After adding too much
I panicked!
Tore everything out

except the title
and one line
which seemed to retain

a semblance
of the beauty
lost to understanding.


Empty Birdfeeder

Time was, time was –
those little birds sighed.
Time was once
we had time on our side.

In Our Sleep

Pain falls drop by drop
upon the heart until,
in our own despair
and against our will,
comes wisdom
by the awful grace of God.

– reinterpretation of Robert Francis Kennedy’s reinterpretation of Aeschylus on the night of Martin Luther King’s passing.

Rest with Me 

In a broch
of fire happy furniture
from the seventies,
between asbestos walls
and bile damp curtain
I pick her up.
Feeling immodest

to ask her to breath.

Carry her across
naked floorboards
to wee yella stain sofa

handed down
by retiree sister.

Mum who comes round
to ask me
for a milky Nescafe.

I, who could have gone
to sleep right there
beside her,
and have no taste for the stuff,
ended up coming back
with two.

Porch Light

Mum could never accept
the plight of the underclass
but in Glasgow.
She pointed to places like
England and America
where she said they lived
in large semi-detached
and wood builds.
Front and back garden.
And I rather like the idea
of her having more room
to do nothing.

Last time I visited
her on the scheme
one of the young team
had cracked her windows.
I promised to catch him.
Don’t be stupid, she said.
You’ve a future now.
Don’t let all that good work
go to nothing.
It wasn’t nothing, I told her.

She who gave me the watch
to tell the time
I kept so sillily.

You are there now.
A porch light on.
Sipping coffee.
Pulling chocolate with nails
off a Breakaway.
Probably thinking I’m back
in Surrey
talking to those types
with the fancy car.
In no neighbourhood
likely to ask
what your husband did.
And instead
I’m forever thinking of you
taking in the rain
from behind broken glass.