Gently now for fear it might break

It has been many moons
Since love has tread
In the halls of my heart.

The tapestries on the walls
threadbare and muted.
The forgotten corpses of furniture
Shrouded in white,
Still as the dead.
The hearthstone lies cold and unused.

The dust is piled up like snow
In the deep of winter
Heaped in the corners and doorways.
The emptiness of the place
Hangs heavy in the air.
Stale and tired.

And yet

It would appear
A single window shutter has been opened.
The fragile morning light bleeds in.
And perhaps it might be possible
To make out the shape
Of a footprint or two
In the grime.

And it could be
That if you stood for a while
In the now-open doorway
You might even catch the faintest aroma
Of freshly picked lavender
And the earliest murmurs
Of a long awaited homecoming.

Something must be said

These long, hot middle eastern nights
Are killing me.

I lie awake imagining
The smell of lemons
And those odd squashed figs
That you gave to my mother.

And thoughts turn greyer
Like irish summer skies over Glenteenassig
And everything becomes bitterer sweet.

This throbbing isn’t just between my ears.
Not anymore.
It’s deep in my chest.
And it rises up my throat
With each encroaching minute.

The low slope of your nose
Is still in my minds eye.
You always seemed so unjustly guilty.
And all these words can’t be helping.

Instead let me be brief:
It would be nice if the idea of you
Would let me sleep.

I’m carving a draydel out of cedar for you. All is right with the world.

Sometimes
I would like to live with you
In a wood cabin on a lake.
Lying awake at night
By an open fire
With your hand on my cheek,
In my hair,
On the back of my neck.

A Star of David
Hangs in the window.
A pine wreath on the front door.

The pop and crackle.
Your breath in my ear.
The wind at the chimney.

It wouldn’t be so bad.

I should be changing the sheets

The pillow
Where I have lain my head to rest
Is steeped deeply with you.
Your delicate scent but also
The slow curve of your cheek,
The gentle rise of your breath
And the lashes of your
Half
closed
eyes.

When I close mine I can almost feel
The the groove and judder
Of your spine beneath my fingertips,
Your feet, warm,
in the small of my back,
And the moisture
On your open, waiting lips.

Soon?

While at home,
Yours not mine,
Missiles flare and blank out
Square foot after square foot
Of children, mothers and fathers
Supposedly likewise bent on destruction,

Here you flex and bend
Your head low
Almost to my breaking point.

I can easily overlook death
When you bare your teeth
And curl that tongue.
In this moment
What hold does sorrow have
On me.

But Sorrow,
Sorrow can wait
Leaning against the back wall
Of her Northern Celtic Cave
Eyes cast downwards
The corners of her mouth
Curl slowly into a smile.

‘Soon’

It’s not a war to be won, but…

And then quite unlike the
Way in which she left,
The muse returned.

I knew I was in trouble first
When I woke to the
Thought of her
In green and navy pajamas,
Hair a golden mess,
Carrying a tray of tea and toast slices.

The dress that I saw,
A shimmering grey
A pale mint
That was no longer
Behind the shop glass but
Twirling around flower beds
Above a pair of bare feet,
Was a bad sign to be sure.

And it is now that I find myself
Lying awake deep into the night, Biting into my pillow
And cursing myself,
That I know the real battle
Has only just begun.

Sepia Toned Loving

You lower your gaze
To your feet.
A hand emerges
From deep within a woollen sleeve
And pushes a few strands of
Yellowish-brown hair
Back over a yellowish-brown ear.
Your lips part minutely,
And yet so generously.

Standing under a flickering streetlight
We have been sent back.
Back to a time when
Colour was an idea
That you read about in books
When you should have been working hard
In the fields.
Toiling in flannel and corduroy.

But now I notice your brow is furrowed,
Eyes cast expectantly upward.
I have been staring but not listening.

I send a prayer out
Into the night sky above,
Silent and profound,
And lean down into you
To hear yours.