Sometimes I write poetry.
Sympathy flowers, heads bowed.
Busy tea cups.
A patchwork of condolences sits heavy on my shoulders.
Try to unpick every stitch. Lay bare threads on the table.
This blanket gives no comfort.
The washing machine shudders across the floor,
inch by inch, sounds like a jet engine.
You’d think such force would rocket
the foaming beast even further.
Even that small step changes its view.
Quiet and resting it sees me,
sitting at the table, forcing sentiment
onto the page. Writing about feelings
that have never moved me.
Walking towards the now silent,
shaken mass, I push it firmly back,
into its place.
Hold on Tight
Daylight filters through rain-dust specks.
Dot to dot, a map of squally days
lit by lighthouse rays,
stretching across an unmade bed.
Reflection of smudged eyes
sit in a face you don’t recognise,
bruised by the battering black,
lack of sleep, words unsaid.
Dreams, tossed under the bows
of last night’s storm,
caught in white linen foam,
splutter in the stuttering light.
Reach out. They will keep you afloat.
Stepping stones for saturated skin
waiting, when you’re ready
to begin – again.
A Clean Start
There’s something stuck
between my teeth,
left over from lunch.
Beef baguette, hand cut
chips and a side of silence.
Roll my tongue around it,
flick from side to side.
This unwelcome playmate
becomes familiar, feels at home.
I should pluck it out.
Before it sinks deeper.
Before the rot sets in.
Batch Number 131115776
They sit in a line, two by two,
homogenous, undressed, stamped.
A reflection of each other.
Waiting to be chosen.
No expectation, no consternation.
They are resigned. Quietly
they wait, only seeing the light
when the box is opened
and one is taken.
Ghost of you
A shock of white hair in the coffee shop
window makes me stop.
Almond slices and cappucino.
You’d pass me the lifestyle pages.
Latest interiors, famous faces.
We’d eat cake and chat.
I saw your jacket on the park bench,
Tweed and worn, like an old penny.
Imagined it round your shoulders,
once glove-tight but now the fit’s not right.
I heard you on the bus calling my name,
As I reached my stop, I turned to look,
thought I saw the crook of your walking stick.
I passed your front door, now black,
not blue. Was it you, standing in the path?
Shaded my eyes to block the sun,
but you turned and walked inside.
She stands on the pavement,
disorientated, an aberration.
Silks and linen, cocktails
with friends, Sex on the Beach,
dinners for two, gone.
hides walnut veneer,
scratched and warped.
by something cheaper,
MDF and chipboard.
Remember, you have Scot’s blood.
She wiped my tears; Grazed knees,
unkind words, no longer heard.
Wrapped in a helix of strength
and pride. Bound inside by warrior
chromosomes. Genome handed
down from Asleifsson, ‘last great Viking’,
to Gunn Clan chieftains of Caithness,
across bloodied fields
and marriage beds.
Ek ken fra Noregi, fra vikingr,
fra drengr, Gunnar.