The Funeral

I tried smiling at your funeral,

to avoid the choking weeds of grief.


Breathing trees

no longer naked,

their limbs veiling then revealing 

a diamond-clear sky,

stood beside the road leading

to the building where your family was mourning.

  

(When she asked me where you’d gone, 

I told your daughter you had

become one with nature;


every flower,

the lambent limbs of sunlight

& all those dignified trees, 

believing

you would like that answer.


I hope I wasn’t wrong.)


A vodka (double vodka) before

the eulogy, 

& another 

(& another) after

it was over.


Then, outside: cold bright sunlight,

dreaming of you dancing; 


the prosody of your body,

singing,

your lips the colour of exoctic fruit,

as roses red & white

flowed from your hips,

replacing the weeds &

loosening their grip,

 

just long enough to bring 

some small relief


from the reality of your absence.


Yet there was nothing except

 

the brutal eloquence


of silence.

I looked through some old photos

& the memories surfaced like

smoke from a furnace;

up from the chest & through the throat

to find a home behind the eyes..

 

When our hands have searched & found

the feelings we wish to drown;

when our dreams creep & crawl along the night

into the darkest corners where 

creatures hide;


when

the words become sounds unbound

from meaning & only vague feeling

remains:


then, maybe

we can finally become free.

Regret

There are words written by

two women I used to know

 

& shamefully I must admit

that I did not give

either the true gift of attention:

 

they knew me but I could not see

beyond the boundary of my affliction;

a selfish sadness

 

destroying everything..

 

From Saint Christopher

to Blue John Stones,

they gave me everything

 

& with that grace, with those

prayers I drank & laughed

 

& let each future be

consumed by the past.

Fatal dreams

At 2 a.m in the morning the thoughts became starlings;

dispersing, flying & reforming again,

afraid a cage & the end of all freedom

lay hidden, patiently waiting.

 

Yet other nights they would fly above

evergreen trees, winding paths &

fresh clean streams.

 

Some nights the trees became

something they could never be, &

the water turned to perfect mirrors

flowing towards an endless sea. 

 

Now

the starlings are starved & dying,

motionless on blackened trees 

above a burnt & barren ground

 

where there is nothing so beautiful as you,

or birds flying through 

the clearest

blue sky.