residue

Tags

, , , , ,

wafers

once she loved him fierce and true
but she’d long swept the dust
of that dead emotion from her heart.
it was little more than an expiring echo
on its weakened last repeat,
a mere meek susurration of a kiss;
the odd brightness when the TV goes off,
a grey afterglow on the flatscreen;
or the vestigial images the insides
of your eyelids remember,
an attenuated trace of old devotion.
ashes that cannot be rekindled,
they lie on her tongue and she thinks
of a letter returned to sender, unopened,
a symbolic wafer, dry as parchment,
a sacrificial mouthful for a long lost love.

Advertisements

wednesday’s child

Tags

, , , ,

a solemn child on the lower deck
twists sideways in his buggy
to look at me. he fixes me with a frown
so intensely sorrowful
that I feel my heart breaking.
he doesn’t speak or smile or wave;
his mum in a fur gilet, scraped back up-do
and fierce attitude, refuses to engage,
succumbs to a profound languor.
slumped back in her seat,
she resists the worry in his blue eyes
so that foreboding for his future
lodges somewhere in my chest.

 

straightforward

Tags

, , , ,

jameshall2

no frills no bells no whistles,
a basic model, unadorned,
what you see is what you get.
not for him the fanfare,
the crowd of cronies
calling out his name
and guffawing at his jokes.

no stunts or tricks or games,
mister reliable, the steady
mainstay of the team,
he quietly accomplishes
what it says on the tin
with no need for validation
or bid for applause.
for him it’s all about
dogged determination
and innate discipline.

 

First poem about gymnast James Hall is here.

gymnast

Tags

, , , ,

james hall

a flat estuary accent to match
a personality undemonstrative
to the absolute extreme,
all the bubbles siphoned off
in a reverse sodastream.

unassuming as a coat stand,
gravitating to corners.
milk pale skin and red slash of mouth.
the colouring of a snow white
or sleeping beauty in a ladybird book.

a modest dip of the head,
a bashful sleepy sloe-eyed glance
down the sleek slopes of his cheeks.
serene as a buddha dispensing wisdom,
with a drowsily tranquil smile.

but then without warning
he is a pliant sprite,
airborne and aerodynamic,
brushing the rafters
with humble bare feet
describing circles
against the ceiling.

 

A poem about British gymnast James Hall. The second poem about James is here.

threshold

Tags

, , , , ,

we contented
ourselves with life in half
measures, never once
committed to a course,
never for an instant
expected more.

oh how irresolutely
we dithered,
interminably,
just outside the door.
procrastinated,
lost those we loved
to others surer and
more definite.

they stepped up
brave and brash like
w.h. auden and
took
what they wanted
while we watched
in agonised indecision
from the wings;
and waved goodbye to
what could have been.

 

Reference is to Auden poem, ‘The Moment’, quoted in Visconti’s Conversation Piece.