How I wish the sun moved

Even knowing that we
Are the bodies in motion

I want to believe that this
Is the sun reversing course,

So certain in how it seals our days,
Unlike inconstant shadows

Haunted by their dreams of dreaming,
Burst by a minute’s leaving.

Patient, they hold their scribble shapes
Acting out secret pantomimes

Between rays, hoping to outpace
The endless sweep of tugging days

Until gravity’s yearning hand
Keeps these restless secrets turning.

(October 13 2015)

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)

We hear (27 July)

tangled plaques these twisted words,
rebelling at their limits like some
helium-filled story longing to be
unwound, untold, exasperated in a
single rush of exhaustion.

cannot find the beat where truth
first glanced fiction, abandoned the map.
cannot scratch off the coating that
formed when in that pulsing instant
memory was a second thought.

embraced in these miseries,
until they are no longer ours,
until by sharing pain we mute
throbbing secrets into
cracks in solitude’s lonely walls.

suddenly they are only quoted moments
because telling a story
makes it your story
untangled with that first breath:
“this is what happened.”

Glass (May 8)

Wraps up, conceals, sequesters a hundred private worlds
in cellophane birdcages whose silent screens
project and magnify startled occupants:
accidental recruits for daybreak pantomimes.

Divides and shatters all with raging force:
a humourless warrior cleaving foes
in twain with pitiless, guillotine edge
enforcing the final separation

of these hands, our touch untouching
across your crystalline surface
where we remain milimetre-close,
never daring to break your reflection.