Thank you. I will leave you now,
for my cottage by the sea.
I can be sane for hours a day,
when that’s required of me.
When we were young, the Dragon’s song
boomed softly in our ears,
so far away, so very deep.
It frightened us for years.
They say the Dragon died last night.
It was extremely old.
I’d ask you down. I will someday.
Just now it is too cold.
You can push up daisies in the comfort of your home
and hope you in your pot are set up higher
than the hapless statue of the garden gnome
that the playful Labrador knocked in the fire.
If and when your ashes incubate a tree
you’ll be proud as punch unless the Labrador
chooses it and you as a handy place to pee
in the pot you’ve chosen as your ever more.
(On seeing an article titled ‘Smart urn of the future nourishes a tree [an indoor tree] with the ashes of a loved one’
that no one sees
crack furrows, fragile lines
in cheeks that no one touches with
Published in The Armchair Aesthete, Autumn 1997 issue; part of ‘July Travels’ collection
‘The sheep eat grass. You eat the sheep. Voila!
You are eating sunshine paused along its route
though living creatures,’ laughs the carrion crow
uneasily. He knows he’s next. The beetles
shudder gracefully, for bugs. The mites and smaller
scavengers unnamed put on their bibs.
After doing enough of this and that we die;
the life on Earth that continues is not ours.
Snows alternate with seasons of bright flowers.
The things we thought we’d get to by and by
remain undone, unsaid. Erosion scours
the minds of those who knew or knew about us.
The calm we had contemplated as a dream
becomes for us reality. We sleep.
He leans into the wall. That makes me shiver.
Not ‘against’ but ‘into’ – he’s flaunting that he’s a ghost.
I have to convince him I think he’s alive or
he’ll fly through me. That’s his shtick I hate the most.
We talk about the good times we experienced.
We reread ageing email notes we shared.
The twilight comes and goes as if the day sensed
how our meeting leaves reality impaired.
He asks me to remind him how it feels
to feel anything: heat, anger, hunger. Love.
I ask him what if anything Death reveals.
We try but tire of finding any answers.
The wall resists my imitative shove.
We realise we are using up our chances.