V.28

If you listen when the sun rise
continues over the woods, you
can hear them. In amongst the trees
whisper the ghosts of the dark elm

and around them flutter pulp texts
of appraisal and if you then
listen when the cashier rattles
the till drawer, taking payment

for a selection of old books
you can hear them. In amongst the
shelves the ghosts of poems about
elms slip and slide from page to page

and as the sun light cuts through leaves
and bluebottles mate, rattling along
thin old bits of rope, and old stones
once used to rip up grain for flour,

let reading not have been a strange
historical cul-de-sac, let
people lower their eyes, only
let the silence ramify out

so we can hear ghosts when they spin
suspended in the air like leaves
hung on invisible threads, leave
ghosts that hang on the page in braille

In Which Things Move

The wind moves in the future
with soft wings – it brushes the leaves
hanging in the air with the trees

The clouds change:
a gradient of grey to blue-black
– and we too, walking beneath.

Our mouths open to let breath leave
while the red of your nails scatters
on the walls

The words spoken move
through the past, and your smile
leaves your face to land on my head

Three days later
it’s still there, folding and unfolding
like a butterfly, warming in the sun

27/02/18

Brambles cut with snow
are the earth’s bronze crown
of thorns in the sun

This sun – glancing the snow
I walk under – and my ears
tilt to the birdsong now

This spring beginning with snow
A fox-path diverts from mine
to the deeper more humanless parts

And cars through the sleet
as my ears grow colder
the houses are there, dusted

With drybrush grey – white crusts
plucked from a model of
the apocalypse – each is empty

Others walk by to arrive somewhere
as I stand and look
at the fallen tree, sliced with a gap

The precise size of the path
snow-dust sits on the fragments.

A half frozen lake waits
for me, and duck ripples
there is no escape, but this

Is an escape, the frozen sheet
the tree’s twisting bark
the wood-pigeon’s cold thrum

May this be preserved
this tas of remnants
this preciseness of life

Which clings to us like a scar
‘Do not go in the water’
it would be piercing quiet

Then dull, but I do not need telling
twice – to not miss
by brash action – a moment.

Long moments walk.

Behind the patient moon,
a meteor – as I walk home
watch my head coalesce

into the white materia – holy.

Respite

Unnanounced in the cities spring up
Unattended eddies in the flow
Hiding quiet and held in check
By walkers whose solitary paths
Attain the force of stone.

And from time to time, erupt
In a long awaited silence
In some valley, some alley in the back
Where aerial trees cling drinking
The living city rain, and biding

A silence which, like a sigh
after a long day’s work and walk
after the bags are down, tea’s brewing
and you raise your hand to your eyes and rub
and the air empties itself of talk

So calm descends in the sun’s heat
And the cars, though everywhere
Are no longer here, just for a moment.
And you breathe freely, unassailed
By unnoticed constant tack and tear;
The cold stress of a city.