Category Archives: Relationships

The Abcess of Absence

He swore he heard her on the

upper floor, or

at the door, her key

scratching for entry from the

outer dark, or her soft

snores in the night,

turning to his right,

hoping to feel her

spooning warmth to

heal his sores.

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Mongrels

We are all mongrels:

our genes all spent time

somewhere else, on

cold tundra, windswept

steppe, damp jungle,

hot savannah, in

bogs or genteel shires,

cantonments or kraals; on

Viking ships or galleons,

slavers or dugout canoes we

spent ourselves about the world so

not one of us is pure.

Binary System

If all we are is stars, is

she then a supernova, he a

brown dwarf, they an

inchoate mass of gas

about to ignite, and is our

binary system stable or

unravelling into those

beautiful gaseous strands

beloved of those who

observe cosmic catastrophes?

A Complicated Smile

I made a joke which

elicicted a

complicated smile that

bore within it the

ghost of the

simple smile of yesterday.

Doors

Doors

My life seems full of doors:

some open, what’s beyond them

done, wanting me to stay;

some ajar, tempting, though I

know behind some lies mischief;

some are firmly closed, locked and

loaded with possibilities and dread,

leaking strange scents

 

These I sometimes attempt to open:

try all those odd spare keys, get my

screwdriver out, though I

draw the line at jemmies,

hammers or hatchets, since I would

rather be locked out than

force a door I wished I had

never opened.

 

Strangers Eyes

I held both my children

fresh from their mother

strangers eyes

searching mine for

answers I have never

quite worked out.

Candle Break

By candle-light you look like a

mediaeval Madonna, full of

thought, contemplation, perhaps a

little mourning for

what once was.

 

But am I allowed to make such a

comparison in a world full of

thought police, deciding exactly

which words I can safely use to

hymn my love?

Berlin Bed

The bed was such a world once: of

sweat and semen and the

wonderful effusions of

womanhood; of strain and stains;

contortions and cramps;

saliva and stamina;

sticky bodies entwined in

sated exhaustion.

 

But now the moonlit room

sits still: no moans or

groans of pleasure; no

pillow-muffled screams;

just the sullen

shriek of silence, the

Berlin Wall of blunt knees and

sharp elbows.

That Girl, Fanny

You don’t turn up in an

online search as you

surely would if you hadn’t

died at –what -21, 22?

Forgive me, I’ve

forgotten your birthday, along with

so much else lost in the

long life you didn’t have, but

(and this would make your Roman nose

wrinkle with amusement)

you have never been forgotten in

all those long years that have been

empty of you.

Guilted Youth

Your third (golden) eye flashed

from somewhere near the back of the van,

amidst the jumbled bodies happily

jounced by bad roads.

We’d loved the new band we’d been to see

–Roxy Music, their first tour–

and the thrill of that unexpected sound

fizzed in us like champagne:

it must have gone to my head to remove

my timidity so, make me crawl

awkwardly across that crowded space,

the cast on my wrist spectral in streetlight.

That drunken post-pub football match

on floodlit New Brighton prom;

that outrageous tackle; sailing

slow-motion through the night sky;

my hand meeting summer-dry earth;

a clean snap and a denial

–I’m OK! I’ll go in goal!

Why did I go in goal?

Parrying shot after shot with a

rictus of pain and a swelling which,

after the long walk home,

even I couldn’t deny.

I dreaded you saying something,

I felt so gauche and full of disability but your

smile was as open as your arms:

“O Finn, you found me!”

The kiss we shared was troubled

neither by my cast nor my evident erection,

nor by your unbeautiful beauty,

nor by our pitiful youth.

The trouble was I wanted you too much and you

didn’t want to be wanted so

–not then, anyway: maybe later

when you’d lived a bit more.

But you didn’t live and I

didn’t learn.

Atropa Belladonna Von Coup

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