I back away, one, two, in measured steps
My eyes hold you there, safer from afar
We can only smile and don’t go over
that awkward ground, where this fragile tendresse
fell to pieces that night. We skirt the shards
of broken glass slowly and carefully
Drawing ever widening ellipses
until I cannot see you anymore
The mirror I hold up today is you.
The first time we met,
was in the heart of winter.
We said our first goodbye
at the edge of spring.
A whole season slipped by
when I went away.
And when I came back
the sun had warmed the northern soil
Together we roamed this ancient land
the rock I touch, Lewisian gneiss
thousands of millions of years old.
The moss, heather and bracken
unusually dry, sit in between and on
these giants – Foinaven, Stack and Arkle
which change places as we drive through
the highland terrain of grey and green, and gorse yellow
at Kylesku, Glencoul and Eriboll
Ceannabeinne and Oldshoremore
where clear blue waters lap
gently one day, then wildly dark and white another
when skies turn black and thunderous, but by late evening
a rainbow amidst pale grey clouds promise
a morning of blue and golden sunshine.
The mirror I hold up is you –
in it I see someone bright,
kindly and hospitable.
So it’s easy to take on my role
when you beckon me into the big bed.
Too short again our time together as we kiss
and hold each other tight one last time.
I found our chat thread the other day
Looking back I read –
my reply to your hello
And then a daily back and forth
until one of us said
let’s do lunch or coffee.
Can you recall
a midnight moon, later on?
after a film, a meal
laughter and warmth,
wine and confidences –
the hope of the new.
Do you remember –
the kisses outside a tube station
They were like soft longing, sipped
in the shadows
before I rushed down
to catch my last train.
I can’t forget now
that long lingering goodbye
walking homeward when
you took my hand in yours,
and in a shared glance
we heard the want that beat just under skin.
All I ask is that you tell me the truth
and match your actions to those heart-felt words
which trip so easily forth, so smoothly
from distracting, luscious, kissable lips.
For I’ll return the favour, there’s nothing
I won’t do for you my lover, my friend.
For decades I couldn’t find a voice and what began as an experiment in healing has finally borne fruit in poetry. Occasionally there are lapses of non-creativity, the last few weeks for example.
My muse has fled with the winter’s sun
seeking colder climes to rejuvenate
I praise his resolve to sublimate
earthly desires; all impure thoughts shun.
His remit to knit the torn, frayed edges
Of a union now rift with open sores
His own compass shattered his journey paused
He longs for icy plains, plain messages
And what my muse pines for like a twin feel
I here, where mild winter has changed to chill
and greyness hangs over damp despairing
No nightingale or any creature living
Goes near this barren craft, there’s no sweet song
where notes are flat, the rhymes and rhythms wrong