Small fish swim down stream
from deep pools where they were hatched
spawned a million times
This small dish of rain
shines like a plate of bright sun
caught in flagrante
Coal fires flame inside
the belly of an engine
rising to full steam
Rails glint in moonlight
frost covers up the edges
of a cold platform
Where the blackbird sings
slow dawn slithers up to see
who has breakfast first
Foxes scream at night
fearing us and attracting
friends for company
When you sleep my love
dark night coils around your form
keeping safe your heart
In a tree house topped
by green leaved branches bending
in the wind you sit
Full of praise for fun
the small comedian laughed as
he died of stage fright
Pigeons sit above
the heads of travellers splat
by white spots of shit
Where contention reigns
sanity is not intact
conflict batters peace
Shoes that do not fit
pinch the toes the insteps swell
the feet start aching
Drinking in a pub
though costly and frowned upon
A morning of rain
before the grass can be cut
an afternoon's rest
That black dress you wore
we were drinking in that bar
your legs smooth and brown
The sun on hot sand
burned onto your feet as you
ran into the sea
The garden you dig
deeper than the depth of soil
grows from inside you
When his hair was long
When his hair was long
and his waist was slim,
when the booze had not yet
crackled his skin;
when his eyes were clear,
ideals still intact
and trite cynicism
was not yet a fact,
she loved him.
It was never assumed we'd understand
the bewildering things our young hearts dreamed of,
the obscure and fabulous, tales
told like secrets on a star starved night.
Yet eventual clarity, we assumed,
would arrive like children, a mortgage,
the pattern of empty afternoons and death.
We promised ourselves and waited for light.
Well, still the taunts of the not understood tantalise;
a seagull taking flight, the moon obscured
by your shadow falling above me, our children's cries,
the space between words where silence roars.
That summer's harvest bellowed apples
bringing the trees almost to their knees,
nearly felled by the pounding weight.
We picked less than one-tenth the crop,
fielding fallers too, their bruised flesh
fizzing with self fermentation.
We quartered the fruit with a crisp slash
and they fell in the bucket like waning moons
falling from an orange harvest sky.
Sharp edged blades and water made the mash
running through our fingers like a fresh spunk,
pouring like cold lava to the press,
oozing green under the screws caress,
ejaculating the last liquid drops,
leaving a stink of dehydrated flesh
we threw in the compost as a slow
boiling began it's self controlling buzz.
Five days after sealing the lid
it began bulging with the weight of gas,
lifting with small sighs of apple breath.
We saw the soft scum, spawn mould,
apple brown, spewling and yeasty.
Siphoning into jars intensified
the ochre muck full of it's own sap.
For weeks it stood quaking in the kitchen
till a late, low sun clarified through it.
By Christmas we would be quaffing it.
And under the buoyant trees, fruit still pounded
with fermentation's pulse, making a cider
soil boozed worms squirm through.
Enquiries at Swanwick Station
'You've been here some years now.
I remember your hair dark,
how you were a younger man'.
'I've become rooted I suppose,
manured in by a steady wage,
that and just a mile from home,
handy to see the children grow,
plant and water shoots
blossomed now away
mulching makeshift gardens of their own.
And you've changed too no doubt,
although I cannot place,
among the many passing here, your face'.
'Well, I only travel
twice a year and sometimes
less than that, according
to the flow of things,
how much I need to get away
and other small dependencies.
So what time do I get to Milton Keynes'?
When the stars fall and more
grey dust is scattered here
among the platform-edge high ferns.