The Thermodynamics of Verse

Laser eyes, they report, and iron jaw,
Send them into a quivering silence
Propelled from his heated glare like
That silver line expanding in escape.

Tampered words disclosed unknowing
Show her voice doctored by a prescription
Boiling down the quicksilver of her song,
Displacing it with a shock of lead.

I see both ways, good and bad, as do they
Where they run from both like mercury
Fearful of the wrong dangers
Unaware that hot air always rises.

The Annual Stuffing

All that chocolate decadence
Is just a red herring. See, you think
When you leave they feast on those
Sugared gifts you delivered, they’re all
Biscuits, bonbons, baskets.

Until you’ve left they make nice
With enough over-sized smiles for
A 1960s sitcom, so saccharine
You wonder whether you should have
Brought an apple, too.

They exhale your annual departure,
Draw curtains to study prepositions:
At, over, under desks and chairs
Engrossed in the very practical
Applications of chemistry.

Struck by the radical happiness
Of the sedate and mild-mannered
Alighting on untapped emotion
I find a wall, brace, bearing witness
To this swift descent.

They spin into raucous ribaldry and
Bitter banter, admit what’s best erased
Before the year rises to cleaner faces.
You smile and ask whether they enjoyed
The chocolate.
(18 May 2015)

I, Too, Wonder

Looking ever forward we become lost
Within the glare of this blazing world,
Ignore its floating eyes, sun and moon.

We yearn for lusher greens,
Promise of distant pages where
Our odyssey might breed perfection

Forgetting our self-grown words should
Sing their colours, instead muted by
These splendid denials.

Rotate as the earth does and
Spinning inwards look
Only to improve, improve, improve

Until we cannot stand and
Lose our centre tripping blindly
On all the promised tomorrows.
(7 May 2015)

We keep asking

While three or four each child
adores to paint with why:
to splatter parents crimson-wild
till fury stuns the deep well dry
where mysteries are locked and filed
heeding Poe’s raven’s senseless cry.

Their dim amusement grows then wanes
as eyes shift from glaring windowpanes
to shield when asked not “what” instead
that question they have forced to bed
so curdled by their childhood years
knowing only “why” will lead to tears.

So this poem offers no solutions
only wanders amidst pale confusions
it diverges even as you read
to serve one purpose: simply plead
that when that question does arise
you’ll ensure its swift reprise.
(2 May 2015)