Friday, June 2, 2017

The times

I think about the times when
all that mattered was picking enough rose petals to
make a kind of perfume,
cloyed and browning in an ageing bottle,
given as a gift and sweetly accepted
to be later, discreetly, thrown away.
When smoothing palms on a hot, silver playground floor and
counting how many cards I'd collected or marbles swapped
was life to me:
the big stuff wasn't even in a dream,
or kernel of a thought;
it just wasn't even there.
As I get older I forget how it felt to be free,
a looseness of limbs at night,
where sleep was unavoidable, inevitable, and crept over me as
a heavy blanket, pressing out the day.
The times back then are shut inside a cabinet,
and now
my face is pressed up to the glass trying to
feel that liberty again.
I look up at the sky and think about how it feels,
the scrolling 24 hour news a jumble in our heads,
we're no longer reading dystopian novels with a wry smile,
but instead a stone of fear in our stomachs
that these are our times.
Our hearts are full but our heads have become cynical.
We call each other up and talk about how dreadful it's become.
The times grind on but you can always find
a piece of hope to pluck from a tree,
and plant in the ground,
and bear more fruit. That's how it works.
It's a circle.
Stand by the shoreline and let the tide
breathe in and out to
soothe you with its sweet meditation.
Perhaps you might run fast not caring how you look,
or cry fat, salt tears from so much laughing
and your heart's memory says: this is that freedom again,
of course,
how could I have forgotten?
The times need love, action, and nurturing.
Let's not suffocate under gloaming clouds of anger, hurt and pain.
It's up to us to keep the circle going.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Film set blue

It's easy to forget sometimes
some simple pleasures:
the way the morning sun makes
skeletons of shadows
long limbed and sharp as knives
on pavements,
dots of
blossom too.
A jay's call, shrieking against a sky
so blue
it could be fake:
a film set blue,
perhaps a token scudding cloud.
The glint of morning sun
on an open window
bounces life back into your eyes:
remember how that feels?
More birds sing,
more traffic roams,
more gates clang against their posts as
people get to work.
Morning sounds no longer deadened by the
muffled darkness,
but clear as bells that strike in time
as you walk
a rising clarity in your head -
the world could start to burn,
hell, it might already,
and still
the jay would sing.

Monday, January 30, 2017

While we were sleeping

We have dined on democracy,
taken tolerance out for a dance;
such riches has equality given us at parties.
Opportunities are strings of pearls,
clasped loosely round our necks -
the arrogance that they won't come undone shines bright
as we clink martini glasses that we think are half full.
A frenzied hum of opulence hangs in the air
like cigarello smoke,
pleasant at first until it chokes you.
But the hangover of these nights
looms heavy.
Pockets have been getting fatter.
Regimes have begun.
Barriers already have foundations built while we
were staring slack-jawed by phone light,
vowing we'll never do 'excess' again.
We'll drink alka-seltzers to settle our stomachs,
while tyranny takes hold,
it happened while we were sleeping.
We wake, alarms clanging in hollow heads,
turbulence today.