Dating Apps

 

Digital savannah 
Plains of people lost 
Here on screens 
They gather 
Summoned 
By a force 
Overlooked, looking 
To complete 
Their course 
To drown out 
The silent noise 
To deafen 
The void 
To tolerate 
Twistedness 
Withstand 
Worlds of wickedness 
Where death 
Will surely follow 
Love me! 
They cry 
Into 
The hole of hollow

Lawnmower

 

White smoke puking 
Grass-eating machine 
I rolled you on your side 
Now, with fuming breath, you scream 
 
You wrestle, protest 
You struggle and fight 
But work you must; 
I’ll push you day and night 
 
Yesterday you stopped 
Whinnied and gave up 
At the first sign of struggle 
You spluttered and fought 
 
You vomited vapour 
A cloaking smokescreen 
Plumes of boldest bluster 
A feeble cloud of grey fear 
 
I started you today 
Made you spew your worst 
Burnt off all the oil 
And forced your chassis to work 
 
I didn’t give up 
I got it done 
That’s the difference between you and I 
I work like a horse 

Troubled

 

Are you asleep, 
Troubled one, 
Or lying still? 
Your eyes are closed, 
But your breathing goes 
Like the turning of a mill 
 
Inside your head 
You escape the day, 
Imagine shapes in play 
Absorbed in tale and myth 
Deep in disarray 
 
Dreaming waking dreams 
That don’t exist, 
Won’t exist 
Unless you whisper 
Magic words 
That form into a wish 
 
In the dark 
You dance, 
Laugh and sing 
So troubling 
I cannot see 
Or hear through all the din 
 
So I wake you 
Shake you 
Rouse you from your sins 
Wash the night from the day 
Cleanse the dirt to make way 
For me to come in

A Meadow

 

Wading through weeds 
In the hot sun 
Pulling dock before 
It sets seed 
 
I might be forgiven 
For loving 
The chaos 
These weeds live in 
 
If I squint to see 
It might be 
A meadow 
Of flowers in the breeze 
 
A painting perhaps 
In a pastel 
Palette 
No proof of collapse 
 
If I can make believe 
This patch 
Was here and 
Always has been 
 
Perhaps I can bear 
To breathe 
The weighted load 
Of the air 

2020

 

An homage to Lucille Clifton and her poem “1994” 
 
I exit my thirty-ninth year 
With a fist of lead 
Battering my ribs 
 
You beat your own fists 
For sure you know their hammers 
The slow-healing wounds of doubt 
 
You recognise the dismal untruth 
Whispered in your lone deceit 
You understand the peril 
 
The hole between my legs 
You perceive its hazard 
My cloak of foreign 
 
I abandon my thirty-ninth year 
And cling now only to short straws 
Of age 
 
Rank and grey hay 
Crowning my temples 
 
Have we not obeyed our elders? 
Did we not steward this earth? 
 
But you surely fathomed this 
From your own withering life

Steal Time

 

What did I have to do, 
To get it done? 
Steal time 
 
Everything has a price 
Time, the highest 
So I stole it back 
 
It was mine 
To begin with 
But I pawned it 

I needed time
All the same 
So I took it 

What must we do, 
To get our work done? 
Steal time 

 

Procrastination

 

Procrastination kicks 
The rear end into work 
Like no other motivator 
 
Give me a deadline 
And I will dance 
To the tune of any other song 
 
The nasty pressures 
Awaken the rebel 
To mundane tasks 
 
Stress activates 
The scholar 
To a world of distraction 
 
Never do I concentrate 
So well 
As when in dissent 
 
The best work 
Is done 
On stolen time 

Water

 

Trust not these tears 
I've forgotten why I cry 
It's all about death 
If anyone asks why


Of bonds that have been severed 
Ours, I thought, might last 
But weather strained and pulled; 
Time undid them at last 


Now on quiet evenings 
I miss your playful eyes 
I direct all the others 
To look up at the sky


And down in dreadful ditches 
Where you with me once broke bread 
I raise my hungry eyes 
To feed on stars instead 

Besides, all these tears I know 
Are damp and away will go 
Like drizzle, drab and dreich 
Like spring-smelted snow 

But like ice in a crevice 
Or in a lonely mountain pass 
The water courses onwards leaving 
Patterns in its path

Something Small

 

When you feel overwhelmed 
It is vital to do something 
Something small 
Something fun 
Something of use
 
It is vital not to let 
Despair 
Jam your wheels 
And fell you 
Like a rod in the spokes 
 
When the froth rises 
Like a foaming ferment 
When it threatens to breach the brim 
It is vital not to throw in 
A teaspoon of torment 
 
Turn down the heat 
Of disheartenment 
With something small 
Something possible 
Despite it all 
 
Sow some beans 
Harvest leaves 
Chop a root 
Something small 
Something easy 
 
Something good 
Start with something small 
Something minute 
Begin to brew 
Something better

Some Days

 

Some days 
When clegs are swarming 
To feast on your skin 
Exposed in the heat 

Some days 
When sunshine slows you 
To syrup-like gestures 
Viscous and dead beat 
 
Some days 
When everything but the weeds 
Wilt and drag with inertia 
Dried and drained of luster 
 
Some days 
When so much could be done 
But cannot be done 
Days the strong will has lost its bluster 
 
Some days 
Are made just for rest 
On shaded beds clad 
In their white Sunday best