I have no misgivings
That Life is for the Living;
Go forth with your luminous
Lustrous and flourishing
Heart! You are the beginning
For so much cherished and loved.
There is nothing so urgent
As the higher sirens unencumbered
Proclaiming emergencies above.
You are the dock leaf
To my meadow-nettle sting,
Salve urticarial rashes;
You are cotton-light soul
To fill such holes
Within my spirit-dwelling;
You are in my tested toll
And heavy eyes at nine o’clock,
Drifting asleep in the old armchair
Where once you sat and sang to me
Until the next alarm. Know this:
Just because I am gone
Does not mean you are lesser loved –
Do not believe all you are told,
Do not descend a buried half;
Do not be deceived
By pre-constructed episcopies,
Do not settle for their losses;
If something is free
Then you may be the product
Of consumerist albatrosses;
And when the expurgating racists
Run our ruinous parliament
It’s time to move abroad.
Life’s a little better unscripted,
A little less choreographed
For the garlands in your heart;
Regardless, I cannot yet
Apologise for the pieces in our
Backwards path those others broke
So long ago, a squandering,
Anonymous in their parts
And we are stranded, poles apart.
Another ending is a start;
For eternity you will be
The finest creation I could conceive,
Yet Death again is stalking me,
And though I called numbers
Their manual did not include
My quicksand thoughts, and I
Become his maddening habit,
He takes comfort in my residency,
The rest is just formalities.
I cannot forestall the inevitable,
I cannot distract tomorrow
From chasing the tail of
Its sadness in gardens of
Summer sun-drowned lambs;
All I can do is remind you of truths
Ever preserved in this poem,
For how proud of you, my son, I am.
Everything I held
Sacred, in auburn summers,
There are noises here abounding
Though they exist barely noticed,
A closing of a drawer, a toilet
Humming from electric fans
Sends taut air spinning through
Summer, your tartan skirt
And tattooed hand snapping
My wishbones, like keys
To my uncontrolled blushes.
Tap water running,
A murmuration of sunbathers,
Suncream bottle lids opening,
Clasps on shoulders undone.
Garden parties swallowed.
Undeciphered patterns and vacations,
Wheatfields over the fence
With seventeen crop circles.
All these vibrations from life evolving,
All these times I’ve been revolving.
Yet there is no sound disguising
These memories are no longer
Moments, but instead a silence.
This oppressive heat.
All I long for is winter.
Snow, ice, frost, and sleet.
A spider bore weights
Of raindrops, flung from far heights.
So why love, can’t I?
A vacuum droned in the distance,
Unending summer pain,
You were bathing in sunlight,
I was the last to complain.
I wondered how we arrived here,
Eyes white as Siberian beaches;
Your painted toes playfully circled
My devotion, rhapsodies in peach.
You caught the sun in your shoulders,
A helping hand beneath straps;
I left my work in its folder,
Lawn mowers loud as thunder claps.
The water butt was empty,
Evaporated hearts there cried;
I sometimes feel your touch still,
Though many years have died.
Sunset walk, the coastal path,
Souls in time untethered,
See ascendant evening stars
And cup my face forever.
Driving homeward in the dark,
Glass by fire remembers;
Moments always leave their mark,
Waking alone by the embers.