Rental

Hear them – those
too-near rushes
of combustion over tyre-rubbering

There – beyond my fence
I am just fifteen yards
from others’ entered destinations

This is a hermit life
but one with too much –
too much man-made stuff – such is soon useless

My sleep has re-aligned
as it did thirty-odd years earlier
to that of shift workers – once more an hour earner

I am a slow returnee
to my hollow house
of paid-for slept protection before one more day

This Bank Holiday Monday
sucks on my date-fixed time
as I lie bared-as-born on my artificial lawn

I must plant
some lavender in pots
My garden is not an insects’ paradise

My skin will blemish
under our turned-to sun
as my spread chemical vest of UV block – of factor fifty

unlocks and rolls off
under man-made laws
God wasn’t always for burning our butt-naked torsos

Farming Today

Under Glynde’s grey turbine
I know I am irrelevant

It is as if my chest’s creaks
are now unsure ship timbers

set grinding by lifts and turns
of blown low pressures

Her blades swoon over us
in that signature revolution

She asks of me a greater effort
to stand for any time in her shadow

Can you find a name for her grab
and snaffle of another westerly?

Words hurt you – they are your
turned blades in your turned head

And this act of standing upright –
above Gote Farm – is my anchoring

on these Downs of compromises
made between giving and taking

Pound Store

My authorised version
of the holy book
declares that avarice
will kill us all off
which we declaim aloud
being self-anointed
by those inner whispers
of our godhead voices
Our gor-bellied lives
of fulfilment are fed
by our sating purchases
drawn down from less
Our bounties are mounted
under rented roofs
which we brace with debts
bought from richer fools
A momentary fear
meets a mirrored mall face
a lost reflection
in our buying game
We have nowhere to store
next year’s seeds
Our homes are stockpiled
to meet instant needs
Our righteousness is always
hard at work
filling our lives
with meaningless worth

Inside My Lover

I am entertained inside her lento lungs –
travelling alone and partly dusk-blind –
within her low suck of cooling breath –

I inhale her exhale of purest oxygen
and with it comes an unwinding –
an expansion of my otiose senses –

an awareness of this as existing –
of living things set around – but
obscured by the falling of the hour –

Now the manic chp-chp-chp-chp-chp
of panicked blackbirds to one side –
joined by the rude crows overhead –

that tuneless duet of birdsong is overlaid
on itself by others’ alarms and queries
which set off – concentric – around me –

As I tread – as I compact the leafy mucus –
which she absorbs into her membrane –
the fallen are re-sown by the plough
of my steps on this weaved footpath –

Her cold stew of re-use – of rotting down –
is nature’s re-design – it is not random –
be it the branched capillary urge
of saplings – or the fork of tipped boughs –

or the patterning of her cast off leaves –
already thick enough to hide the paths –
Now on cinders I miss the give of the mulch –
the weighted compress and its last sound

The Impatient Plant

The Himalayan Balsam’s scent
clogs – a laundry swill of smells –

lingering – invasive – out-of-place –
underlining the call to action –

Since its foolish introduction
it’s no longer welcome here

Almost sticky – swollen with pollen –
it waits with near-primed seeds

until it fires ripe-wide explosions
finding further incursions

Balsam Bashing – its removal –
is now a nationwide fixation –

The bent stem-cutters – the pullers –
are impatient traditionalists

who tug – with gardening gloves –
working hard at their final solution

Beddingham Landfill

The picked at scab
scarring above Beddingham,
containing such poisons,
rain-washed infections,
which leach, for this ever,
into the tide-turned Ouse.

Up there they buried
square metres of radiation,
and household stuff,
tonnes of weighty nappies,
and other tipped shit
of our modern lives

into that former chalk pit:
High open-heart surgery
on the South Downs,
that gull-dived littering,
best buried and grassed over;
invite butterflies.