He is the last to come inside, always.
His trousers torn and soaked
from lashing rain he barely noticed,
as he bent into the wind, pulling weed
from ditches, clearing tracks, mending
the old, worn ways.
He is last to come inside, always,
and the first to smile, laugh off
the rain from his beard.
My eyes have darkened
since I read your book -
the blue shrivelled to black.
You feed me strawberries one by one
but the light will not return.
Only nine months sleeping
by the river,
drinking the rain,
the gypsy blue again.
Life is what she nurtures,
gently coaxing each green shoot,
persuading growth, suggesting verdant spread
towards the sun; stimulating sudden flights
of fancy. New shoots erupting, buds bursting.
"Gently now, no rush," she whispers.
She tends them lovingly each one,
their every need anticipated,
watching, waiting for that perfect moment
for that subtle sign
of ripeness. Then plucking
leaves, one by one -
just enough, no more, than what will make
a potion, strong enough to ease an ache;
to heal a wounded heart.
In my first moment
I was movement,
the world was breath.
I plunged into sound
where words found me
and bent my inner bones
to shape ideas and songs.
We have felt love
while travelling from moon to moon,
the months shining between us.
We have smiled dreamily
from train windows into the
ink black of night
Sometimes the skies
do not open for weeks.
petulant and brooding.
Below, in the vast swirling delta of dust,
the skin cracks, contorts,
dry as a pumice rock.
The swifts have arrived
startling the air
Or the weird pulses of electro-static
that scientists say
can appear as a sudden eruption
from absolute nothing
defiantly searing the vacuum.
But though it seems
they might live off motums
of light and dust
for decades, without thirsting,
the swifts are dying.
Their ragged bodies wither back
into the ether
one by one.
It’s the purest truth, that fire and water
But still, we carry on,
as though it were a matter
of taste, or a pleasing myth.
A twisted tale we tell in the half-light
to wide-eyed children, thirsting
for a shiver of fear.
But the birds return each spring
in smaller streams.
Smokestacks pierce the membrane of the sky
and pavements bake, windows heave,
voices shrivel and die.
Dust drives us home, choking the light.
And how we wish
we had slowed down, turned back,
before the swifts took flight.
Dreaming of still
land beneath your swaying
soul. Till - cast asleep from the sea,