U-bend

My souring undersongs
seem to scald me
by bloody detestation
at more coughed-up ugly gobs

Swallowed pride rides low
on my short gnawed-at list
of to-dos and do-nots
as advised by my reviewers

Another plug was pulled –
it was tugged far too hard
Do not mix running water
and rewired metaphors

Is it still right to imagine
one’s other-half sucked
from this too-loud life –
stuck in a pipe to drown?

Then a body would slop
into the plumber’s pail
And he would turn to say –
There’s yer problem, mate

I would then tip it out
among such beloved flowers
and let our neighbour’s cat
choose whether to devour –

or play – with that wet corpse
But such afternoon fancies
are too sweet for my teeth –
my only solution is self-denial

How to Sell

She lifted one of his pillows
to fill her long-emptied space
Another shift to save her blushes
before an observant estate agent
stood before their split double bed

His leaning tower of to-iron
had been put away and hidden –
nothing stands for long enough
He will return his pillow to his side
and his sleep will be disturbed

Our Nation’s Favourite

Under vintage leafless beeches
you gauged your variations of steps –
it was too easy to tread unevenly
on a path of cross-hatchings

and line workings against sunlight –
there you dipped into a greyed intensity
of illustrative shadowing – losing our dog –
briefly – in a denser pencilled place

Then sweet eyewashes of flowerings
lifted your head – a sugared inhalation –
a thickened spoor of air-blue scents
poured from that ancient under-storey

You stood above ten thousand bright dabs
bent to old arts across a green daub
of workings among greys and silvers –
your count of a whole year gone

was marked by a favoured calendar shot –
another easy colour-by-numbers to fill
once you made your way back to our car
to tell of your walked losses and findings

Estate Agents

Those virgin fence panels went up
on both sides of our scored land
as flimsy ramparts to mark out

your own extents and hard edges
before our house – our home – is split
by an auction – of sorts – of blind bids

You tipped complaining barrows of earth
into a hired skip and into low indents
as you oversaw each shored footing

for fifteen freshly hewn fence posts
and at least a thousand splinter risks –
you put everything in a fixed place

after your tie-knotted estate agents
had advised you on such necessary repairs
to achieve the best price possible

now that you no longer wish to live
in this haunted house with me
and with my unmet Ghost of the Future

Hawkers

Our frail back door sat double-locked
as I did not want another invasion
of pitched voices from passing-by
knocking salesmen

Her cheeping sister and clucking mother
hammered loudly – an unhoped arrival –
with hops inwards and trite explanations –
Them: Some small gifts for the birthday girl!

Me: Sorry – She’s at school
They were here for mere seconds –
slipping gift knots and propping cards
My offer of lattes was not taken up

Because they were –
In such – such – a rush
Our sat dog and I were stumped
by their removal to a local hostelry

when we do
a damn fine cup of coffee
and have our kind selves
as such – such –¬†great company