Coroner’s Surprise

Open me
And you will see
Not blood –
Dry and with
Lividity –
But instead
Beneath each
Contusion –
Much to a coroner’s
Morbid surprise –
My body did confess
A lifetime’s supply
Of dried tea leaves
No less.

Veins with stains
In browns and greens,
Restorative and remedy
For a life’s mundanity.
Give me no blood, but tea,
Give me afternoon cakes
And sandwich fingers
With wafers and cream;
Give me no war, but traders,
Captains of an industry
Sailing safely through
South Chinese seas;
Give leaders their peace
And sovereignty,
Powder your rusty
Deflagrating buckthorn guns
With wild jasmine seeds,
Elderflower leaves,
For arthritis I have capsicum,
For good memories mustard too,
And when all’s true and done,
And when my ending’s well begun
Bury me with my spoon of yew.

Ode To A Jug Of Milk

These dreams pour
In to me with fluidity,
Like milk from a jug,
Like clotted cream, from
A place in time both
New and old to certain
Degrees, where I am not
As one would be, when
Awake in passive daily
Routines. This drink
Plays tricks on me,
A mind as arid as
Deserts devoid of oases
And mysteries sealed in
Camel humps and dunes
That burn beneath my feet.
Too eager to be deceived,
I gave away my fortune
For its cornucopia
In return received;
I opened the throat of
My soul to swallow
Molten gold, and in
Flowed milk from the
Dreams of a goat.

Crows assemble
On timelines scratched
Across the planets
In my palm. A caw,
And the awful liquid pours
Through my stomach,
Through duodenum walls;
These organs worked hard
Behind the scenes for
Decades. Assortment of
Bellows and pumps,
Light industries,
Where will the substance
Pour instead when at
Cellular levels
And levels of lux
I am composting the dead
Autumn borders of
A farmer’s garden;
He who sows, I haven’t met.

I survive the nightly
Poisoning, an attempted
Abduction with chlorophyll
And monkshood. I wake
To a dawn chorus.
Such structures men
Conceive in seahorse
Dreams, in prison cages
Far removed from the sound
Of thrushes warbling,
And the downpouring
Of cups of tea.

The Way Of The Tea

I mediated without you
But thought about you
As I prepared a yunomi
For a deep green tea.
The path to the sea was stony,
Seven rusty rungs beneath,
And I dreamt that if such moments
Could only become eternal,
The scent of moonlight
On your wrist, and
How you captured the ocean
And all that exists
In sand-dunes and seaweed,
A holding of hands,
Two teacups on a stand
Infused, we said our blood
Would pour green from our caddies
Like contusions on sea-sailing skins,
Like cuttings in photographs
Of a mown lawn’s aftermath,
Futile grass-clippings,
Your lips and this beautiful illusion
I willingly colluded with
As we sat sipping, delicate manners,
Overlooking paddy fields
And a distant wabi-sabi garden
In the Kingdom of Seven Teas.

Yet not everything in this life
Once broken, could be restored;
You can take a plate or a tea-pot,
An ornament, yes, or indeed a heart
Would be repaired if with diligence
Handled, and care,
But not ineffable moments
On a shoreline disappeared;
There’s no glue or sewing kit
Which would unstitch the loss
Nor all the hindrances since,
And so in silence I pour my tea,
As I meditate without you,
Although I thought about you
Without me.