Hercules

It happens sometimes, this odd feeling.
That things are’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 collegues with a cooling ease.

I used to know I would rather die
than live like this – how often strange 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