what we did on our holidays

oh take me
by the rolling southern downs
onwards
to a little seaside town

park me
in a guest house with no view
and listen
to me moan about the food

hear me
moaning with the homeless sea
complaining
all night long incessantly

harken
to me moaning as we leave
now you get
your turn to moan at me

meeting and parting

we raged at this and fumed at that
argued all the salient facts
clarified where we both sat
disagreed – went tit for tat
phoned advisors for a chat
performed like verbal acrobats
had a truly awful spat
and now that that is finally that
most of all
I miss her conversation

Pilgrimage

That was strange,
that walk to the tower,
almost like a pilgrimage
to some holy shrine,
or hermitage on a rock,
that slow process up the cliffside.

You’d scratched our new car
on the journey to the coast
and I could think of little else
but the insurance claim,
the expense,
the sheer bloody
aggravation of it all,
while your calmness left me
tossing in a fever;
sea fever.

And then we chanced upon the tower,
began the trek to a place
we could not enter,
yet somehow did.

I traced my hand
along the wind-smoothed stone,
blasted orange in the waning sun,
peered through the rusty grill
to a sign that said: Danger – Keep Out,
felt myself buffeted
and for an instant, lifted.

When we returned
the scratch was still there
as deep as ever,
perhaps deeper,
but something else had changed,
though I can’t say what.

Only the silence on the journey home
was different.

[originally posted 10 June 2013]

Drift

The old boat slipped its mooring,
must have drifted out to sea.
My neighbour took the launch out
though a boat’s no use to me.
I recall when we first got it,
did the trim in powder blue.
Will be out past Dead Man’s Island,
nothing anyone can do.

I’ll go fetch coffee.

Links | c.  Radu Razvan Gheorghe | Dreamstime.com
Links | c. Radu Razvan Gheorghe | Dreamstime.com

second viewing

they waited weeks before separating
until after the first frost
and in that time nothing much happened
except the air was unusually still
and for a few short days at least
there was a late flourish of summer
in which the garden looked lovelier than ever

then all of a rush they were gone

*

beautiful – she said on second viewing

can’t say I garden much – said the agent

like an old postcard – she said
carefully closing the gate behind her
strange but I didn’t notice it at all before
not at all

she turned to take a last look
a sudden gust blew up from somewhere
causing the few remaining petals
on a single white rose
to drop like snowflakes
onto the flowerbed below

I’ll take it – she said