Waiting for Sunlight

Waiting for sunlight to burn through thunder cloud:
The sound splits the fat droplets; voicing out loud
The midday skies sharp contra; it halts and moans
Wallowing, bellowing; shakes, sighs and groans.
Waking from slumber with feet salted in sand
Our hands entwined and leathered. For this land
We reached out and bound to with soft bated breath –
Though it is not ours to hold or to bequeath.
And on this day the clouds shackle us in
Sheltering in wooden huts we play cards, drink gin
Static like this the waiting game unfolds
Our movements confined by the heavens’ hold
Watching the sky swell.

To the Stars

To see clear skies at night
To see the twinkling masses
The flecks in the eyes of the moon

To the stars I look
To the stars I turn

Each page is filled
Each corner turned

The ink glides on
The pen runs dry
But up above, the constant skies.

Farewell

Years from now will you remember the way
The phosphorous waters caught the moonlight,
The sea possessing the heat of the day –
With joy? Or with a lingering dismay?

The water folding softly round my skin
Breathing the dewy air I felt baptised.
I turned my back on you, I waded in
The quiet was tainted by your chagrin –

The world was spinning me closer to him.

Winter is here

Winter is here and the trees mourn
Shed and bare their arms shrivel, dry
Swept under the blanketed sky
The heat no longer stirs with dawn.

Icy breath bristles broken boughs
Sleeping creatures, hushed, make no sound
Nestled compost snug in the ground
So little light the day allows.

Porridge.

What a word! Like a plump smug cat

Lips wet with cream

A warm fire, a shaggy rug

Feet that sink

Caressing, bare-foot

Dressing-gown close

Hot milk and honey

A drop of whiskey

That soothing heat

Caressing the throat

Silk gloves are too dainty

But woollen scarves!

And sky blue duffel coats

Wrapped tight against cold

Waking in a country house

Tip-toe to the stove

Soaking the oats

Stirring the milk

Porridge! What a word.

Finsbury Park

Bitter cold, biting my fingers
dark looming clouds threaten to burst
scatterings of white against the green
bristling against my skin.

Specks of sleet stain my page
ink slides down, halting at the crease.
Cold envelopes me, numbing senses
the trees bare willowing above.

Small light streaming through clouds
far off over high rise flats
a stark contrast against the gray.
The misery.
The bitter cold.

Biting my fingers. Ice droplets
floating onto my words.
Hands numb. Mind hardening.
Softly, softly move overhead.

Sun shatters on through.

Love Poem (for Steph and Niall)

Cliché is easy when writing about love.

Describing fairytale endings, pure white doves.

Or a knight in shining armour

Come to whisk you away

To fill you with happiness

Every sun-filled shiny day.

But love isn’t perfection, an unblemished thing

a continuity of bliss symbolised by a ring.

It can be going to bed angry, disregarding advice

Snapping and nagging and not being very nice.

Then saying “I’m sorry, can we start anew?”

And forgiving each other, pushing on through.

It’s that comfortable feeling from really knowing someone

Utterly and completely, inside out, right and wrong

It’s putting up with in-laws

And things encroaching in your “space”

Forgiving the “lads’ nights out”

When he comes home off his face.

It’s knowing his insecurities and forgiving the things that annoy

Like forgetting anniversaries or simply “being a boy”.

It’s lending a jacket and holding a hand

Thinking of the other when making future plans

It’s waking up warm and not feeling alone

Looking forward each evening to heading back home

It’s knowing whatever happens

Through the good times and the rough

You will always have each other

And you will always know love.

Butterfly Life

A butterfly flew into my room today
and I watched it settle
on the white plastic water jug.

It held itself so still
wide bright wings
thin like paper.

And I thought how sad it was
that it would soon be dead
and I turned away
and stared at the hospital ceiling instead.

The Twilight Hour

The Twilight Hour is dark in my room where
Sleep is elusive. It escapes me. It runs from me.
If I had the energy I would seek it out.
Keep it. Capture its essence and breathe it in
And crawl inside it and drift away.

I’d drift into sleep and feed off its warmth
And join all those who sleep.
I would shake off this loneliness and
The Twilight Hour would no longer be dark.

My dreams would be light and filled with sunshine.
Mediterranean beaches.
Skimming stones and ripples blinking through.
Cool, flat sea. Warm summer breeze.
That’s what my Twilight Hour would be.

Amicus usque ed aras

He takes my hand and I am led,
my footsteps mark the sandy bed.
To the waves, to the sea,
the City miles away from me.

The sun beats down, my face it warms,
a calm, amid a life of storm.
He faces me.
He says my name.
But on the sea my eyes remain.

I’m glad that when he said “just come”
I rose and left and thought of none.

I’ve never felt so far removed
from my life back home (that I did choose,
years ago, when I was young,
eager to climb the ladder’s rungs.)

His eyes follow mine, towards the waves.
A mess of white tips, the ocean maze.

He speaks, his face caught full in sun,
“when here I feel the urge to run.
These days I only run when rushed,
for late appointments or moving bus,
but here I run with a surge of joy
and I feel as I did when I was a boy.”

I smiled at the notion, cast eyes over beach.
Whilst he’d ridden the waves, I’d stayed out of reach.

He’ll choose.
He’ll choose to stay behind.
The thought is burning in my mind.

It’s time to leave, it’s time to turn.
Back to the City, for the sea to yearn.

Revelation

There’s more to him, beneath those eyes
That seem so dark and dead.
It can’t be seen to passers by
His shield’s as hard as lead.

There’s loneliness behind that face
And ache for love and care.
Desire provokes uncertainty
Of feelings spread out bare.

The present reminds what the past has held,
His memories of joy.
But the future is a different world
Where he’ll drift alike a buoy.

And on that rock it’s often hard
To think of what’s to come.
When minds are charred until they’re scarred
it’s easy to be numb.