the limit

I was told today by a nurse
to be aware of my limitations

there is a place on the outskirts of town
called “The Limit”

I come to it regularly on my runs

beyond it lie green fields
and the gleam on the horizon

that’s where I’m headed
when the talking is done

Night Light

Awoken by cramp
in the middle of the night
I got to thinking:
if I move it hurts,
if I don’t move it hurts,
whatever I do it hurts.

And in this comedy of helplessness
and the glow of the landing light,
I felt a voice within me say:
pain you can survive
pain means you are alive
.

And then came sleep,
and then came sleep,
and then the clatter
of my children’s feet.

Sea Dreams

In every storm and raging sea
you will find a part of me
that screams at my infirmity.

But with the calm that follows after
comes a voice that quietly whispers,
a cure is coming, a cure is coming:

sea dreams,
to which I listen.

Diagnosis

It used to stand for Department of Police,
Public Domain not private grief.

Now PD means incurable disease,
to my mind no less a crime than murder.

Not a death sentence, the neuro said,
fingering his black cap with due solemnity.
I could have cried when later on,
I saw him laughing in the café with a friend,
though his grin fell through his chin
on spotting me, so that,
if anything, I felt bad for him.

Yes, his face dropped like a murderer
through the trap, as I stood there
without guide book, without map,
unmanned, undone, uncomforted,

detached,

gazing on a city-scape of ruins.

[first posted 3 Dec 2013]

basket case

no one saw me open my arms to the wind
nor did they see me
in the shoulders of the apple tree
nor hear what I said
and with what feeling I said it

and when I crouched upon the garage roof
again nobody noticed a thing

but when my arm shakes they notice
and when I drag my leg
and when I struggle with bags at checkout
the entire queue and the
whole damn universe too notice

and there are worse things they notice as well
believe me I can tell

so I shall stay in the arms of the
apple tree all day
until I have a basketful of poems
and nothing left to say
and then I shall find fifty thousand ways
to say nothing again and again and again

and after that what then

shall I introduce you to
my ragamuffin friend Parkinson
close associate of the devil
and with me till the end

[first posted 20 July 2013]

clear out

after the storm the street seemed more alive
as if the trees had finally grasped
what they were all about

the people opposite picked up debris
and swept their drives bare
as I came back here
to whatever it is I do behind these quiet curtains

I had been out on an errand
and froze
in muscle skin and bone

then I remembered when walking had been easy
and ran all the way home
clear out of road

clear out

of road