That Farmer’s Wife

Tess was never an unalloyed maid –
not Hardy’s vessel of pure emotion
untinctured by innocence

Such country girls are as scarce
as a hen’s brightly bared tooth
Too hastily judged? Or not?

She was metallic – below – to me
When bared – again – by a kindred
lover – our fusion rubbed to rust

Divisions of men – such she kept
mapped close enough to feel – to plot
and find her way – only her eyes shut

whilst her barn doors swung wide
to near-unhinged arcs of openings –
as her balm of blood – of love’s slaughter –

blew out on her cousin’s stunk breath
as he bent with her to snort at troughs
aligned by credit cards – then blocked

All a loss – it is no more a sweet place
Not for me – Sour scents off her wetness
turn on Etkin-Bell’s ring finger

All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten
her odour as he wipes his creased brow
She dragged too many too close by lies

These Players

There are no long embraces –
no more slowing of time
by a hold on your intimacy –
or by those so-silent
acknowledgements
No unsaid understandings
by affection’s expressions –
none by a raised eye to mine

There are no looks in poor light
between slowly rolled reveals –
none from behind your kabuki’s drop
to show last acts and dull speeches
by your poor choice of leading man
to your bloodied hack of a queen –
an actress dressed by quickened lies
wearing arsenic in her makeup

Awakenings

In this year – so far – we have agreed
to annul our two-hander – your play

to not to be wed – to let go of – to lose –
to admit your need to be fulfiled by others

This you had inverted when it served your
reversal from vows and our long history

You morphed – not frigid – fearing your age –
of being your mother’s fat-arsed daughter

with her own cast of doubtful lodgers
and other blood-tied historical sniggers

You have dragged our experiments
and failed-at tests from our turned bed

out into the open – as your buried pain –
when your bared pain makes you come

I am now awake to such hard nudges –
ones once ignored – filed away for ages

The Elephant at Her Eightieth

I do not want a piece of cake –
Thank You

Your mother brought it back
from Great Aunty Sue’s wake –
or was it her birthday party –
from that family jamboree –

Except for you and me my boy –

at The Grand Hotel – Brighton
which featured an elephant
in The Ballroom

It was erect – so huge –
tight between their party pieces
and it stood on your mother’s foot

John rode it for his entertainment
as your mother stroked
its flaccid grey trunk

And Aunty Sue asked –
Why isn’t your lovely family here,
dear Niece?

There was no honest answer –
not with such a whopper
in the room