Archaeology

The day we found the muddy puddle.

Your wellies dancing

under a silent sky,

the imprint of a hawk

swirling overhead,

the honeysuckle in the hedge.

Your feet so much smaller

than mine, and no way to keep

those blurred boots beside each other.

Bone fossils, the ridges of where

we once had been,

you already tearing on ahead.

Anna Livia

She was a woman in water

collecting sweet wrappers.

Her hair the long sobs

of a drunk wandering home

in the small hours. Lost kisses

carved into her eyes. The floozy

in the jacuzzi, the whore

in the sewer. You had to

know her to make that rhyme.

None of those grey men in wigs

were so abused and slurred.

They stood around in solemn silence,

their crimes forgotten,

but she was closer to the streets,

the rebel songs my grandmother whistled

even when the words were banned.

They replaced her with a giant needle

pointing up to the future.

Sharp, unforgiving, uncomplicated.

Not a place where question marks

congregated but a story moved on.

What remains, what is removed.

Listening To Stars

The sheep cry in the distant fields

is full of leaves rustling

their secret summer song

as the birds celebrate June

with its sudden wearing of fox gloves.

Silk ballroom bees waltz in and out

to the hum of a lawnmower somewhere.

The breeze shimmering over the stream

is the calligraphy of this concerto

by a composer whose name

we have forgotten

in our rush to be silent shopping.

These spaces are breathing

balloons of clouds, a wisp

of a path leading up and up

towards a glass heaven.

A single note struck against the rim

of the universe where we are all

falling petals wishing for light.

Beyond This Place

The rain is a storm of caged birds,

the clipped wings of a body

stripped of its inner sanctum.

The muscle torn and stretched,

back to front. The lungs

with their waves of fear,

the heart galloping.

This ringing, rushing in my head.

My blood holding the secret

to exhaustion. A battle

I glimpse in the early hours

when the wind whips through

my ribs and I am clinging

to the mast. A shredded flag,

defiant fluttering in my bones.

I am not the captain of this vessel,

I am a stowaway hidden

in the hold of sickness.

But I see my face reflected

in fresh water and my eyes

are scratched glass,

the patterns flying free.