No Eyes

It was not a pup seal
rolling at slow play
but a shingle-ripped
medium-sized dog
without legs or face –
its muzzle stripped
to uncooked meat –
a loose hanging jaw

Each short wave
was enough to turn
its sodden carcass
for further observation
by my macabre eye
to guessed-at details
and a whole back story –
lost at sea – a drowning

A Thankless Task

Here fifty-six lichen-dipped
granite bodies sunbathe –
some lean – some almost swoon
in April’s upset of unexpected weather

Here clippings
and rolled stripes of grass
mark long-sunk slopes
under headstones

A cartographer
had taken up mowing
and looked back
upon his day’s work

as a map folded open –
to be figured out
For him
that thought was wasted

There are no travellers here –
all trips are done
Quarter bells
serve no purpose

except to drown out
tinkling-bloody-wind-chimes
and
always ignored car alarms –

no one moves far
from these landmarks –
we are all within earshot
of cuttings of blades and spades

between those engravings
dead endings expose our half-thoughts
about stuff like
Crematorium or lawn cemetery?

Thrown

Dare yourself to approach the Whispering Gallery’s
too-low balustrade and look down

Here his words
have been heard
by others
In my gut Dad’s
rum gift of vertigo
turns

It was first witnessed
by us all as we stood
before his loosened grip
up Leith Hill Tower

Now this cathedral’s
wall of death dome
kisses my ear
with a cold command
to drop

Tip yourself over to feel
that marble crack your struck head

In earlier years flying
was my dreamt gift
Sleep wasn’t a picked pit
of itches on my skin
with waking stiffness
in useless places

Throw yourself down – Michael

Now his vertigo is mine
taking my lost voice
It is not-quite heard
by my fearless children
when I see them high
on other parapets

Kids – I have my father’s old condition
and it urges me to leap from here