Dull-slow-dull

And mind-numbingly circuitous;

This trip-wire, trap-doored, prat-fall

Journey from the flea-pit deeps,

Where the cold dry winds blow.

Every delaying hold up is

Another new, last-legs rotunda circus,

Tattered-flag finery and faded big-top

Under which failing, falling, flailing clowns

Try vainly to disguise the unholy, unnatural stink

Of humiliated animals, onlookers and voyagers.

Beasts all; we queue, hoping for so much

On days like these, fearful of

Missing, of falling faster behind,

Missing that one important sign

That will send us to glory.

Window in a Storm

Image result for raindrops on windows

Like the drowning ghosts of

Altar candle flames, buds of rain

Seek, so desperate hard, to defy

Gravity,

Destiny.

Unseen cheeks and faces

Pressed against unforgiving,

Merciless pane;

Imagined mouths voicing

Silent screams as

Slip becomes recognition

Of ending:

The thunder that can never be heard,

The deeps that will not be denied

Are claiming their once-bright souls.

Come and Gone

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How silver-precious

Those friendship beats,

Come and gone like

The six-prompt watchman

Between the Black Church

And the White Tower

In this or that foreign city.

Smiles exchanged, words danced

On benches by big, capital-brown rivers;

Cruel fingers on the new-named clock tower

In whose history-shadows we lingered,

Measuring the so-long seconds

Between now and the

Wide-yawn platform stations

And handcuff clocks and tickets.

Until next time …

The Big Issue

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Bodiless message

Reached me around sun-up:

No place, today,

To rest, to think.

Dragged my bones to

The Markets of Faith,

En route to the

Hall of Candles;

Met a man

Who offered

All that he could,

The sum-total, in fact,

Of all that he was –

He wanted my trust,

But needed my money.

“Why aren’t you working?”

I dared not ask,

Too

English-polite to offend.

I have been carrying a cross

For a life time now,

One that I should lay

Next to somebody’s name.

I should ask them

That very question:

Why isn’t this man working?

What will you do to help him?

What are you doing for this local,

Here-every day, everyman?

Why would you rather commit my money,

My future, that of my family,

To those we do not know.

Distraction and Disguise

Rainbow flames its brief bridge

Of blazing colours across the April sky;

Sharp showers, darts of cold air.

From up here, atop one-time

Old Howe Ridge, long-time ago home,

Site of ancient farm and a school

That educated all and the one

It is impossible to see the distant,

Grey-cloud blanketed city in its role as

Industrialised, scarred prostitute.

Distance and spring rain are

Distraction and disguise.

We travelled between

Historic limes to get here:

An avenue where, much later,

Joyous wights will chance the

Wedding gambler’s dance.

 

Image:twistedsifter.com

Rough Touch Ropes

I have seen many

Such as he;

Beribboned costume

(More clown than ringmaster),

Cat-of-Cheshire smile,

Loud voice that

Carries no authority.

Yet he will say,

He has borne the sword

From cold fields

To these strewn-with-paper tiles.

I am, perhaps, too used to keeping

Rough-touch ropes tight around

Memories that would otherwise

Have me vulnerable, weeping, cold.

Too used to resisting the

Smith’d-of-gold poisons;

To watching too,

Too many young people

Take their too-soon leaves.

Sting.

I don’t, in all honesty,

Want you to know …

But it took all of my wind

‘n’ most of my reserves

To get this wonderful-high.

Though I don’t want to confess –

I think you should know that

I’m not sure how long I can stay

On top, calm, collected

Up here where everything

Edges ecstasy’s borders.

There are dark greys,

Overlapping distant lights

Between the there

That was us setting out

And the here that is now.

Experience, like ambition, can sting

Like a silver hornet

If you let it; euthanase all emotion;

Yet I am here again,

For the first time,

Knocking knuckles on the

High-pressure door.

Don’t make me beg …