scratch marks 

after the dust broke
I hardly spoke to anyone

but took my relative to a psychoanalyst 
and while he hung about outside 
skated about on the elaborate floor
of the consulting room
apologising profusely for scratch marks
neither of us could see

outside
my relative remained reticent
declining to be recognised 

I bought a poster of the whole event
but have never unrolled it

although I own it
and so does he

Ithaca 1

I did not hear you,
could not hear you,
I was standing on the shore once more at Ithaca,
wondering if I’d ever sail again,
and if so when,
and then where to,
to do the things I always had a mind to do.

Nonsense too,
plain nonsense too,
like all the other dreams
I might have shared with you.

Succeed or fail I raise the sail
for one last voyage,
our dreams to meet out in the deeps
not here remain.

No victory won nor glory gained
by resting more,
nor gazing back towards the twilit shores of Ithaca.

[first posted 10 April 2014]

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

no joyful music

if there are a thousand ways
to hold back time
one would be to journey
down some unknown railway line
and by the winking
of a cheap hotel sign
slip into the forests
of the night

let the night take you
where there is no need for time
or for anything at all
till comes a dripping dawn
devoid of chorus

no joyful music then
to mark the day –
not that it would be
wanted anyway