Wednesday, October 13, 2010

tipping

as summer tips over
tiptoe
toppling

headlong into autumn

the timeless pause before


my heart

tips over

into missing you

and over
again

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

horse chestnut





languid droop of leaves
belies the time of year

glove-like
abandoned in the street
unfeasibly green
against the grey

waiting

like wing-fold of newborn moth

stillness
belies the rushing surge of sap
the coming stretch and flex

awaking

flight



Friday, January 01, 2010

Lemon meringue pie

We'd known it was the last time
though no one said

this task you'd set upon
with borrowed help
in borrowed hours and days
determined to do this for us
one last time.

It was triumphant.
As ever.

Soft and moussey melting whiteness
snow inside only on our tongues
soft with crunch on top, exquisitely browning crystal edges
gone in one's mouth
gone to nothing

the taste of childhood
and treats
little meringues drying in the airing cupboard
to be sandwiched with cream
not-quite-too-sweet

they were like nothing else.


Lemon layered like fresh spring
the bite beneath the sweet
always my favourite


- and in the kitchen salvage of skins and pips
squeezing soaking out the dregs of final flavour
an after-life of sorts
a frugal faith in the future
born in wartime
and outliving that and you.


Finally and perfectly beneath the velvet luxury
beneath those strata of bright yellow and white
(colour of primrose may when you died)
prosaic pastry
perfectly reassuring
grounded and balancing
plain comfort.


All of a piece.
A simple richness.
fragrantly redolent
childhood
family
carefulness.


We ate it without you while you rested in another room
close
far away and journeying
relishing flavours spoons scraping
laughing family trivialities
finding comfort around the gaping hole in our midst.


And now today who would have guessed at yet another goodbye
waiting in this other pastry case?


I was waylaid
ambushed by the dessert.
poleaxed by the pudding.


Savour.
Swallow.
the lump in my throat melts in sweet sharpness

I'd sooner never wash it down
not with anything

It will not last

It will linger

until the next time

Friday, July 10, 2009

tidal

it has a rhythm and pattern all its own
grief

hidden and unpredictable
it catches offbalance
shifts pebbles underfoot
transforms the landscape

it ebbs and flows
grief
set not by the moon but in its own secret particular irregularity

it waves and washes
grief
crashing and seeping
changing everything

and withdraws
leaving shine,
patterns,
and sometimes treasures
carefully cast up on the wet shifting shingle

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

sussex walk

shocking yellow shine clamours behind the treeline
beyond our cool damp tunnel between fields

its only prosaic dusty bramble and elder
transformed by buttery hot sunshine
loud, lime and glowing beyond this compost corridor
this lengthening world of mulch and hush


shadowed and silent
sole interruptions insistent repetitive bird demands
conducting untranslated business above beyond the stretching reach of root and hedgerow


sudden panic of unseen pheasant


the grey-green whiskery silver softness of wheats subverted too by yellowapplegreen shafts
sharp sun giving edge to blade and ear
the secret spider's web another precarious world transfixed by light


on a secretly discovered pond
one downy duckling scurries out of sight
posturing unicyclist jetski-propelled
zipping skimming like the not-quite-settling light
hovering untouching
over the water's placid solidity



swathes of disco-ball dappling
sweep
seep
scattering through the shade
puddling like rain in discs and drops of light
shimmer in the dim dankness



sifting the leaves
shifting the shadows

Saturday, April 04, 2009

bluebells



spring's painful loveliness splinters
the dry
sticky dark


softly insinuates betwixt the cracks of winter
charming its forceful gentleness into the heart of things

audacious
unstoppable
predictable and quiet


wiggles and stretches uncurling inchoate

half born




brashly and tentative
slowly rushing and stamps its way breath held


or is it my breath?

held
laid
resting.


brave
fool-hardy
exquisitely frangibly tough

the bluebells break my heart


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

standing

if i look back
regret still waits there

with its dark yowling hungry mouth


abysmal gorgon stone transfixing paralysing saltbound breath


the past is ruined now
ravaged by understanding


the light of all those painful conversations casts its dark
and i can't see the landscape any more


I do not know it
do not recognise and
cannot own it




where is there to stand
except the present?

nowhere else to look but forward