breath 

blank like the stars are blank
and the leaf
and all the leaves
and the carpet
and the ceiling
nothing brings relief
when not even love has meaning

only breath
only breathing

obtained by digging

experience flashes over us
like the morning shower

the more intense it is
the more difficult to grasp

for one whole second
let alone an hour

if I could only hold a moment
from that wellspring of joyous giving

but all I have are these
dull memories

like casts and molds
no longer living

so long ago it seems
intangible as dream

but for these cold fossil forms
obtained by digging

morning coffee

things fall apart
cannot be repaired

for that reason
we sometimes despair

a path leads up the field
towards the ridge

then peters out

they should put an archive
of broken things up there

where uncertainty
meets intangible air

at first light

I could photograph them
put them in a book

a resource for all the world
it would only take a moment

to flick through
we are disposable

even the things
I could not photograph

belong up there
past care

thick
with morning coffee

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

no book

I imagine the room will be small
with pale blue walls
and a neat bed
with a thin coverlet
perhaps a curtained window
overlooking a communal garden
like the one we had
at the flats you never came to

there will be a bedside table
but no books
except for the one you leave behind
after your visit
with the black covers
alongside that copy of The Racing Post
the cleaner was reading

I’d send it back to you
if you hadn’t gone on ahead
I only back certainties now
want no book at all

peripherals

I’ve noticed that when I cross the road nowadays
the element of chance involved
is greater than it used to be
such is the state of my peripheral vision

it’s really quite exciting

that and making a pretty girl laugh
are probably the most an old man can hope for

the sanatorium

and if I visited the sanatorium and met you there
as a visitor
a paying guest
I might say that I had come to take the air
and was not sick at all
just not feeling quite at my best
but the truth is I am riven through
and while each one of you
might shortly pack your bags and leave
I must stay on indefinitely

but this is only supposition
there is no one to meet
and no sanatorium
just the window and the city street

but my stay
it seems
remains indefinite

yes there is only

winter came early
but the trees held on to their leaves
and the weather stayed remarkably warm
we only knew it was winter at all
because someone told us
and people gave us knowing looks in the street
you mustn’t grieve the priest told us
it would be sinful to grieve
but nonetheless I did
yes there is only me now

child’s pose

at the end of my yoga session
before meditation
I go into the position known as Balasana
or child’s pose

this morning I held it
for some considerable period of time

it’s a position that seems most natural to me

in a strange way
I suppose it always has

silent partner

this morning I remembered myself
as a small boy
stretching to greet the day
with hands that could capture sunlight
or think that they could anyway

it took me by surprise
and I admit I almost cried
to think that when I breathe my last
he will be there by my side

my silent partner