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,
nose-to-tail,
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.

Breaks

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.