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Yiska said
she'd take me home
with her lunchtime.

Her mother had said
it was all right
as she would be there.

I couldn't wait
for the boring lessons
that morning in school
to end.

I won't be able
to take you to my room,
though,
she said,
despondently.

I had met her old lady
a month or so before;
she suffered
from depression,
so Yiska said.

I doubted she'd get
to show me
her room again.

She did once,
but then her mother
came back
from shopping early,
and we went downstairs
just as her old lady
entered the kitchen.

When the last lesson
of maths ended,
I made my way
to the gate
and waited for her.

I wondered what sort
of sandwiches her old lady
had prepared for lunch.

Last time
it was crab paste
with lettuce.

She'd cut them up
in small neat triangles.

I hoped it wasn't
crab paste again.

As Yiska came
towards me,
it began to rain.
We watched the pond;
saw dragonflies
swoop and dive
like small helicopters
over the skin
of the brown water.

It was a summer day;
we'd broken up
for the summer recess
from school.

Better go soon
or my mother will wonder
where I am,
Juliet said.

You're with me,
so what's
to worry about?
I said.

She turned
and kissed my cheek.

Because I'm with you,
she said,
smiling.

Your mother
likes me really
under that facade
of indifference,
I said.

Don't think it is
a facade,
she said.

I kissed her lips
and closed off
more words.

We embraced tightly,
then parted.

I really must go,
she said,
or she'll raise
merry hell.

See you tomorrow?
I asked.

See what I can manage,
Juliet said.

She got up
and walked off
through the woods,
waving now and then.

I sat a while longer
listening to a woodpecker
pecking a tree.

Ducks swam
on the water.

I guessed I was in love
with that woman's daughter.
A boy and girl one summer day 1962
2d · 63
He Saw Her.
He saw her
walk on the grass,
saw her hips swaying,
heard her sing
some song,
but she unaware
that he was there,
hidden behind a tree,
without knowing
that he could see.

He saw her bathing,
saw her lying
stretched out
in cool water
like a nymph;
took note
of her ******
before his eyes,
but she unaware
that he could see,
lay freely there.

Seeing her there
pretty naked,
he moaned inside,
his desire bubbled
like a boiling stew,
but still spied on,
for nothing to solve
his pain and lust,
nothing else
would do.
You showed Lizbeth
the empty cottage
down the country lane.

Maybe we can get in
some how
and do it there,
she said.

You looked at
the overgrown garden:
I couldn't do that,
you said.

Not do what
get in or do it ?
she said.

Neither of them,
you said.

Why not?
it can't be that hard
to get inside,
and surely
you like ***,
she said.

A goldfinch flew
to the apple tree
and made noise.

Rooks flew above
and around
the tall trees.

I won't break
into the cottage,
nor have ***,
you said.

She pouted her lip:
Why are we here, then?
she asked.

(When I came with Jane
a few weeks ago,
we looked around
the outside
talking about one day
marrying someone
and living there.

We also looked
at the various birds
in the garden.)

Just to show you
the cottage
and see what birds
there are,
you said.

She looked bored:
I didn't cycle
all the way here
to look at this
empty cottage
and look at ****** birds,
she said.

I didn't ask you
to cycle out here,
you said.

She sighed
and gazed
at the garden.

Maybe you should
come into town,
she said.

Too far to walk,
and there is only a bus
on Saturday morning,
you said.

You can cycle,
she said.

I haven't a bike,
you replied.

She didn't know
what to say.

I get the coach
to school
on weekdays,
you said.

After a few minutes
we walked up the lane
to where
she parked her bike.

See you at school,
Monday,
she said.

She rode off
and didn't look back.

You watched until
she was out of sight
and then you went back
to the shed to help
your father saw up logs.

Far off you heard
cows moo,
and the barking of dogs.
She has him
pained in heart;
makes his love for her
perspire in his nightly dreams.

She has him
sweating his lust;
takes the marrow
from his soul
to a darker place.

She has no knowledge
or awareness of this;
just being there,
her simple turn
of the head,
or walking by,
or turn of phrase,
can bring him
out in boils,
and dark
and dismal days.
She talks to you
of birds
and butterflies.

She holds a wren's egg
in the middle
of her pink palm.

You touch
the fragile egg shell,
the sensation
of your finger
on the smooth shell,
her skin inches
from the tip
of your finger.

She moves the egg
in her palm
to show the blue shell;
you watching
her finger move,
wishing she
would move
with yours,
or hands holding close
against her thigh,
looking eye to eye.
That she must stand close,
and he, wanting
to take her hand,
must do so
in his head,
and by his own
appearance,
pretend that he
does not feel
that way,
but deep down
he burns to touch
and feel,
but he does not,
and ignores it still.

That she is unaware,
that just by being
she moves him
to a darker place,
a place of lust,
confused with love,
and being unaware,
she stops to wait
and dreaming, stare.
He has slept badly,
he has slept alone,
but in his loneliness
evoked
images of her
to satisfy
his deep lust,
and he did not
tell anyone,
for there was
no one
he could trust.

He saw her
every day
on the train;
sitting in
the same carriage,
sitting as close
to her as he could,
surreptitiously
he looked at her,
he studied
how she sat,
how she had
her hair,
but unable
to touch it,
drove him
to despair.
She has to herself
her secret thoughts,
unfulfilled wishes,
wishes fulfilled
unsatisfactory,
and depressed
she mopes
about the house
like a leopard
stalking.

She does her eyebrows,
paints her nails,
adds lipstick
to her pink lips,
dyes her hair
from dark to light
and sleeps alone
in her double bed
each and every night.

She, unfulfilled
fills herself with drugs,
drinks herself
to nothingness,
looks back there
to her childhood times,
with innocence
and no care.
She has seduced me
but does not realize
that seduction,
and moves like a fawn
through the morning mist.

I love her
to a higher realm,
but she
unaware of this,
glides over the valley
like a summer breeze.

She attracts me
to a darker depth,
but she
unaware of this,
walks on the sea
in dreams,
my dreams,
not hers,
and I sink
and drown
in unrequited love
These are our stars;
they witnessed our love
when you and I were young
and the first kiss;
they are the same stars
do they remember us?

That bright moon
was our moon,
it shone on us
in our innocent times,
before your death;
it is the same moon:
does it recall our innocence
****** into its shiny skin?

This evening sky
is like the same sky,
same dark shadows
where the touch
of the moon
did not reach
with light,
and you and I lay
in dark's hold
hugging close
against the night cold.
He has,
like one asleep,
pursued her

in his nightly dreams,
fantasized about her
in every way he could,

imagined that she
fantasized about him
in turn in night and day,

but to no avail,
she showed no
interest in his game

to play,
which on waking,
caused him moan,

for she was never there,
and he slept alone.
6d · 56
She Spoke to Him
She spoke to him
when she saw him,
she smiled
and he smiled back,
but that was all
it was for her,
a conversation
and smile
to be polite.

But for him
the smile
and the conversation,
were deeper things,
were hidden wells
of a darker motif,
he imagined
she had more interest
in him than
she let see,
playing hard to get,
playing with his emotions
like a cat at play,
despite what ever
she may say.

To her,
unconscious.
of his thoughts
and dreams,
it was nice
things to do:
a smile to bring joy,
and conversation
to share her thoughts
with those of his,
without deeper reason
or hidden scheme.

He wanted more
that the words
or the smile
he imagined she
wanted it too,
but he was too shy
to show or say,
so remained in his
mind and heart,
set it aside
for another time
or date,
for him or her
to later relate.
Always before him,
ever in his thoughts,
always in pretense

he imagines
you are calling
like a mermaid

from the deep,
and he the sailor
in a craft

being drawn
by your song,
to the watery grave

below and beyond.
He always hopeful,
ever dreaming,

you wake up at night
swim in your dreams,
to enter his craft and bed

and make love,
but upon awakening
to morning's song,

he finds
it's all in
his saddened head.
7d · 91
At Night.
At night,
he dreams of her,
dreams that she
dreams of him,
and their shared dream
go on and on
like a river flowing
slowly to a sea.

At night,
in pretension,
he wraps his tired arms
about her slim body
and brings it closer,
so warm and soft,
so scented
so that the nose smells,
dreams of such
and such and such.
7d · 36
No Letters 1960.
Fay and I got a bus
to South Bank.

It was a Saturday
and no school,
and her old man
was away on some
religious retreat,
and so
couldn't say no.

We sat and watched
the tennis for a while,
then walked along side
the River Thames,
licking ice creams I'd bought
with money
my mother gave me
for chores done.

Fay stood looking
at the water:
Mum and I might be
leaving London,
she said.

Leaving? Why?
I gazed at her
beside me.

Mum can't stand
how my father
treats her and me,
so she says
she will take me
when she goes,
Fay said.

Where will
you go?

She turned
and faced me:
I don't know yet.

Can I write to you?
I asked.

Once we are settled,
and are safe,
she said.

We ate our ice creams,
looking at the passing
boats and tugs
on the brown water.

She never wrote,
nor did I.

We drifted apart
like small boats
on a vast sea,
under a darkening sky.
a boy and girl in London in 1960.
7d · 77
It's Your Hand.
It's your hand
he would hold
as if he were holding
the stars of the galaxies,
and breathe on it
as if in a dream.

They are your fingers
he would hold,
and place a ring upon,
as if your finger
was the Saturn planet,
or the finger
of a water nymph
drawing him down
In deep water to drown.

They are your lips
he would kiss,
kiss as if
they were the tips
of your *******,
or the fruits of passion
to attract him
to destruction.
© 2 minutes ago, Terry Collett
Jul 15 · 65
He Thought Love.
Terry Collett Jul 15
He thought love
would come easy,
easy as feathers floating
in a summer breeze,
but it never came at all,
or if it did
it must have come
on tiptoe in the hall.

He smelt the perfume,
he felt it in the air,
in the air,
he delayed, he mocked,
cozy, secretly,
as steps
on the stair.

He heard the echoes
of her voice
mixed with the wind,
he heard her heart beating
in the rhythm of his own,
then he woke up
in the middle of the night
unloved and alone.
Terry Collett Jul 15
I listen for your steps
in the dark,
listen to the sound
of your breathing
move in your path
through the room
where I just lie down
on my lonely bed.

I imagine your cold hand
on my heated brow,
your thin fingers
running down
my naked back,
your tongue
touching mine
In the hollow cave
of my mouth.

I pretend your arms
caress me
in my superficial dreams,
that your thighs
about my waist,
alleviate my deepest desires,
relieve my deep sighs.
Terry Collett Jul 15
You have been
lying too long
with the love of another;
and he should look
at you from afar,
as if he studied
with a sharp eye,
a distant,
but bright star.

You he sees
with mixed emotions,
studies with the eye
of an artist
every aspect,
every texture
of skin and bone,
and fine perfume,
but loving you
in the background,
for himself
all alone.

You, in his dreams,
has you to hold
and sustain,
own, kiss,
make love to
in a thousand ways,
sing for
and listen to you,
in a good voice, sing,
in all his nights,
but never
in the light of day
nor in the reality
of days.
Jul 14 · 728
We Know That Sky.
Terry Collett Jul 14
We know that sky,
we have slept there
below its spread
side to side,
head to head.

We know that terrain
we have sat there
meditating on white clouds
passing as shrouds
in that washed blue,
just silent me
and whispering you.

We know that sea;
We have bathed
in its warm embrace;
have felt the pull
and push of tides
about us as we swam
like children
in their mother's arms.
Jul 14 · 39
I Wish I Could.
Terry Collett Jul 14
I wish I could
lay my head
upon your lap
and hear
your virginity sing.

I wish I could
lay my head
about your *******
listen to your heart
beat to the beat
of angels marching.

I wish I could put
my cheek against yours
and feel two worlds
crashing in a faint
of passionate longing.
A boy and girl and a shy love
Terry Collett Jul 13
You will speak of love
in our own language
told in the darkness
of the night.

I will kiss your skin
gently, as a butterfly
lands on the petals
of your silent lips.

I will talk of love
in the depth
of the night's hold,
hugging you
against the cold.
Love and life
Jul 13 · 46
I Saw Eternity.
Terry Collett Jul 13
I saw eternity
in the palm
of your hand.

I see the lines
of evolution
in the deployment
of your fist.

I hear the big bang
in the echo
of your singing
in the shower
before bed.

I feel the first steps
of humanity
in vibrations
of my grandchild's steps
towards my open arms.
Nothing is new
Terry Collett Jul 13
Did you see the Bridget?
Mary asked,
all moans and groans
at us in R.E.

Magdalene
having kissed
Mary's head
lay beside her
on her bed.

Isn't always so;
I am thinking
she's starved
of the ***,
Magdalene said.

Aren't all nuns,
Mary said,
and I'm not so sure
of the new priest;
he may bring joy
to their sour lives.

What time
is your Ma home?
Magdalene asked.

We've time enough
and more,
Mary replied.

She kissed Magdalene
on the lips
to prevent more words.

Her narrow single bed
was not made for two;
so they hugged close.

I wonder what Sister Bridget
would say if she
could see us now?
Magdalene asked.

Move over girls make
room for me,
Mary replied,
and both girls laughed.

What my Da
would say and do
is a more a issue,
Mary said.

Magdalene
pushed the thought
from her mind,
and hugged Mary closer.

The nuns at school
had written
to both parents
about both Mary
and Magdalene
and their
troublesome ways.

Magdalene's father
had said to keep away
from the Moran girl,
and Mary's father
threatened her
if she had
any more dealings
with the Murphy girl.

Mary kissed her
into a passion,
and Magdalene
gave kisses
as if they were
going out of fashion.
School girls in Eire in 1963
Jul 13 · 259
Tonight It's Just Us.
Terry Collett Jul 13
Tonight,
it's just us.

And the stars
and the moon
are witnesses of us
lonely lovers.

In bed we hug,
we kiss,
and in that moment,
the stars die.

I kiss your lips,
you place your hand
on my back,
at that moment,
someone, somewhere
loses their fight for life.

We make love
under the night sky,
knowing how
the stars are born
and where,
but never the why.
Lovers and the universe
Terry Collett Jul 12
Anne and Benny sat
at the far end white table.

The afternoon siesta
had ended and kids
went to swings or slide.

You believe in God, Kid?
Anne asked
gazing at Benny
opposite.

Spose so,
he replied,
looking at her one leg,
then at the space
where her other leg
should be,
but wasn't.

A god who made all this
and those pesky nuns?
she asked,
watching him gazing
at her leg.

Spose, I do,
he replied.

Are you going to gape
at my leg all afternoon?
you want to see
my leg stump?
she said.

Benny looked up.

Just thinking,
he said.

And you have
to gawk at my leg
to think?

He looked at her:
No, I didn't realize,
I was looking at your leg,
he said.

She smiled:
Forget the leg, Kid;
think about a god
who made spiders
and maggots;
believe in
that kind of god?

Don't think so,
he replied.

She lifted her red skirt
to reveal her leg stump:
See that, Kid;
what do you think?

He stared at it;
she'd let him wash it
one bath night,
when he shouldn't
have been there,
but he had been.

He looked at her face
and her smile.

Get my wheelchair, Kid,
we are going to the beach.

He ran up the grass
towards the nursing home
to get her wheelchair,
with the sun shining
on his light-brown hair.
A boy and girl near seaside nursing home for children in 1959
Jul 12 · 40
Abbot's Magic 1957.
Terry Collett Jul 12
Abbot did magic tricks
in the playground;
kids gathered around
to watch.

He'd got
a magician's kit box
for his birthday
he told me.

I'd seen the tricks before,
but he made it look
special each time
he did them.

Cogan and a crony
came to watch,
but he barged other kids
out of the way
to get up close.

Not real magic,
Cogan said,
just tricks.

Abbot tried
to ignore him
and continued his act.

Cogan snatched
the black and white wand
and poked Abbot with it,
saying: Abracadabra,
make Abbot a frog.

Abbot remained
a boy.

See, no magic,
Cogan said;
his crony laughed.

Give Abbot
his wand back Cogan
so he can you
from a dope
to a sensible
human being,
I said.

He and his crony
turned towards me.

You talking to me, Coles
or chewing a brick?
Cogan said.

Abbot put
his cards away
and took the wand
from Cogan;
he waved the wand
in a small circle
around Cogan:
In dead of night
where magic rules
and reigns,
turn Cogan into a girl
for all his pains,
Abbot said
in mono tones.

Kids laughed
and so did I.

You want
to watch yourself,
Abbot or I'll turn you
into mush,
Cogan said coldly.

He turned
and walked away,
his crony following.

Abbot continued
his magic
before the bell
for lessons to start.

He had each trick
learnt off by heart.
Boys in School in London in 1957
Jul 11 · 124
Picnic in the Park 1958.
Terry Collett Jul 11
Lydia brought a bag
of sandwiches
(her mother reluctantly
made them),
and we went
to the park.

I brought along
a couple of bottles of pop,
and two candy bars.

We sat on the grass
and she shared
the sandwiches.

What's in them?
I asked.

She looked:
Cheese or paste,
I think,
she said.

We ate
and sipped.

Did your old lady
mind making
the sandwiches?
I asked.

She moaned a bit,
but after she did them;
she even took her
cigarette out
while she made them,
Lydia replied.

I watched boys
kick a ball
over on a football pitch.

How is your big sister?
I asked.

Mum says
she's a *****,
and they are
always rowing,
Lydia said.

I saw her
the other evening
with a Spiv,
I said.

Dad won't have him
in the house,
Lydia said,
but Mum
don't mind him.

The sandwiches
were good;
we sipped
our pop drinks.

It was her idea
for the picnic thing
and pop drinks
and candy bars
were all
I could think to bring.
A boy and girl in London in 1958
Terry Collett Jul 11
You and your husband
were on the platform
waiting for the train;
so many people there.

You looked about you,
nervously.

Your husband had cancer,
and he was dying.

Then a man
in a dark coat and hat
stopped in front
of your husband and said:
Dmitry, we have not met
for a long time.

Your husband
seemed puzzled.

We are old friends,
the man told you,
and taking your husband,
he said,
won't be for long;
I will return him,
and he took
your husband away,
and they disappeared
into the crowd.

You waited for him
to return,
but he did not return.

When you talked
to the station manager,
he said: go home,
maybe he is there.

But he never
came home.

Your brother said
in a whisper: NKVD.

And you seemed to be
swallowed up
by a deep dark sea.
A woman's husband disappears in Moscow in 1938.
Terry Collett Jul 10
Enid listened
to the shunting
of train wagons
as she lay in bed.

From another room
she could hear
her parents
rowing loudly.

She could see the moon
above the railway bridge;
it looked bright
as If fresh minted.

The shunting stopped
for a moment,
but the rowing
from the other room
grew louder.

Her father
had beaten her
after dinner;
her mother
had screamed at him,
but that led on
to another row,
and she sent to bed
to sob and stare
at the moon,
and the shunting
began again,
with the beginning
of rain.
A girl in London in 1957
I walked home
from school with Eddie,
we didn't bother
with the bus,
and we shared a cigarette
he had bummed
off his old lady.

We walked up
the New Kent Road
and he said,
Someone pinched my ****
in the assembly hall,
and made me cry out,
and Thrasher Thompson
had me out front
and I got six.

I took a puff
of his cigarette
and handed it
back to him.

It was that Gough kid,
the one with the red ears,
I said,
but no one
was going to
grass on him.

He's a *******,
Eddie said,
holding the cigarette
between his ink-stained fingers.

We'll sort him,
I said,
when he least
expects it.

Eddie puffed,
then coughed.

He handed me
the cigarette
and I took a puff.

Eddie smiled
and when we came
to the crossing,
he went down his road
with his cigarette,
and I crossed the road
and down Meadow Row.

I ****** on a peppermint
to cover the smoke,
so no one would know.
School boys in London in 1959
She said nothing
about her parents,
nor why she lived
with her grandma
in the apartment
across the road
from where I lived.

We went after school
to Jail Park,
and rode on the swings,
seeing who could
reach the highest.

She told me
about the man
along her balcony,
who cut his throat
and ambulance people
came and bandaged him
and took it away
on a stretcher,
and passed her
where was she standing
looking into
area below.

I told her
about a man
on my balcony
(who, said my old man,
was a bookies runner)
and because of debts
cut his throat
with a razor,
and his mother
called an ambulance,
and how I saw it
pull up
on the square,
and two men
came out
with a stretcher
and climbed
the concrete stairs
and I heard
their steps rush
and along
the balcony.
A boy and girl in London in 1956
Jul 9 · 355
He Sees You.
He sees you
or hopes
to see you
day after day,
watching
when you enter
in the street
where he is waiting.

He wants you
in his arms,
wants to kiss you,
wants you
to want him
as he wants you.

From far away
he is watching you,
he is watching
while you are walking
the stages
of the world,
with that swaying
which engages him more
than any word
you may
in his dreams,
say.
A man and his infatuation for a woman
She was tired
of waiting for them
to arrest her,

so she gave herself up
at the local office,
but they sent her away,

saying that they
had not considered
what she was guilty of

at that time,
so she returned home,
but they came for her

that very night
when she least
expected it,

but when they left
in the dead of night,
she smiled with relief

that she no longer
needed to wait.
A woman in Soviet Russia in 1934 waiting to be arrested.
Helen and I sat
on the grass
at Bedlam Park;
we shared a bottle
of lemonade.

When Dad arrives
from my work,
she said,
he kisses Mum
on the lips,
and we look away,
and I wondered
how it is
to kiss;
I mean parents
kiss their children,
but what is it like
to kiss a boy?

I drank from the bottle:
I think kissing
is a girl thing,
I said.

She took the bottle
and after wiping the top,
she drank.

I think the boys
kiss too,
she said,
putting the bottle
on the grass.

I watched boys
hitting a ball
on the grass
over the way.

Some boys can do,
I answered,
but most boys
avoid it
like the plague.

She looked at me:
Do you want me
to kiss you?
she asked.

I was hoping boys
kicking the ball
would not see.

You can
if you want,
I said.

She leant close to me
and kissed my cheek;
it was a wet kiss
like a drop of water
paddling in the sea.
A boy and girl in London in 1955
Zorro was my hero
as a kid,
and I made a mask
of cardboard
and watercolored it black
with cut out eye holes.

I wore a tea towel
as a cloak
(the one from Southend
with a beach scene),
and a sword
my old man
made at work,
painted blue.

I would ride
my black
imaginary horse
over the plains
(bombed places),
swordplay
with bad guys
on high rocks
or lower ground,
making a loud
swordfighting sound.
A boy in London in 1957
How miserable you are;
your features express it well
like some artist
captured it in oils
and with skill.

And how deep
does it go
this depression;
is it hurting your mind?

I see you and feel it;
I see you and I can reach out
and touch it as if it were
tangible and physical.

What caused
this darkness?
where does it
come from?

Can you feel
deep down
your nerves
with your fingers
look for a minute
entrance wound?

I see you lean back
and try to sleep;
your eyes are closed
like store shutters
at the end of the day;
what can keep
this mind wounding
poison at bay?
Self analysis and depression
Jul 7 · 48
You He Dreamt Of.
You,
whom he dreamt of,
imagined you

dreamt of him.
You,
he heard sing,

heard your voice
as if an angel
were singing,

as if your voice
melted
his wounded soul.

He sees your
every movement,
what you are doing,

looks at your
graceful movements,
wishes you and he

could go together,
but such dreams
evaporate

in front
of the wind
of reality,

that touches,
with claws,
his immaturity.
infatuation not love
Jul 7 · 39
A Poem Then 1936.
A poem then
could bring
secret police

knocking on the door
and take you away
for questioning

or some gulag
far away.
The poet

had to look
after his back,
should have written

like with a sword,
could pierce
the heart

of the state,
at least
for a short time,

until they were silenced
and disappeared from life
if not out of print.
A poet in Soviet Russia in 1936
You followed
the night nurse
in her little office
and sat down.

I hope you do not
follow me to my grave
so fast,
said the nurse.

She sat opposite you:
Can you not sleep?

You shook your head:
Not sleeping properly,
only half asleep,
dull with bad memories,
and a boring day to day.

I will see
if the psychotherapist
can give you something,
the nurse said,
looking at you.

You did not like him,
the quack,
his dark eyes,
and greasy lips,
but you said
none of them,
you lit a cigarette
and inhaled deeply.

She began
to write her report,
her fountain pen
neatly writing;
you thought
about Benny,
how you and he
had a kiss in the lounge
of the locked ward,
before the other patients
came with their moans
of dark despondency.
A patient in a psychiatric hospital in 1971
Jul 7 · 30
I Would Put it Down.
I would put it down
in my untidy scribble,
the words you said

that last night,
but the memory
kept them imperfectly,

fragile like an eggshell
under our feet.
I would save

away your image
in my mind
like a photo

on celluloid,
but I didn't do it,
thinking I'd

see you again
the next day
in prefect mode,

like you used to look,
but you were not
and a mess

of images pretend
they were the last
dishonorably.
A man talks to his dead son
Jul 7 · 23
That's All.
That's all
and nothing else.
That too short,

all over in no time,
in the blink
of one eye.

This life,
this being now,
this consciousness,

consciousness of being,
aware that,
despite all hope

and worldly design,
all worldly wisdom,
the same fate

awaits us all:
this overall construct,
this feeling

of being healthy,
will and will fall.
Brief life, certain death
Jul 6 · 57
Press Here.
Press here;
fingers in this wound;
finger over this nerve
it vibrates in my soul.

Feel my hands
turn them over
palms up.

Feel my heart
which your words
wounded,
which is bleeding
into my deeper self.
Love pains
Frankie Xavier
(not the Roman Catholic
missionary saint),

but the kid in high school
who would bet on
almost anything:

Which teacher
would arrive first
on a given day;

whether Miss Tarshaw
would wear a red
or blue dress;

whether he could get
Jeanette J to kiss him
before the final bell of day ;

whether he could ***
a cigarette
from the new prefect.

I guess I was
his ****** runner,
and he gave me

10% of the takings
(mostly no more
than a few quid),

and I got to kiss
Jeanette J
which he never did.
boys at high school in 1962
The subway station
(Charing Cross),
one of the great

train robbers
had a flower stand there,
from whom I bought

flowers for you;
and you were too late
meeting in Trafalgar Square,

with the short skirt,
and that old *******
snearing at you

calling you a flirt.
.meeting a girl in London in 1967
Jul 6 · 136
When I Enter the Mall.
When I enter the mall
or visit specific places

we were together
it seems

you're still there.
When I hear

a particular song
or see a particular

painting or photo,
I am reminded of you

and our romance
a long time ago,

and certain walks
we would make,

and certain places
we would sit

or lie down
in the sun,

as if the universe
had just begun.
A man looks back at an old love affair
Jul 5 · 188
There You Would Sit.
There you would sit
and your eyes engage
the bird scene

and butterflies
and the still water
and the sun blessed the skin.

I used to sit there, too,
next to you, near the pond,
watching the scene unfold,

and the eyes engaged on you,
you sitting there,
your hands

around the knees,
and I in love with you,
looked where I wanted to.
A couple by a country pond
Jul 5 · 44
See Where 1953.
See where
they put them.

The tundra
covers them now;

their bodies frozen
in time and death.

Who they are
or were

is lost
in this killing field

of once frozen tundra;
under the harsh winter

and a pale,
ineffectual sun.
Bodies of dead prisoners of the Stalinist gulags
Some surrendered
in the local depot
of the NKVD;
others were waiting
at the door at night
fully clothed and packed
to be pulled out
without peace.

Some were arrested
on the way home
from work
and their partner never
knew where they were.

Some were
arrested at work
on the way
to the boss's office,
others arrested
at the railway station
at the height
of the day;
some were arrested
as they got off the bus
by the man who
they were joking with
on the way home.

Few caused a fuss
or started a scene;
few people understood
what it was about,
thinking: this is a mistake
which will later be sorted
and they will be released.

Most went like lambs
to the proverbial slaughter,
or at some camp
in inner Siberia
freeze to death
or work to death
unknown to loved ones
far far away
in another world
from which they
had been hurled.
Stalin's Russia and the purges 1936
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