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

wild roses

wild roses grew on the border
but pretty soon after died
I moved into the Albany
and sat up every night
there is a window on the soul
if we have a soul at all
there is a phone here by the bed
but I never make a call
there is a wind and there is a wood
and there is a darkening way
there is a phone here by the bed
but I wouldn’t know what to say
from a room here at the Albany
and a window on the soul
I love a quiet garden
where wild roses grow
no one has an answer
no one has a key
wild roses on the border
no longer bloom for me

arpeggios

hands open
hands close
hands give expression to the soul

and if I lose the use of mine
what value then will be my life

so I shall play arpeggios while I can
broken chords
like spokes upon a wheel

none of these notes mean a single thing
but bring me joy

if temporary
all things are temporary

except for one

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

tea with bad milk

this morning I remembered our first holiday together
on a campsite in the rain

and a fortune teller who made us tea with bad milk
before we headed home again

guilt sits upon the memory like that
unpalatable and lumpy

one is forced to grin and bear it all
then swallow politely

what the tea leaves told us
I never did recall

but bad milk floating in a cup
cannot sour what came before

crossing 2

crossing the road can be difficult
when a person is miles away

I gave the finger to someone who beeped me
only the other day

thinking that they had abused me
for being so terribly slow

it was the nice lady who gives me a lift
merely saying hello

I am probably too swift to anger
always thinking the worst

things can often get difficult
where different routes converge

ra

when I was a child
I carved my sister’s name
on the dining room table
hoping to get her into trouble

it only got me a beating from my father
who was a kindly man
but as fierce as a falcon
when meting out justice

now I have no father
and the rain here is incessant
wearing away the fabric of the house
where cattle shelter

only occasionally does the sun break through
solving nothing

the old mysteries are the best

faraway eyes 

incident in long grass
intimate lunches under bright umbrellas
whispered secrets of the heart
shimmer beneath the surface of the water

all these things and more
I would seal in jars
or put behind glass in a museum

a golden fish
I once gave as a gift
that seemed almost living

all these things and more
are in need of preserving

faraway eyes
stacked up on ice
opaque but still swimming

vellum

coffee rings
on creamy vellum

synthetic
my poetic truth

vellum from the calf
holds all the laws
passed by a parliament

weighty things

old banjo skins

coffee rings
on vellum