Some shadows give a preview of the dark,
Tree leaves dancing on a kitchen floor,
An omen for the day the tree is dead.
We need no more proof that all is our imagination,
We are here; the tree is not, yet do we see it move.
I’m here for now. My shadow has its own life to continue.
We are in the abbey with no roof, yet
seconds before they disappear behind limestone pillars,
monks can be seen, disguised as seagulls,
chanting words can be heard, a murmur of Latin prayers,
mistaken for the roar of the North Sea.
When I make a photo of you looking over the harbour,
standing next to you is an astonished man
with a tonsure of a Benedict
who opens his mouth in the way of Munch’s Scream
but I only hear Kittiwakes yell and his wife calling him Pete.
I capture your smile outside the abbey. You face the tea room.
Behind you in the abbey continuing prayers,
chanting, movements of medieval life.
Sometimes I wonder if you ever think of me,
Remember afternoons we spent together.
Your silence goes so well with grieve and distance,
Are memories not lies in many ways?
I ought to integrate the people we both met there,
Or the ones who should have been perhaps,
To give the whole experience a twist, a change,
To make it more mundane and practical, like daily cups and saucers.
opening the box, the letters you once wrote
all that is left for me to remember
are the white gaps, now pale brown, in which
i make up your thoughts as i presume they were, but the edges
of the pages are darker, and crisp, and fall apart.
reading the past is drinking dust, choking
on every line that has gone, you
are most of all dead in your letters. your eyes
follow me around in the room
as i close the box
Breathe the air unseen
And fit into the water;
The Earth won’t drop you.
Dream the rain, eyes closed,
Hear steps become a river
Where fish go, seabound.
Let your feet touch sand,
Smell light as you walk down
Unseen. Leave for now.
Because of fences on the road ahead
We’re kept from danger on the abyss side,
Where friendly moonlight seems to miss our tread,
But we don’t fall to our surprise. We said
We’d never make it – then we may have lied
Because of fences on the road ahead.
We find our courage and are nearly mad,
Forgetting those afore us who have died.
Though friendly moonlight seems to miss our tread,
We shall not fail our goal now we have fled.
But dumb we were to go without a guide
Because the fences on the road ahead
Are weak and take us down, we’ll end up dead.
For us there is no hope. Yes, we were right,
And friendly moonlight seems to miss our tread
As we were wrongly told and falsely led
So there we fall, to deep and far and night,
Because the fences left the road ahead,
And friendly moonlight made us miss our tread.
From my hand to the paper went my mind,
The ink fled wider than the words, my thoughts
Found space while beaks became a delta,
The poems were a sea of all I wanted you to know.
But your ships would never sail my waters,
And a draught has blown the sheets away,
Last words that never made it to Pompeii.
I hope you made it safe and free.
To start a new year with a new poem and wishing everyone a very good 2017.