Monday, 13 April 2015
Be back in Spring 1915 and head for the Dalesman in Sedbergh, North Yorkshire - nestling under green butresses. Drink 4 pints of foaming bitter ale and munch on some old bread before setting off up a track into the ever-crouching, trackless Howgill mountains. All snow has gone. It’s a balmy evening, still as boulders, and, although you’re traveling light, that rucsac is heavy and beer sweats out of pores like the chuckling white stream crossing from your left. It gets dark; air cools and moistens. A wind rises so you climb into a bag, using your jumper as a pillow. A few hours later, smell sweet wet grass and see apparent green spears in front of your pointing nose. Pebbles shine and a spider wanders across a real-world near your face. Stretch palms - there are many heavy steps to go before opening time.Resurrect yourself again or, heaven help you, they’ll be right on your trail.
Sunday, 29 March 2015
So my shoulder aches (the left one)
- it pokes incessantly and a sleepyhead
stay awake. This train is full of scruffy
shoes and bad shaves - travellers - and the sky
a springtime blue wash. A southbound chugger heads
down into another country. Andrew will be home now,
laughing more than most and feeling for rhythm
in a backbeat song or repetitive gearbox. He’ll be wearing
baggy pants and a bright shirt, chortling.
Perhaps he’s tickled by Angels or maybe doesn’t care
about death. When you choose such a fate, then you wouldn’t.
I fly backwards on this train, blind to what awaits
- and kind of not caring. People are reading screens,
papers, trendy magazines; all encoded.
There’s no conversation. Andrew will be getting ready to eat
with the full rhythm of a fine chew on every
forkful. Teasing the juice out. Maybe every
Angel needs a cascade of support. Choosing a
Down’s Syndrome lifetime will burn care
and levels of mercy sometimes unnecessary
for a warrior of the light. But mostly his ears
are cocked for music and the heart of life,
pulsing energy in a basket of moments.
He rocked as a baby - full bodied – certainly
more than I rock with my aching shoulder and forever
rigid attempts on the guitar. But it’s the connection
he makes in the smile and a twinkle that carves
heart-to-soul and the beat, beat, beat
of warmth in the veins - to go further and longer
than any old southbound train. And his gift is to keep up
the fashion of a smile - or joy - until the chuckling carriage stops.
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
2 receptionists - and the computer’s frozen.
Clear air hangs outside – so cold –
although these ladies wear their sandals open toed
as if on a beach. Consistent clothing;
browns, blues and greens, no red.
In the corner, dental videos
of procedures – without sound. For this,
we drove here, locked the car, afraid.
She tweaks the keyboard but - still a tragedy
in her VAT calc. The screen is numb. All
to pull faces – by a brief indignity.
She nods us through in the flash of a neon smile.
Is this my fate? – ajar, but strong -
I open the door, wait for the sun.
Sunday, 11 January 2015
‘Book of Mormon’ is rollicking hot,
two-by-two dancing, rude - but (like) fun.
Andrew and I absorbing the plot
- when a sweet girl starts a honeydew song.
Wide open – an innocent snowball
of pure hope and sun in the morning.
Every note touching bellies and throats,
melting jaundice, judgment, disjoints;
singing from heart in a little face
sweet as dates, light as a veil.
At the interval, engagement is deep:
a tie at the ball, champagne pops.
Andrew holds a fizzy lemonade
nodding around, clear as a cat
‘I’ll marry that girl in the pink dress,
She’s just like me – she is me!’
and I wring small tears ‘I see, my son, I see.’
glance away – too keen to agree.
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Thursday, 25 September 2014
but, look, a turn of cloud for sunshine
winking – to submit a whole new word today;
vibrant, iridescent, unstoppable
with smiley face and no conditions,
bigger than the Himalayas (beyond desire):
a simple little single word, compressed.
My question - can I really trust it?
and ask – ‘if I inspire a fire inside myself,
will a tiny word flow back with water force
through chambers up from shimmering earth,
meet itself and melt?’ Under grey skies.
Friday, 5 September 2014
South West England, Summertime.
The base and 6-string are playing
brightly one Monday afternoon
under a soft watercolour sky;
the base and 6-string are playing.
It’s not clear who started this throb
around tents and camping chairs,
teacups and painted starlight stones
but the base and 6-string are playing.
And, in the darker recess of a plastic tent,
one unwashed Down’s boy sings
across perfectly imperfect repetitive notes,
from a hopeful wet tongue laving for dinner
now the base and 6-string are playing.
Propose a new music, un-housed,
less predictable, in a strange tongue,
held by a deeper fret of purple sound
from a true gut; a resonant truth
laughing like a tambourine
when the base and 6-string are playing.