Love bids me closer still, yet as I turn away,
Revealing my redemption from a wasted day,
Love holds me tighter, yet as I lose my grip,
A rock upon which sits my sinking ship.
I say to Love, let go and let me drift away,
Deserve I not redemption on this wasteful day,
I say to Love, no sin if you should lose your grip,
It was a different rock that sank my listing ship.
Love answers, I could let you drift away,
Preserving the redemption for a different day,
Love answers, yes my hands will lose their grip,
To pluck your listless body from your sinking ship.
I saw an acorn on the ground
I picked it up, turned it around
I put it in my pocket and I took it home with me.
I made a hole I made a mound
And laid it there all snug and sound
And then I covered it and watered it, you see.
I went to bed that night and wondered
What if I wake up from my slumber
To find an oak tree like no one has ever seen.
Then I would climb up it and wander
Amid the lightning bolts and thunder
And find a treasure that’s been waiting there for me.
But when I woke up in the morning
The sky was grey, the rain was pouring
And my oak was just a muddy patch upon the grass.
And my dream was just a child’s story
Which on the chilly wooden flooring
Lay scattered like so many beads of glass.
And then my parents moved around
To other streets, in other towns,
And I grew up and I left home to find my way.
And though my feet were on the ground
My head was always in those thunderclouds
And I knew I’d find my treasure there one day.
Well, you know that life is long
With twists and turns of rights and wrongs
And many happenings that wait around the bend.
But all these things only prolong
The culmination of each song
And every song must come home in the end.
And so one pretty summers day
I passed that town along the way
And went to look at where the old house stood.
The owners, seemed like they were out all day
So I went round back through the alleyway
And climbed over the fence into the yard.
And there, where the lawn had been
Grew an oak as big as I had ever seen
And I swear that it was where I’d made my mound.
So I climbed up and ripped my jeans
And I emerged out of that of green
To see the world beneath me spinning ’round.
So I just sat there for a while
Just looking out for miles and miles
Until the cool blue dusk began to settle in.
And on my face I wore a smile
For all that time of searching and denial
When this was where my treasure’s always been.
Many of you have stuck with me despite my long silence and lack of anything decent… thank you. I don’t have many followers but you all mean a lot to me.
I have been writing, just never quite managing to complete. Too many drafts, too many. And work and family is where I’ve been focusing on in the last year or so.
So I’m catching up and closing loops. I hope you like them.
Don’t look at this broken body.
It comes from a place where bodies get broken.
There are many others who are less intact.
Don’t look at the body, it is merely broken.
Just sit close and listen silently
to the resurrected stories.
When did the starlings fly?
I did not hear their sweet goodbyes.
Only the candy floss caught in the cypress trees
Tugs gently at my memories
Of festivals already come and gone.
Leave me to winter’s misty song.
My little starlings, close your eyes.
There’s time for one more lullaby
Before the dust from your impatient feet
Wells up among those cypress trees.
You will go forth to right our wrongs;
Leave us to winter’s lonely song.
Come darling there’s no need to cry.
Those simple truths are also lies
That tell us that they must be free.
That’s cotton wool up in those cypress trees.
Let others go to right their wrongs;
Leave us to winter’s bracing song.
Where do the starlings fly,
When summer storms retreat to amber falls
And fields swelling in the salty breeze
Now harden into smokey stubble
Rough and familiar against your cheek?
Now that we’ve kissed our last goodbyes
Beneath a sky evaporating into grey
Beneath the final wishes of a feeble sun
When all the pretty days are gone,
Where do the starlings fly?
There is no home like place
Where every smile has a face
Distant grows the fondest heart
Soon it yearns to be apart
When every fake is just a smile
We’ve all been on the make a while
Fighting for a place back home
Where we can eat and drink alone
Provided nothing is completed
Can I retire undefeated?
Softer grows the strongest heart
My angel, I don’t know my part.
We build mountains
from increments of time and motion:
timetables and places, placements,
placemats, play dates, the peripheries
and spaces where we keep the instruments
of living, sleeping, weaning, cleaning,
cluttered cadences and frequencies;
the sinusoidal blip of the commute, drip
drip of that annoying tap that’s never fixed,
forever fixed as a nostalgic milestone;
the friends we keep on promising to meet
and decades later still keep promising;
the turning moons and spinning constellations,
quantum clocks of choruses and choirs,
catechisms, cradles, graves, procrastinations,
precious rituals of likes and leftovers
all generously layered upon layer.
We build a mountain,
living in its shadow, even as the
other side is redolent with sunset.
Once, we hike up to the crest to see
the horizon before it eats the evening sky.
They painted it in blood rust red.
As if the orphan weed that crawls
out of the cracks of broken brick
beneath the corrugated sky
is not already eloquent?
Step gingerly along the wet insides,
bearded brown stone spilling
its incontinence onto the concrete,
and keep turning to look back.
The handrail is pink and chipped,
like that Demonic Barbie’s nails
or old bald doll’s head on its spider’s legs.
Your soles sipping the slippery stone,
hold tight the reassuring plastic patina
of this, this parody of reassurance,
and as your hand shifts down its length
you give it, for the little that it gives,
a trail of your hard earned skin.
Beyond, the rain is bristling silently
against the disappearing signals,
the bridge spits into silent stillness,
salivating leaves clog the glistening
lines below like listless tongues.
Clack clack clack. Wet black lips
panting from behind the gaps,
watch as you turn and run
into their swallowing embrace.
Don’t touch, walk swiftly through.
We do not want to hurt you.
On a soft and silent summer’s night
the air is too still for anything.
There is a living garden
growing out of control out my head,
aromatic buds and tempting tendrils
tangled up in hydroponic fractals,
bastard molecules busying about
with their insatiable flitting and scratching
fleeing and returning to prod and probe
the tender buds and tendrils
irritating bone and tendon
Now and then they gather up to form
an avatar of black obsidian
to mark my anniversaries.
But the little bastards
fail to coalesce, and scatter
before I can be reborn.