Across the Water

Man hangs, happily distracted,

From a dream of smoke.

In another world; his

Friend is at one end

Of a fight-tense line.

Between them a woman whose

Skeleton is a charity-shop stool frame.

Across the smooth water

A thin stick holds up a man.

Me? I’m here; balancing unsteadily

On a reflection that shifts and

Cannot possibly be me

I’m not that colour, I’m not

That rigid, that tired, don’t

Look as old as the water

So faithlessly shows.



Delightful dry-wind friend,

White-winged day ghost –

Feathers cut from polished core of

Purest cumulus, sewn onto galleon jib sheets:

Spirit of summer-new.

Swimming powerfully through

Thick purple and lemon evening

Moor-top strata skies while,

Way below and way behind,

Earth and Heaven shiver with ecstasy.