Below Victoria

For J. S.

A loosened thought
was unexpectedly set adrift

like a sea-wetted sandal
sucked into whisked white foam

off foolish seventh wave treaders –
those salt-splashed day trippers –

as my viewfinder caught you blown
and turning to me – iso-fixed

in my camera as it framed that
installation under which you stood

You as my suddenly important art
buffeted upright below an artist’s

weather-required turned response
My portrait of beauty in Brighton

Coffee?

He walked her to her car
because his rare chance –
a quite rude assumption
of a kiss could improve

Their talk skipped to weather
and about recent high rainfall
and that expanse of blue sky –
those age-old silence fillers

They stood facing each other
He fumbled under his bravado
with a quickened giddiness
of mid-teen awkwardness

even at – his guess then –
their nearly-fused ages
of just over – or just under –
their shared centum of years

How keenly he craved
to sip fresh desire – at his age –
in a pay and display car park
having over-run
his paid-for time

Takeaways

How shall I study
your offered body?
With intimate sight
through my fingertips

I shall measure your
almost-bare prospect
as a blinded map maker
set to plotting contours

Such thoughts ease
into my half-dreams
Each stroke takes me
by pathways on dips

then up to almost-chalk
landscapes of Downs –
stretched before slept travel
Before sleep’s other sights

A Common Spotted Orchid

For JC

It is a highly successful
coloniser of wasteland
and not at all in danger

Both my Google Lens
and a quickie Wikipedia
yielded to your knowledge

Just an assurance of such –
there was no doubt in my mind
that you were right – none at all!

Seeing such beauty has an effect –
How can a thing so vivacious
be left – without being taken?

An uncommon allure
among easy rough grass –
there is more to this orchid

Such observations ran quick
as my eyes and mind
took you – assiduously –
from behind