Waiting for the train

If we breathe deeply 
part of you will stay with me 
and me with you 
all the way home 
If we hold tightly 
our bodies’ warmth exchanged 
will embrace us 
all the way home 
If we gaze long enough 
to imprint the other’s image 
we can smile at each other 
all the way home 
while we are apart, 
I will keep you close 
between one heartbeat 

                and the next


A formula for recovery

The speed of heartache’s healing 
is distance over time 
no painless way to separate 
a compound so refined 
but the acid-burn of misery 
which yet resists dilution 
can be contained and balanced 
made neutral in solution 
The time of heartache’s healing 
is distance over speed 
half-life decay of longing 
is multiplied by need 
where once sparked high-volt flashes 
from currents of desire 
a layer of resistance 
may reduce the risk of fire 
The length of heartache’s healing’s 
a variable unknown 
it’s only found with hindsight 
when you no longer feel alone 


We have no love for that ungentle brute 
His righteous scythe has swung too many times 
Another crop of tender dreamstalks, felled 
And ravaged, naked earth bleeds in his wake 
He struts and preens in shining armour clad 
No human weakness does he recognise 
Scorns forgiveness, ne’er a name forgot 
Or entry from his bloody ledger scoured 
He tears the clothes from sinners in the street 
And sneers at their frail naked human flesh 
Pleas for mercy crushed between his fists 
Castles of illusion set afire 
How many backs are turned at his approach? 
We do not want to hear his sermons preached 
So, hooded, pitchforked, lit by blazing torch 
We jeer, and run him out of town once more 


This time I am not 
plummeting to earth 
in a blaze of friction 
cratering on impact 
tumbling downstairs 
a heap of tangled limbs 
bruised and broken 
from the wasted climb 
plunging with a cascade 
of icemelt and rain 
over sharp-edged granite 
to the cold catching-pool 
This time 
I am a feather, I drift 
honey from the spoon, I slide 
grateful head to the pillow, I sink 
softly and surely 
with a smile 
into your arms

A lexicon in the learning

I know “lust” 
by the fierce stinging flush of desire 
hot blood, high colour 
darkened eyes, shallow breath 
Palm to palm, I can find “liking” 
clasping together for mutual warmth 
ringing in rich tones of laughter 
whispering softly in confidence 
I know “loss” and “leaving” and “lies” 
as a knife-slash of jealousy 
and the wrench of separation 
I see them through averted eyes 
taste them in the salt of tears 
I recognise “longing” 
the smell like rain on concrete 
it feels like an empty bed 
sighs and hums abstractedly 
watches keenly for one face in particular 
I understand “logic” 
if-then, and-or, not-when 
usually missing, presumed lost 
in the gap between what is said and meant 
I have learned all of these labels 
but I do not understand where they end 
and where “love” begins 

Because; what is “love”? 
A word that defies definition 
a feeling that escapes description 
sounding like affection, only warmer 
looking like desire, only deeper 
hurting like loneliness, only sharper 
following no rule, keeping to no boundary 
greater than the sum of its parts   substantial, yet amorphous and elusive 
I have felt love, I have shared it, I have let it go 
but I’m still not quite sure 
what it really is