clearing

often his walk took him to the same spot
as if to an assignation

a clearing in the trees
where he expected nothing
and received nothing
while retaining in his heart
the most foolish of emotions
the feeling that he would be healed

as easily as taking off an old jacket
and going back to find another

which is fanciful
but there is more to life than one knows

and more to the dreams of the broken
than one might imagine

changing lanes

saying hello to a stranger
on a country lane

the common space
at a common pace

sharing the day

crossing the way

what a nuisance
what a pain

saying hello to a stranger
on a country lane

nothing more

tiny explosions sent him reeling from his workshop
pleased with himself at first
but later distraught at the coarseness
of his efforts

later he took to arranging stones
polishing late into the night
and agonizing over the placement
of each pebble
which he could never get right

when his first book of verse came out
the faint grey typeface on the
homemade papers of blue and green
and subtle hints between
made it arduous upon the eye

so he took to beachcombing
scouring the shore for nothing
that would satisfy
until someone asked him why
and what did he hope to find

why love of course
are you blind?

but love cannot be found
and I’ll be bound never shall
love will find you
or you spend your whole life through
without it

then I shall capture starlight
in a jar

the careworn qualities
of my heart

the peacock’s cry
within a book

the way the moonlight looks
on a desolate shore

and nothing more

nothing more

forty years on

windy day on the ridge
imagining myself on Hampstead Heath
forty years ago
when friendship meant more
than the contact list I have now

winter sits thinly on the bough
some deer bolt the clearing at the sight of me
I turn for home
and a solitary tea
thankful for friends I never see

the apology

in a quiet park I met my mother
for an apology that never came
the girl I spoke to hardly knew me
but accepted my one just the same
I put her back upon her boat
blew a farewell kiss
and watched her vessel drift away
drift away in mist

even this

the telegraph pole opposite
spoils my view of the ridge
lovely in any season
but especially this
when the browns and russets
of late Autumn
match my mood
and I find communication
of any kind intrudes
has its risks

even this kind
even this

travel plans

estimated time of arrival
dawn
estimated time of departure
couldn’t say
some are made for melancholy
those are my plans anyway

estimated time of arrival
birth
estimated time of departure
death
itinerary confirmed
travel plans set

the churchgoer

a crow cries out
from an ancient yew
its purpose unknown
to those passing through
there far longer
than the church it adjoins
only the churchgoer understands
only old churchgoing crow

[first posted Feb 8, 2015]

in the deepest dark

in the deepest dark of the abysmal night
when there is nothing
no hope of insight
but the rejection of all gods
and the rejection by all gods
one finds a special kind of light
amber glory ready to annoint
I usually drink my whiskey at this point

sacred heart

the wasp knows no compassion
no remorse

it will sting and sting again
until it dies

we have built cathedrals
to the stars

we only need a cowshed
in our hearts
to find some peace

pray for peace

so beautiful
the view from Sacré-Cœur
it made me weep