Thought

Repeat after me that long-known word
Our first-person singular pronoun

I

Now hold off your birl of cogitations
about other lives spinning from you

Too fast!

They will only weave loose concerns
into your mind off slip stitched threads

We warm containers of

best before

do not sit too well if left too long on shelves

Sleep without disturbing your private view
Do not crowd others’ centre stage marks

Give in to rested dreams – only to those –
and you’ll not be sliced on such barbed wires

 

Commandments

Discard anything
that gathers dust
Do not drink alone
Do not fall in love
Avoid shouting
at inanimate objects
Sleep early – sleep sober
Wake without regret
Eat what’s hard to make
not what’s easy to buy
Stand in others’ shoes
of every possible size
Lust is not ageing’s
last flung measure
Fix your moments
in longer pleasures

Breakages Will Be Paid For

If we retune our focal point
to close-up local degrees –

before losses mount and tip –
we will shore our existence

Beauty is frail underfoot and
to be stepped lightly upon –

not a fixed distance of
uncrushable listed hillsides

Those huge labelled targets
are easily miss-able

Our urgent responsibility
is in within our short reach

of to-touch and other such
breakable display items


Last Dance

You were a low-slung
holdall of hot tears
in my useless arms

like those strained bags
of fairground goldfish –
ones eventually flushed

Not my choice of dance
either – in an empty place
at this time of life –

too much to yearn
after your choosing
of others’ routines?

Another unasked
question left to quell
as my discomfort rises

Seller’s remorse kicks in
as you consider my
boxed up possessions?

Do not answer me
and score higher points
of pity from our audience

Let me leave untouched
without your wept stains
on my dropped shoulders

as salted marks of high rank –
which you had removed
in a previous court-martial


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

Enclosed – Sheet of Instructions

That parquet floor you laid –
you refused to keep to
Enclosed – Sheet of Instructions
It is now lifting and separating —

Your brushed-off mistakes –
of not taking time to bond – to glue –
to set – are now a dozen fault-lines
across our hall and living room —

You have posited tectonic plates
in each space – where you bent and knelt –
jagged shadows of slow shifts away —
Others’ prayers are with our marriage


The Best a Man

Let boys be damn boys
Let men be damn men
@PiersMorgan

Let our quick fists and sly cocks
damn us all –
Let young men sport superior
sneers and hate –
Let our sons expect the birth-right
to high esteem –
Let our male egos distend under
our close-shave chins –
Let our wives – our mothers –
our daughters –
Let them down by
letting ill-bestowed egos rule –
Let me not be damned

Meanings

For each life to have significance
it needs to be led by awareness

Do not stand off from others
like those diffident observers

You must embrace loved moments
as you move through slowed days

of small actions and interactions
so your short time is truly valued

There is an art to such attention
which is not taught at any school

Let your magnifying glass pause –
learn from the immodest instances

Tie the loose laces of another’s shoe
into the tight knot that they prefer

Become versed in their fingered turns –
how their interactions are directed

You should not steal their thoughts
as you stumble in their taken steps

Only consider how they measure
from their own eyes looking back

And live without your own thoughts
colliding in this time with inner fictions

Then you can walk at your own pace
with – or without – others

Elicited

I have to measure my responses
and weigh the more foul energies

against those that lift me to you –
a conversion to a way with propriety

I should sacrifice for the lost dead
and keep their spirits at a burnt distance

and so find equilibrium in the overhead
tug and pull of ghosts and lost gods

but not give in to the religious fervour –
the lies of any other life but this one