When dusk creeps, sudden,
The guards change places
Over the hill. The trees awake and sigh.
What do these woods mutter under a slow breath of breeze
Of rot and rain, of dawn and dusk
Of time devoid of numbers
Get out – they say.
Not yours by night,
By day, you stay.
Uninvited, to take the best
and worst among us.
Now you must go.
How shy they live among themselves
Theirs is the slow power of nameless darkest green
A child grows in stealth, as a costly blessing.
It eats you hollow, draws your juices by the claims of time.
Years pass innocuously as a day much looked forward to
And creeps into the future.
Have I loved you well enough? I wonder.
As you lift your face towards the years I might not see.
The ties that bound us fray. Where I loosened, I reel them now.
But your younger self dissolves silently
As you stand gloating over the child that is lost.
It is only natural, I suppose.
As if cruel nature would soften the stinging of words unsaid
And hair not stroked, regret rests me.
The only glory we know lies in your smile
And a kind word you speak to strangers.
To bask among your rays, lethal but diluted
Until my bones are baked and skin is scorched
Is to fall fully into temporary grace.
At times you are distant, I am beyond your reach
A fallow field is my heart and my garden
And it is a winter’s longing you teach.
How I love your gentle touch. Your kiss stirs us,
The woods hum with longing for themselves
You are the man of many lovers
One of many mistresses I am, unfolded
In a string of billions of years, I wither
In a blink of your own demise.
After you burn up and fade
Light the universe with a pale candle
To rest the soul of earth in a frosty memory.
For whatever lives forever.
Passing through the woods on an overcast day
No glaring rays outshone the glorious greens
Deeper into the green I treaded outside the hum
Of people that are doing their job.
I had presumed to own the woods today.
Yet old wounds upon the barks made them see
In beady suspicion, I stood spellbound
Under the wrath of a hundred hissing trees.
What is your business, they hollered as one
I am the vampire that comes to draw your blood
In exile I linger and now I am here
In the copse the council forgot.
Do not ask what we can do for you
We have done quite enough already.
On the eve of the first day of Spring
I found the remains of you, once a toad,
Bloodied and crushed in our quiet cul de sac
The eyes of the street were closed
Curtains as lashes guarding the mind
Of the suburbanese sleeping by the light of the box.
Good people, don’t get me wrong, but people nonetheless
For to live in decency here, is to slaughter the innocent
On the altar of raising our own young. But we recycle!
Today I passed another. Its companion pecked away desperate
As I tried to chase it off the road. No time for birds to mourn.
I wanted to believe that the beasts are without souls
It would mean mercy to them, clear my soiled slate. Yet,
In that instant, I saw its unknowing wisdom in the beads
Upon its tiny head. Nothing to gain from the world of men.
How unfair you must perish now, as the grass awakes,
As life forced you down the road to perdition. I stand by
As a reluctant accomplice. I stroke the dog and water my plants.
Coffee and dusty shavings raise me beyond the tides
Across dune and bridge, south by south west, I soar
Boats pass listless, I turn my back to sea
Lonely spires scattered in an empty, tidy land
Barren and naked for winter, I blow into the streets
No grave there is to find you, no silent column speaks,
Death lies distilled among the putrid slumber 0f the trees.
The coffee takes me further, the house is near.
Only the hinges squeak that you have left.
The cross you denied, hovers still above the door.
I linger in the coffee, a caged bird wails, while
The needles tick in desperation, to occupy her hands
And mind, how long before she succeeds to tread
Safely into the unknown, and leave me this shell
Of dear and useless rubble, the guise of memory
The garden I dig for small mercies. Is there a way
Through creamy mud to grab you, have you stored
A fraction of a presence, a master key, in silt
Truth screams, from the creases in my eyelids
Closed, you were there, it was real, you were home