Doctor No Much More

He feels the weight loss that he still calls hunger.
He wishes to hear English native spoke,
or was that spoken? Harder to remember
alone inside his nearing-empty mind
with him Humpty-Dumpty bumping down the wall
at the bottom of the garden. Night time falls.

He goes inside and lights the guttered candle.
He pours his cup, last of this morning’s tea.
He disinters a banger. It revolts him.
With eyes tight shut it’s nourishing, he assumes,
so he throws bits at the cat he found that’s blind
and they both eat tea in silence. Midnight falls.

It is early somewhere warmer, he is thinking.
Not stinking darkness. Never rising damp.
He takes his diary down and tears out pages
that he holds above the candle, watching smoke
glow into flame then falter and char dark.
The cat meows, which seems to say it all.

He watches ash fall on the antimacassar.
Downtown the church bells ding-toll 4 a.m.
The neighbour, the one working, starts her car
for commuting to the hospice where she reigns
when she isn’t drudging, which is usually always.
The candle gives the ghost up. All is dark.

A silver lining on an ancient bookmark
succumbs to tarnish and his nervous thumb.
He rubs. The cat meows. All is less clear
than they told him back when he was graduating
and when he bought this practice and became
the general practitioner for this town.


I thought, if I had accomplished something, how different I would be.
I heard wind hassling halyards on the boats stashed here with me.
I walked out on the floating dock. I walked back to the shore.
A gull disputed aerial space with a crow who wished it more.
They flew. Wind blew. The moored boats stayed tied fast.
I breathed a sigh, and wondered, whether, it would be my last.


I can take you there today, if I can find it.
If I can get the key to the padlock on the chain.
You can hold the gate aside. I will drive through.
You click the padlock closed. You climb back in.
We drive across wild meadows where the road was.
We get out where the log bridge washed away.
We ford the creek, knee deep in rushing water.
Our clothes should dry out quickly in this sun
But here the path comes underneath the trees.

Won with Music

Weepy’s good. It is.
Cries rinse regrets away
and drown them in the sound
of Chuck’s ‘Deep Feeling’ blues
while friends from school days play
with might-have-been’s and wont-be’s
until the landlord’s cry
of ‘Time’ wakes them to lives
they really had and have
and the blues are only blues
and no need to be sad.

Chuck Berry playing his ‘Deep Feeling’ can be heard here:

And here, perhaps even more appropriately for this poem, is the same song with a video of old 45-rpm record playing tinnily and with scratches: