Monday, 30 November 2015

Death of a chicken,

(killed by the dog next door).

And flesh is vulnerable.
So easily torn.
What was whole and alive
becomes still; the eye
turns white and cold.
We dig a hole,
just deep enough,
and lay her in.
"She looks so pathetic",
you say, with a sob.
I agree.
"Why?" you ask.
I can't answer.
We fill the hole with soil,
leaving the head till last.
We search around
and find an Iris in a pot,
and plant it over you.
"Now we'll remember her
every year, when it flowers",

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sad boys

Cruel dad.
Sending them
overland to Nepal
to escape him.
Cruel mom.
Sand boys.
Taking the bathtub
out to the garden.
Sad boys.
Caught out.
Not Nepal,
just two up
two down.
Torn newspaper on a nail,
and two sad boys,
blowing smoke in the air.
Church on sunday.
Tablets on time.
far away Nepal,
and before that
the beatings.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Seagulls circle the boat

I can barely breathe, I'm packed in so tight in the centre of the deck. The people around me are much taller than me. I can't see anything, only the funnels of the ship, high in the air, the blue sky, and the seagulls wheeling overhead. I can't see the shoreline we're leaving behind. I can see my sister and my brother. We're packed chest to chest. I'll never see the twins again. They're buried back there, somewhere in Uzbekistan. These adults packed tightly around me are not my adults, not my parents. My parents are back there somewhere on that disappearing shoreline which I can't see, getting further and further away; lost, buried, who knows where. The ship's hooter sounds, one long mournful note. One note, for all that is lost, all that is gone for ever. I can barely move, barely breathe, we're packed in si tight. "Heniek" I say "I need the toilet". "You'll just have to go where you are" he says, and I realise the deck beneath me is already wet and slick with urine. We'll stand like this for hours, days, as we cross the Caspian Sea. Leaving behind all that has been. Leaving behind the child, who's innocence was lost two years ago, when they piled us onto cattle trains, and took us to Siberia. Now leaving the Soviet Union for ever, as the boat sounds a second mournful note, and the seagulls circle the boat, and steam rises into the air from the rusting funnels.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Maybe it's time to explore blue again

Dream after dream
blue after blue
fabrics and textures
and blue.
Wake thinking of blue
sleep dreaming of blue
no names
but I want (them)
I recognise
each blue.
Last night when I woke
from another blue dream
just this:
Maybe its time to explore blue again.

Monday, 9 November 2015

This sinking pebble is spent

This sinking pebble is spent
Worn out.
Older now, and aching,
Hardened, somehow.
And unexcited at what
Life has to offer.
The toad sits quietly,
Deep in its layers of mud
Down at the bottom of the pond.
Small bubbles
rising to the surface.

No ripples.

Sent from my iPhone

Left, right

Left, right, left, right, left, right.
About -turn. Marching. Marching.
Grey uniforms. A scrap of colour at the throat.
Keep in time. Keep in time.
Get it right. Keep in line.
Left. For all the people left behind.
Right. To make it all right again.
Left. Alone. Afraid.
Right. This trickster, life.
Left. For whom the bell tolls.
Right. Laughing and joking, she ran out
Left. It's with an aching heart I
Right. Hiding among the reeds and giggling
Left. Have to bring you this news
Right. With just her red bow visible
Left. All the marching feet of armies past
Right. All the laughing girls and boys
Left. Is always and ever will be
Right. Sunlight glinting on the water
Left. World without end
Right. For ever and ever

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Miner's Village

Yes, they lived here,
Whole families
In sight of St Kevin's bed,
Which meant nothing to them
(Why would it)
When your life was
Mining the lead
And silver, betimes,
Yes mining
From birth till death,
But a beautiful valley,
And a river coming down,
And the lake at your feet
(But keep the children away
They'll sink in it's depths)
And its not a bad old life all the same
Fresh water
A wage
And we'll teach the children
What we know.