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.

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A splash of urine on my slipper

More of a dash than a splash
Of hot, pungent urine.
Yellow from an apparent
Lack of hydration. A lack of
Fluids.

And on my slipper of all places!
My old brown vegan slippers.
Yes. Vegan.
Because somebody cared so much
And I, perhaps, too little.

And all of this because I find myself
Distracted by the thought of you.
By the thought of what you would say
If you were here.

Not ‘here’ here mind.
But perhaps in the next room,
Playfully deriding me for my
Inability to close doors,
Lounging on the sofa
Draped in my soft grey blanket.

Maybe,
Pushing your hair back
Over your ear
And looking up

As I enter

The room.

Chet has similar troubles

Mostly I feel
That I don’t know
What I am.

Continually in the
Wrong place
saying the wrong thing
(And rather loudly at that)

But when you
Rested your head on my chest
As we stood before an open window
And gazed out across the skyline
Burning in the dwindling sunlight
I forgot about that

For a while.

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’

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.

Zartbitter

On the train from Les Laumes,
Rushing backwards away from you,
I can feel my heart stretch out
Like elastic. The pull grows stronger.

We fly past lakes and highways.
The greens of a forest brush by.
Trills of your smile shimmer
In the window’s reflection.

I had been waiting for love.
Staying up nights expecting
A knock at the front door,
The hesitant mumble.

I had prepared slippers.
A favourite mug sitting ready
For a pair of gentle outstretched hands.

You push a strand of your
Peacock hair back over your ear
and laugh at my jokes.
You’re so beautifully quiet.

What I had learned of love’s face
I studied in flickering movie screens.
And what I knew of her devious ways
Only through the experience of others.

You smile and keep your mouth shut.

We may all wait for love
But we cannot wait forever.

This is how it starts

The letters you sent me,
on the handmade note paper,
are like little pieces of you
that I can carry around with me.

On the bus, I can
reach in my pocket
and touch you.

I read them in the evening,
alone
before I go to sleep
and think of what you might be getting up to.

Wondering if
you are awake
reading bits of me too.
Committing them to memory.