Saturday, 23 December 2006

First kiss

I shall remember this night, years from now,
when life has drifted, settled in the cracks,
covering our tracks. I shall think of how
the summer moon slipped from her shroud
and bowed to peep between the chimney stacks,
beamed softly as you said my name out loud
and stooped to press your mouth against my own;
of how wind moaned, stars clustered, rivers gushed
while Time, in eagerness to tell, had flown.
And when existence palls, I’ll think of how
one night the fretful universe fell hushed -
and blush when I remember, years from now…

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Journey

This is the road we travelled down
so many years ago;
this is where winding memory strays
through leaf blown lanes from distant days
towards the place we know.
Here ran a river tumbling deep,
transparently sublime -
here beneath silver-seeded skies
we moved the earth with eager sighs
and cultivated time.

Do you recall the oh! of the hill
beyond the flush of dawn?
How, as we pierced the morning mist,
the path began to heave and twist
till threads of blood were drawn?
Soft as a bruise, the evening spread
into the swollen light:
wasn’t it then we turned to flee
from where our pain crouched silently
and bled into the night?

Remember how shadows screamed their loss,
bringing us to our knees?
How echoes flew, bereft and blind,
chasing the fronds of fraying mind
scattered beyond the breeze?
From strands of fading gossamer,
we teased our thoughts apart -
and wove ourselves a curlicue,
back to the ancient path we knew…
back to the very start.

Monday, 4 December 2006

Wishful Thinking

If I were you, I’d buy me flowers
And gaze into my eyes for hours,
Or take me out to Alton Towers-
That’s what I’d do, if I were you.

If I were you, I’d book a plane
To Paris, where we’d drink champagne
While slowly cruising down the Seine.
If I were you, that’s what I’d do.

I’d write a book, if I were you,
And pen an article or two
To tell the world our love is true.
I think you should, I know I would.

I’d sketch my face in every space-
On envelopes, old shopping lists,
The pages of New Scientist-
I’d make a great Impressionist…

But
You are you. You’ll never be
A man who writes me poetry,
Or serenades me on one knee -

You mend my bike, unblock the sink,
And let me paint the kitchen pink,
You gave up smoking, gave up drink –

And that’s the way things ought to be:
You being you, and me, just me,
Loving each other
Differently.

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Shopping

Stooping, she lifts the items one by one
from their wire cage. The drab ropes of her hair,
gripped by a relentless slide, are half undone
and brush against the sort of smile a girl would wear.
She shifts her gaze as packets are conveyed
in single file along the endless tread:
the basic stuff of life ingenuously displayed
and double-checked against the list inside her head:

bruised apples
broken biscuits
mixed pickles, roughly diced
hard tomatoes
old potatoes
slightly stale white loaf (unsliced)
sour cream
bitter lemons
jar of cook-in sauce (unspiced)

something dehydrated in a dented tin
a fruit salad, sinking in its own juice
a quarter pound of tea (in bags, not loose)
a slice of ham, not entirely cured and thin
a Camembert,
so ripe she felt it aching…

and finally
despite herself,
perhaps because the yearning sprang so high,
the glorious, wicked toffee-cream-banana piethat had,
quite simply,
hurtled off the shelf…