Monday, 19 January 2015

Not All Things Happen

The moon was not full on that fateless night.
Two would-be lovers missed their only cue,
and pristine sheets remained intact.

No glass was thrown in anger at a wall;
the red wine was not spilled upon the carpet;
and blows were not exchanged.

No feast was held in honour of an honoured guest;
no speech was made; no glasses charged and raised;
relief’s sighed exhalation broke no tension.

Unwritten poems roamed through restless heads,
but found no place to rest upon the page;
those undiscovered truths lay undiscovered.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Crash Landing

In the museum
of long since childhood,
two eternal six-year-old boys
walk on the Moon.
They tire of collecting moonrocks
and moonflowers
and even moonbooks,
turn their space helmets
and see how many stairs
they can blindly jump
before injury
brings them back to Earth
with a bump.


I wash my hands with brillo pads,
removing all those baked on stains
     and too much skin.

‘Lady MacBeth at two o’clock!’
the cry goes up. I shall not wear
     white gloves again.

A Catholic priest is much excited.
‘Stigmata wounds!’ she shouts, and phones
     the latest Pope.

‘The latex Pope?’ I clean my ears
out with an awl, while trying not
     to lose my grip.

While trying not to lose my grip,
I almost lose my hearing for
     a second time.

The nurse at A and E suggests
I make no mention of my eyes
     in any poem.

Dances with Strangers

You walk along an English High Street
and dance with the first stranger
who doesn’t look deranged.

Their face shows uneasy surprise,
as if you are telling the story of how your garden gate
was once treated for depression with creosote.

You stare at the only patch of blue
in an English sky,
willing it to spread, like a virus which eats grey clouds.

There is no sign of your erstwhile dancing partner.

Apologising to the pavement, you get down on one knee
and propose to a phrase of birdsong
whose reply you cannot decipher.

You dance with all the mad thoughts in your head
until their feet ache.
You dance and you dance and you dance
in case the music is still playing.