Super Veterans

This lake’s shore is disturbed by cutters
and mowers at two-stroke Sunday work
of keeping back too much growth –

still their gig crew rolls through turns
of hard rudder and clean recoveries –
breaking out a wake and six puddles

Four – together – power – six – power through
cries their cox above Canadian chatter
from a disinterest of drifting geese

I wear a bench well – even at this age –
my practice of securing such comfort
in open spaces is my latest fascination –

along with finding a place to live
and other such micro matters in life
which pale under this sky – seated lakeside


Above Glynde Reach

I picked a bent path of grass treads
between time’s tipped-hat stones
in St. Andrew’s – Beddingham’s
dry-high whispering graveyard

It hasn’t absorbed any rising tidal
surge or sudden winter wash – of
God’s clearing-out-no-chance-flood
since He-knows-when-of-last

Once vagrants were listed here
in this river-fashioned parish
in a sub-Lewes rolled distance –
68 villains, 6 bordars and 5 slaves

Now Major and Mrs. lie thigh-to-thigh
in parallel places under that shadow
of repurposed stone and fixings –
another bypass and road of sorts

as cars hurtle at a throw’s distance
taking travelling parishioners
beyond unmarked boundaries
without a detour to see bowed stones


War Poets

Paul Verlaine’s Chanson d’automne
was coded – still popular poetry –
to give notice –

his long sobs of French-sung violins
declared an Allied invasion
to those listening

Whilst she never understood speeches
of love – and our common
mistakes –

I would rarely read to her – she rarely read
my mutterings – my weight-pared
compositions

She never understood what was being said
She found poetry too difficult
her own résistance