Spirit Lake

Her lifeless body he hauled on the lake,
The shape is frozen, snowflakes shrouding,
The silence of the ice resounding,
Where Saffron Cod and Trout will shake

Legends of graves from their fins.
At this time of year, progress is slow
For the hunters of cougars in blinding snow
And braces of ptarmigan skins.

The cairn-stones said that Time
Lacks consequence for the dead,
But then there’s much the cairns have said
Which would not reach a hunter’s rhyme.

For with diligence of seasons,
And bare bones of detective seargents’
Marriages, the mountains mirror argents
Where sheer whites bite with lesions

He was thwarted by the thawing sheet.
Secrets return to shores I have seen,
Despite exertions, and ballast being keen,
The past and future splinter and meet.

Unageing, fixed by photographs,
Friends and family remember remarks;
You resurface when a dream disembarks
And deceives, seemingly sending telegraphs,

Sometimes it is hard to tell
Whether you speak of where you are now,
Or if the mind with withered bough
Deceives between its health and hell.

Afterlife, he makes that journey every day,
Lugging the load of himself on his pelt
To where the ice-sheet starts to melt,
And we are on our way.

Winter Moon

They might have tamed light
But the night remains as cold
As the Winter Moon beneath you;

They have remedied movement,
The creatures for morning meat
Are renewed, stock-still with fear;

They have perhaps subdued
Thermodynamic heat,
Pots on the hobs hubble;

A minority can even make
The horrors disappear,
Wielding their mistruths

And fears – the English language
Always takes the easy route;
Co-dependent linguistics

Swallows the tongue of the lesser;
They have built institutions
For churning old milk

And turning tempura
Battered out of coastal whelks,
Seasonally teaching our children

How to steal from the foundations
Buried marble, and reaching
In to where a Roman father dug;

Yet the greatest warmth
Beyond physical laws
Of love, is incomplete;

For despite these great sciences
There’s no cure for a heart conjoined
Across two universes.

The Index Of Loss

Here is a new list
From your index-loving
London landlubberly
Homeless poetess.
This inexhaustive catalogue
Announced itself
With an unflinching focus on
My losses; losses I could not resist.
What else would I do with my pigment?
There are many matters
For my conservationists
To tell their grandchildren
Before we forget
What we have expunged
In recent years,
Which incidentally I confess
Is as long as the hex
Held me in its torpidness.
In no particular order then:
Self-moderation in politics,
VHS and compact discs,
Car tax certificates and
The Lust of Velologists;
Yes, things which used to exist,
Extinguished existentialists;
Dreams of archaeologists,
Ozone, arctic shelf,
All trust in the famous
And icons with wealth,
West African Black and
Northern White Rhinos.
There was a success
Eradicating viruses, true,
Such as Smallpox, and Polio,
Until SARS-CoV-2.
Serendipity found only in libraries,
And the accurate use of apostrophes,
Redundant prophecies,
Diplomacy and statesmanship;
Any atomized item to furnish the list
May some day yet resurface;
If as with vinyl it’s retro,
If DNA’s injected it’s revivalist;
An internet without the bots
Which grease
Half or more of the trafficking bits;
Chocolate bars in larger parts,
Justifiable war, and any peace.
Innocence fled having witnessed
How Cupinharós were mistreated,
Faith soon followed for people
Who lived, and loved,
At Srebenica and Badajoz,
Mosul, my neighbour next;
Reading for pleasure by daughters
And the use of offline maps;
Post from someone expressing
Affection and kindness, instead of bland
Official letters
Unlicked into envelopes the colour
Of a lizard’s vomit,
Words now used and always wanting;
Lastly, for now, I will finish
With ethics and veracity
Where the investigatory power
Buried a woman, then truth,
On a small Mediterranean island,
Where a car exploded one summer.

Last Laugh

My namesake unearthed me again,
My nemesis perhaps, my friend
At the pre-arranged place of his choosing.
Below him, not England’s green fields gone,

But the abyss which beckoned his backbone
And swirled the spleen, abused with doubt
And confusion, a waking and constant stream.
There are no tracks at the viaduct now,

Demoted by lemongrass, lavender-time
And sorghum seeds on a breeze,
Soft and endlessly fine,
Eyes closed, I savoured their caresses on my skin.

It was a challenge too far to know friendship,
Even mere acquaintances and incidentalists
Outsourced self-judgment and harm
Without realising its bruising impact on you.

A gleam of green herrings hung from the arches;
Your tongue was cold and grey when they found you.
For Victorian appliances we still have some use;
I saw an ambulance stuck in the marshes.

I thought about the last time you probably felt
You were ignored regarding something which
With the aperture of hindsight was trivial or mundane.
Your first and last fleeting kiss with the girl

Who had a bandage on her wrists, extra melanin,
And in her stomach a whole world waiting.
I saw the hunting season, the cat got your tongue
And toyed with it, as if a dead fieldmouse,

Not hungry, just bored. Nature is fastidious.
Your last bath, your last word read in the last book
You felt inspired by momentarily, without finishing.
Your last dinner you could not eat,

And a last diary entry; the ink ends
Where you lost the pendulum that thinks.
Your last laugh, when you were younger,
Before the goddess of the moon infused you

With her curse, stung by a bee in its skep.
Your last time to sleep, unconditionally.
I saw haunting stigmata cauterizing your mother,
I saw unholy water supplant the blood of your father,

I saw silencing stones in the bronchi of your brother.
Blessed are those oblivious
To the some-time sheer effort of living,
Feeling our lungs automated with bellows

And pulleys, feeling as though we were
Conceived as a different species: frog-skin,
Toadstool, or the rare and protected beetle
That lived in the marsh below the bridge

Which in later years was drained of its matter,
Suffocated with copper-clad wires and cement
For a housing estate; the planners
Ordained the place with one or two willows,

And named the streets, vainglorious fellows,
After flowers bountiful, wild and yellow;
By your body blossomed, abundant show,
But all that was lost, many years ago.

Broodmare Dam

A dream of horses in rain
And a dead bookmaker’s tic-tac:
Sais a wang and Major Stevens;
Silks in vibrant shades,
Saddles weighted with seasons;
The going was good
And the odds were even.

Those thoroughbreds were long dead too,
Yet my mind unwoken is ransacked still;
Eight furlongs for a mare’s mile made,
My subliminal gizzard’s a hippophile;
Beaufort Scales in their withers
And flaring from their nostril frills
With muzzle of fire, and hooves of steel.

Me Too

Why a world and his wife,
Why from a man’s rib made,
You call me trouble and strife,
So why by the male-god be saved.

Why have the woman-word devolved,
It only meant a man’s wife;
And bridegroom’s meaning men evolved
To nurture your longer life.

A prince lives in a photograph,
A film-maker eats jack-mack for tea,
Forensic professionals are understaffed,
I do not want these saints preserving me.

For parity, there are now no actresses,
Perpetuate the man-made myth;
The billionaire’s now using laxatives,
It’s the actors who should have been done away with.

A crowd could be a world and her husband,
Watch as we burn the words at the stake,
Written by femicidists who bludgeoned
From Santiago, to Sheffield, and Salt Lake.