Box Hedge

I ran my dipped fingers
through unscented hedges
as I tried to leave the rings
of your invisible traces
from our long afternoon
of deep interrogations –
the footpath steepened
to demand some attention
but I flipped my focus
back to that gratification
which I had deposited
on the untrimmed hedges
of the respectable tenants

The Cows

Two good legs shunt the shed’s herd
of black and white hand-numbered hides
into the single storey milking parlour
where the udders are washed and latched
to German engineering by Israeli hands

We would pour unpasteurised milk into a jug
and cross the lava-hot tarmac on bare feet
to then undress and take a long shower
with the coldness in our throats as reward
for hard work and hard fucking

The daughters of my brother’s bovine care
look at me with unrecognizable stares
as they chew on the sweet feed at my feet
They do not know of the kindness I showed
their forebears under these shaded beams

The Card

A cut up credit card
does not remove a debt
or explain missed payments
in these days of scores

It was shown as proof
that the imbalance
had been addressed

I saw him emasculated

his balls in your hand

that white-edged flesh
like sliced up fish

But the smell will remain
in your palm

no matter how scrubbed

of plastic and cuts

My Lady of Good Encounter

Benoite, you are not, but still a reader of hearts,
a live angel on Earth, but not the saint of Laus:
that girl watched Christ, she witnessed his passion,
and I watched you undress with stiff absolution:

The lace-pull of perfume took her down from the hill,
whilst here in your thighs I drank from a well:
I saw her people slow-mo into prayer,
the rest fell in agony in that melee.

Benoite was sent to the Valley of Kilns,
by a dark-skinned Saint who worked those hills,
and I fall to sleep on your flattened breast,
as you turn your head and see your own Benoite.

The Sex Tourist

His urges worked to remove him
for a month to another place,
to lie with girls in hotel rooms,
face down in their paid-up disgrace:

He breakfasted after lunchtime,
smoking packs of duty free:
the afternoons sweated in bed,
soaked in counterfeit Jack D.

Each night was a dark playground,
of bars, birds, and no time for drouth,
he spat his vestige of manners,
with his foul-spun English mouth:

Then he woke in a concrete room,
dried piss as his cold mattress:
“The sex wasn’t ever that good,
not worth the spunked-up cash”.

Demulcent

Here her brushed skin rises
over her freckled shoulders,
and then slopes away to meet
her curved spine’s cobbled path:

Here I am led, by my cock’s enquiry,
to her hips, the pale dune profiles,
where I slow-climb, but am dragged 
down, again, by my stiffening hands: 

Here I part and knead her to yielding,
where, by the slightest of timed turns,
I set her tide’s clock, with twist of fingers,
forcing on her – a small death by drowning.

Doubles

You were still on my fingers,
even then, a slow hour later,
as my whiskey rolled inside
that glass, two fingers deep,
that leftover mix of still-sweet,
of earth’s dark-barrelled cut,
of strong flavours above taste:
and my mouth rested, it did,
on the rim, as on your lips,
as we held that kiss over time:
you were my one-woman orgy.

The Witness

They are overshadowed by that evergreen giant,
the one thousand year witness to ceremonies,
to burials, and namings.

Coal was once hoarded where the hollowing
of the yew meets the earth. There, inside God’s tree,
they find a held shelter,

but the air is reduced, taxine within the yew’s
five propped branches, he is hallucinating
as he tastes her,

that passed mead of love, now drugged by her.
Add Odin’s ability to bind and unbind,
and a two millennia lie,

he has no defences left, hung, and crucified
by the centre of her which wets his fingers
in the yew’s compression.

Day 19,292

Yes, I anticipated
that shared moment,

as it was conjured
by your light arrival,

equal in my mind,
before the release

of your quick tongue,
put past my lips,

almost unexpected,
as was your skin,

midriff exposed,
by your stretched lift.

Then my response,
almost too much

to be contained:
I pinned that kiss.


 

I Should Retire

The mean clock is doing it,
the balancing trick, ten-ten,
as ever the secondhand there
timed it, re-ticked on cue,

aligned with the brief minute’s
late-late reach to the far right,
just as I looked, synchronised,
to check another missed hour,

and I should retire at this point,
not too late, never, ever too late,
but for a man (of so many years)
it is so correct to consider such,

as others’ worlds spin in beer rounds,
long wet snogs, and streamed films:
I shall find comfort in a double bed,
propped-up pillows and hope,

whilst fitter men, soaked in bitter,
fuck-and-dance, dance-and-fuck,
in beer-washed sticky nightclubs,
swiped by Tinder, as I sleep soundly

through their infectious ribaldry,
and not have to hear the repeat
of chat-up lines I re-rehearsed
back in 1982, but never copyrighted,

then there was no intellectual theft,
instead we stole left-over half pints
and lengthening kisses with strangers,
to return to single beds in shared houses,

waking to cold kebabs at ten past ten.