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

Words for Mud

We trampled under re-tugged hoods
across even wetter exposed ground
like low-eyed parlour-set cattle

both of us making that slab slurp
as we pulled our sucked heels
from immeasurable puddles

Stoach – was it uttered as mud
and air and boots glued? – stoach
and slab – discarded once-words

now rarely spoken – only by smeery
glazes – by worn pathways
There Wealden clay will complain

as hill-walked hours wear it away
Time will eventually reverse to tell
what truly lies beneath our feet

Then all our losses will be obvious –
no flights – no travel – no sinking islands
on TV – we are making errors here

Ashpan, Texas

Your waking place
is a hollow-man’s town
with vacant homes
close to falling down

and solar-curled paint
peeling inside out
No drapes to draw –
only shadowed shrouds

That un-slept place
is your reading room –
all indexed resources
were wordlessly removed

There’s spines – there’s covers –
but no truth in sight
A baying Governor
set writ words alight

They say work’s returning
although don’t know what
They’ll be whispering lies
until you thumb your vote

Your feared sun sits low
but it left life peeled –
stealing a glossed layer
from that you had sealed –

taking your hours’ labours
with an eye-cut brush –
torching your hand of care
Your town is burning up

 

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


An Untitled Insect

It once had a name –
by dint of those
orange-tipped wings –
and on my tongue’s tip too –

a too-rare flitted hurdler
of garden hedges and fences
No one else cared

Such is our loss of simplicity
that even a vibrating bee’s hum
seems misplaced – mechanical

Our young dog was spell-bound
by a fat black house fly –
I no longer swat them

One Word

Over six thousand
languages
may not adapt
in our short time –
under these
fleet-to-melt days –
to define
our recent misprize

We may never find
a finite word
to headline this
imminent collapse –
of my land –
of your land –
this land’s made
for you and me

Our recourse
won’t be in songcraft
or in bleeding
apologies
to those who look
at this – from then –
and those who left us
clean legacies

On either side
of our personal abyss
we will still tilt
and lever that width
in which we will fit
our half-life guilt
of consumerism
and thrilling greed

We old men of grey
and women in beige
have broken
everything –
without a word
to our kids
without an apology –
we don’t do sorry

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

Warming

Each bared upper branch
is sunset-torched
oxidised
reddened
by that last touch of low light
off this third month’s fooling dusk
A slumped red hour

ending a widely-held disbelief
of an unexpectedly warm day
in March
once marked by late snow
but not by my fifth decade’s
birth date

now re-set by
summer’s early incremates

but we are equally annoyed
by a chill off this cooled evening
after sunburn at midday
in spring