Inside My Lover

I am entertained inside her lento lungs –
travelling alone and partly dusk-blind –
within her low suck of cooling breath –

I inhale her exhale of purest oxygen
and with it comes an unwinding –
an expansion of my otiose senses –

an awareness of this as existing –
of living things set around – but
obscured by the falling of the hour –

Now the manic chp-chp-chp-chp-chp
of panicked blackbirds to one side –
joined by the rude crows overhead –

that tuneless duet of birdsong is overlaid
on itself by others’ alarms and queries
which set off – concentric – around me –

As I tread – as I compact the leafy mucus –
which she absorbs into her membrane –
the fallen are re-sown by the plough
of my steps on this weaved footpath –

Her cold stew of re-use – of rotting down –
is nature’s re-design – it is not random –
be it the branched capillary urge
of saplings – or the fork of tipped boughs –

or the patterning of her cast off leaves –
already thick enough to hide the paths –
Now on cinders I miss the give of the mulch –
the weighted compress and its last sound

Late Out

This dessicated path
is an off-white scar
under the moon’s phase
of waxing gibbous

Boots and tamed dogs
have worn this route
into a grass-bare map
which I read by that light

The holding flightpaths
of man-made meteors –
of ephemeral accords –
circle among the clouds

The transmitter mast blinks
with a beast’s red eye
shaming Arcturus and Mars
so even those stars fade

This as the bypass hums
a song of our war won –
our tilt against creation
by over engineering

Walking too fast

He slow-sputters back
as his day is reduced,
but she won’t agree
his speed is removed,
because it is easier
to stride at her pace,
and when she slows
to show no grace:
all empathy removed
by her barbed remarks,
‘Of course you’re hot
in all those layers’;
and he’ll shuffle home
not wanting that bed,
because their marriage
is long-slow spent.

Seven point five

A boot-sucked drop
down through Views Wood,
across a mud-scuffed bridge,
and the ditch in half-flood,
I clamber, not climb,
up the leaf-pressed path,
the rooted friction
is the step and staff,
then led straight on
by the hawthorn hedge,
the sun a million miles
off to my left,
and on to the centre
of a man’s dictate,
under an oak
into the ‘Private Estate’
of neat-lopped birches,
a graze-readied patch,
across the tarmac
past Buxted House,
a hotel for a night,
I wait to wake one time,
where the haa-haa dips,
where the grazed declined:
Up to the church,
with no village encroach,
but now a lone landmark,
of curious ghosts,
of gravestones’ tilt,
and a gate held fast,
where gothic still creeps
on buttress and nave,
but under Christ’s yew tree
the past still prays,
whilst far cross the valley,
the village now lays,
and down past the pillbox,
no old battle ground,
here the tilted cry
of the dead – never found.
Across to the gate
where the grounds expire,
this is the time
I so long desire.

No Rain

That kicked-up
wild garlic hit
was the mist
through which
the walk took them

on that route,
and then sloped
above the low cut
of rain-denied river.

Each step was
another distance
which closed
the gap
between them.

On his solitary return,
under the dapple
of sodium,
over hard tarmac,
the true nature
of things