Sunday, 19 February 2017

Holiday with a stranger

That first holiday with you

Meeting at the other end of the world

Cable car, crayfish, kalk bay

Catching the train up and down the coast

Taking photos of the penguins,

And giant cacti in the botanical gardens

Seeing the prison, the quarry, and the isolating expanse of blue,

The day with the silent hole in the middle, we never revisited,

Me swimming in the ocean laughing off your concerns

Not knowing the patterns in motion

Sand dunes, ceramics, shortening our distance

A dozen years have passed

Opinions, preferences, priorities,

Rolled out one after another

Reshaping every impression

Would I recognise you now as then

Did you know me then as now

Would I recognise you if we were blindfolded now, as we were then


Father’s Day

We don’t do Father’s Day
Because we never did
And we never did because we never have done,
It’s our empty absent tradition
Our stand against coercion
Our sensible refusal of made up names
And he says nothing, it’s his tradition too
The church has donated a Sunday
So Mother’s Day is on the calendar
Thanks for all you do for us, and did for us
Domestic drudgery acknowledged
Some flowers and an invitation to lunch
Which you will cook
Father, Dad
No-one sees what you do,
at this place called work,
For forty hours a week
Still no-one’s thanking you
We’re keeping our tradition

Autumn drops

The sky has dropped,
now close enough to cast a line into,
The air has dropped too,
Tired and thick, dragging it’s chill,
The carefree spontaneity of hot days,
Disappeared into early hibernation,
Leaves are falling and turning,
Moving through the colour spectrum,
Green to red, or yellow, or brown
and every shade in between,
Petals scattered, the bare heads wait,
The last in the relay,
no fresh growth to bloom
and fruit has dropped,
fractured in the fall,
to release their codes of life into the earth,
the last drunken wasp provokes, spoiling for a jab

the tired sun, it’s radius shortened at the horizon,
cannot climb above my eye,
an insistent bore, I avoid his gaze
when it’s over you have to , with regret, accept the changes.
What was warm and bright and full of promise,
(even when it faded there was a chance)
Is now gone
The point has passed, no sense hoping,
Embrace, prepare, engage
For now we work while we can, until the sun sets

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Which January ?

January is a hung-over sky, bruised and brooding and resentful,
January is a tightened belt around yuletide excess,
January is a lemon sorbet, clear and crisp and sharp,

January is an unmoored boat, trying out the flow
January is the boring one, resentfully tidying after
January is the first step of twelve, admitting we are powerless

January is a dying firework, nearly dead, one last exhibition of itself
January is a failed revolt, of resolutions by revolution, while patient evolution bides its time
January is the first marks in the journal, determined this year will count

Monday, 13 February 2017

Eye of the ellipse

Updated for a reading in January 2017:

Looking out, there’s a crease in the view, a crumpled line where the blue and the green are crimped together, disrupting each other’s clarity, where the concentration of my eye cannot prise them apart,

From that horizon, the ground swept back under my feet, the undertow fast and unbalancing,

And from the fold at the horizon the sky flew back over my head, too fast for my hands to catch, the wash escaping through my fingers.

I turned and saw them racing away, the sky and the ground, one bent up and one bent down, and somewhere ahead, at an unreachable distance, they merged at the limit of my sight,

and I saw myself at the bottom of the frame, in the eye of their ellipse.