Steinmare or “Wherein the poet considers his late night circumstances and covets another’s non-stone extruding kidneys”

Somewhere
Among the dim lights and feathering rain of this city
There is a You that is breathing.

Inhaling oxygen and exhaling
Carbon dioxide and tears.
And dreams and fears too maybe.

Perhaps the You is already
Tucked deep within the many folds
Of sleep and blankets,
Socked toes curling and uncurling.

Perhaps the You is drinking
Steaming tea from some well worn mug
And listening to the rain in the darkness
From Your plant-strewn balcony.
Hearing the same midnight churn.
Swift tires on wet tarmac.

Perhaps the You is still out in the world,
Hair a drizzled damp mess,
Head fizzy and drumming,
The joyful stains of a night well spent
Streaming down Your face.

Well we’ll worry not,
The You and the Me.

Whichever the case may be,
And I am sure that this is true,
I will find the We
That is born of Me and You.

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.

Is there though?

There’s a limit
To how much useful music you can make,
To how much tension you may instill,
To how much damage any one person deserves.

There is a limit to how much
Despair
Will soak into the pillow cases,
Into the sheets on her bed
Or the tips of your agitated hands
Or the soles of her yellow harried feet.

There is a point at which the night gives way
To a grey and rainsoaked morning.

And when you hit that wall,
When you reach that bluff,
That endless, precipiced edge,
Breath a sigh of relief and close your eyes.

Don’t be afraid to fall.

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.

Belfast

Nights like tonight
Are what living was made for.
Even if I nearly
Ended my own ability
To keep doing so
By standing in the road
Waving at your car
Until it was out of sight
With the starlings
Wheeling about overhead.
How did I forget
It could be this fun?

Pretending to be

Outside the car
In the dark of this November night
The wind howls.
That old familiar wolf call
Whistles and twists above me.

But I am deaf to it
And to the encroaching cold
That seeps into the cabin.

I am trapped
In a bubble of you
3 feet in every direction.
Still. Calm.
Wretched.
Eyes flicker back and forth.
The odd word rings out.

The quiet tears that I cry
Are not my own.
They are yours.
They belong to you
Still.

The bass of the car stereo
Drones, dies and hums static.
It drags me back to reality.
Drowns me in the stuff.

I take a deep breath and a moment
To work up the courage
To get out and open the gate.

Beauty lies in my beloved’s arms

Through the dark Swiss night
The fingers of my mind
Stretch out to caress you
From your little magpie nest.

Though it is cold, I am
Warm without cares.
You light such fires in me
That threaten to burn
Unhindered and wild in my chest.

For so many days I had thought
Ill of this entanglement of hearts,
This engagement of my will.
It threatened to undo me.
But now I realise it was all folly
And foolishness of my heart.
For you are the one I see when I
Close my eyes to the darkness
And your face is all I wish to see
Upon my waking.

Fingernails, silence and anxiety

A circle of salt
With me sitting cross legged at its centre,
Crosses scored into the backs of my hands.

Eyes burn red
from salty sleepless nights.
I see the blood chug
Thick through the capillaries.

Outside the circle the night
Like a wall of static sound
Dark and blatant
Encroaches
Deafeningly loud.

Some days the world heaps itself on top of you.
It pulls at the strands of your hair and rasps
its uncut nails over your semi-healed wounds
Snagging at the scabs and leaving little
Snail trails of your own half dried blood.

Some nights the world leaches into your life
Like an ocean of sand
Grain by blistering grain
Hot and slow
Until you are completely dry
And devoid of hope.

At those times I close my eyes,
Hum quietly to no one
And try and convince myself
That you are worth it.

Pps.

Because I fell asleep
With the window open
Waiting for you
I am now covered in
Hundreds of little,
Itchy bug bites.

I’m scritching and a-scratching!

I think I am
Almost definitely
In love with you.

Change taught us how to grow and grow we did…

The windows in all the houses
In which I have ever lived
Shine opal black in the moonlight.
Like giant dark eyelids closed
To an even darker night.

You have your fingers
In all of my eyes
Donating to my consciousness.
Your fingernails scrape
At the back of my throat.
They entangle themselves
In my vocal chords.

This wind is one of
Change and indifference.
It fills and drys the sheets
And pulls down the chimney
Stacks one by one.

As I drive home at night
I lose my face in the darkness.
The road markings shimmer and glow.
My head is full of the past,
My ears buzz with it.
My nose strong with its stench.
I pull into a darkened driveway,
Black as an open mouth at night.
I move off away into the sky
With not a single star in sight.