens,
Misunderstanding how so much rain
Could fall on something terribly and
Relatively minuscule as a
County bore with bucket,
As if a curse for colonising
The sands and surf of far
Nehantucket, by forgotten
And foolhardy ancestors
All those centuries, long ago.

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.

Pumpkin Brain



Rain displaces
Later autumn leaves.
Nature creates
And preconceives
In these people
An evident worry
And their hurry
With umbrellas,
Heads facing down
Eternally, merely,
Indiscernible, nearly,
Similarities converge
As they submerge
In delayed memories.

People consider rain
As twin for a misery,
Yet I only find comfort,
Only delight to see.

Film studio rain, exotic
Drops sized like swollen conkers –
Hope from her atmospheric
Constraints unfrozen
And released.

Rain berates
My war chest.
When he beats me,
I do not want
For the beating to stop.

I would have tried
Once to help, but my
Pumpkin brain
Had stringy roots
Scooped out
For a partisan mob,
Orange pulpy mulch
For soup or squash,
Jagged teeth,
Unholy nose,
Remnants
Saved to decompose
In a row, in rainfall,
Before a garden grows.

Kalaallit Nunaat

On a glacier peak in Greenland
Landfall felt unfortunate rain.
Unnatural, wrathful kiss,
I dreamt of this;
Firstly, as an ornament,
Then adulthood the same.

Pacific atoll,
Bliss of cooling fish,
These skimming stones
Evaporated into sky.
I know why the hourglass turns;
For a wrongful man we burned,
Wearing a suit and a tie.

See: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/20/rain-falls-peak-greenland-ice-cap-first-time-on-record-climate-crisis

When We Were Giants

Revitalised by rain
And changing directions of wind,
Supercharged by
Their grey and warming manes,
Reminded me that I am a giant
And I only took this smaller form
To be suppliant, as ever,
To the Goddess of Discretion.

The southern farmers are churning
Mounds of Friesian manure again;
Even my dandelion friends
Hold their delicate noses,
Those whose seeds
Gave birth to Time herself
Before disappearing injudiciously,
Slipping through their progeny’s fingers,
Disintegrating as swiftly
As a conscientious objector’s hopes.

I have a greater affinity
With the dappled fingertips
And gold-green keys
Of silver birch
And willow trees,
Those all too slender
Harbingers of water, of Life,
And my favourite, my old friend,
Those Lombardy Poplars
Which grew through my youth
Until they touched the lower sky,
Fastigiate-shaped as my soul
With burry words and
Blackened folds inside.

I sensed all this on my evening walk –
The scale of the task,
The age of the talk –
Before returning with my homeward self
And losing, until the next new winds,
The memories of way back when
We few men were giants.


Arriving At A Lighthouse In Mizzle-Rain

I drowned an eagle with her sky,
Crash-landed at my feet;
I heard her forest deeply sigh,
I heard the fir-trees creak.

I walked a slow way home,
Tortuous chicanes;
When she begged for sunshine
I summoned only rains.

We reached my lighthouse late,
Its giant lamp diffused,
We slept on sandy landslides,
Waves became these dunes.

My DNA is rain, my breath aloud,
Tip of my spongiform fingers, too;
My bones a brewing stormcloud,
Don’t linger, stones in blue.

There is no greater calling,
Sirens in your heart we found;
Rehearse and learn the ending
Before their signals start to sound.