Becalmed

i-could-sleep-a-thousand-years

I could sleep a thousand years,
Adrift upon this becalmed sea,
Between the endless depths of night
And greyness of eternity,
Half submerged, alone, eternal,
Without struggle, without weather.
Coral reefs the only reference points
To stitch the years together.

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Winter at Junior School

winter-at-junior-school

As constant as the northern star that wasn’t there on winter morns,
My mother dragged me off to school, as I, in turn, with wellies on
Dragged shiny heels through dark blue puddles streaked with yellow shop door lights.
In mittens, bobble hat and duffle coat, the toggles done up tight,
I’d stomp in through the playground gates and drag the dark on stubborn legs
Into the dim lit cloakroom where I hung it on the painted pegs
And, face as thunderous as the dawn, I’d shake the cold out, stumble in,
And try to figure out what homework stories sounded genuine.


The Summer’s Growing Older

summer's end

The summer’s growing older. There’s a morning chill again.
Every day it wakes in fits and starts, expectorating rain
Like gobs of phlegm, before it musters up its strength and tries to gauge
Its colour scheme – the golden fields anaemic yellow now with age;
As all the pin-sharp hues of yesterday that burst from every bough
Are fading softly into browns and greys, and on its shoulders now
It wears the bleached mists of the autumn’s cloak, and feels arthritis creep
Through shorter days, while, secretly, the season yearns for winter’s sleep.


At St Abb’s Head

st-abbs

We watched the angry, grabbing waves,
White claws in grey-green gloves that tore
The stacks of rock along the cliff
Then fell back with a furious roar
Frustrated that they couldn’t drag
The landscape into boiling seas,
And so instead sucked in their breaths
And smashed the shoreline. By degrees
The incensed panting drew us closer
To the edge, and holding tight,
We saw the ocean froth with hate
And spit its venom at the night.


Kitten Fodder

shredded

I’m shredded like an old kebab
By teeth that bite and claws that grab
With no consideration for
The pain they cause. I’m stinging raw.
There’s not an inch of skin unraked.
I’m sure the vet’s made some mistake.
It’s not a kitten, it’s bad karma
Trapped inside a mad piranha.


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