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Terry Collett Aug 2018
I see the orange sun
sink below the hills,
said Netanya,
it sinks slowly beyond
the evening sky.

I stand by
the bedroom window
gazing at the departing day,
a thin sliver of blue
slips from sight.

Benny has gone;
I have no idea where;
his sister said she thinks
he went to London
from where he came.

The bed behind is empty;
he will no longer sleep
beside me there;
I must sleep alone.

The sky darkens
to a navy blue
and like a silver coin
the moon evolves.

Tears fill my eyes;
the scenery blurs.

The smell of evening
enters the room;
a slight breeze
touches my hair.

I wonder where he is
and the last time
I watched him
walk up the road
this morning
unaware he was
leaving me for good.

I draw the curtains
to close the day
and gaze at the bed
where once we lay.
Terry Collett Jul 2018
Netanya is downstairs
vacuuming, says Benny,
and I lay in bed
thinking of my escape.

It has to be today:
tomorrow I return to work
and the chance
of a clean break
will have gone.

I get out of bed
and go wash
and dress.

I listen to her downstairs,
still busy.

I gather some
of my things
and money,
and my work uniform
in a bag,
under which I have
other clothes
for a few days.

I leave it by the bed
and go downstairs
and have breakfast and tea.

She is hanging washing
on the line,
and I eat and drink,
then go upstairs
for my things.

I come downstairs
and she is there
at the foot of the stairs.

She asks
where I am going
and I tell her
to take my uniform
to be cleaned
and that we
can pick it up
later together.

She nods her head
and watches me off
up the road.

I do not turn back
and wave,
but carry on
with my escape.

I buy a ticket
and board the train.

I watch other passengers
as the train pulls away,
and wonder what she is doing
and what she will think
when I do not return
from town.

I look out the window
at the passing view
of fields and trees
and sheep and cows
and cottages
and the blue blue sky,
and her thinking later
in the day:
Why? Why? Why?
Terry Collett Jun 2018
It began so simply.
We met
and talked at work.

You unburdened yourself
in conversations
in between hours

caring for others.
I was younger then,
less aware how

the world worked,
how feelings can
carry away, how long

a simple day.
We started meeting
outside of work:

you making excuses
to your husband then,
meeting in a park

or some night-time cafe,
far far away.
Then came

the weekends
away in London
or at that seaside town

sitting on the beach,
watching the sea
with simple chat,

watching gulls in flight,
walking the streets
until night.

It began so simply:
evolved into
something larger

and in the end,
beyond our scope,
like some leaking vessel,

let in water of reason
or doubt,
and seeing it sinking,

wanted it over,
wanted out.
Terry Collett May 2018
You'd picked a fight
with the best man
and it was only
you being a woman
that it didn't turn nasty.

You stormed up the road
for the bus
and I and your children
followed.

It had been
at your niece's
wedding reception
and after the speeches
and toasts.

I had pulled you
away from him
thinking it some
misunderstanding.

A mouthful of abuse
hit the air
and him standing there.

You'd had a few drinks
and something was said
and off you went at him
like a barking dog.

Take her home, Mate,
the best man said.

We waited
by the bus stop
in the evening air
and you fumed
and the children stood
in silence
giving you the stare.

I said nothing
of any consequence
just a few words
of calming you down
but it didn't work
and you moaned
the more.

I had been drinking
and talking to the bride
now newly married
to the drip in a suit.

I missed
the row' s beginning
only caught
the language in the air
and you waving your arms
and I went to sort out
and calm it down.

The bus came
and we boarded
and sat down.

You were silent
but still fuming.

I sat wondering
if the bride was a ******
or if the drip
had been at it before
or some other.

The children were quiet
and gazed at their mother.
Terry Collett Apr 2018
He stood on the shore
gazing across the Solent.

He was smoking
thinking of her
and what she was doing
and what she made
of the turn of events.

He'd left her the day before
and had come to the abbey.

She had no idea
where he was
and that was how
he wanted it.

A car ferry
passed his sight
with holiday-makers
filled with joy
and excitement.

The abbey
was his sanctuary
and he had told
one of the monks
the evening before
of his exile.

Across the Solent
yachts were in sail
their whiteness in contrast
to the blue and green
of the sea.

After the office of Sext
and lunch
he would go
to the public house
over the side and wall.

He went yesterday
and played bar billiards
on his own.

But what after this?
And the day after?

This was the abbey's
private beach
and behind the woods
leading up to the church.

He flicked the cigarette stub
out to sea and stood
watching gulls in flight.

He lit another cigarette.

He would
he mused
sleep alone
again tonight.
Terry Collett Apr 2018
They were not expecting him.
He rang to ask for a room
for a few days.

Then he rang his mother
to say he had arrived ok
and would be staying
at the abbey.

He went by taxi
as it was quicker than the bus
and he just couldn't cope
with the crowds
in his state of mind.

He arrived about twelve.
A monk showed him the room
and he unpacked
what little he had managed
to bring with him.

He sat in a chair
by the window
and looked at the roof
of the church.

What now?
He mused.

He wondered what she
would be thinking.

She'd be wondering
where he was
and why he'd not returned
from the town
as he said he would.

Would it dawn on her
that he'd left her?

Other thoughts would go
through her mind.

Had he had an accident?
But it would gradually
dawn on her that he'd left.

He had an hour to ****
before lunch.

He left the room
and went for a walk
in the abbey grounds
down to the sea shore
through the woods.

Standing there
he lit up a cigarette
and watched the sea.

He thought to himself
what will become of me?
Terry Collett Apr 2018
She was vacuuming downstairs.
He could her as he lay in bed.
It would have to be today he left

her as there was no days left.
He had been planning to leave
for some weeks but the time

never seemed right. It had to
be today. He could hear her
vacuuming with the old radio

churning out the pop music.
He got out of bed and went
and washed in the bathroom.

His last abulutions in this room.
He listened out for her. He got
dressed and arranged his

uniform in a bag with a suit
beneath to take to the dry-
cleaners. He'd take it down town.

She'd not suspect he wouldn't
be back. He went downstairs
and ate breakfast. She went

to vacuum upstairs. He sipped
his tea and ate toast. He went
upstairs and said he was going

into town to take his uniform
to the cleaners. They could go
down to town later and pick it

up and shop. He took his bag
and she walked with him to
the door. He walked down

the road and waved then walked
on and out of sight. She went
inside and closed the door.

She'd not see him that night.
Terry Collett May 2017
It was the week before
you left her. That seaside
town you both used to
frequent 5 years before.

But it had lost its glamour,
lost the romantic mystery
it had back then. That day
you went through the motions,

ate at one of the restaurants
you used to go to years before;
sat on the beach watching
other lovers do what you

used to do, but didn't that day.
The sky was pale blue with
white clouds, and the sea did
what seas do, came in and went

out making that ******* noise
it does. You wanted her to say
something about the day, but
she didn't, she went through

the motions with you, like two
ham actors, knowing the scenes
and lines, but having no belief
anymore in the drama. At the

railway station she said about
having a photo taken together
as you used to do. So you went
into the photo booth together,

and sat, and the flashes came,
but this time, no giggles or
smiles, just you and her sitting
there, looking at the camera,

staring into a lost cause, in front
of no audience and no applause.
A MAN AND WOMAN AND A FAILED MARRIAGE 1980
Terry Collett May 2016
She sleeps.

There is exhaustion.

Exhaustion of mind,
of body.

L'├ępuisement
de l'esprit.

Too tired to undress,
she sleeps in the clothes
he wore the night before.

Smell of apples,
fresh picked after rain.

Scent of her God given,
day worn.

Wonder if she dreams of me
or another
or of castle towers,
and knight rescues
after dragon slaying.

Maybe we made love
or else did other.

Contented sleep
looks like,
that well indulged
featured look
while sleeping
in some god's keeping.

Sommeil r├ęparateur.

Bird song outside,
dawn chorus,
traffic far off.

Her hands
which once touched mine,
rest in their sleep.

Her lips just open,
once mine to kiss,
await kisses
in her dreams.

I lay and watch
dawn's light play
upon the ceiling.

I lay awake with that
marooned on a desert island
depressing feeling.
A MAN WATCHING HIS LOVER SLEEP IN 1980
Terry Collett Feb 2016
The convent
was quiet
but Susan

couldn't sleep
she thought of
Jude and how

she left him
standing on
the platform

while she was
on the train
should have said

I didn't
agree to
marry him

should have said
I was off
to Paris

to be an
enclosed nun
I didn't

I just said
was off to
think awhile

she stared at
the small cross
on the wall

a bell rang
off somewhere
she was cold

she could smell
starch and bread
and Jude's scent

lingered there
in her head.
A GIRL ENTERS A CONVENT IN 1980 THINKING OF THE BOY SHE LEFT BEHIND
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