March

The chill spreads in my veins in the autumnal air
the lone crow speaks my name in tones
of mocking austerity
One foot followed the other in counted paces
as my dog trots devotedly at my side
the trees still show green in September morning
dripping verdigris and malachite from their heavy limbs
waiting patient for the fire of fall foliage
Crow follows me in full voice tinged with hysteria or sadness
and is the only other soul we hear
My dog glances up, his brown eyes meet my hazel,
I let his desire to explore carry us in meandering steps
along the yellow road and beside the icy water of the creek
I light a cigarette and draw deep, the smoke becoming
one with my lungs and bloodstream
an old habit frowned on in polite company
Crow caws his plaintive tune through the stillness
of the sunrise sky
and our feet tread the graveled path in contemplation
The frost in the air touches my face as we turn for home
this road well-worn with our footprints
in the distance the clock strikes the half hour
as the sun lights the sky and opens
the lid of the vault of the night
Crow calls us home

Augury

There’s a street prophet singing songs of sorrow
about the coming of the end of the world
and we know he’s right and somehow holy
with his guitar and coins thrown in pity
he looks like Marlon Brando or Killer Mike
and I can’t tell the difference in this light
His words are all Joe Strummer; the ring
of his acoustic guitar
with the stickers and the battered frets
a counterpoint to his tapping toes
I clutch the ticket – one way out of here –
as I wait for the train. The melody he plays
a stark reminder of the earth in crisis
humanity unredeemed as we destroy our home
My train is late and I’ll ride to the end of the line
a thousand miles away
haunted all the way by this seer of visions
His clothes are tattered as mine
torn and grubby from life’s infinitesimal tremors
I think I see or imagine, a catch in his voice
or a tear in his eye, diviner of decrepit humanity
We share a glance, both heading the same way
to some unknown destination
anywhere but here
the echoes of his chorus my companion into the night

Placid

My eyes have lost the fire
but have now a strange kindness
a projection of the answer
to a secret question only I know
the chill of the morning warmed only
with the softness of my gaze
The blaze has gone and left mere ash
soft as talc as it blows on the breeze
wafting away the ash of everything
but that gentle benevolence
as the time to fight has past
gone into shadowed history as if
it never was
I’m awash with calm in the eye of it all
a sad serenity accepting all that comes
with only stillness in my soul

Carbon

The sky is the colour of apocalypse
bruised and swollen with sullen glare
and the world is on fire
nearly three thousand miles away
There are no clouds in that firmament
nor yet any blue to be seen from here
and the world is on fire
nearly three thousand miles away
The birds have gone silent in the trees
as the sky glows silver and yellow
and the world is on fire
nearly three thousand miles away
Above us is that hostile and dour dome
a threat or warning of what we’ve done
and the world is on fire
nearly three thousand miles away
When dusk falls under these somber heavens
no stars will shine through this strange new haze
and the world is on fire
nearly three thousand miles away

Sunrise

The fog rolls in the first sunrise dawn, bathing the world in misty silence. I meet Jesus, he’s sleeping on a bench at creekside, his head pillowed by a backpack and an old blanket wrapped around his form. He wakes and tells me it’s his own damn fault. I nod in silent agreement, it’s always my fault too. I empty my wallet and give him money. For coffee, for food, to feed an addiction. Whatever he needs to get through the day. We pass words back and forth between us like a flask of rare whisky. Jesus needs a bath and a hot meal. Jesus needs a friendly voice and finds one dressed in studs and ripped jeans and wearing compassion like a shroud. Jesus looks worn and faded and deep into a meth bender. He may need more but we settle on this; a few spoken words and the cold comfort of empathy. I walk on now, touched by his plight, and Jesus fades into the distance behind me.

Quasar

This is me rediscovering myself, finding within me that defiant core
that stare out at the world, neither part of it nor above it
an observer of the times in which we live
This is me remembering myself, free of the chains of dependence
that held me back from my realisation
a howl in the moonless night
This is me restarting myself, becoming the fiery centre
that burns in the heart of the human spirit
a flame to light the way
This is me finding the freedom, to let go of it all
that which is gone and done
a beacon bright in beloved dusk
This is me in blaze, a supernova explosion of neutrons and heat
lightspeed across the universe
rebellion against entropy

Unmoored

I’m adrift now; swaying back and forth with
the movement of the tides
Rudderless and without sail and yet
free of all care or concern or consideration
The stars all fell from the sky in one dying blaze
and now no longer illuminate the way
to the unknown destination. I am at the mercy
of these tidal flows
The current drives me to and fro
bobbing on the endless ocean with
no land in sight, just horizons of cold grey sea
and the random rise and fall of the coracle
There’s a leak in the bow, and I have to bail
from time to time the water that laps my feet
but I feel no fear – no terror holds me –
just the infinite ocean and wordless songs
Though I am lost – drifting and alone
all dread and panic has fled my resolute stare
I am become one with the briny main
I am become one with the wind and the water
I am become one with the storm

Repose

Lie here beside me, with your head on my shoulder
and the softness of your skin against mine
Lie here beside me, with your breath on my neck
and our hearts beating the rhythm of love
Lie here beside me, the swell of your breast held tight
to my gentle caress as kisses rain
Lie here beside me, glisten with panted words
parting your lips in the afterglow of passion
Lie here beside me, let my hand fall to the curve of your hip
as our legs twine together in languid peace
Lie here beside me, and whisper words meant only for us
to my waiting soul in your hands
Lie here beside me, and let my kisses cover your body
every lip’s graze an act of worship and reverence
Lie here beside me, as sleep takes us into its warm embrace
and Elysian dreams come to our slumbering forms
Lie here beside me, until once more we open our eyes
the passion returning as our bodies excite
Lie here beside me, let your butterfly wings caress
my form with gentle touches and murmured love
Lie here beside me, our bodies moving as one as you
see the adulation in my eyes — a triumph of love
Lie here beside me, let our hearts flutter in the breeze of affection
each moment a blessing to the world