Truth (on my island)

Come visit me on my islandI have evicted the snakeswatched them swim and sink to a slow gravehave uprooted the apple treeleft it on the ground to rot that it might makethe earth more fertile come next spring or the one afterMy island now is full of useful things that do not blossomspinach, say, and […]

Ode to Bear

When you came into my life, we were the same size still:Three feet high, or there abouts, chubby, pear-shaped, proneto all things sickly sweet; raspberry jam, vanilla ice cream, mostly honey. Clumsy we were both but contrarian I was alone.You were of the quiet kind: Soft outside and in, going about thebeary business in haphazard, […]

The ninth will be a good year

Closure will make composure mine,Like Stephen Rea I’ll dance up on the parapet of the Pont Neuf(And like myself I’ll spit into the Seine). Like him I’ll knowMy measure, keep my balance, keeping pace. Breaking Into song when you expect it least, I’ll giveMy smile to everybody but my laughter to a few. I’ll grow […]

Covering their Tracks

Put the horses out to grass, the Derby’s cancelled:No more crowds this year, nor bunting strung across the inner city. Chose a windowsill from which to watch the world old-lady styleAnd learn how the sounds now scarce are what keeps you ticking overWhen the neighbours’ exhaust pipe is rattling no longer and their walled-inNoiselessness puts […]

All the Right Questions

Peering into prams my grandfather would askIs it boy or child? artless, without articlesHis strange tongue veiling well the mischiefOf a kind, discerning mind He died too soon, and had no childrenAnecdotal evidence is what I have of him Raised among men who didn’t care for childrenI cared for dogs and horses, lead and leatherWaiting […]

Advice (the body speaks)

For this aberration in your hormonal setupI claim responsibility:I refuse to produce that particular substanceThat could make you covet motherhood,Courting it with the determination our sex and age demand,Or so they all say. But really, I think I might be spared the exertion of procreationSave up my powers for the hike aheadAnd make hay while […]

Dear Friend

I’m holding space for you.No display of emotion, no exuberanceof spirit, no spur-of-the-moment talknor your worst best-guarded silencecan gnaw away at the wall I build around it. You’re an accident waiting to happento yourself. Alarmed I watch as you career down railroadtracks unsuited to such high-speed trains of thought,headed for derail. Embarrassed of myself, andhappy, […]

Love

These two hold their connectionlike two trees across a stream:Nothing that moves oneis hidden from the other,Stirred by benign or other weatherthey bow to the wind and to each other.

First Refusal

to Lisa Sometimes the beauty of knowing someone for a long timeCan erupt in your pocket like a firecracker on New Year’s Eve We hung up since decorum demanded that two hours Scratched the limit of what a partner could well be expectedTo wait for with dinner also it was your turn to walk the […]