Tag Archives: relationships

Little Women Making Loud Noises

I’m not sure Ms. Alcott had

this in mind but I love

loud women in my life,

singing their songs full-throated,

spearing their words through

vain assumptions,

shaking pulpit and

parliament and shouting

“harder, faster” into my

receptive ear.

Scorn

My business has many ways to express scorn:

the Lighting Cameraman who couldn’t

light a box of matches; the

Director who couldn’t

direct traffic; the

Producer who couldn’t

produce his prick from his trousers.

 

But you have refined scorn to a

simple glance.

Empty Dancefloors

There’s this invisible

iron rod between us

ten feet long so

when I move you

move too in a

perverted mirror of

how we danced once on

empty dancefloors.

Archipelago

We built our peninsula out from the

great landmass, laid foundations to

last a generation but

storms have eaten the earth,

washed struts out to sea, leaving an

archipelago on which each of us is left

stranded, dependant on social media or the

long journey over ever

deeper and more

dangerous seas.

Hearts

My heart goes out to hearts

caught in branches on a cold night;

caught waiting on a

street corner for a

car that won’t come; caught

watching the ice melt in a

bought drink that will

never be drunk; caught between

transplants not knowing which

soul to beat for; caught

hoping, caught dreaming;

caught in the act of

catching cold.

The Canonical Hours of a Working Man

Matins

In the ghost world the

ghost girl dances her

ghost whirls enlacing me in

veils so seductive I

sometimes pray the

dawn won’t come.

 

Lauds

But dawn does come with the

prayer my feet will

find the floor and that the

floor will bear my weight so I

will not start the day

flat on my face.

 

Prime

If there is a God it is coffee-coloured,

coffee-flavoured, dark-roasted,

perking like heavy breathing, its

consort sizzling in the pan, the

toaster popping its prize with a

sigh like a prayer.

 

Tierce

In the mad rush of the studio I

see something, take my chance,

get the set rebuilt and

knowing it will take time

slip out to light my

prayer to creativity.

 

Sext

Shall I make this poem a pun on Sex? But

lunch is when I have a moment to

lust over those who, at work,

I respect, would never dishonour, but

at quiet times imagine

undressed, themselves lustful.

 

 

None

Mid-afternoon is a sigh—no, a

yawn into the vast face of the work we’ve

chiselled all day into something we

pray is vaguely human, vaguely

real, vaguely worth all that

spent time to achieve.

 

Vespers

Outside the lamps are lit just as we

switch ours off and head away home

praying all is well with those

work has cut us off from, lit

phone-screens in the car-park evidence of

love, concern and care.

 

Compline

Fed and watered—ok, wined!—I

wend my way to my hotel, call home,

check the news, reply to emails,

clean myself, resign myself to bed

praying the ghost girl will still be

whirling in her ghost world.

Necklace

Your neck, dear Lady,

deserves a poem but

can I find enough

fine words to

thread a necklace to

hold throughout the day and

not chafe? Or will

one word or another

prickle, my poem

tossed in a tray

with the rest of your

discarded finery?

Pull and Repulse

We start off paddling in shallows,
uncertain of what is under our feet,
bemoaning the lack of depth.

Then the sand ends in sadness, a void,
head under water, cursing
never learning to swim.

Somehow saved, we sit on the beach
drawn to death, mesmerised by the
pull and repulse of the waves.

Slowly we learn, study, copy
back-stroke, breast-stroke, dog-paddle or
just using our hands to stay afloat.

People pair off, swim strongly away,
never return except as strange happy
yelps from over the horizon.

The laughter out there sometimes
bursts like fireworks, and sometimes it
fades faster than a tropical sun.

Some come back singly, shake their
wet hair, seek another swimmer
unbothered by the slow fat drops.

Others stalk up the beach to
hide in the trees, their run-off
making metaphors out of mud.

Emerging, chastened or just bored, the
lone one sees other singletons
silhouetted against a purpling sky.

Some have dry hair, some wet, all
wondering if its worth so much swimming,
pulled and repulsed by the waves.

Knowledge

When, at last, I didn’t know her,
when that last thin
thread of memory
snapped, loosing the catch of
forty years of intimate knowledge to
slap and slipper on the hull,
no longer knowing me she gave that same
sweet, shy smile that once made me
so much want to know her.

The Flotsam Trail of Memory

I love because I love—

there is no other reason, and

reasoning cannot

undo love, with all its

tethers and tendrils, its

flotsam trail of memory

from faded photograph via

forgotten pleasures to the

cold text with its cursor

blinking in time with my heart

in a dark, emptied house.

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