Two Bus Poems

I

Every day bar some
the bus comes sometime, stops.
A law as certain, now
as the coming of night
of day, of suns, novas.
And people wobble on it.

I sit on the top floor
it feels safer up here
and I think of your face
whom I meet at the stop
on the odd occasion.
I think of the bus crash

where the corner taken
slightly too fast ended
in an event survived
by two of us alone.
The tragic accident
with one happier dream;

as we stare for months from
plaster casts at open
eyes across the room – heads
in a cartoon-like wrap –
your eyes like oil vents loosed
and set fire in the night

and that oil drains downward
to soak our sweat drenched casts
our two hospital beds
in the desert, they melt
and we walk slow to meet
and this under dark rain

burning rain – we are one.
We were only standing
sparsely chatting back then
now we melt into
puddles of each other – and
the dark oil rolls onwards.

II

Your fingers tap cleanly
on the deep red plastic
suitcase – where will it end!?
I would say hi, open
the suitcase of futures,
allow random packings

to array themselves – smile –
You smile as I walk by
the bus’s lit windows.
It had to be raining.
Now, not only can I
not skateboard but dwell, too

on your face, this soft chance
which for once makes the sharp
butterfly wings softer –
an anxiety lost
and gained this idea
of our nights together

in the Sevillan shade
sharing an orange – peel
of our clothes scattered on
the warm tiled courtyard floor
as I whisper in your
deepest ear – what fragrance.

The suitcase slipped out
of your grasp – rolled and I
caught it, its dimpled shell
shining under bus lights
this cavern of hard flesh –
but what am I saying.

Hercules

It happens sometimes, this odd feeling –
that things aren’t quite what I thought they were.
For instance, now, on the morning bus
I sit and watch her hair making greased
marks on the windows, and feel the warmth
and the gentle rocking of the seats
this sleepy morning. And I reason
that I am happy, and that nothing
is lacking here as we cross the bridge.

But I used to want more. I used to
feel singeing terror that I would reach
this dull moment. That I would give up
wanting to murder the next lion
rampaging across the rainy hills,
or that simply seeing the Hydra
with its roiling whipknot of sharp heads
would make me feel such fatigue, make me
lie down in the darkness and wonder –

but then one day I woke up. Something
had changed, and all my possibles
were scattered around me in pieces
on the mosaic floor, the old kline couch
the wicker chair, and their blood was all
I could see. That was the beginning.
Immense strength is not just for blasting –
now I make cups of tea, get biscuits
for my colleagues with a cooling ease.

I used to know I would rather die
than live like this – how often this life
shows us with what smallness we think.
It’s really not so bad once you’re here.
The muses, grown old and decrepit
fuss around my head from time to time
making sure I’ve done this or that task –
immortality is truly real
when only the same small things repeat

Mantra & Event

I

It’s too late, I’m too tired
there are too many small senses
crowded into the bed with the big
beige allover tiredness –
Let me sleep, let me not write
the aches in my arms tonight.
Only warm up the bed till a)
I can finally relax and b)

II

The bus is late
Condensated windows drip
onto raincoats, yawns, mornings.
Alongside, a giant spider crawls
slowly – it’s so big
it can crawl slowly and still
keep up

It takes a sodden leg
and taps the misted glass next to me
dunk, dunk, dunk
Pensioners get caught inadvertently
in its slowly trailing web
I stare
then go back to sleep.

Branches scrape on the bus
like dull whistles