ROOM FOR POETRY

 

I have a room for poetry

Two bookcases of neatly filed books

Arranged by region of course

Then chronologically

They have been gathering dust for years

Unread, unopened, a wall of doubt

Twenty years I have been a closed book

 

Until today the penny dropped

The dam burst, the Bastille fell

Words started pouring down

Cascading down the shelves

From Shakespeare to Auden

A waterfall of words

For you

 

They poured around my bed

Lifted it up like a boat

Some took off battered the windows

Like a murmur of starlings

Blinded my eyes

Choked my throat

I have made a room for poetry

I rock on a bed at sea

 

Calling out to you

In the silence

 

 

THE INVISIBLE AUDOBON

 

Somewhere deep in the bowels

Of my past life in Oxford

I am crouched with a naked flame

Above an original copy of Audobon

 

Subscription edition, worth millions

And hidden from mere mortal gaze

In a secret location

Its own room in the Bodleian Library

 

In this dream my life rolls backwards

Towards the Minotaur under the trees

Holding each precious page

Hurt and pain unwound too

 

Alongside Alfred’ jewel, lost treasures

Leonardos and Raphaels all mine

I load them on to Tradescent’s cart and

Wheel them back into the light

 

I start a new enlightenment

Shine a light into the dark with these beacons

Light a series of fires across the downs

Burn away the hurt and sorrow, the business plans

 

Start a new University in the air free of charge

 

 

FORGED

The ignition came unbidden

A firefly at dusk, drifting

Across the estates like a wayward lantern

That some bright spark in Mansfield

Decided was a UFO

And called 999 twice

Or three times

 

No I didn’t want to start again

I couldn’t help it

The materials were there

Lying around the forge

Dusty with neglect, unloved

Then the molten heart leaked

A salamander

 

Here it lays, stronger, steely

Coated in black armour

For black times

Come slings and arrows

Normal misfortunes are ten a penny

In every A&E you’ll find them

Forging ahead or burnt and gone

 

You cannot fake emotion

 

SOUTH AND WEST

I sit on a Nottingham bound train

At Derby Station

And note the platform signage

‘South and West’

 

My wife is south and west

Of here now following her own path

I am headed north without due reason

My life has always been south and west

 

Until nearly twenty years ago

On a whim I headed north

And met her due south

On a grey thundery London evening

 

She was headed west even then

It just took her a lot longer to reach her destination

Which for now is between stations

Hanging in the air like bird song

 

I hear her now and then, hear her true voice

Growing fainter on the wind

Standing in a siding blurred with weeds

Somewhere south and west of here

 

In twenty years

We will both be gone, long departed

Down the lines we can still see

Singing