Unseasonably, Falling

The sun is blind

The old man said

Steps as elusive as wet clay

Milk blue opals in his eyes

Arm outstretched for leverage

In a mantis feeble invocation

The sky a fleck of spit

The road across the cliffs

A muddy chalk

Suitable for marking games

Of war and hopscotch

Casting stones

One knee bent

The trench foundation deep

In a kind of homage

That winter

We did not eat ice-cream

Thought how you wore

A cardigan like rope

Though really it was unseasonably mild

As late spring dancing

One and two and three and four

The pebble skipping

As if this were

A calm still lake

And not another

Stuttered evening’s fall

Still, a hand that reaches out

Measures time

Quite differently to the straightened mouth

Of discomfited laughter


Days slip by
I didn’t know
Your face was mired
Til I saw
An animal’s mask
Of rivulets through ochre
When you wept
The women talking
Over wire fences
Hair tied up for war
Rattan, acrylic, linoleum
Didn’t see your fall
Staccato cattle grid voices
The dye fading
The death truck’s passing roar
Of furious evening birds
Leaving, staying
I don’t know which way fled
Just reed-boned silhouettes
Gone in the almost dark
Grit cast in the footpaths of our faces
The washing line creaks warning
In the aftermathing silence
Cries and sunsets
Thin as guttered water

Waking up, falling down

the tin-can morning
safe, but for a raw edge
behind the death-knell curtains
I put on my floor trousers
laying like a dog
dust the colour of the moon 
sieves down
I step raggedly through
motes follow, worshipping 

There’s a myth 
that strength and vulnerability 
aren’t mutually exclusive 

From here you can almost see
the willow by the bridge

But (too bright) today
I will just hallow the memory

The shadow of the bed’s
barred iron brow
stretches narrowly and wide 
to keep me

As if such creatures had enclosing wings

Crumpling by the escarpment
to the floor
I do not dispute