The precocious pupil


She held him back after class,
telling him off for inappropriate
behaviour during the class test.
She was most upset that he’d run off,
chatting in the physics preparation room
with his mates, Mr Ford and Mr Davies.
No – if she was to revise and
take the next class test seriously,
he would have to stay and
invigilate her and the rest of his class.
He assured her he would and
from then on he kept his word.

Driftwood 

Wood drifted into
floating sleep

buoyant dreams
ebbed and flowed
tangled limb desire
swept through her
empty branches
logged and lodged
in her knotted mind

tumbled smooth skin
sonambulant senses
wished for his bare bark
to envelop her sea damp
contours offering her
the fantasy of sap rising
– heartwood restoration

but a drift she was
dry and dead inside
yet the sea journeyed
her home to a shore
where lovers saw her
poverty and loneliness

they adorned her with
sentimental souvenirs
and she became
someone else’s memory

Someone to bow down to

I need someone to bow down to, my guru,
someone to show me basic sanity,
to show me the best of humanity,
I need someone to bow down to,
may it be you.

I need someone to bow down to, my guru,
someone to show me grounded reality,
to keep me away from grasping fantasy,
I need someone to bow down to,
may it be you.

I need someone to bow down to, my guru,
someone to show me my mind’s essence,
demonstrating the truth of interdependence,
I need someone to bow down to,
may it be you.

I need someone to bow down to, my guru,
to be my better reflection,
help me realise my intentions,
I need someone to bow down to,
may it be you.

Universe inside me

In another universe…

you are..

A universe I can’t see.

An environment only my

imagination can reach.

 

In another universe…

you make contact occasionally:

a pulse beating across skin,

a pebble rippling the water,

a drum skin struck from inside,

a wriggle on a trampoline.

 

I listen for you in another universe,

listen for you with my body’s intensity.

I listen for you in another universe,

another universe that lies inside of me.


I wrote this some time ago and just found it in a notebook.

Because he played the Dame

Thirteen
that age where crushes form
from throwing romantic projections
on to random strangers.

My friend has a fancy
for the cool twenty year old
in the Michael Jackson hat.
He swaggers around the am-dram society – I find him too cool to take
seriously.

Instead my eye is on the twenty
something who plays the Dame.
I figure that to be male,
to be his young age, and be the Dame,
he must be caring to have
the giggles on him,
to want to raise a laugh in
frumpy frock and rouged cheeks,
yes, he must be sweet.

His brother is a six former,
I pass him once a week at school,
always enquiring about my Dame.
One day I pluck up the courage to
ask the brother to ask him out for me.
He does and I’m told he thinks
I’m lovely, but we’ll have to wait
until I’m sixteen.

In the intervening years
he calls on my guardian,
to establish his pure intentions,
while I lose my virginity
and try to hide my indiscretions.

Finally, at eighteen we meet again,
I’m soon to leave for university,
he is as sweet as ever I
imagined him to be,
but too late, I’m far too
strong-willed, I’d eat him alive,
and leave him with only inconstancy.

Where did the twinkle go?


Where did the twinkle go,
the one in eyes of blue?
That lit up my world, and
made me feel fresh and new.

Where did the sparkles go, the ones
that came with a smile and wink?
That lifted me up, spun me round,
made me love you in a blink.

Where did the life force go,
from once such glittering eyes?
Do stars take back energy?
Don’t tell me that it dies.

Perhaps the faires took the light
to give their wands true magic,
do the embers lie in my heart?
– thinking other would be tragic.

It hurts to see you go,
to know your memories fade,
but I will keep holding on
to all the love you gave.

Sister Mary’s eyebrows

Summer evening with visiting
Sister Patricious and Sister Mary.
Sister Mary has been teaching us
to chase the devil.
But now playing cards are packed away,
and Horlick’s is being made.

There is a firm knocking at the door,
Sister Mary seems surprised that
an unexpected visitor could be
calling at such a late hour.

The visitor is my 6ft tall, 
long-haired friend, Aidan.
Sister Mary looks shocked that
I should have a gentleman caller
so late in the evening.
Her eyebrows are somewhat raised.

Aidan is ushered in to the dining room,
where we are all gathered.
He needs to speak with me about
our plans to attend the Glastonbury festival.
Sister Mary’s eyebrows are now 
walking up her forehead.

We continue our discussions
and Sister Mary gathers I’m
going to be in all male company.
Her eyebrows climb closer toward
her hairline.

Simon has his own tent,
and Aidan has secured a
good sized tent for me,
him, and Joel to squeeze into.
Sister Mary’s eyebrows are now
teetering on the brink,
eager to escape and throw
themselves off her cliff side face.
If it weren’t for her habit,
keeping them from encroaching higher,
I do believe they would have taken
the leap and fallen off.

Billy

“Would you like to spit on me?”
Bill asked, the first time I met him.

Some week’s earlier, I’d ranted in a
teenage idealistic, but ignorant fashion about spitting on Freemason’s to
my school friend.

She’d relayed this to her stepfather, Bill,
the local Grand Master, who now with
raised eyebrow and teasing blue eyes
repeated “would you like to spit on me, Hev?”

I wanted to dissolve on the spot,
humorously caught in my own hubris,
as there stood before me a warm,
charming, funny, and caring man,
who I’d hug with great affection
for decades to come.

Here was the man:
who drove 6 hours with me the
first time I went to university,
who when I later dropped out, was the
only adult to visit and check on me,
who wore slippers to my wedding,
who tucked me up, when I was too
drunk and tired to make it on my own,
who would assess whether I “still had
the vibe” after being apart for a few years,
who swam with me at Hartland point,
who I performed a poem for, Ode on a Curious Object, in a local pub,
who would write me handwritten letters,
who soaked me to the skin in a water fight,
my favourite drinking partner, who now
battles dementia.

So I try and hold the memories for both of us.
Separated by 12,000 miles and fading neurons, I wonder if I’ll get the chance
to hug Bill again, and I try and make do
by clinging to the memory of when I last saw him:

such high spirits, we’d been through
the port, the whiskeys and rusty nails
– elation abounded.
The next morning, Bill had gone to work,
leaving me a note (the first time he’d ever done so).
I looked quizzically at it; Chris, his wife, saw my expression and said:
“Well, Bill went to work with his eyes like
two pissholes in the snow.
And he’s left you a note ‘coz he’s not sure
if he needs to apologise for something!”
“Well”, I muse, “blimey, it must have been
some night if Billy think’s there should
be something to regret!”

In truth, Bill can do no wrong.
So no, no spitting, except on the disease
that’s taking him from us.

In my dream we lie,
our backs on the grass,
staring at a pure blue sky.
I say “that’s our mind, Billy,
stainless and full of potential.
Any clouds that appear are just
temporary thoughts, what’s it matter
if they get muddled up.”
Bill, as he always does when I’m excited,
gives me a sideways glance, raises an eyebrow, and says “Is that right, Hev?”,
I say “Yes, Bill it is”,
he says “Okay, Hev”,
and we dissolve our minds into
the spaciousness of that blue sky –
minds that will never part.