if I were to lay

if I were to lay upon the field all day
until the dew soaked through my shirt

then I would have a picture of something great
forever in my head

while the earth

the earth would wear an imprint of my outstretched form
for a short time

a short time alone

the passage of one cloud across the sun

the time it takes the buck to run for home

[first posted Dec 31, 2013]

navigation 

when conversation became difficult
I made for the shelter of the trees
looking back across the sun-bleached field
to where the party was in full swing
appreciating the amplitude of tall silences
that I could navigate more easily

from there I could see you slowly circling
coming to rest
before finally heading out

navigation

ascertaining a position
calculating the most favourable route
between one point and another

even when there is no point at all

navigation

just moving around

it takes skill

practice

finesse

when even gentle waters
can seem treacherous

safer amid trees

they don’t move around

at least don’t appear to

I whispered a quiet thank you
and plotted a course back

an empty egg

this morning for breakfast
I was given an empty egg

when I opened it with my spoon
all I found inside was a sun and a moon
bright fish within a golden net
dark city that I can’t forget

all this inside an empty egg

Zenith 

Hope came in the form of a

shadow
dark and terrible

threatening everything
at the bar

at the end of the street
I was suicidal with joy

and at the lonely table
top

at midnight
sipping sweet despair

spinning
secrets of the heart

in another tongue
for the dog to howl at pretty

soon after it disappeared
like I said

it would
left me here alone

cross-legged on the floor
with the fierce

sun at its zenith
casting zero.

interest

it is easy to count grains

in a store
consider balances and deficits

much harder to ignore
misfortune

pretend that nothing’s happened

irregardless
morning sun on the garage door

finds a dance of rust flakes
and so much more

of interest

yellow book

a yellow book
on a white shelf
in morning sun

I open it
and read from it
when everyone has gone

don’t worry
rejoice
in what you have begun

yellow book

white shelf

morning sun

hill walking 1

hill walking in too many clothes
I chose to ask the sun
just what he meant
by shining
and if he knew
how many revolutions
we’d go through
before we’re done

and furthermore
did he know
which celestial sphere
reigned over him

any inkling?

just asking

I have been forced by illness
to ask these idiotic things

I lost a sweater
and felt no better

he soon went in
and darkness again
prevailed

[first posted 9 July 2015]

Orbit

In wine and verse I bargain with the night,
though wine is once again the favoured option.
The thoughts of men in print now rarely charm,
and tend to bring less sleep than irritation.
As for love, she may as well have been
a dream that I once dreamed in former days.
The pleasures of the flesh and of the heart
by lumps and bumps and groans have been outweighed,
Tonight as stars grow dimmer one by one,
no bright new suns have blazed into my view,
and as for those I marvelled at in youth,
old passions these, I do not now pursue.
From two consuming spheres I seldom stray,
dull circles that I trace to end each day,
sad orbits that bring neither peace nor light,
in wine and verse I bargain with the night.

[Note: The opening and closing lines clearly echo Robert Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night”. This is the second time this has happened. I’ll let it stand as homage to a poem that got itself into my bones. EB]