#Poem 0@all

From inside an old file box
I dug out a black and white photo
from 40 years ago – not colour;
I’d developed it myself.

How long were we together?
3 years?
Not long; not now -
but back then we really packed it in -
didn’t sit around watching the months fly by.

#Poem sandwiches and biscuits

I wheel in sandwiches and biscuits
the tea is brewed
old wooden trolley
you’re blank, wall-staring
brown photographs drop to the floor
I know if the right fingers snapped you’d jump to life

I take it all
it’s what I like about me
even if the blunders cut deep
keep me down
pressed between rocks
– I think I can pass through them -

don’t play in caves
don’t climb loose shale slopes
don’t fly
don’t believe this is real
don’t stay

They all left before sun-up
half-known figures, demons, angels
– you don’t get to practice, or reflect -

You eat a little, drink some tea
I take the trolley away

#Poem Allowance

I hope it’s temporary
but you keep on.

My disappointment stacks up
like undigested beef.

I’ve rolled you over and over,
tried to turn poison into nutrient,
punished myself to learn good.

Like an orphan I met
your outstretched hand.
Fingers with rings picked
my pockets.

#Poem Anna

I
love you, mange tout.
Your lips fix
my eyes, my prize;
my bliss, to kiss
you.

You
are fond of me, probably,
and allow me to show you
servitude;
and that’s cool,
perhaps you’ll
come to love me.

You,
let me be bad
under bedspread and duvet,
then say I disgust you.
So, can I continue?

I,
presumptuous,
get my comeuppance;
my incompleteness
penalised;
downsized
for a day or two.
What would I do
without you?

#Poem The Tower

Transition

A timbered enclosure protects the tower -
granite, splayed-windows.
Oak crossbeams transect the Hall -
a forgotten room, metalwork, sculpture, tapestries.
Rubble-heaps block doorways to Lodge and Chantry.

Secretive in the rushlight
swamped by the scent of moonflower
calmed by the thick smell of tallow
we rest on the hearthrug.
Softwood kindling bursts from a corroded iron box.

Clothed in the heat of blazing sycamore
shadows merge in darkness.
A curtain pulled to one side shows an alcove.
On a slate ledge, devotional bowls clustered in a circle
burning herbs – coltsfoot, golden rod, mimosa.

We steal past the courtyard of the Tudor College
turn into the lane behind the library
run towards the sheds
drag a row boat
down
into the river

#Poem St Non’s Close

She plays on the threshold
early morning, pitch-dark doorstep
unprepared

Her nature wants night closer -
closer breathes deep, beyond breath
whispers
invites
welcomes us
and back

She knows
every future brings imagining

#Poem priestcraft

Curled on the bed, smiling
like a cat in front of a fire
crescent-shaped
she laughs, like flesh-pink

A snapshot
A picture I kiss into life
A few-frame flick-movie
compacted decades
Overlapping images stick
and colour me

So much more here when I add history
more than is in the clean moment -
the fresh moment that does not tint
your eyes

I count senses like it’s an exam
like it’s essential
I must know something is missing

I don’t make the rules
Things just come to an end