Retirement

I am at home in the wilderness

watching the town’s bustle from distant

vantage points beyond fellowship’s reach.

The tracery of forgotten streams

curves around me with a soft comfort,

heated by the indifferent sun.

Warm rising air lifts the outstretched wings

as, head still, the hawk watches, cold-eyed,

ready to pursue his dark ethic –

kill or starve. Here, sheltered from the truth

of connection, from love’s sand paper,

I can hover, cladded by stillness.

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Day break

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The days fall to foam, some crashing

in exuberance on the wind swept strand,

some subsiding limply in cold solitude.

They leave a scum-line,

a heap of fly blown seaweed

or lethal discards of plastic,

and the leavings are scavenged by

the thoughtless energy of life.

Their journey across the unknown,

moon-struck, stirred by strange currents,

comes only to this evaporation.

Foinavon

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It stands entire against

all the rage of history.

The winds hurl across

the unresisting seas,

sweeping clear the barren peat lands,

then crash, bewildered into

this complacent monster.

Below, Arkle waits for a turn

in the limelight.

It listens to the hidden

disintegration of shale

as Foinavon succumbs,

where tempests cannot reach,

to the relentless patience of Time.

The Mystery of Connection

The handshake explains itself;

beyond the closed boxes of words,

where angles dissolve, and shapes

hold the tenderness of raindrops.

It has a fleeting wisdom

that lodges in hidden corners

so skin can shelter from grief

and mind can construct a square life.

The explanation remains –

the shared disappointments of love,

or desire’s trembling quiver,

a buttress to failing courage

or rivalry’s robust grip –

all in muscle’s wordless memory

where reason’s stiff boned fingers

find no reassuring purchase.

The caress of skin on skin

like wrapt gazes’ exchange of light,

leaves no visible trace of

the mystery of connection.

Rochester Cathedral

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Pale light, softened by the grey green glass,

Shaded into darkness,

But offering a stillness, marked precisely

By the still candle flames that guard

And measure the peace.

In the softness, a circle of chairs

Stand waiting. Their angles

Suggest fellowship to come, but also choice

Of solitude where a quiet sob

Or groan is the off’ring.

Here we are sheltered from the urgent

Noise of the icy winds

That cover the city’s contours with filmy

Eye water, draining texture and shape

Narrowing horizons.

Here eyes rest and heads clear, looking up

At last, daring to see

Something wider, something beautiful

Amidst the tired industrial life

Of the Medway landscape.

Rather old Winter visit – somewhere around 2000…………

Grasslands

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  There is a drained look about them   

in the casual buffeting of the wind.

Death paints their nails a dry yellow

and they bow to indifference.

They are at home in the grey skies

of empty bypassed landscapes.

I look down on them from my world

and paint them with my palate.

Unseen, the mouse sleeps, the spider

creates its drama, new birth

scurries and an empire is built.