Pension Planning

When this gets real bad
and we will not see that –
not for quite some time yet

ten years was said to be
a good guide
Now half my path
left to that X-marked place

then it will be time to book
a Swiss or Dutch room
and neck a small glass

if my mouth still works

and find my best sleep
Do not live a whole life
less – that will kill me

Small Dole

There – Careful – it takes us up
with a broken concrete offering
to David’s uneven heat-scratched lawn
of bastard grasses and inveterate weeds –

unintended God stuff
but enough to sow doubts
Still – we can cut them out
without too much effort –
for now

A weed is a flower
without a lover
a friend had said – as well as
his stern dictum of
Michael – never marry a woman

That Israeli summer of sweat
between Anat’s wet thighs
was his concern and my lust –
Michael – she said – I love your brother

Clackety-clack – they sang –
as a rattled song of songs –
those flitting overnight sprinklers
spun once our local nuclear option
had dropped to eight o’clock

David could name every living thing
as if God had passed down his crown
We walked together – he looped
with his now-trademark swagger

in his Sussex-rooted garden
of kind disregard for fixed horticulture
And there was my first instance of knowing
that a shared disease is ours to reap

Leg Work

This is it – this is falling apart
with unknown shapes of years left
having relinquished – by request –
control

by time – by illness – by love

with shins purpled – stained
under ripe scars and biting itches –
my overnight monoculture
blindly scythed by my bit fingers

They are not your concern
This is no more your upset

Smears of chemists’ creams –
slap-readied to swim La manche –
and an abstinence from drink –
neither inconvenience is a balm

whilst my consultant reiterates –
Epidermis itch is not
a common factor
in the progression of
Parkinson’s Disease

And if this spreading bren of skin
without relief – no place of rest –
if this is my forever flay
then no wonder I take sleep first
after feet up rest on our sofa

Valentine’s

I just took a taste of my waking breath –
it is no wonder then that we do not kiss –

The ugliness of my rum state
places bitter tilts upon our old arousals –

I lay whet by a glaze – an unwelcome stain
on this pushed back duvet of night sweats –

My chest gives birth to salty pearls – loosened
by gravity – set to roll down my bare sides

as trickles – as if wept from woundings –
like precious piercings – but not five holy jabs –

though I do feel pinned by a carried cross –
Do not glance at my nakedness – how I am fixed

by the invisible itches and riveted scars
on my legs – I draw up the bedding – my body bag –

and let my skin rest from your listless look –
instead – I shall watch you dress first – then

I will rise alone and not take in the looking glass
until I have washed off the vilde oozes of blood

which I have picked under the night’s disturbances –
those red fruits of my rough sleep’s self-harm


 

Stair Well

I tipped myself into half of an escape
to sit alone on the in-laws’ stairs –
tilted there by my uneven troubles
from imbalances set by disconnections

I was taking myself off my thumped legs
and away from my sucks of short-fix air –
which set me to stand for a brief parade
among partly-heard party conversations

of drunk relatives – spiked by marriage vows –
loosened by the briefest of infidelities –
those with a younger man whose wife stood up
to beauty’s allure – she was there for measure

I put up too – with the racist uncle’s drunk ideas
for less than five minutes – not quite a cure –
but enough to get me to stand up again
and to leave him staring at an empty step

Audio HERE