Saturday, 22 May 2010

Care Home

I drink a glass of water,
pick up orange juice
and a box of jaffa cakes.
Resolved, I take breath
and walk towards that room where she lays
- my auntie, half asleep, with window
open and twisting fan, on slow.

I push open the door to see
her arm reach for invisibility,
lifting white skin and outside veins
up to her mouth with a clawlike hand;
mouthing a vacant biscuit,
toothless. Gazing up at the ceiling
she says ‘I went in a straight line’,
grasps the air-as-biscuit again - and eats.

A moment in suspension, calm, I sit.
She’s hungry. Now I feed her cake
and juice-from-a straw while she stares at a distant place;
describes animals, owls and
monkeys, parrots, lions on the prowl,
indifferent to my blind looking
and, as the sweetness falls, she closes eyes,
adores the chocolate biscuit sinking down.
Frail as a white stick, she still
can feel
its love.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


It’s a night-time discovery
after a day fetching and grabbing
I turn in and lie - a body
un-prepossessed, an animal.

Amongst it all, daytime’s a stomp
picking flowers from meadows
and plastic bags from ditches.

At night I lay more still
(mechanical machinery stops)
and let-go, start to know
the slow art of no-doing and, so it seems, to dream.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


I found a bucket

spilled it into the river

before I filled it.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


It’s important to warm the teapot

so at least it knows what it’s in for

and, one among many,

a leaflet of tea

travels an arc, worldly,

bounces and bobs in, hopefully,

the sound of boiling water, adding a smidgen,

diffusing its flavour

into the water, refreshing the mouth of a human

like Love.

Monday, 17 May 2010


After a bonfire,

strong weeds rise; ousted shortly

by more subtle growth.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

How to preserve a poet

Let’s wrap TS Eliot in fog,

hear William Shakespeare speak out from the Globe,

focus on Wordsworth yomping the fells,

appreciate Dickinson’s bonnet.

Set Blake in a jungle, Rosetti a market,

put Yates in a tower, Frost in a field

Keats in a bedroom, give Byron a bottle,

and Rumi, yes Rumi, ah Rumi!

Rumi in the sky - with diamonds.