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MK

Soon

You tell me, ‘See you soon,’ and you have gone.
Your voice still echoes, every word shredding daylight
as if a harpoon by harpoon flung through
a distillation of unformed tears before the cry.
It still seems the sky took your shadow out of haze,
there is no shade, only the line of nameless trees
where your halo chimes through the breeze.
A pattern of sighs filtering in and out,
your form is airy, far removed from rainbows,
even time is gathered from beyond, from no man’s land.
No cloud is alone in the blue, apart from that
of two wings belonging to no bird nor plane in flight,
only the white of an angel appears in this blank sheet
as I still listen to every sound entering my silence.

SB

The nameless tree

I used to know my name when it was presence.
Our little copse would watch our acorns
plummeting down, singing their freedom song,
into the mouth of godmamma earth.
Now I’m alone. My catastrophic brothers
have been felled and sawn into body parts.
No more shaking off our secret letters,
no more children
crouching in the hedgerows like ground birds
talking about horses pinned to the hillside like flies,
sheep stapled beside them, tiny stones
on the ground with their shadows like black teeth.
They seemed to know the importance of plovers,
and their glove-like wings, the facts of the Underworld
and the need to curse like men.
I could hear their hearts beating as they crept out
into the steaming sun, into the light which fell
into the brambles and burst like seed pods.
Now, they’d have to come by boat. The meadow
is flooded and barren, although
sometimes, through my watery eyeglasses,
I see angels reflected. But truly what is left to me
is trenchfoot and buttercups and praying
for the wisdom to live in this colour grey sameness.

MK

Presence

When it was time, you held your doll
and sat on your dad’s shoulders
under his umbrella, under that shade of dark.
As he walked through the rain’s perpetual tune
chancing your childhood, brightening the grey
you hummed how the raindrops drummed the black cloth:
tap-tap, tap-tap, the rainwater was fragmented
into separate tones, each drop a note in music,
you closed your ears half on yourself, half on your voice;
it conjured the rhythm of your flight
among the people in the street and you wished
no ending, no landing, no being alone.
Now it’s raining again and you feel the sky
could stay over the clouds for ever:
harmony expands her hold on daylight
and the day is spread out by its form
while her lover’s hand on her shoulder
rejuvenates the membrane of her smile.
Tap-tap, tap-tap, the rainfall cannot reach her
under the transparent bell of her umbrella:
the drummer on her way to the shrine of melody
she hears the passers-by praising
one who has directed the rainwater concert –
the composer returns to the certainty of her song.

SB

Conversation at Criccieth Castle

The point, my father says, is that my legs are like curtain poles,
my chest is a shoebox filling with glue. When I walk
I clank and rattle like an old cart.
Imagine a billion years ago, Daddy, what would we be?
He says, fronds of seaweed waving.
Great seascape, he adds, turning his back to the ruins
but colour would add something.
Did I mention the planks of wood pinned to my sides?
It’s like going back to wide angle brooding.
Imagine us both in the garden, Daddy having leapt from the beige sofa to the great outdoors. How would I find you amongst the roses and mare’s tails? You’d be colouring the anaemic daisies in, humming.
The point is, I say, I need to go back to the time
I could ride on your shoulders in my orange silk dress
and turn you into the sun.
Behind my father a signpost says don’t climb on the
I can think of nothing to do but pull my coat around me
and imagine blossom falling from the monkey puzzle tree.

MK

Turning

Before dawn, you gazed at the stars over the horizon
and seeking for sleep among thousands of dreams
you tried to turn stardust into the early sunlight:
Is it safe, to leave your pain not written the ache which belongs to your hand or to stretch out your fingers toward another Spring?
On the garden lawn, the snowman was dying;
how could the blankness of your notebook not be brought
to daylight, the distance finding itself in your diary:
You’ve forgotten the night – the damp secret of darkness but not a moth caught in the spider web by the door frame in the corner where the street light is stuck to the dusty wall.
Nothing like noon mounted the thrashing remnants
of everything invisible, ungathered and lost for you –
still by the window, your eyes fixed on the bronze sky:
Who could see the credits of pollen marked on the vase but not your fingerprints on that glass empty of water, empty of flowers and as empty as ancient?
Caressing your reading glasses rather than your pen,
you tried to adopt the power of flight from the wood-pigeon
hoisting its wings above the grey bark of the pine branch:
Oh girl, clouds also need the air for flying to me – the afternoon sun sliding from the hammock of the blue; as if I’m your father, only poetry reaches its destination,
He said and left the pine bristle between the pages
of the book, each tiny pine leaf
shining like a green filament.