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.

In the sunlight

& then when
I awoke
the morning light made me choke as
I remembered
how the gentle susurration blended
with the birdsong & the light began to
curve like the branches above us
to touch,
briefly,
skin within which poison blends with pollen
& flowers blossom before I pluck them
to place in your hair where
they will wither & die.

The past still lingers in the present,
& refuses to leave with the grace
of living things.

This is what regret means:
never to forget someone
or something;
knowing of all the lives that could have been;

to touch,
briefly,
your skin

for the last time.

Anamnesis

So many rooms in so many houses;
spaces within which the walls have waited,
        unseeing,
                uncaring,
as I played various roles
in minor dramas, some
of my own devising,
                some not,
        & most
being incomplete.

So many days wanting to stay away
from this mess, this reluctance;
                the daydream
of purposeful action
abandoning us with
                every movement
around the Sun.

The fragility of
                everything;
inevitable entropy
& we,
                the animals
that will not be themselves,
capable of knowing all this
wait
while words emerge to seek
a story worthy of acknowledging
                    that beneath
every surface
something waits
to be
            misunderstood.

Either serendipitous or fucked up:

The choice is yours.

The choice is mine,
           
            & I
                    can’t decide…