always

like someone
throwing the curtains open
on a glorious summer day

it has always been this way

[first posted December 2014]

mother tongue

the blackbird sings to me
his native thought

in that mother tongue

I knew
before I had voice to speak

in riddles

to the London trees
dwarfed between tall towers

letter to none

I never wrote to you –
perhaps I should
love ties rope round
and then it pulls
leaves us stretching
like a kid under a tree
for one bright apple
nobody sees

I don’t like apples –
never did
don’t eat fruit much
and won’t until
sweet berries lean
towards my door
and that will happen
to me no more

[first posted 22 November 2014]

failure to thrive

I found a flat grey stone on the beach
with scratch marks
scored deeply on one side

it reminded me of something I couldn’t account for
so I placed it in the yard
with other things I don’t care about
and thought no more of it

when I saw it again
the lines seemed more pronounced
(it may have been the light)
but it no longer reminded me of anything
other than how a young child starved of love
will fail to thrive

next day
I returned it to the beach

a three-legged dog followed me home
but I don’t want him

line breaks

I awoke unable to remember
how or why we write poems

or make these line breaks

alerting us to another way
of reading and seeing

now I remember

meanwhile
rainwater collecting in buckets
shone like something holy

[first posted 17 Jan 2015]

cave drawings

this morning I sharpened my pencil
in expectation of words

little boats came instead
while antelope gathered
upon a white hill
to stare – cave drawings
from I don’t know where

I would rather have had words

[first posted 31 May 2015]

say a little prayer

perhaps I should genuflect
light a candle
mumble something holy
but when the night terrors come
to this private vault
we call consciousness
only my dog can hear me
be near me
comfort this old skin
so I say a little prayer for him
and whisper I’m ok

[first posted Jan 8, 2016]

lighter 

the old man had lost something
of inestimable worth
more precious than he could ever say

now his burden felt a little lighter
a little lighter
as he went upon his way

(first posted 3 Feb. 2016)

a clear sky

you taught me a lot
and lit a fire in the snow

under the dovecote
a rook comes and goes

from a clear sky

and you sent me a photo
of a white candlestick

I keep on my wall
it reminds me often

of home

howl

dog on the bed
like a polar landmass in the spring
I would give anything
to be like you
yours is an empire of the skin
mine the meandering way within
an island off the compass of the world
go howl your howl
let it be heard

[first posted 1 Jan 2017]