I don’t know how we changed,
I can’t remember the first time we kissed
or the first time we - well.
but I remember the first time you told me where you were living next year
and the second time
and the third.
you picked the right moment to meet me, or was it just chance?
that the club was closing but there was still time for one dance
and I only had one ciggie left but you didn’t mind sharing
and you knew where the after party was and you didn’t mind sharing
I have to stop seeing techno boys
Because I think that it’s meaningful when really I’m just high
on the music.
I really want to talk to you about how crazy it is that the light hitting the Earth right now is billions of years old
or maybe just how my day went because I’m not a Tumblr post
we’re sitting in the pub with two drinks between us like a moat
and I really want to tell you something
but I CAN'T because you're talking
about where you're going to be living
or what you study at uni & last week's pub crawl
you say all these words and you just say **** ALL
but I just smile and filter you out
because in the end I know there’s no doubt
that we’ll go home tonight and go through the motions
& in the morning you’ll leave to ‘charge your phone’
I’m kidding I’m kidding take me seriously, please
not that I care but it means the world to me
because the person you are in my head doesn’t match up
to the boy sitting in front of me on a ****-up
I think that I'm realising I’m in love with MY love
and it’s impossible for you to ever measure up
(but anyway you were kinda setting yourself up to fail)
(when you spend the whole date talking about trainer resales)
so I guess this is a break-up - if we even warrant that -
cause I know we won't speak if I don't text back
and then in three months, I’ll run into you again
and I’ll wonder how we changed,
You have been warned...
The Mason and His Statue
at first, I am a block of stone
and you are a chisel
carving pieces of me away
and then you are a diamond drill
and then I am polished
wheeled out of the room covered in stone dust and into the liquid darkness of a hallway
and ten arched windows pass me by
for the very first time I can see the sky
I’m in the middle of the room
with a nameplate on a stand beside me - did I have a name before?
I’m just me
and there’s more of me all around me
eyes reaching… quiet.
The doors open and the footsteps arrive
I hear water outside and see out the windows at the end of the hall and sometimes if I’m lucky they open them and I feel a breeze on the side of my face
but the funny part is -
the best time of day is when they close all the doors
and it’s just me and the janitor who’s mopping the floors
in case you were wondering
why I’m not there anymore
in the middle of the room in plain view on my pedestal
they took me down
too dated or too worn or just not new
wrapped me in canvas and put me in the back of a storeroom
where for the first time I experienced damp, and cold
and I learned that it was a bad thing to be old
then I was worn enough to be disposable
and they put me in the park
I’m by the fountain - come and find me
there’s no barriers and no nameplate telling you what to see
and yes, the wind blows and I’m a little more exposed
but I’m free
I was going to explain my feelings behind this poem, but if I wrote it well enough then you'll feel them - and explaining is cheating anyway.
They rode out of the water, flanks steaming and chlorine stinking.
The words of the two left behind in the hot tub floating, iridescent in the air.
The white ball standing in the dewed grass like an opportunity.
They played, passing the ball between them. The leather stung their legs, but they didn’t care because the mist rising from the rhododendrons and the wet of the grass and the sparkling wine in their stomachs sang enough to drown it out.
The moment transcended them.
The sigh of the old trees that had seen more rule-less games like theirs than they could conceive encouraged them.
The torn grass in between their toes said:
"Yes. I feel you. You feel me. Our meeting has only been delayed. This is pointless."
And in its pointlessness there was a point – that they were young and could use their bodies to run on wet grass and wait till risen sun drove them to their beds.
"I am alive; and so are you."
(As if sitting in a wooden box)
I confess to feeling the pain of needs unmet and overlooking it,
to hearing the opening of things, the closing of them too
the confidence of a heart unbroken say "I'd like to try!"
and a cold bitter laugh in a triumph of parsimony.
I confess to doing less and allowing it in my own vulnerability.
(As if tearing a casing spun of silk)
I am a catalogist, rebuilding a place
In my defence I have known you less, but even now -
there are no reference books to your emotions or reactions
no rule of thumb except to ease anger, aid logic, clear runways.
(As if the knowing was as easy as the learning)
together we are four decades of stubbornness and pain and kindness
we are warmed feet on the black range cooker
we are the climbing wall at the fair
You are three dots, ellipsis, open-ended.
and i am writing bad poetry about a girl who can fly...
a birthday present
i’ve used three poems worth of words trying to describe you
to capture you
cos that’s what i do
try to capture things...
feelings, emotions, memories
chasing little things on the wind
and actually i think it is a good thing that i can’t write you down
because the things that i capture -
they’re pretty. but they’re pinned down
and there’s something ironic about a butterfly in a glass case
you’ve used up three poems worth of words in me
and i’ve tried writing about literally everything else but
all trains of thought go back to back and wind their way to you
like roads to Rome
i like the ache of knowing for sure that i’ll lose you
and that we will only cross paths for a short while
whether they’re pavements or cobbled streets or the side of the motorway
they only touch. and then move away
you’ve drawn three poems worth of words from me
and i have ten more waiting in the wings like 13 year old ballet dancers
stepping on each other’s toes
whispering in each other’s ears
all contrived and all unique
like you and i
So I’ve wrote another poem to describe you
But it’s impossible to describe the way you feel
Is this what love is like? Trying endlessly to write on sand before the waves arrive
Before the sea comes, you leave and the beach is smooth again.
in other worlds..." he corrected himself -
"The being in constant astonishment in other worlds - words, dies. Starves from too much food."
TOO MUCH ASTONISHMENT.
such astonishment to be unlearned in the meeting of two friends on a bench,
the opening of curtains to a blue-gold sky
the sheer pleasure of creating a world -
- and a person and a FEELING
from a black-inked nib and a white scratched page
THIS IS THE FATE OF THE WATCHER
trapped alone in astonishment, a seer
Cassandra of ordinary happenings.
look at the living that is being LIVED!
- and never believed.
— The End —