My warders have me in thrall.
It’s a case of Stockholm Syndrome.
I’m at their beck and call.
I’ve tried to rise against them.
But they are big. I am small,
So I rub against them like a cat
Curl myself into a ball.
I understand you, I say. I really do
But it does no good at all.
My addictions, anxieties, fears —
My warders —- have me in thrall.
On a road trip the other day
we got talking about birth marks
and how you never see them any more
then at the airport
I saw this barista
with a mulberry stain on his face.
I had to ask him,
is that a real birth mark? I asked
we were talking about them
and how you never see them anymore.
Yes, he smiled
as if it were just another feature
on his face
like a mole or scar.
It looked almost beautiful.
Then he made me the greatest cup of coffee.
Thank you, I said
glad that I had asked him
and didn’t wuss out.
It’s okay to be curious.
is anyone else fascinated by birth marks ?
what would you have done?
I used to like my poems neatly wrapped.
I thought of them as artifacts.
Pristine, well presented, spruce
But now I like them ramshackle, loose,
keen to slouch in seedy places,
tie undone, inquisitive with loose shoe laces.
Once it carried five
and two pets
towards a bright new future
but it was anything but
with a son who rocked
a daughter who kept throwing
and a younger afraid to put
her head out
in the storm
gathering hard above us
but the dove came back telling us
things had eased
a shaft of sunlight spotlighting
our position :
our son had found calm
the elder daughter steadfastness
the younger courage
now it’s just us
my wife and I ,
a pair as God
I can paint by numbers.
I can paint a picture for you in one thousand words.
I can even play ‘Paint it Black’ on air guitar for you
But every time I paint myself in a corner
I need you to pull me out.
I worry about you like you worried about Chloe;
Would she be happy in Heaven?
Would someone throw the ball for her?
Take her for walks along the blue pastures
Of the sky?
But I can’t rescue you from adulthood.
All I can do is like I used to do when you played
in the Nationals,
Cheer from the sidelines
Wish you fangs and claws to fight off the trolls,
The sting of the scorpion
A heart as fierce as Balerion, the dragon
From Game of Thrones,
But peaceful and playful as Puff, that magic dragon
I’m staying in with a friend today.
Like me he doesn’t look for other company.
We’ll probably lounge around, watch Netflix, maybe go out the back for a spot of sun if it’s shining then back inside.
Telly, sleep, periodic caffeine hits.
Don’t answer the door if someone knocks.
Maybe check out this post to see if it’s got any likes or comments.
Think about food a little later.
More caffeine so we can stay awake long enough to eat it.
Not enough to bust any moves. No, No, No dancing today.
Oh and more meds to fight off this fucking cold — sorry, buddy —
which as the Kinks say, ‘has really got a hold on me.’
Cue Dave Davies. And The Two Ronnies.
So it’s goodnight from me, and goodnight from him.