Sunday 19 July 2020

Blanking the Verse

All I see is a sparrow, and a dove
perched on the windowsill against the glass
and the sunfilm lets me get quite close up.
All I read is that the deaths have gone flat
even as the cases fizz and spiral
I don’t mean to disregard any pain –
yesterday I heard a friend of a friend
has passed, a colleague of a cousin lost
both her parents within weeks while away,
her mapped mother had slammed the borders shut
and so she wasn’t in on the last rites.
I’d heard in childhood even walls had ears
but now they’ve evolved into empty eyes
in which one screaming headline’s reflected
briefly followed by another, graver -
that chokes off the ability to scream.
Only the glass shows me a pair of birds
perched to avoid the worst of midday heat,
on the wall a death curve that has flatlined
somehow bends into the outline of hope
even though it’s probably transient
even though the numbers are enormous.
For  now I have the dove and the sparrow
and no guilt in choosing a narrow frame.
I have  for now much less than a blank wall
and to blot it out, I have this blank verse.

Monday 13 July 2020

Far away

In some far away and long ago
my hands were sand and mist
and chimneys breathing bone white smoke
curled around my seablue wrist
and my eyes were cracks in the road
my feet leapt over and missed
tied together with rigging rope
they’ve learnt to coexist.

As of now they have the knowhow
to do up laces and things
and my knees of leaning towers
figured out straightening
but long ago had a sequinned glow
and far away was king!

Monday 6 July 2020

No entry

With a milestone for a pillow
with hard asphalt for a mattress
I’m ready to make my way home
through this midday heat, and darkness;

the borders are closed to traffic
they have slammed shut their gateways
and a mushroom cloud is churning,
turning the hamster wheels of days.

But I wear my face lighthearted
I keep the talk convivial
and the laundry colour sorted,
a close focus on trivial.

For the rules mustn’t be broken
and life must always go on
though home’s no longer a shelter
all meanings and routes are gone.