failure to thrive

I found a flat grey stone on the beach
with scratch marks
scored deeply on one side

it reminded me of something I couldn’t account for
so I placed it in the yard
with other things I don’t care about
and thought no more of it

when I saw it again
the lines seemed more pronounced
(it may have been the light)
but it no longer reminded me of anything
other than how a young child starved of love
will fail to thrive

next day
I returned it to the beach

a three-legged dog followed me home
but I don’t want him


I happened on a message
left under a stone
by an old brick wall
I used to visit long ago
as a child

it’s not easy
lifting up a capstone
entering a dolmen
finding a memento

there may be tears

Black Roses

A garden of black roses,
a busted cross – dark eglantine.
A ruined plaster saint around whose hip
an ancient vine entwines.
Black roses for the bedside,
black roses for the bed,
stone fruit upon the table,
stone clouds up overhead.
The cottage on the cliff
that you once stayed in as a child
has fallen into disrepair,
the garden let run wild.
Stone flowers for your garland,
dead laurel for your head,
black roses for the bedside,
black roses.

[first posted 26 November 2014]