Parousia

This second life was ordained
by a drawn-out judgement –
an almost-expected epithet

for the quickened reductions
under my ever-thickening skin –
on dragged heels and hands –

Add Old Age’s uneven stockpile
of his enfeebling irritations
and so my time was reset –

And in this slowing restate
I cannot make any mistakes –
I cannot afford to fall heavily –

do not expect me to pick myself up
as quickly as the still-blessed do –
as I did before this epiphaneia

Self Portrait

My naked body would look worse
only if crucified on Bacon’s canvas –

Because I conspire with my reflection
to blank out the sags and stretches
which later ageing has brush-dragged

so that my dark-haired belly bloats
with the crap and oil I cannot avoid –

I then wash it down with just one more
and the wine glass is half an egg timer
of emptiness – rouged red and framed

The Neighbours

It was the caller ID
which daunted
for a moment
a selfish part of me

I went next door
to the possible passing

the one when I found
my neighbour’s
sick wife had died

But through ajar openings
and by calls aloud
I met her
alive
under scab formations

She had fallen
we all will
on a blood-marked rug
and had been hurried
to A&E

Patched

Now back
retuned to this bedroom
with supplements scattered
her able state was propped

Broken

I left to cut ham sandwiches
and delivered their meal
later
with an apologetic cough

Smog

Have you breathed in today the low smog of lies,
hung above, blinding, The Sun-darkened isles?

We won’t whine ’bout foul weather fogging us in,
we maintain small insights with screen-swiping.

Tablet-tat is uploaded, and each hour we surf,
bad news is aborted for a fresh royal birth:

Young doctors, low-paid, the left, the long-ill,
re-treated by the barons with lethal press pills.

The Trade Union Bill has been finally read,
our forebear’s blood-ceded, will no more be bled.

We’ll give up clear skies, embrace fogged land-fall,
So now lifting our eyes we will seeing nothing at all.