When he gets up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night,
she’d be there
or on the way back to his room after pausing in the kitchen
for a glass of milk,
she’d be in the hallway,
with her axolotl stare.
Time after time.
Passing ships in the night.
He’d look at her, and she at him,
sometimes a twitch of understanding, affection,
then they’d both look away.
After eight years, off and on,
they were still a mystery to each other.
Her cat. Not his.
They’d never bonded.
The Green Gazebo: Remembered
A long time ago
I sat beneath the green gazebo.
Huddled in my ego’s coat
& this is what I wrote:
The Green Gazebo
We sat beneath the green gazebo,
Just me, myself and my ego.
We spoke of very many things,
How grief and joy both have wings.
We had so very much to say
And that is how we spent the day.
- pic courtesy of pinterest
Fighting Fish: an Extended Metaphor Poem
You & me
we’re siamese fighting fish
territorial as hell
in this fishbowl
I am taking every inch
of yr space;
huh, you are crowding me
but most of the time
we get on swimmingly
*pic courtesy of pinterest
Listen to the sea , my granddad said
as we stood on the soft white sand .
And he clamped the shell to my ear
like a mobile phone . Listen , he said ,
listen . And we grew silent . It was
at first like listening to a garbled
conversation or the radio between
stations but then it settled — and I could
hear inside this shell which wound back
inside itself like a spiral staircase
the whoosh and wash of a distant sea —
for this one was silent —- and for a moment
it was as if I were an astronomer
listening in through his radio telescope
to the hum of the universe
I barfed off and on last night
but my heart wasn’t in it.
If you are going to barf —
‘barf’ is a much nicer word than ‘vomit’ –
you’ve got to be committed,
like the time I went to the doctor
for anti-depressants and was refused
because ‘you are not depressed enough’.
I can’t give myself wholeheartedly
to anything, it seems.
‘Except your writing’,
my ex told me.
‘Except your writing’.
- pic courtesy of Pinterest
Not ‘the last train to Clarkesville’.
Nor ‘the midnight train to Georgia’
Not even ‘the downtown train’ that Tom Waits
and Rod Stewart rode on vinyl
but that old steam train that took me all the way
from the monastery where I was sequestered
to be a priest, on the verge of making my final vows
to a life in the ‘real world’. where I met the woman who would be my wife.
and the mother of my three kids,
a career as a teacher, a writer, and the grandfather of six more kids,
the apples of my life,
a sliding doors moment:
the most momentous train ride I ever made.
I watched ‘Love on the Spectrum’ last night
about young autistic people
mostly in their twenties,
take part in the thrilling game
of Speed Dating;
& I thought how cool it’d be
if senior citizens,
marooned in singlehood
could be brought together for a night of fun,
under the one roof,
speed dating, meeting other single men and women
in a similar age group;
what a boost it would give to their lives,
what a night of fun
and who knows what good things might come of it,
what magical pairings