This Brexit Summer

Every upstairs window
was wide open
as if an exorcism
had violently willed
the throwing
of panes and drapes –

that unlocking
from the day’s hard heat
of still bedrooms
and even dark landings –
which up until now
were cool shelters

Such inflammation
is now an English condition
which is mishandled
in every negotiation
between couples
and sweated politicians

We will sit in shade
this July and not suffer
the rude temperatures
which expose flesh
and remove the duvets
but not for sex.

Dry

The curled grey hairs on my chest
are wrapped in a heavy gown
and hidden along with my old sags

Now I can negotiate the stairs
without forcing the shame of my flesh
upon any other eyes on that journey

The verges are the most obvious victims
of this summer’s unending dry torture –
as the skin on my legs flake with the heat

but then blister into zits under the rubbed oil
that I self-prescribe to calm my cruel itch
from which there is no natural relief

I lay on the bed – I wait for my tea to cool
as my stretched out bared legs prickle
and call for rape under my scraping nails

Early Rising

I let the cool air in over the parquet floor –
my temporary mistress for these few hours
before the sun fucks her rude heat
back into our brick and glass box

I said we’d need blinds to counter this
warming of the morning face of the house
But my pronouncements were stale –
like unpalatable coffee breath kisses

In the room without windows we had sheltered
from the fallout of this sky-dropped summer –
there for an evening of radiation off the TV
which in itself fed the ice-threatening heat

At this hour the bedooms are containers
of the sheet-shoved and half turned over –
where the poorly slept bodies simmer
and adjust to itched consciousness

It is only five o’clock but the sun has risen
at this point on the turned earth’s surface –
Soon there will be words about the weather
and requests to fix the sprinklers will be made

BST

British Summertime
day one
as seen from this flint field

high above the Winterbourne’s
estate-dictated course

above the rush of the bypass

that continuous inland tide

Here I listen for the reduced birds
as seagulls are distance summoned
by the hip-jiggered tractor’s
turn of furrow

You have walked on
with me left here
above this valley landscape
with an extra hour of light

as if the clocks had stopped

The Path

I kicked at the summer
along the bosky path,
punting insects and scents
with each measured step
through spiteful nettles
and over-reaching weeds:
I was forced to dip, to avoid,
the slap of weighted branches,
pulled apart by my leading
companion, let to whiplash,
without malice, on this walk
through the dense end of June,
where the nature of things 
had been thickened by rain:
Here the blackberry blossom
advertised an abundant crop,
here the small dog had to leap
to make her own way through
the viscid grip of grasses
on the rooted public path
of stings and itchy skin.

Heated

A few weeks back,
this summer,
and I would be stood
in a mist,
but this ridiculous
month of June
offers no such
cool sleights
as I stick-click,
lop-sided, alongside
the sucked-slouch
of the muddied Uck;
then hollered at
by the diesel’s sad call
as it sights
the unattended crossing,
and all the time,
across Manor Park,
bedroom windows are flung
in an un-English surrender
to the day’s heat
still found in bricks,
as the padding fox,
so thin,
sets off the estate’s
choir of panting dogs.

Dad’s Cooking

I love you – hope meeting going well x
A text from his phone, pecked, auto-spelt.

Beyond the window, hinges bared to the heat,
he heard his boys’ repeat beseech:

Another game on the moss-marched lawn,
another day gone, a fatherhood mourned.

He fumbled with dinner, poured from a can,
which wrestled and spat in the unstirred pan.

Kids don’t eat salad, his menu approved,
he returned to his fill of exterior views,

of summer stretching, there below,
of the day reeling in, of longing shadows.

He called them to wash, hollered from the house,
the garden relaid by their boots on the mat.

As a fight broke out in the downstairs bog,
he travelled, returned, to his brother’s love,

that punch of youth, tested again and again,
of everything around them, a smaller world then,

no internet, no screens, no loose connections.
He put food on their plates, and matched expectations.