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


Breathing Out

This is an interval, ein Augenblick
Philp K. Dick

Before your lake – we stood naked
and overconfident in such ease –
having lost our cold distrusts
in earlier bared dips and slow strokes

Your surrounding land is disconnected
through every minute by our staying afloat
as we mark our desire path of currents
with briefly sunken bubbles

Over that unmeasured depth of secrets
below my grabbable limbs
you whisper – again – of being taken
and my fear of drowning is reawakened

There is a dry patch on your neck
that emits a hazy whiff of chlorine
There are no known medical conditions
to explain your chemical sweat

You break the surface from your dive
as if expelled by buoyant hate
having brushed my shrunken parts
whilst playing with my sinking fears

It takes seconds for your eyes
to open – birthed in that brief ooze
of broken tensions – we have no rope
to pull us from our uncharted abyss

Timings

You have chosen your strapped seat
to sit at – as you put out to sea

with bright paint and long blades –
to be pulled around buoy set points –

then to be steered without tipping
under rare blade clashes and shouts

but always matched to find a balance –
It is only in wished-for millpond conditions

with the most fabulous sunset
and equal drifts of morning stillness

that everything fits and clicks to timings
Enjoy that sweet run of symmetrical effort

Slept

This hushed hour is mine
around our slept-still house

as tea scabs to cold in that mug
beside my half-empty bed –
my asset of sleep is long lost

Me – not being cocky enough
to walk outside and scratch
at this started day’s waking

Me – not wanting to unearth
all that has been lost overnight

Yesterday’s quitting of clothes
is bared evidence of my new ways

now there is no inquisition
or other solutions – I love it

Such sluttery no longer matters

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