the valley

sitting on the bed
notebook raised to the rough angle
of the ridge opposite
where the orange cubes of a new estate
have sprung up against the skyline
I recall another time
I sketched houses in distraction
as one parent raged against the other
in the summer vacation
before they parted

I shouldn’t have started
the light diminishes – evening comes early

evening comes early to all of us
who dwell in the valley

[first posted 26 March 2015]

default lines

the day defaults
upon the dark trudge home
I turn my collar to the night
find no message on my phone
think of Robert Frost
as the last street light is passed
weigh good against indifferent
and find the case is lost

the day defaults
to nothing very clear
beyond a bowl of peanuts
and a glass or two of beer
but when I think back
put some distance to my sight
I find that in the darkness
came a different kind of light

[first posted 26 March 2015]

a flutter of wings

bridge between two islands

a place of meeting
and of tryst

touching
and desiring
and doing without 

things are not the same
now

I garden

read

never looking up

even at
a flutter of wings

open 

old man on the beach
he might have wept

nothing worth the keeping
could be kept

the house on the shore
stands empty now

a cupboard door
swings open

only the boat lies broken
not the ocean

the coat

he disliked the coat he had been given
but wore it because he had no other

it had been made with love
and given with love

but only when it was worn through
did he learn to love it himself

the jar

I found an old jar in her kitchen
that for long had remained unused

it was like one I remembered from childhood
that I used to cling on to

the trees in my mother’s garden were many and beautiful
though she lived in a small apartment
by the sea

of the silent guest at her table
she would talk to her family

yes the trees in my mother’s garden were beautiful
but the jar
I threw into the sea

of the silent guest at her table
the sea has no memory

parcels from Italy 

when I was a boy
I would receive

parcels from Italy
quite regularly 

books
I could not read

clothes
too small for me

maternal greetings
fripperies

now I miss them 
infinitely