tiny explosions sent him reeling from his workshop
pleased with himself at first
but later distraught at the coarseness
of his efforts
later he took to arranging stones
polishing late into the night
and agonizing over the placement
of each pebble
which he could never get right
when his first book of verse came out
the faint grey typeface on the
homemade papers of blue and green
and subtle hints between
made it arduous upon the eye
so he took to beachcombing
scouring the shore for nothing
that would satisfy
until someone asked him why
and what did he hope to find
why love of course
are you blind?
but love cannot be found
and I’ll be bound never shall
love will find you
or you spend your whole life through
then I shall capture starlight
in a jar
the careworn qualities
of my heart
the peacock’s cry
within a book
the way the moonlight looks
on a desolate shore
and nothing more
in a cabin with no number
on a ship without a name
on a sea with no location
inspiration never came
to the shaky old right hand
and the notebook and the pen
of a man who was commanded
to go sailing once again
today it was not granted
today it won’t arrive
I am washed up on the shore
with only pebbles for a prize
[first posted 1 December 2014]
You tell me that I snore when I’m awake
but I can’t hear myself and only hear
the tapping of my feet down cellar stairs
that take me underground.
Lead me to a room where I might lay
and fold down the corners of the day,
into a puzzle that children play
just for amusement.
Lead me to a room with empty shelves
and fresh white paint upon those empty shelves
and windows that look out upon a world
that is not this one.
And when there is no respite or reprieve
leave me on the beach there with the seals
so I may spend the remainder of my days
About that other business, I’ve had thoughts,
although you may not wish for me to pry,
I wondered if you had considered it,
talked to someone, taken counselling.
It’s not as if I haven’t tried, God knows!
But all the same it might help reassure.
It might just help to put your mind at rest;
we all need have our minds now put at rest.
Or failing that we could go to the sea
and realign the pebbles on the beach,
pile them up in stacks and hear them clank
together, for old times, for one last time.
But then again, it’s nearly time to go.
I really would make ready now to go.