Sunday, 28 June 2009
In the morning
I remember sneaking in at 5am
and hours on my feet replayed through my soles
with every beat of aching blood.
I remember how you slipped, gentle from sleep
and rubbed the life away back into them
with cooling hands, perched
at the end of the bed. My secret tears
faded to sleep except for the crystals
now I wake. And my feet, oh my feet,
on pillows; your head on the bed.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Be honest now!
At the sink, with La Traviata on the radio
The ink suspended mid-thought, dried
in the trappings of nib and well, succumbs
to gentle swooshing in hand-warm water
where she bathed me once too, small as I was then.
She stands for this uncommon ritual.
It will take as long as opera for the colours to loosen,
for the sink to deepen to lichen green or summer blue.
Only the red stains her wrinkling palms
as the stubborn brown gives way to her patient hands rocking
back and forth in a humming of arias.
Monday, 15 June 2009
Resting your eyes
There was something about the way you were sitting,
startled, which made me ask. You told me your eyes
were closed as a sort of compromise
for the time its possible to waste in front of the TV,
wearing your eyes out needlessly, shortening their life.
I didn't ask, then, any more of your explanation
but often wonder if it works for other things.
Sometimes I stop myself from seeing you at all
in case what we have runs out. Other times I catch you
blinking back the sight of characters who've aged unrecognisably.
Mostly, though, I watch your closed-eyes vigil with my own eyes
open, wearing them out on you and your quiet, secret, snoozing.
Monday, 8 June 2009
A polar bear pushes off with its left back foot
its fur a waving forest in the flow. It stands up,
shakes the wet from its ears, walks back.
A pygmy marmoset is frightened
by the size of our faces; tries to feed while we peer
at its exquisite flash of tongue; plays hide and
hide with a quizzical look we treasure for days.
An oilslick raven buries twigs under dinosaur feet,
its beak a delicate tool in sand. The sun is out. Tapirs
surprise us with their heft on straw. The polar bear
pushes off with its left back foot, its fur a waving forest in the flow.
It stands up, shakes the wet from its ears, walks back.
A leopard looks straight at me through glass,
rubs its fur against the window pacing paw-shaped grooves
we do not notice for the speed at which it moves.
A raven, oilslick black against the sky, perches
watching twigs disappearing under sand.
River hog bristles are still
in hot air.
The polar bear pushes off with
its left back foot, its fur a waving forest
in the flow It stands up, shakes
the wet from its ears,