meaningful gaps

spaces appeared on the shelves
as the time of departure drew near
reminding me of when you first arrived
to draw back the curtains
and flood the place with light

so too
intervals in conversation
as symptoms grew worse
speech harder

now through a chink in the curtains
only a thin strip remains
of the day

I pull them together and withdraw
to the meaninglessness
of sleep

The Sleeper

I’ve slept in these, I’ve slept in those,
I’ve slept in heaven only knows,

I’ve slept in boots and coat and hat,
I’ve slept on sofas shared with cats,

I’ve slept in trains, I’ve slept in cars,
I’ve slept on floorboards cold and hard,

I’ve slept rain-soaked and weather-blown,
I’ve slept in boxes (telephone),

I’ve slept in station waiting rooms,
I slept within my mother’s womb,

I slept there dreamless as the dead,
Tonight I think I’ll sleep in bed.

no joyful music

if there are a thousand ways
to hold back time
one would be to journey
down some unknown railway line
and by the winking
of a cheap hotel sign
slip into the forests
of the night

let the night take you
where there is no need for time
or for anything at all
till comes a dripping dawn
devoid of chorus

no joyful music then
to mark the day –
not that it would be
wanted anyway