five more treatments

1.
fearful and frightened
he friggedoff the day
and duvetdived into forgetfulness
but alas the wandering northstar
raped and bedraggled his dreams
tossed him in his own firmament
like a trickster on a rollercoaster
caught by a subwayticket lotteryinspector
begging for mercy

2.
coming up for air
he gasped and gobbled
fullsquared with a bitternboom
and a corncrake’s engaged tone call
to announce the end of the summerseason
the end of pier hilarities
clowns and comediennes
and fisherfolk with bendypoles
and wigglyworms
that don’t deserve to be bait

3.
he hung a sign at the end of his deathbed
NO HAWKERS OR CIRCULARS WANTED
no not for him the sending off gifted by others
the wellmeaning & highheeled womenfolk
the loudmouthed & stoutwaistcoated menfolk
trolls the lot of them…
he had his oneway ticket to hell’s themepark

4.
open the gates you bastard
he banged and berated the bastion of Beelzebub
burnished with blood and bronzecast babybones
the snap and crackle of poorly maintained neonlights
a grim and spectacular denizen of the downcast & brokenhearted
Reapersville in flakylettered adornment

5.
BRUTAL – his mind murdered under
flowed somewhere unfathomable
to a place unreasonable where the plunder lay
like an empty pirate’s treasurechest
filled only with dust and ground cinnamontears
and the salty taste of something washed up on the shore
where the sandhoppers frolic and fuck

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guff and gaffer tape

it’s all guff and gaffer tape
this fluff we call the webscape
there’s no escaping
with mouths agaping
strapped to the mast
we hold on fast
to the good shipshape
like grinning apes
in a stormy swell
we might just as well
eat blueberry crêpes
and worship hell . . .

counterpane

he sniggered like a sneeze to himself
triggered by something he remembered
a dismembered memory of her maybe
of partially eclipsed kisses on her lips
her hips swaying to the beat of his heart
around the room their wanton dance led
two dancers caught in a chance fragment
of love

here it is
he held out his hand
his heart beating upon it
the blood dripping through his fingers
onto her quilted counterpane
an heirloom from the turn of the century
now spotted crimson like a bed of gerbera daisies
planted on a sunny day in spring
when this moment never existed

again, it was never to be
the ebb and flow of rationality
two rivers in a confluence
tides and torments in continual flux
the still and raging waters that wouldn’t mix
their lives they couldn’t fix
it was all too much
and much too late
for their rivers had now run dry

could it be she said
that one day we will meet
not here or there or in between
but up above
somewhere unseen

yes I know, he said, just what you mean
I hope there’s a corner of a room that’s waiting
a comfy chair that’s big enough for two
& raindrops to watch
racing down a window

coverlets

coverlets drape
my wordletting dreams
the printedpoems formingon pillows
i sigh and turn the otherway
to the razorlight that splices my cranium
and inthere somewhere are hiddenthings
that even i havenot yet discovered
perhaps they too are draped with coverlets
perhaps i am they

perhaps it’s an endofday exhalation
or the start of a new discussion . . . ?

Petite Fleur

She asked me if I was happy.
I don’t know, I replied, are you?
She paused and thought for a while before saying,
I think there have been periods of happiness but on the whole, no not really.

We were sat on the terrace of a bistro we used to frequent.
How many years, I asked, thirty-four, thirty-five?
We tried to work it out and settled on thirty-four.
Half a lifetime, almost.

A seagull strolled along the iron balustrade,
stopped and squirted a stream of white crap over the side.
It landed with a slap on the black tidal mud below.
This unsociable act appeared to give the seagull great pleasure.

Tilting its head backwards it squawked at the sky as if to declare
‘this is my patch now’ before flying off and forgetting,
circling away towards the new white footbridge to alight and no doubt
eject its fishy crap once more like an incontinent vandal.

A breeze blew across the line of low tide water below the houseboats.
It caused little ripples to fan out in all directions
all of which were unsure which way to run.
I looked at the side of her face. Laughter and life outlined.

The bone structure was less defined now under her fifty year old flesh.
Like myself, I noted a few extra pounds here and there.
Beneath her skin a slight translucence glowed,
a bit like an underwater river. I found it strangely alluring

but it also made me feel like I was drowning. Lost at sea.
I crossed my legs and leant forward and she turned and smiled
as if having read my thoughts but more likely a nervous reaction
to the break in conversation.

Do you remember, up on the hills? she asked,
turning to look southwards. The biplane had circled overhead
whilst down below we had made love in the wheat field
surrounded by poppies. How could I forget.

I went to get more drinks and when I returned
she was standing by the iron balustrade,
her dark hair across her shoulders, her head turned away.
In contemplation of the ebbing tide, perhaps.

I fought the temptation to stand close behind her,
to feel her body close to mine, one last time.
When she turned, her face revealed the single line
that a teardrop makes as it trickles down a woman’s cheek.

Why did you come back? she said suddenly.
Her words hit me like a gust of wind through a propeller.
I looked away and up the river, steadying my thoughts.
I’m sorry, was all I could think of in reply. And I was.

You used to call me your Petite Fleur, she said.
I’d forgotten that. A bit embarrassing really.
I had been her first and she, mine.
I had plucked the petals from my little flower

one by one, until the call had come and I was gone.
I watched her fly away in her poppy print dress.
A flock of seagulls battled with a biplane high in the sky
and I knew then that this war was finally over.

 

 

you were talking to time

you used to think of time as nothing much at all
maybe a lifetime or two – if you were lucky

but then it started falling in decades
– in lumpy chunks of decimal tens

and before you really knew it
it was yearly slices of birthday cake

yet the years still seemed far enough apart
to not have to worry too much . . .

but when time began cropping up in months
the alarm bells rushed to ring

and not before too very long
it was the days you carefully counted

the hours came and the hours went
you spent the minutes mostly in silence

until any second now
you’ll be thinking of time in the past tense

. . . . . . . . Pleasant Valley . . . .

[the sign read]

WELCOME TO PLEASANT VALLEY
WE HOPE YOU HAVE A NICE DAY

[entering]

we strolled along the level path
the smell of chamomile wafting
from beneath our feet
honeysuckle scent spraying
at nostril level
the precision dappled light
playing with our shadows

hey, how are you today?
the young man with the perfect tan
called
as he jogged on by

[midway]

over a bottle green hedge
a plastic pig lounged on a sun chair
beside it a cow and a caravan
and sounds of the countryside
unmistakably percolating above
the babbling of a brook
and the breezy sigh of fake trees

hi there, lovely day today!
the young girl with the perfect teeth
called
as she waved us by

[further on]

the whoosh of a parakeet
startled us but made us smile
as it ziplined across our eyeline
well this is nice
I said to my wife
you can’t even see any wires
and the AI’s are friendly too

woof woof
the puppy with the wagging tail
called
as it brushed gently past our legs

[the sign read]

THANK YOU FOR VISITING
PLEASANT VALLEY
WE HOPE YOU HAD A NICE DAY

[leaving]