House On The Edge of Town

More and more
my thoughts turn to you
So aware
I’m now the age
that you were
when the pair of you parted
and you got that rented house
on the edge of town

We’d stay at weekends
watching winter’s tide sweep in
stand in the falling snow
garden and fields disappearing
said ‘throw another log on the fire’
said ‘dad, your house is cold’

At fifteen, I was nothing
lost in my own sea of nonsense
I didn’t ask you anything
I didn’t think to say a word
Where was my empathy
you let nothing show

Every other Saturday we’d gather
at your house on the edge of town
it all felt new to me
felt so exciting
a fresh world of fields to explore
of walks to take and fires to light
with or without you

So immature and lost
in my own mythology
I never really realised
you could be hurting
I didn’t stop to think
When maybe your son
could have been there for you

Living raw, living alone
twelve days at a time
the snow piling up around
your house
on the edge of town

While we still have some time
let’s talk openly
let’s talk now…

[2019]

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The House Looks Like A Painting

The house looks like a painting
yet, we can’t agree on anything
What I want is meaningless to you
what you want remains awkwardly obtuse
and unreadable

I play my game, aligning the pieces
to get me whatever I desire
O, the house looks like a painting
but I never know what’s right
too adept at getting what I think I need

Meeting an old girlfriend
who talks of monasteries and monks
as I count the freckles on her nose
and wonder if she still swallows…

O, the house looks like a painting
yet, we cannot agree on anything
Is there an urge that we can harness
and repair
or just our feeble pushes
toward opposing goals
Two firm lurches toward different shores

It’s corrosive
it’s wholly limiting
it’s the only way we seem to know
to operate

The house looks like painting
and still we’re not aligned
on anything at all…

[2017]

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Dawn

Dawn is naked and alive
pirouetting in the street outside
she is a broad grey sky, endless above

It’s not rain…
just some foggy spray licking windows
a coat the building wears
a metaphor I cannot interpret
All irony is groggily lost on me
yawning with my whole body
struggling with the load of memory
I shoulder daily

Maybe I should stay indoors
get the fire going, the kettle boiling
That armchair won’t sit in itself
those books won’t read themselves…

How easily these stories are told to me
voices pitched and plot unfolding systematically
inspiration distilled onto the pages
the bittersweet feeling as I turn them
with story presenting; story nears its ending
time growls and time swells across all things
I read ‘the doorbell is ringing’
So, I leave the room
to check for the uninvited

There’s no one there
and I return to find…

The kettle has melted on the stove
the fire has spilled onto the carpet
the armchair roars in flames
those flames are toying with the curtains
All my books are burning
the whole house an inferno now
the house is burning down

Standing, cursing, in the sooty street
‘Oh Dawn, what have you done to me?
you have killed all of the trinkets
that I felt expressed my personality
you have released
all of the memories anchored to them
now they are free
and floating ghostly in the morning air

Oh Dawn, you have stripped me bare of all I carried
I’m no longer tethered to anything here
Oh Dawn, I am free to start a new journey
I’ll have to leave in the clothes I’m wearing
Oh Dawn, what have you done to me?
you have set me free to start again…’

[2014]

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/nightwalkermagazine/

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Disorder of My Family

This aimless wander has me wanting
my family haunts me like a ghost
around the table; spirits chat and eat
it’s been much too long
since I heard those voices
saw the smile in my father’s warm eyes
somersaulted in my mother’s complete understanding
laughed and gasped at the speed
of my sisters’ lightning wit

There is a peace there
in the disorder of my family
I’m at home there
in the disorder of my family

These years, I have spun far away
but still we each hold so tightly
my return feels as though I’d never left
that easiness and warmth retained
So, to bathe in my father’s wisdom
or breathe in my mother’s open heart
to relax with my sisters’ friendly tales
as they look to me with such respect

There is an unending bond there
in the disorder of my family
there is always a home for me
in the disorder of my family

This aimless wander finds me wanting
to return, to see my family
to go back, to see my family
so, I go home…

[2010]

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