4 Apr 2016

To Accept

You made a career of it, impressively
gnawing on the hand that feeds
down to the bone, no concessions,
for that creature called the greater good.
Colour Judas impressed.
I know the old boys sit, proud
of how you perfected the art,
the rest of us on lookout
for a truant morality.

I sleep by hedgerows and on park benches,
waking with only half-remembered
dreams of it all falling graveyard-quiet,
every loose knot finally
slipping. Ashes to ashes,
as they say.
No report, forecast, projection or
analysis can quantify the beauty of it.
The production only becomes
more refined with each
turn in my mind.

You took everything from me.

Thank you.
I try to find some way to
describe it with the words
I'll never get to tell you about the feeling,
the freedom, chasing the moon across an
untouched field on a cloudless night.
I walk until I can no more, settle
against a tree and silently exchange stories
lit by an audience of pinprick stars.

Yes, I know
this is the game, these the pieces, here
the result, inevitability:
the one thing shared.
Keep fighting the good fight, will you?
Leave me to find some place far
enough from your miserly hand,
the storm reaching across
a sky housing it patiently.
I see myself finding this
placid lake, some modest paradise
as I know a man once did,
nestled like the warmth between breasts,
crests belying a valley's bliss.

Maybe there by the water's
edge I'll come to terms
with my own frayed ones.
With patience,
my thoughts reined,
a self subdued, all like
the pebbles resting contentedly—
with no stamp,
unaddressed,
I'll write the letter
that says everything.

Dunedin

Modernity, nervously
grip the sooty edifice with steel arms
and glass outfits. Straddle
wind-rattled closes and bridges
crossing underworlds, the tangled limbs
of wild lovers exchanging
smoky kisses as they writhe, writhe
in stony bliss upon the heath.

Street becomes river beneath the downpour,
regular visitor, always startling.
Weary slabs seem sunken to unseen depths,
cobbles in stubborn formation among
these old drainpipes, gargling black serpents
climbing the coarseness like iron vines.

Night: your field of lights collected
waver as if still only candles, caught
inside sojourning droplets wishing
to wait out that sullen half-dawn—uncertainly
dim, eternally grey,
still like your hilly perches, yet
ever-moving as the chill
cutting through them.

A thousand tongues tell
new travellers the tale
of the city of stone, stories
set in forgotten wynds
and on sleepy old back roads—hazy,
blurred by drink, coloured by every scent.
Resident ghosts whisper of pasts
kept among the rugged pages of sandstone
volumes in the library maintained
by every wry smile, each weather-wrought thought.

We move, we sleep
in the myriad around
proud crags, earthy throne
watching over, peeking around
this corner and that.
We come and go, near and far
and now back again, knowing
what but not why. All the same,
here we are, home.