Incautious Spring

O incautious Spring
Fledgling – what are you doing here?
You sit uncomfortably keen
alongside our modern plague,
its paranoia and specious hoarding.

Chatter of blackbirds is
carefully observed and rehearsed
by unseen swarm of
yellow beaked starlings.
Cherry blossom explodes prettily,
Thin late daffodils grow
in meagre backyard soil
– all else goes unnoticed.

The latest is Eddie’s got it
and Rosie’s Antwerp is on lockdown.
Boil the baby’s bonnet!
Those jeans, the dog’s collar, lead –
all at least sixty degrees –
wash your hands properly
and please please stick to the backstreets.

Plans for next year are suspended,
share prices, fortunes are upended
But on even the meagrest geranium
Red flowers begin to open
Unblushingly and grow.

The Present Tense

Dry day (though rain yesterday) –
Water skips and scans
Riverbed and at mid-bank
Unhesitating and mindless

Clear quick free
Not tomorrow never yesterday
But an endless pretty parade
of Today Today Today

Fleet insistent flow
Creates illusion of consistent scene –
Grey-green marble scratched
by off-white froth

Poet can’t keep up with river
Nor take root in damp earth like willow tree
So lives unriverine
Untidily somewhere in between

Emer’s Song

Life gallops through her growing veins
Not coarse but ancient and wild.
There’s something unnerving about so much
Life in something so small,
Something admonitory.

Admonitory, admonitory…
It brings out the worst of the suburb –
the dry, the dun, the careful,
the deliberate, the cold, the joyless,
the precious and self-righteous, the dead-inside.
Life capitalized – always capitalized –
offends limp lowercase lifeless.

Lycra grouped on Sunday
takes great offence
‘She was licking our water bottles,
She was biting our coats.
And they say dogs whine…
Life doesn’t care, won’t apologize
She’d do it again
In a wild and ancient heartbeat.

Dog Shit, Pine Tree

He’s waiting outside
for the dog’s output to arrive.
He’s bleary eyed
it’s three or half-five
in the AM.

The sky is a diseased yellow-grey
pragmatic and starless.
A giant pine leans over the yard intrusively.
It scatters dead brown pine needles
which block the shed’s plastic guttering.

Wind gets high –
God’s breath animates tree
Animates tree
Ever-so, ever-so prettily
Unprosing our scene completely
Unprosing our scene completely.


Summer, Autumn

White light prods through blinds
From five or even earlier.
It is light all day and dusk settles at half-nine.
In Highgate Wood
Horse-chestnuts and oaks,
Their trunks bare for fifty feet then branch-antlered,
Are dense with far-away leafs,
Each leaf of the canopy is gilded and
The sky beyond is blanched indigo-
They combine in almost floral design.
Unblocked rays warm the earth
And paint in streaks the wooden fences
That create the wood’s perimeter.
Light exposes spiderwebs briefly-
Elusive, they shimmer then disappear.

Dense mist hangs around late into the morning,
It clings to the skin in beads of cold and foreign sweat.
The mist exposes spiderwebs that
Hang everywhere-
A privet hedge that looked so neatly clipped
Is everywhere rheumed with spidersilk.
Like leafless deadfalls these traps
Are now useless- their covert nature was everything.
When did it get so cold?
The summer was warm and long,
Its prolonged heat left us unprepared.