Attention

Heed half-attention
to these written words
and the breath it takes
to read my thoughts

Here in the present
at which you look
stay aware
of my conjoured tricks –

which we now see
in separate worlds
joined by my verse
and nothing else

No hardened borders
or long-haul flights –
so turn off the clock
to find more time

Then walk with me –
but not too fast
past Thoreau’s woods
to face what has passed

as it now collides
with the present
and our time is filed
as misplaced moments.

The Pile

Every brick was identical
and took the same grip
in the lift from left to right,
from the old pile to the new pile,

in the repetitive task
that I undertook –
to clear the driveway
of the builders’ detritus.

Each heave was unique in time
but same as the last,
with slight variations
at the start and the end.

Leftover dust was blown
as I picked at the old pile,
counting the weights
like our equalised days.

In such manual work,
of free menial sorts,
I build a low wall
on a slowly stacked week.

The Surveyor

I am measuring my life
in Caroline’s greetings,
the mortgage repayments,
in slow sips of hot coffee,
the stick-tapped steps,
in unanswered emails,
thrusts of my toothbrush,
in the filing of VAT returns,
the social media updates,
in tripsĀ up the High Street,
the ‘phone battery warnings,
in the hours of lost sleep,
and the distances between.