Solstice, Uncelebrated.

Today the sun tipped-up
at four forty-three,
kicking cats and dogs:
it then will scathe across
the sky for sixteen hours
and thirty-eight minutes
(plus eighteen seconds),
which will be the longest day
over a liquiescent London,
before dropping out
twenty-one minutes
after nine: hated.


A few weeks back,
this summer,
and I would be stood
in a mist,
but this ridiculous
month of June
offers no such
cool sleights
as I stick-click,
lop-sided, alongside
the sucked-slouch
of the muddied Uck;
then hollered at
by the diesel’s sad call
as it sights
the unattended crossing,
and all the time,
across Manor Park,
bedroom windows are flung
in an un-English surrender
to the day’s heat
still found in bricks,
as the padding fox,
so thin,
sets off the estate’s
choir of panting dogs.


Hate drove a van
at people again,
hate is alive in
ignorant men,
hate is spewed
at dinner tables,
hate is consumed
in social ensembles,
hate is served up,
a spat out mantra,
because hate
needs hate,
a hateful dogma.

Sleep Walking

It arrived in the night,
thickened, from within,
that sulking infection
of continental heat,
not the slimmest hint
of a breeze to relieve
us, laid out, moribund
on our double bed,
with kicked-off duvets
and a great distance,
because we are rolled
from each others’ heat.

Our Talk

I had to lie down,
having taken a bullet
from this sniper,
back flat on grass,

and you stood 
over me, in shadow,
as the dog came close,
her concern simple.

Strength taken,
I struggled to stand,
to no offered hand,
and so all was said.

The Sleep

I am naked on our bed,
upright, pre-slept,
at the gracious request
of my funked body:

It asks, politely,
at first with a flicker
across my eyelids,
felt as light tremors,

then it rudely produces
enormous weights,
conjurer’s tricks,
strapped to my arms,

followed by an elephant –
it places that, too easily,
across my bared chest:
Now I am breathless,

on awkward pillows,
on those between knees;
I claim this space
for my night’s reprise.

No Angel

He endeavours to be
one who ‘can’,
not a bit-part, paused,
not half a man,
not battled to bend,
with rusted mettle,
he’ll hold her at night,
unmasked and settled:
No more a young man
in the place reserved
in God’s waiting room,
which others deserve:
Grant a slow decade,
ten years of good life,
please God, he asks you,
for his kids, and his wife:
Re-set their happiness,
that for his spouse,
he won’t demand space
in your over-filled house.