My Lady of Good Encounter

Benoite, you are not, but still a reader of hearts,
a live angel on Earth, but not the saint of Laus:
that girl watched Christ, she witnessed his passion,
and I watched you undress with stiff absolution:

The lace-pull of perfume took her down from the hill,
whilst here in your thighs I drank from a well:
I saw her people slow-mo into prayer,
the rest fell in agony in that melee.

Benoite was sent to the Valley of Kilns,
by a dark-skinned Saint who worked those hills,
and I fall to sleep on your flattened breast,
as you turn your head and see your own Benoite.

Rainy Days

The commuter drag
through Haywards Heath,
we queue before death,
we the cocooned
in our leases of life,
counting the weeks
until the holiday ride:
Succour found in Waitrose,
and down at Screwfix,
then a fantastic night –
thanks to Netflix.
I will wake in darkness,
and return home the same,
my weekends are spent
to validate this pain:
I squander my fortune
before I no longer work,
I save nothing for old age,
my pension’s a joke.


Our summer holidays were always at Easter –
that time of year it was ‘so much cheaper’:
Even after a pay rise (for men-with-truncheons),
still that week, but then the joy of Butlin’s:

We went self-catering at Bognor Regis,
where Dad smuggled in my eldest brother
(through the holiday camp’s padlocked gates –
Chris was concealed under oil-soaked sheets).

Before we did Easter at Selsey Bill,
in a caravan hard-rocked by gales:
I drew seagulls, the only visible detail,
in that landscape of endless shingle.

Forty years later and another vacation,
off to Devon, a last-minute stay-cation,
on a holiday to engender family joy,
gulls now photoshopped by the youngest boy.