My heart sinks.
at the gate:
sound three times,
and wait for the fourth.
Echo welcome me.
From the Steps of St Saturin
At the fall of night
on the parapet
of the belvedere
your trim silhouette
surprises me, seen
gliding along, clean-
cut without a care
in the world.
out of mind and sight,
you discreetly gleam
in the dying light,
golden and serene,
and walking on air,
about to take flight.
paling into insignificance
in a sunlit sky,
as the evening darkens
you disappear into
a jubilation of stars
clustering in a chatter
of girlish laughter, making
light of what seems important.
of the universe
Roses this year are blowsy, and without fragrance;
their bloom a can-can hoofer of a certain age
who jumped the rosebud stage to a danse macabre.
I miss the flower that’s so presentable
with its lidded secret beloved by buttonholes,
or enclosed with billet doux. For everyone knows
a rose is a promise of love and affection.
Now, with the big heat, they have lost their innocence.
The petals are a used petticoat in tatters.
Still, the rags cling on, unloved by stems who can’t wait
for the sirocco to strip them and bare their thorns.
What will happen to humans with global warming
and water runs out? Will we be like the roses
exploding out the womb in full bloom, ready to die.
Towards an Epitaph for Myself
I’ll miss me when I’m extinct,
and I cannot feel or think,
my flesh rotting on the bone.
When I will be only known
as the one who went away,
leaving behind DNA.
Though not to detect a crime.
I merely lost out on time,
like the horse that also ran.
‘He was some sort of a man’
(M.Dietrich on Orson Welles*)
would be true for what it tells.
*Touch of Evil
The Frenzy of Suibne**
I hate halls with their four walls,
the locked doors and hard floors:
above all, roofs, waterproof
like coffins. Don’t box me in.
I hate clothes, especially those
all buttoned up, neck to cuff.
I can’t breathe. Let me be freed
to wear a pelt. I’m Suibne Geilt
Nature calls to waterfalls
where I can sleep, and eat sweet
honey, fresh cress, to redress
doing time with my rhyme,
beneath the stars, no holds, no bars.
**Wild man in 8th century Irish Romances
The Restaurant Where Nobody Eats
Once a back-street charity-shop,
it looks closed even when open.
Evenings you can spot a faint light.
By-passers glance at the slate-board
and move on: regimented tables,
a war cemetery, fingers crossed:
the cast iron chairs, a put off
for widowers with a bad back.
Napkins– paper planes ready to take-off.
The cook-who-also-serves looks out,
cigarette in hand, decides,
since the menu has been prepared,
to light up, spiralling smoke-rings
a la lune. He sees the bright side:
tonight the family will eat well.