write at the end

The way to write when you start being older

Is as if you didn’t feel you had to justify not having lived

that life

but this;

and pen those phrases without apology

as if you had a story that was already told

and this

an addendum

just don’t let it be a postscript

don’t permit it

as a preview

a precusor

and certainly not posthumous

unless you want to go right back to the beginning

If I look at you from afar

If I look at you from afar I can see that you’re quite scruffy

Your paths aren’t made

Your vegetation’s sparse

Rocks pilled up on you like spots

Skin is crinkled on your earth

It’s as if you’re old when you’re young

And I’m measuring being old against you

Well not me, I hope to last longer

but someone will walk past and think

I hope I live to see this all open to walk upon

Parkwood Springs Landfill

We’ve seen it happen before, dirty ground turned verdant

Here it’s the gorse and the broom and lupins that stand out

Later in the spring yellow washes of rape

the lupins stand really strong now

and I am going to measure myself against you

I’ll see you come to life and your fences taken down

I’ll walk over that young face and remember that it was old already before it was young

Very lucky to see such a cycle

If I do

goodge street station

What is the point in trying to hold onto the choking of tears

Or trying to just stay choked

Keeping words to that effect alive

It is to address the ghosts of my sister and my father

I waited not long enough for both to be here

I was always in a hurry

And missed them when I was young

Not so much as now though

When they are much closer

The Courtauld

Why am I crying when there is nothing else I can do?

Entering a room

two vast wooden chests with clawed feet

painted with scenes of medieval war

castles, nobility, succour

pregnancy

perspective and a little sign saying

Do Not Touch

He should want to climb in there

and return to the place he’s a child again

looking out at himself

with the pathos of his father

God it is some lovely tragedy play here

like a seeping

a wet log pressed hard and weeping

Is it loss? No.

It’s discovery of real feeling

Unavoidable at last released

It’s the First and the Last

The Time is This Time

Away from the automatic desire of lust

A glance through the window framed by the chests

where the gauze makes pointillist figures of two young women

who walk off

pointless and pointed

________________

Somerset House

The name had been lodged in memory with no place attached

A somewhere you might have had to go

if

and when

you needed to know or prove yourself to another

Suddenly there it is and the Courtauld Institute inside it

the vast courtyard framed

All this was mine!

In my childhood as a London boy

It was all a given

names all known

places and palaces never visited

Lincolns Inn Fields

There it is! Next to Covent Garden

and I never knew

Yet it was all mine

and even if I always knew

the barriers of wealth

I believed that culture

stood above this

and was itself a key to something greater

This the curse of religiosity!

That there is an above

a saviour

a state of being aside wealth and pride

The Pride of the Table Turner!

but no

lack of curiosity

and a cleaving tight to tight to beauty

and it’s access through

a love

that plain work might destroy.

____________________

Chests

Two days before his son had top surgery

He dreamed he loved a young man

with a flat chest

laced with a vine tattoo

He told his son who smiled sweetly

Das Traum

Spider he was called and when he came it was alright

I was allowed

I didn’t need to pocket a knife

“Star cave hin man” pendjoum

Like a memory of pride

My wife is there laughing and Hej!

It was the Dane, the blonde one

but Spider had moved on and I had to counter the fury of the Portuguese

who didn’t like my hair

only fit for the bed slats of the monastic

But Spider had come

He remembered who I was

although all knew it

How I gained speech

Jazz at the Lescar

Moore Pope Hunter

Imagine you’re playing to the OAPs

At the Jazz in the Tuesday lunch club in Torrevieja

My father there eating his 

Roast beef

Mash

Carrots

He doesn’t spill the gravy

But hears and taps his feet

He’d do that even as the citizens start at the sounds of chaos;

Birds squalling over a storm;

Running behind arrhythmia 

Your music could be a joke then

I’m relishing the laughter

My father’s patient

But too old as he became

Never heard

The splutter

Only remembered

The order

Of a New Orleans 

He didn’t know

poem for a peaen

We saw you yesterday Ellesmere Green
Crossing the road
Holding dirty blue jogging slacks up with one hand
Grey brown jacket too hot for the weather and
Looking not at us but where we could not see

Then today on Minna Road
It’s like you’ve taken only one step
Across the night
Through morning
To midday
Hand holding slacks
Jacket too warm
Eyes inverted unfurling tomorrow

This your paean for the virtue of true timelessness