I will probably reduce your life to pithy verse,
Wailing, chest-beating, drunk despair,
Breathless hyperbole, unctious crap,
Which I’ve accepted. Just as fair.
I know nothing truly dies, though all things change,
As wind will alter course, lead the lost astray.
Though the truth of the matter may fade,
I remember in my own way.
I will look to sea, every coastal bound,
In stubborn dumbness, most hope gone;
Take what I need and to hell with the rest,
And with heart in hand, march on.
They tell their own story,
Angry, red-ribboned, fraying,
Black-edged, a more sober
Reminder of nocturnal passions
That grow green and pale
In the cold haze of morning
Or the warm breeze of spring.
A Sorrow Burns
A vesperal flare in the reddening night,
Curled on the floor, half-naked, we lie
To each other, beautiful half-truths, delight
Daubed freely across the northern sky.
Drifting for now, asking nothing but the world
Leave us, all fingertips and tales,
Sun-fled and tight-lipped, too fleetingly held
To the warm, dull thud, too livid and pale.
And down, as needs must, as rainfall returns
Us to respective lives. Frail memory concedes,
And sentiment directs a crowd-pleasing reprise
Where our parts are played, sensationalised
By our favourite actors, the starring leads
In their picture. Somewhere, unheeded, a sorrow burns.
Standing by a clearing, unassuming,
Awaiting discovery, a stone
Behemoth shading the wood. There sits
A fallen trunk worn smooth by time,
A wizened great thing, skinned by curious walkers,
Curiously slumped, wide-eyed
Transfixed by terrible earth-woven beauty
On root-woven soil. But none the wiser,
For once seen, my native landscape,
The drumlins and cliffs, like so much
Ham-fisted doggerel, stands
Unassuming, all noise of myth fallen silent.
Waiting, dirty-eared, pulse-conscious,
The great stone bastard holds his breath.
Back on the path, its gravelled lustre
A reminder, overwhelming, that I hid
Skillfully, pretending the rough sea
Wind had blown dust under an eyelid,
And walked on, a few steps behind.
I made jokes about the cliff face, and
You pointed out primroses, designated
Them spots in the garden, and I feigned
Interest, and pointed out Fairhead.
It emerged we'd walked the wrong way,
And shuffling past the anoraked yankees
We giggled like kids, knowing no fear to allay,
Being locals, proprietors, and far more
Rightful to shuffle down the stairwell
In half-hidden mirth. By a crumbling
Hand-rail with a red-rusted warning fell
Any palm-sized rock we found,
And after all these years I shouldn't've been
Surprised that you still had the better arm.
They stirred the spray. The ocean
Refused all entry, the cluttered sky gone grey,
We retired for the day for a stout meal
At one of the pubs you knew. And then, I thought
I knew what you felt in your blood.
A Good Year
A good year it's been now. Coarse and brittle,
A rainless year, without memory of rain,
Without a prayer for a squall,
Or the lousy grump of October.
A full year now, since the pang of thirst
Was settled, and reminders of that
Something I felt first, cast to the roadside on
That cruel April evening, driven out.
A bloody year it's been, with blood-torn nights
And bone days, where no bitterness
Lies, for the senses have crumbled, no scent of
Summer lingers, no words lie in the throat.
It was a strange thing to hear,
Like a student-fantasy play
At the end of the Ireland crisis; "We're
Imagining that one day
The two of them'll meet in a room
And, y'know, get on like normal folks.
Not to say they'll sing the same tune,
But they'll laugh at them'uns' jokes,
And get on like the whole thing
Was just a misunderstanding."
A Patch of Daffodils
These could be my last words.
This could be the last feeling I manage to recall,
Bearing in mind that the feeling cannot be retrieved in full,
Only represented in poor rhyme, or not even that.
I would you could step in my skin for that brief moment,
To know how I felt when I looked at you
And saw everything I wasn't.
Thanks for reading,