Sunday, 26 April 2009
Here, for you, a long slow sky at first;
feel it open you up like water to thirst.
Bring this morning to your snow-dead toes,
to each body part a meditation in coming to terms.
Take next a sliding acceptance of horseback,
feel the horse's own gait through your spine and relax.
It is my gift to you: use it as a distraction,
perhaps, from anything else, from preoccupation
with the facts. You've shut your eyes by now,
I can tell. Feel my fingers up your spine.
I'll count the hairs I've raised there one by one
whilst you escape the panic of a striptease
of feelings straight to bone. Stay with me, I still
have a few things to offer. Ignore the voices
out of reach through the white noise; don't fish it
for the one you think you know. Let me shiver you
out of dreaming alone. There, you can speak now.
It’s so good to see you. There's a lingering smell
of pine-damp picnics whenever you're ready.
Eat until you're full; don't stop until your cheeks
match the colour of a shepherd's delight.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Extended metaphor for a washing machine
My thoughts are tired of churning
churning and my nerves are sick of being soap.
My only softener is hope and there is not enough of that
only turning and the inevitable spin.
So I’m ready for more spinning and spinning
and no way to stop it, to open the door
without something spilling out. The noise
is sleep-unbearable so I hope I don’t disturb.
It follows me to bed, and everywhere the judder.
A bird, too quiet, in a holly bush
I chased the thought of save it into the holly bush
and, bare-armed, pulled out a bird too willing to be well.
Triumphant I held it close, my palm covering its eyes
from freedom and it was still. I stumbled home
with its delicate heart beating fast under my thumb,
boxed it with holes punched for air and sat for minutes
in the dark, the box between my feet.
I told no-one for fear of the right thing to do,
and named the bird over and over; a mantra
as desire for its affections, as recognition of a deed well done.
The next day its hunger was palpable through its thin
cardboard walls, though it never sought to let on.
I took the box outside and whispered its name again,
once with every step and the lifting of the lid. The bird
blinked at the sky and went to it. I called its name
to the wind, but only got the wind back. It took days
for the cuts on my arms to disappear.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
The truth of it
The monumental blue clouds sit heavy on our horizon,
but I am trying to tell a story of the inside, here,
though there’s something to be said for the looming.
It all comes down to your monumental I don’t know,
drama lent to it from the blue-cloud sky I stared at
to avoid your eyes. Or perhaps it was you
who avoided mine – who said outside, look,
the monumental blue clouds are filling the night
and me who agreed, who held on to it, who is here now
waiting for this I don’t know to happen amidst all the other unknowns
we wait for and prepare. I clamber out, slip between
the blue damp and home; a resolution, of sorts,
and your heavy I don’t know obsession in my pocket.