Pain Gardening

I closed my raw eyes
to suck upon this –
but drew too much
to hold my breath –

the spin off his wrist
of an over-spun stone –
pitched at my forehead –
he took me down –

of the shrill sharp slice
of a buried wheat chaff –
which burnt to screams
making me blind

And then I exhaled
to kill each instance –
a brief mis-direction
of my complaint

Social-ism

“It’s .. trying to construct a society around production
for need .. not .. for profit .. meeting people’s needs”
I half-quote Tony Benn

Once I was in his audience whilst back home
my father rebuffed Wedgie-bloody-Benn with
his gruff-spoken shun about the Leftie-in-a-suit
Benn spoke without limits at the Co-operative Hall

way back in the slush-grey twentieth century
of do-not-touch candles and knitted gloves
in an endless civil war of fists and banners
across slag battlefields far removed from us

Face-to-face politic was the free-to-use fuel
against factory shut-downs and mounting job losses
“(Thatcher) did make war on a lot of people in Britain,
and I don’t think it helped our society”

Now we trade insults over sofa-space distances –
such hate we would not dare to excrete out there in public –
no loud enough complaints about neighbours’
ached-stomachs with day-end hunger –

not of zero-hour contracts worth near to nothing –
or the basic provisions of dignity and stability
Instead – we lament the kiss of a celebrity –
caught on camera – going viral like herpes

This land is cut open under smartphone blades –
those knives blunt voices which once were our aides

 

Holding

There are ripe callouses
on one of my palms –
a furrow of skin
in my walking stick hand

My limbs are nettled –
a tease of scratches
which paint my shins
with blood-dried patches

The constant cut pain
scythes my stilly squalls –
‘Just a walk to Waitrose’
is a distance too cruel

I lie fixed by the duvet
that weighty cover
Here reduced by time –
my sadistic lover.

Incrementals

It has been a month
of slightness and shifts
which can be described as
‘incremental deterioration’
in my overall condition

pain and rigidity are my bedfellows
and lovers
those bitches who snap
and squeeze at me in measure

it takes a toll on others
I know

my masked face shares
such small messages

Drift

The weight of the fall
is always abated
by the light landings –
noiseless it piles

if your eyes were shut
you would not know –
apart from flake kisses –
that the storm had come

How my pain drifts
in this invisible blizzard
which I carry inside

The beauty of your world
is briefly fixed under the
fall of snow

Wish

I would not wish
this hushed visitor
on any other
sleeping person,

my dark creature
which tightens the night
into these reeling
muscle spasms,

which medicine
and kindly doctors
chase through my racked body
with known drugs,

not knowing which one
will do their job:
none can help me
to sleep, no more, easy.

The Sleep

I am naked on our bed,
upright, pre-slept,
at the gracious request
of my funked body:

It asks, politely,
at first with a flicker
across my eyelids,
felt as light tremors,

then it rudely produces
enormous weights,
conjurer’s tricks,
strapped to my arms,

followed by an elephant –
it places that, too easily,
across my bared chest:
Now I am breathless,

on awkward pillows,
on those between knees;
I claim this space
for my night’s reprise.

Emma’s Driver

She made an Uber man cry
(only by being her true self);
he had to remove his glasses
to wipe, to drive his tears

because (he had assumed)
she was drunk, or drugged,
it was his mistake,
he needed to say sorry.

If those tears of a cab driver
were pooled, or swabbed,
could we, the ill, employ
such floods to end the pain?


Watch this video, please..

Wrecked

Too long adrift
on my life raft
of tapped thoughts,

short-winded,
burnt by the sun
and unseen salt:

A rudderless man,
with sickness induced
by this tidal ride

of the curved
and empty horizon,
then struck wave-blind.

The slap and shatter
of seawater
are lunacy’s call

to me, displaced
in the wreck of my body,
a drowning fool.

For My Physician

You, with gilt-framed diplomas,
please sit for my dull certificate:
I am to lecture you about pain,
since your grasp is so inadequate.

It is the norm, we are born to screams,
the cuts and tears in every childbirth,
in which all mothers are victims:
Dear physician, you are too averse.

Here I sit in your consulting room,
where you ‘tut’ at me about booze,
as I twist under angered muscles,
my nerve-ends twitch, hurt, adduced.

All the time within my skin,
are such thrusts throughout my frame,
spiked and sliced, in feet and hands –
my digits gloved in pangs again.

When taking notes in my lecture
feel the smooth scribe, no hard design,
unsuited for people like me,
struggling to pen ‘anodyne’.

The Weight of the Fall

It has struck hard,
that hour I long ignored,
until now, this week,
when my body clock
turned back

my lower strength put to,
by discomfort’s drag,
through my frame,
here, inside, unseen,
where bones meet flesh:

With no defence,
no pill
no armour,
no burgonet.

No more ‘normal’,
no more being immortal.
Only with a long sleep,
my free-to-rest whore,

under her peace
I temporarily transform.

I can still press-up,
but the inner weight is
greater
than that of my youngest,
sat today on my back,

and like his presence,
riding for a loud laugh,
my invisible weight
laughs last.