Such Dug Up Stuff

I could bite on Mr Heaney’s
lust-sight of her

of lost flesh

of navvy-dug amber nipples

under hard-weighed stones
over her cracked oak-bones

which are not
my spoken words

Language is not my tight weave
of Sussex-ness

no fluttergrub’s spade
to turn my empty laine of chalkland

His words are kissed intimacies
in his Castledawson rooting –
in peat-dug dampness
of vowel-soundings

If only we could speak such –
with such – reverence and blind love
of a long-buried bog-stickiness –

then this would be my
other language –
one not yet fully known

Slept

One hushed minute is mine
around our slept-still house
as tea scabs cold in my mug
beside my unloaded bed
My asset of sleep is long lost
Me – not being cocky enough
to walk naked and scratch
Me – not wanting to unearth
all that has been lost overnight
Yesterday’s choice of clothes
is such proof of my new ways
now there is no inquisition
or other solutions – I love it
Such sluttery no longer matters

A Taste of Honey

Dear Steven Patrick Morrissey –
mononymously known by your burly surname

I fell in love with you in nineteen eighty-four –
or maybe slightly before – when you sang a lullaby –

Yes – it was just for me – played on an ache-laden
Scouse-spun John Peel Session

You were Alan Bennett – on a sweat-rinsed riser –
taking straight boys with your stirring words

A glimpse of your chest was enough to doubt
girls’ shapely tits had enough to give up

Then you spoke out from your tooth-whitened America
whilst making those Mexican boys doubt

How you turned me off with your racist complaints
My Dear Steven – you no longer interest me


E010619

An Untitled Insect

It once had a name –
by dint of those
orange-tipped wings –
and on my tongue’s tip too –

a too-rare flitted hurdler
of garden hedges and fences
No one else cared

Such is our loss of simplicity
that even a vibrating bee’s hum
seems misplaced – mechanical

Our young dog was spell-bound
by a fat black house fly –
I no longer swat them

Sleep Walking

All simple pleasures of sleep
have now been reduced over
these past three days by work

and their changes to that work
as all my efforts are then undone
to be redone before their deadline

is met in that dirt of freelancing
No paid sick leave for us workers
of late hours and others’ foibles

By Green Park

Day-glo tourists and hoary men –
stiff in their dour ashen suits –
not much has changed
beyond Victoria’s cast arches –

still a Queen and commoners
standoff and watch each other
from behind quick net curtains
and wrought iron barriers

as black cabs and red buses
match those travellers’ hopes
of a London of old curiosities –
with a high price tag to boot

Grenadiers play at army games
but all I see is Spike’s Neddy –
unlike Freddy – parading in heat
under a bear weight of headgear

to guard sweet sperm of kings
in their capital residencies –
where penguin-suited servants
respond to royal commands

whilst we all grovel like a Goon
under that ongoing burden
of keeping up appearances
in our less sumptuous palaces

And my return journey home
through ticket-licking turnstiles –
out beyond a thousand kisses –
is to where Sussex wears green
quite well

We Lay

We lay parallel on your sofa
as if raft-bound – beached –
rolled tight into hard intimacy –
into another urge of pushes
and pulls – you are so slight
that it seems almost fictional
An unexpected blast of verse
as rare as washed up ambergris
is our mute communion of sex

Mother and Child

Slunked – almost cursed
being its low artfulness
among suburban yards
and spade-ruled beds –

brushing its rusted pelt
and curling as if a stole
fixed around that fat neck
of some awful woman

There was a dead cub –
clubbed and bloodied
by a car – or a truck –
on that stretch of road

from Lewes to Glynde –
Still intact – but still dead
as rushed traffic passed
without crushing it – yet

Malling Down

We will seek any natural –
and unnatural – sedate shade
under these new northern arcs
of lifted latitude summers

We can still find strolled shelter
under an avenue of plane trees –
but only if dull conspirators
do not deny them a sure line

now their leaf-fat shadows stretch
over an unkempt rough plot
which is – by the hour – turned
by sweat-glazed ground workers

where annual flown-in migrants
and ever re-seeding interlopers
have lost their place of emptiness –
kept at bay by a developer’s fence

These Players

There are no long embraces –
no more slowing of time
by a hold on your intimacy –
or by those so-silent
acknowledgements
No unsaid understandings
by affection’s expressions –
none by a raised eye to mine

There are no looks in poor light
between slowly rolled reveals –
none from behind your kabuki’s drop
to show last acts and dull speeches
by your poor choice of leading man
to your bloodied hack of a queen –
an actress dressed by quickened lies
wearing arsenic in her makeup

Cat Walk

Your frore perfidiousness
has been widely sighted –
Janus-faced – a sour-mouth
denial to your being faithless

Every falsity is perfectly stitched
like your long green winter coat
It cost you a almost a grand –
but in it – you do look dog-cheap

One more label-sucker with cash
paying for sweat-sewn favours
of brow-wept stains of labour –
swiftly removed before it hung

in that so-air-conditioned
West London designer shop
in which you fell in love –
again – with spending pounds

and such a fattening potential
in your Cath Kidston purse
Now my tired wallet thins
by my loss of handsome cash –

my dried-out high tarn
of once-endless funds –
It is no longer filled enough
for your own satisfaction

You wore your virent purchase
to our first mediated meeting –
I swear you were sweating
as you walked out – in green

One More

That first pint of Guinness sunk
far too easily as fat drunks sang
love songs and spawled their hate
from behind tips and taps of beer

here in my old man’s drinking club
attended by us – some retired saints
and some less retiring grey sinners
with our tall sworn tales as props

as we tell of outrageous behaviours
and my empty pint glass quietly asks
for just one more before dinner calls
from the house that is no more home

Leg Work

This is it – this is falling apart
with unknown shapes of years left
having relinquished – by request –
control

by time – by illness – by love

with shins purpled – stained
under ripe scars and biting itches –
my overnight monoculture
blindly scythed by my bit fingers

They are not your concern
This is no more your upset

Smears of chemists’ creams –
slap-readied to swim La manche –
and an abstinence from drink –
neither inconvenience is a balm

whilst my consultant reiterates –
Epidermis itch is not
a common factor
in the progression of
Parkinson’s Disease

And if this spreading bren of skin
without relief – no place of rest –
if this is my forever flay
then no wonder I take sleep first
after feet up rest on our sofa