No Wonder

No wonder there are so many love songs.

There are so many ways of getting love wrong.

Most celebrate one or more of these.

There’s more mileage in them than in ecstasy,

a much rarer state to which we all aspire,

happy to burn in love’s all cancelling fire ,

shortcomings forgotten, emotions turbo-charged,

our lives in an instant totally enlarged.

These songs are the apex of creativity

even as they approach ineffability.

*what are some of your favourite love songs?

One Special Place

I thought about what Fiona had said,

the female lead in ‘The Bear Came Over the Mountain’

about her developing interest in Iceland,

how she looked at travel guides,

read accounts of famous writers who had visited,

Auden, William Morris,

but didn’t really plan to travel there herself.

There ought to be one place,

she said,

one special place,

‘you thought about and knew about

and maybe longed for

but never did get to see’

*have you a place like this?

What it’s Like

You wanna know what it’s like? He says.

I’ll tell you what it’s like.

It’s like walking around with a ‘Vacant’ sign around your neck.

Like being scooped out by an excavator.

Or being a songbird without a voice.

It’s like walking along a jetty studded with couples clinging to each other like barnacles on pylons.

It’s like being on the esplanade ripping into a pulled pork burger like an animal ‘coz you’re on yr own so it isn’t all bad.

That’s what it’s like.


			

Wished I Never Knew

I wish I had never known.

Wish I had never found out

Wish I had never made that search





But I did. And that was that.

I should have remembered what

curiosity did to the cat.





But I remembered Sunday mornings

at the pool; we would walk up and down

brushing against each other





you in your lane, me in mine, sharing stories,

laughing, not getting much swimming done, giddy

in each other’s presence. We used to joke





we never saw each other in clothes.

You were always glad to see me

you were striking in your black swim suit





and blonde hair; you had an artist’s laugh

but then I had my sudden operation and when

I got back, a month later, you weren’t there.





I didn’t have your number; I asked discreetly

at the desk but they wouldn’t say. I tried Facebook

but you had a strange surname. I assumed





you moved to a pool closer to home or you

were busy with family. Four years later

unattached and lonely, I tracked you down





and found why you never returned.

You died in Feb, 2016. Peacefully at home.

All that time I thought you were alive.





But you had long gone. Death had closed

the gate. If only I hadn’t waited.

If only I’d tried sooner. But I was much too late.

I Liked You Had an Electric Blanket

I liked you had an electric blanket, he said.

I really warmed to that. I liked too

you had a back yard big as a beach





and that waves of love flowed through you.

back then; I liked how we took barefoot walks

along the sand on summer night, the stars





fiery with desire, the hot kisses, but memory

tends to polish things up. to add a gleam

that wasn’t always there;





the cat never took to me and in the end you

didn’t take to me either; our little edifice of love

smashed like a sandcastle by the waves