#amwriting #poem #poetry Homeless


Returning from a short break, to the syrup in the vase
and the jaundiced wilted flowers that join the gathered must,
one remarks upon how little things are greatly missed.
For suddenly in comfort's reach are those items which
have laden pockets, been dug for in bags, rued and gnashed,
and replaced. A certain grace attends to unpacking.
Spilling and spreading back into that place called home.
And the first cup of tea - made with water familiar
to the toot of the kettle that through years of training
gets poured on the edge of the boil - is sipped
in promenade, to a checklist of framed pictures,
until colder than milk.

How quickly she transitioned, to clasp the buttons at her neck
and purse her lips, to pull her face to ward away
the sympathetic. She is dressed for all weathers - sensible
in May - when rain is just likely, as the sun to make the hay.
Quite by chance amid the tables outside the neat cafe
she meets the last to know, and their friend,
who knew him. Knew him when his eyelashes were the envy
of the girls, his soft hair they curled, they called him sissy,
fed him sweets and lemonade, and wheeled him in their prams.
That soft gentle man.

The suitcase on wheels, ringed and tagged, with dangling
dockets of aircraft holds, supports her now. When she looks down
she relates the detail, and when she looks up she sees
only the sky. "Do we want to buy her house?" she asks.


#amwriting #poem #poetry For Mighty Dread

For Mighty Dread

Sometimes - when the sharp focus of sensation
fails to ignite the brain to spout. I will
take myself off - into the quieting evening -
to the river, or the park, or just to traipse
the streets and gaze into the darkened windows
of places that are closed. If I'm lucky -
I will catch first sight of the bitten slice of moon
as it reappears. It lacks, somewhat, the grandeur
of catching your parents being human,
or the furtive agility of a boy, all eyes,
hopping over a ginnel-wall to retrieve a ball.
But there it sits, low upon the horizon
framed between the hulk of trees
and borne by the puffs of the last illumined cloud-banks. 

Once, at football, as a child tired from infants school -
I sat on the terrace step. Through the slatted fence,
as whisping mist rose from the mud-bound pitch
beneath spotlights, I followed the game with disinterest.
Until tapped with ash, and looking up,
I became scarred with the glory of a woman sliced,
front to back by the seam of her tights.
And I was sore afraid.


#amwriting #poem #poetry #sketchbook Iris

day's later, when all that remains
stinks of jaundice through cut glass,
in an effort at change, the irises are pulled
oozing on strings from the vase.
And you suggest dancing.


#amwriting #poem # poetry Sense of Sunlight

Sense of Sunlight

Clearly delineated, the ridge in water
moving at will between shadow and air.
Narcissus exhale upon the zest of spring -
pale yolk, unbleached, brassy stout, and slut -
in the verge of wheeling pollen. Chill light
reflects in echo of the time cutting brook.
Here the tongue knows only patterns sweet,
that in lost moments, name all things.


#amwriting #poem #poetry Black Sheep

Black Sheep

I hadn't been here - since in that hot summer
when mother cut fish-paste into sandwiches
and bundled us into the car. And forgetting
how annoyed you were with me, or me with you,
we plucked ourselves in the cold waves
that sent us dancing to the sand. No scowls there.
Just tales of lost sailors. And feet running
barefoot around discarded cans, and serviettes
of ice creams, still pink and brown and yellowed,
and a single white paper bag, that once held sherbet,
spinning, and flipping on the ridges of the tide.

But oh how we catch ourselves. A black tooth here
and there something which cannot be forgiven,
until, waking one morning you guess - for who is really sure -
that it is ten years since we spoke last. Of course
we mean to, but forgetting birthdays becomes a habit,
like hypochondria, or finding pine cones in a coat pocket.

And it all becomes smoothed out, when queuing
for some wine and biscuit, on the ringed rubber matting,
while the game retired music mistress from the prep school
paddles away at Bach. So many dinners dodged and missed.


#amwriting #poetry #poem Soon, The Wild Cotton Grows

 Soon, The Wild Cotton Grows

Swatting at a dull yellow dragonfly -
that has for reasons of wind and season
hoovered too closely into view - I fall 
into that tedious joy when you catch sight of your children.
They have broken from their clambering across the rocks,
and while one dances a hornpipe,
the other stands, eyes cupped,
looking out across the valley, to the butter-pats of farms,
or the various nick-nacks of copses and culverts that blur
into the kind of pastoral that draws the eye.
Or perhaps enlivens the female passenger of a passing car,
to observe that from the hilltop you can see seven counties.
Of course you can't. If you squint, and let your eye settle,
through the heat haze you can see perhaps Lancashire: at best
But the day is too hot, and pleasant, to quibble.
A single cuckoo soldiers on, hiccuping it's half song
over the whirling of the drying brook.
And now my children are stretched out and bathing.
So out of habit, I swat the air again.


#amwriting #poetry #sketchbook dragonfly

flicking at flies, that unwelcome come
in the languid sun by the brook.
On such an a afternoon with the hill half climbed
I wonder if it is proper to unbutton.
Will I seem one of the shaven crowd?
Who plug their offspring with sausage rolls.
This cumulative preponderance disturbed
by cloud shading out the sunlight.

Dragon flies and a single cuckoo
keep me compan, as chiclren clamber
to the challenge of boulders.
The rocks ellow with age, scarred
b ardent lovers and the cutting marks
of masons. This place more manmade
seems natural now, somehow.
Like wished for immortality in which
is always young, always finding
the path that leads home.

The cuckoo pauses, it's drone empty,
in contrast to the waterfall over which it watches.
And in that unfilled void, a dragonfly
arrows across my eyeline
to fill the world. Yellow the stones, yellow
as the rocks on which the children bathe, before
moving on to dance, or find new position
to stretch out and gaze at clouds.

First budding the leaves part like swallows
caught in less performance than the outstrectched children
bathing on the rocks. Even the dragonfly
holds more patience than they. Forever
changing with the wind.


#amwriting #poem #poetry #anorexia Anorexic on a Swing

Anorexic on a Swing

At the height, her feet breaking clouds,
she counts - banana - counts to be higher
in the giddy emptiness that comes with falling
uncaught and broken. Counts - Fruit Pastilles -
to go higher than the laughter of her secret
laughing self. Counts - roast chicken -
screwed her eyes to remain hanging
without back-swing - without counting -
without her father and his worried smile
encouraging her to pull once more on the chains -
to deepen the well of her collar bones
in which the salted beads of counting dwell.