Now it is spent and lying limp
and placid at my feet —
a contentment of inky blue
but the other day if you
could have seen it bucking
with energy , flailing its
wild hair and arching its back
[ sea mountains surfers abseiled
down ] you would not have been
surprised to see it thrust
its loins again and again against
the soft white dunes nor after
to see the body of the foreshore
bruised and torn nor its rump
so foam wracked .
pic by Lachlan-Ross on Pexels
That’s all you can do.
It’s like being bundled
in the boot
of a car,
taken by an alien
You’re abducted, baby.
in the arms
Go with it.
Don’t freak out.
Work, paint, sing.
Whatever’s yr thing.
pic courtesy of The New Yorker
You used to call out when we had sex, he said.
You would raise the roof and ululate.
Street lights would flare, power lines fizz
with excitement, fruit bats rise from their roosts in alarm.
Whole shrouds of them.
Why, even the bed shook as if it were coming.
The very veins in my wrists wanted to pop.
It’s awfully florid, the editor said.
It’s meant to be a romance novel, not a porno.
Can you tone it down a little?
It wasn’t the person from Porlock; it was my aunt
Who got on the bus, brought my poem to an end.
My notebook slumped on my lap as she told me
The long sad story of a friend.
When she got off I had my chance but this young bloke
Sat next to me, iPod blaring, hair swooped back.
It was the White Stripes live from Splendour.
How could I not listen ? It was Meg and Jack.
But then a cross-eyed biker got on, hair in a rat’s tail,
Skin graffitied with tatts. How could I not look?
His arms a graphic novel. Then a woman got on
Shouting into her mobile, angry as ‘The Angry Book’.
The sad sack on the other end was out for the count.
Luckily Coleridge didn’t board this bus
while he was dreaming ‘Kubla Khan’. He wouldn’t
have written a word. The poem would be dust.
- picture courtesy of Pinterest by TheTatt
The bus shelter at the end of our street
grinds its teeth at night.
Sometimes I sit with it, hold its hand, listen to its tale
of drunks and suicides,
of lycanthropes baying at the full moon,
of lost Lotharios weeping in their fists
I talk to it too about my problems
Of the jig-saw days when pieces don’t fit
Of the times when your heart races
Like a wildebeest on the veldt
But latches onto nothing.
After a while we both settle
and I head off home
beneath a lopsided moon.
sketch courtesy of Yofukuro on Pinterest: Yofukuro is a Japanese artistic duo, the brothers Selichi and Daisel Terazono
The exorcism was short, brutal
after five days of possession , the toxins
had weakened my body, drained my senses
but on the sixth, a little miracle happened;
my body did not convulse or levitate
nor my head spin round like Linda Blair
but all the toxins pored out of me in a holy sauna,
soaking my underclothes, shirt, track pants,
the sheet I was lying on, all soggy and cold
but I was clean, strong, rejuvenated,
the only sign, the stigmata of possession,
two scars on my upper lip, healing, healing
movie poster courtesy of Pinterest
What sort of wuss wears a beanie around the house?
It’s not Outer Mongolia for f**’s sake
But it looks exotic and it’s warm and woolly.
A tower of a hat from Ulaanbaatar, the trader told me. A beanie fit for Genghis Khan.
I could see him storming through the steppes wearing it proudly like a crown,
I had to have it with its burnished reds and browns and black leopard spots.
But I look a proper Charlie wearing it in the mall or library or on public transport.
In restaurants people just stare.
So I wear it when gardening or on evening walks along the esplanade before disappearing
into my yurt where I cuddle up with a copy of Sonomyn Udval’s ‘Collected Short Stories’
which everyone should read.
- what’s the strangest structure you’ve slept under?
- have you read any of Sonomyn’s wonderful stories?
- do you wear beanies on cold, wintry days?
courtesy of Unsplash,com by ecemwashere
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.