it’s fate that takes us in the end

i’ve locked the door
afraid the wind will find me
push autumn litter through the letter box
howling like a fox on heat at midnight
when the streetlamps highlight her red hair
and scent fills the town with trepidation

i’m afraid of stalkers
ghosts from the past who whistle down the decades
finding cracks in the plaster of my flaking memories
shaking fists and hurling furies at my windows
that i whitewash over and hide behind
like shops that have gone belly-up and bankrupt

i discourage the postman
allow the garden to overgrow
the nettles and brambles build a barricade
the rooks stand guard in their watchtowers
they warn me when the rusty gate talks to them
wrens gather in chimes

i am but a shadow
a smudge of wood ash fingerprinted on the paintwork
a rent in a moth-eaten tapestry on which
faded stags rear in the face of sudden death
the hunters’ arrows drawing blood from their necks
it’s fate that takes us in the end

 

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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

tellurian

I have watched
as you trampled growing seeds
and poured scorn on these summer days
I have watched
as your shadow grew and cast a darkness
like a deepening sorrow over beauty
I have watched
as you laughed in the face of happiness
with a heinous grin of self-satisfaction
I have watched
as you tried to destroy all that you created
or claimed to have loved in the name of what?
I have watched
as many have cried and I am not sure why
such bitterness fills your heart
I have watched
as my wrists have bled the last vestiges
of hope and forgiveness
I have watched
but I can watch no more as the sun sets
on this last earthly hour

in turn

dead mouse on the path
your tiny soul dearly departed
but to who knows where?

to a place without predators I hope
where seeds and sunshine are plentiful
and the sound of human voices cannot be heard

there I hope to find you
when my turn comes around

this

the journey had been long and wearisome but uneventful
despite his illness
the black cab taxi ride to the airport
the flight across the unseen Atlantic above the clouds
where looking down he swore he saw angels waving

coming in to land and taking off again
transferring from one side of the continent to the other
well almost
the hire car and motels and people
the prescription drugs that kept him going

the roads narrowed and became less inhabited
the scattering of local tribal dwellings petered out
no more tarmac only dust
he drove as far as his Chevrolet Spark would take him
until the front left wheel wedged in a rut

he hiked the rest
knew where he was heading
for he had been here some years before
had recced the terrain and its possibilities
before the illness came

and there it was the cave on the hill
the gaping mouth begging for sustenance
in this dry and parched sonofabitch badland
where the desert-thorn drew blood from his passing hand
and the crows cawed, rattled and clicked

like I’m in a Western  movie he thought
stumbling into an ambush in a rocky ravine
he stopped by a silty stream and listened to the echoes
they were whispers of wind, dust, water and spirits
helloo he cried

helloo came the reply
but there was no-one there
his strength was almost spent
his race almost run
must make the cave he said outloud

must make the cave
and when finally he slumped inside its jaws
a great weight was lifted from his shoulders
no  more pills or food or worry
just memories and his fate with the birds

this was the way to meet one’s maker
wherever and with whomever that might be
the journey would be swift and serene
the sound of footsteps approaching
her hand forever holding his

this dream of death
this deathly reality
this wish
this wish
this

only you

a thread of cloth on a desert-thorn bush
below a steep incline down which the wind whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a spot of blood on a yellow grass blade
beside a narrow track of trampled dust that whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a print of a foot by a damp silty  stream
beyond a rocky ravine where the water whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a call from a crow in the sun blistered sky
above a high lonely cave where the spirits whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a hand reaching out to his parched pallid cheek
a finger that runs across his cracked swollen lips

~

you found me then? – yes I found you
but how? – a thread of cloth, a spot of blood
I caught my hand on the desert-thorn – a footprint
by the stream? – and the crow that called to me
the crow? – the spirits
I came here to die – yes I know you did
why did you come? – because you wanted me to
I couldn’t ask you – I know you couldn’t
I thought I could do it on my own – I know
I thought you didn’t love me anymore – I never stopped
will you stay? – until the end
then leave me to the birds? – I will my love
you will? – yes I will.

Unfurl Oh Lover Unfurl

Unfurl 
Oh lover
Unfurl

Your love letter gift
Red ribbon loosely tied
That past lipstick lips
Blessed with a sudden kiss
And blew right back to me
On rose scented clouds
Of delicately wreathed petals

Unfurl
Oh lover
Unfurl

Your scroll of love letters
Wrought in waxy words
Candle melted and drip sealed
Carved with our initials
There on the side of the casket
By brass handle glistenings
And curtain closing hymns

Unfurl
Oh lover
Unfurl

Embering flames will leap
To imprison now in this long sleep
Your sweet voice that once sang
Your bright eyes that sparkled light
Departing in a puff of smoke
To be gone forever
To be gone my lover

Unfurl
Oh lover
Unfurl

Shallow

I took a shallow dive
To make me feel alive
But the bottom broke my nose
My arm, my leg, my toes

I took a shallow swim
On a careless whim
But the current was too strong
And something went quite wrong

I took a shallow bath
To wash away my wrath
But the water was too low
So my wrath it wouldn’t go

I took a shallow thought
That in my mind was caught
Tossed it in the air
And said that’s only fair

I took a shallow breath
To say hello to death
Who was knocking at my door
And now there’s nothing more