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What’s left lingers on me,
your smell on my fingers,
my hair, my chafed skin,
my well washed shirts

and I could wash
I could
I know

I never knew essential
meant impossible to be without
until the scent began to fade
The smell of you,
an impossibly intense run of ones and zeroes
converted to map your DNA
G A T T A C G A...
like everyone and no one

Forbidden skin folds, slickly hidden,
I carried with me
with some half lies that helped
keep everything off radar
‘til ready

Cottoning on to the lost in me
with fingers and caresses,
blessing a gleeful wink of grins
to an adulthood
that refused to begin,
and refuses still
Wet grass caps toes,
a long missed inconvenience,
each pace lifting
weight long loved

The dappled, leaf stopped light
tries to placate,
but you won’t stay

Like time and tide
you wipe your face clean
and disappear through trees
with no trail
I shot the breeze today
with crickets, beetles,
spiders and caterpillars,
we held a moot.

Each representative, a voice:
words in the clamour
to be heard

In these lands of
many common grasses,
breeze told anecdotes,
arachnid needs
and insect calls for attention
often get ignored

Stopping to sit,
look through clutches of eyes,
sing with rattled wings
and chew cud,
can help retune the din
to be cleanly heard
The bittersweet blast
of ending another
another one.

Weird, unnatural, irrational.

Mixing maudlin with
the electric buzz of new beginnings,
we will drink and sleep,
cheap grins on our faces
‘til we’re adrift in three week’s time.

These days and friends are mine.
Raising a glass to all the teachers who have reached the end of the Weirdest Year Ever (TM). We have lost our traditional chance to welcome the new and say farewell to friends.

Despite what some gutter press and bumbling government ministers say, we never stopped teaching or caring. Never will.
Bewildered by the difference,
the vast, unknown shape of it all

Not moments before,
ensconced in familiar tangles,
routinely fed and tended by parents
who flared and chattered
at the merest prospect of a threat,
met only by bolshy robins
who scoffed at fear
and tumbles of sparrows
who hid in each other

This necessary, Hail Mary leap
sees me petrified
grounded at the foot
of an adulthood full of flight,
song and the weight of freedom

if I can just get through
these cat clawed days and nights
A green myth
to explain away why things
just aren’t quite right
and the briar patch of ages
twists in verdant sinister ways

The familiar snag and scratch
bleeds differently
and won’t be soothed the same
so welts scar visible
and tell tales

New normals are bandied about
with as much thought
as the path that led here
and the beatification of old normal
is sealed
A hand cast the jigsaw pieces
of my redemption wide
and I walk to find them

Gapped puzzle patches showing
a veneer beneath, of reasonable quality,
are nonetheless an irritant

The late game phase
I assumed would be easier
has not especially yielded fruit

Still reliant on chanced epiphanies
this approach lacks the efficiency
my bald head and white whiskers
I got bitten by a spider,
but this is England.

A certain arachnid
politeness is expected,
holding back on venom,
for example,
or moving at a predictable, parochial pace
and arranging eyes, legs and hairs
to not offend.

Hanging out in bedside sleeves
so an early morning stumble
is accompanied by slow burning
pin ******
leaving mild swelling and discomfort
is just not cricket.

Don’t get me started on
those chirruping buffoons.
The loud yawn of time
when you are held tight
is petrifying

An indifference to your captivity
as nature sees to normalcy
reveals our fleshy entropy
as nothing more than energy
to wax and wane

Beached pebbles
on an infinite shore
to pretend more is orange ignorance

There is solace, I guess
in acceptance,
but our primal, primate arrogance
prevents much
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