Wind

Today my husband is studying swords

And rediscovering a joy in kennings

As his eye that has no sight

Has finally stopped hurting 

So the other eye can now return

To read, and record, and recognise my face

That I was scared would be forgotten.

As he quotes to me,

‘Incitement of the sorrow of the fence of battle’

I think of the shield ulcer that

Cloaked and covered his eye

His sorrow becoming the repetition

Of eye drops and eye creams

That ensuingly and eventually eroded.

The energy of unseen motion, 

Particles changed by his serpent of wound

Resulting in two pages of beloved

Literature, formal and academic

Emerging rousing and romantic

As I see eyes negotiating the leafs

Unknowingly unforgetting my face.

Dishwashing

Dishwashing

I am washing my dishes considering if the cat I can see

out of my kitchen window is the usual cat or 

if it’s a new cat.

I am considering the enormity of the death of the usual cat

and feel sad for the man who lives alone

apart from his cat.

I am smelling the apple green liquid it’s thick texture and 

comforting smell remind me of a time

when washing dishes 

Was a fight between me and my parents and accusations

and slamming doors were something to

be sulked behind.

I am remembering the tired sighs and kitchen smells of my mother 

as she negotiated life 

and balanced tempers.

I am running the tap hot and challenge myself to bear the heat

before succumbing to cooling water, the plates are

drying on the rack.

I am wondering why these platters belong to me,

all of them odd, some patterned, some plain,

steam rising from them.

Was I so scared of conformity that my utensils show

my mismatched life? Life that I consider once again as 

I wash my dishes.

Storm Chaser

My husband is supine on our bed.

Head pillowed. Body taut

With legs slightly apart.

‘Are you OK?’ I ask him.

I think he may have hurt his back.

Or have sore feet.

Or have something on his mind that

Requires a hard mattress, and soft pillow

To give space for contemplation or remorse.

He looks at me surprised, turns 

And states, to the ceiling,

‘I am storm chasing.’

‘I am waiting for the storm.’

Yet again Alexa has deluded him

As she has been doing all week.

And with a younger mind than

His weather-beaten years, he lays expectant. 

Trusting in technology to free his dreams. 

Six People And A Scotch Egg It Is Then

Notes on ‘Scotch Egg’ – ‘Six people outside and a scotch egg it is then.’ is a quote I stole (with permission)  from my friend Deborah’s Facebook feed as she tried to decide what she was actually allowed to do to celebrate her birthday in June 2021.

Six People And A Scotch Egg It Is Then

Can I go to a pub or should I just stay in? 

Can I go and get the hairs pulled out from my chin? 

Can I visit the park? Will that cause trouble? 

Can you explain who’s meant to be in my bubble? 

When can I see my mates for lunch or Sunday dinner?

When is that allowed? Or will that make me a sinner? 

When can I cuddle,hold, kiss, squish and maybe hand shake? 

When will you tell me what l can really undertake? 

Do I honour my birthday with a bloody scotch egg? 

Do I get to go abroad? Maybe to Winnipeg? 

Do I dance at a club, getting right down and dirty? 

Do I share a hot tub and become a bit flirty? 

What do I do about going to see those I cherish? 

What happens if I want to take lessons in Spanish? 

What distance can we navigate on the motorbike? 

What’s the legislation if I decide to hitchhike? 

Does getting the vaccine make me invincible? 

Does eating cakes outside become punishable?  

Does queuing for savouries mean an instant arrest? 

Does anyone envision putting that to the test?

How do I visit the dentist and protect my face? 

How do astronauts socially distance in space? 

How do I survive on my Universal Credit? 

How do I manage that without becoming a bandit? 

Because, government, we’re confused what to do

And quite frankly, it seems, nor the fuck do you.

So for my birthday I will be outside this year

With a bastard scotch egg and shed-loads of beer.

The Perplexing Peanut

I knew it was down there, stuck in the ravine 

I felt it hot and salty, wedged in between

I hitched up my shirt, started shaking and dancing,

I put fingers under my cups and tried exaggerated prancing.

I wiggled and waggled and jerked and jiggled,

I was being demeaned by something I’d nibbled,

I could not believe this nut was causing such strife

I endured not to carry it with me throughout my life.

I understood I must let go, save my day from being botched 

I sensed that I was losing time, just like a kettle watched 

I recognised to ignore it would be a new kind of low 

I determined to give it another good go.

I wiggled and waggled once more and what do you think?

I saw that peanut fly out and bounce off the damn sink

I need to assure you I am not a snob, but

I am still unsure why I took it off the floor and into my gob.

I acknowledge this was not the best thing to do,

I swallowed sweat, urine and dust like I’d just licked the loo,

I have to be grateful for mercies and the blessing 

I no longer have a peanut that is bloody perplexing.

March 30th 2020

love song

Notes for Love Song – Pre – lock down we used the bus almost daily and he would always say ‘It’s our turn’ when we neared our stop and he would stand up first and I would sneak a cuddle by pushing my face into his back  and try to record in my mind his smell and his feel and his voice forever.

Love Song

And soon he’ll say

‘It’s our turn’

And I will push myself upon his back

And inhale the smell from the tweed and the ointment

That calms his skin

Which then

In turn

Calms me

A Comfortable Silence

I am still working on this… I feel the last line sit’s uncomfortably … I’ll get there!

A Comfortable Silence

When I was younger I used to study couples.

Twosomes eating chips whilst watching the sea, 

Hands entwined through a turn round the park,

Feeding the ducks down there on the quay.

A bench together while reading a paper.

Shared restaurant meals In quiet harmony

But I used to think ‘my god, how boring’,

That will never, ever, ever be me.

At no time will I stop being absorbing

And my partner will completely agree

And listen enthralled, counting their blessings 

That I deigned them to be my devotee.

But instead we sit in a comfortable silence

More precious than empty words with my cohabitee,

He is my day so knows what has happened

He knows my news as my news is always he.

My Mother as Pandora

I imagine the vaccine sliding into my mother’s veins

Golden liquid made of hope 

Filling the arms that will hold me again 

With luscious, liquescent love.

Disease leaving before it comes,

Greed decreasing, crimes never committed

As worry leaves and alleviates,

Envy and pain dissipating before they hold deep.

Gold is a noble metal

My mother is auriferous

She alone holds the box within her heart

That will make me whole again. 

The Dance

I dance with the young woman in my small, local supermarket

Always elegant with her shining nails.

We shimmy around each other our distance metered

As she sets free my wine, 

Her looking calm, fabulous,

Me half crazed, unwashed,

Proving that self service is not something I can manage,

Not before, not now, and assumedly not ever.