For GP

Remember that night or was it early morn;
Remember how late it was, fourteen years ago?

The North Star hidden, it was too near dawn;
How hard to recreate  it was, fourteen years ago?

Twenty ninth of April, nineteen ninety nine,
What a random date that was, fourteen years ago.

Not chosen by pundits, consecrated by wine,
Stars in love with fate it was, fourteen years ago.

My distant country, my alien name,
What an odd choice of mate I was, fourteen years ago.

You had no money, no job, no prospect of fame,
I saw only how fortunate I was, fourteen years ago.

I don’t feel very different but gawds how thin I was!
Was it youth or the salads I ate?  (it was fourteen years ago!)

Not our quiet church wedding – but colour without pause;
A celebration consummate it was, fourteen years ago.

There were no other homes here, no weddings took place
We never thought  how desolate it was, fourteen years ago.

We never thought of nations, nor religions nor race,
Only how appropriate it was, fourteen years ago.

For me, who argued every step, Who could never stop thinking things through,
What a declaration, an end to debate it was, fourteen years ago.

Now eternity shines in the girls, in afternoons, in words, in you;
Infinity through an open gate it was, fourteen years ago.

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Courage VI

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

Things have a way of freezing
Differently. Mountains expose
Their bones, ribs of eruptions past
One over the other, ceasing
Only to fall in line with those
Fault lines Spring hides. Fast
And furious run your rivers
Racing ahead of those wintry blasts
Terrified of stiffening into slivers
That once were ripples, tearing
The smoothness of surface ice. Wearing
The grass that cold crisps into blades
The differently freezing earth brings
No herald of bubbling springs. The thaw,
If it comes, will escape on your breath
A defiance of death, the chill air
Your heart warms. Courage is the air
Your frozen blood sings.

Courage V

Image may contain: outdoor

(With thanks to Anjan Ray for the astonishing image in which I found this poem)

If the road ahead is
Mottled, splotched in
Sun and shade; if
The helm you wear was
Once a net of steel
That held out even as
You held on; if
The green that greets
You slides back into grey,
Courage can be the dust
In the slanting ray.

But sometimes the peace
Of the branched tree
Shields your progress
Away from fright.
Promising shelter yet
Ceding ground in
An onslaught of
Unilluminating bright.
Sometimes courage
Is the flight of the bird
Startled out of its darkness
Into the indifferent light.

Courage IV

Image may contain: sky, mountain, outdoor and nature

I want to be the rain
That is driven up shields of glass
Against all laws of nature and grief
I want to know that as
I fall from skies shedding legions
Of such as me, over loaded over crowded
Bent on hurtling earthwards, that I
Will rise again, pushed onwards
On wings of air, knowing when
And where, the edge of glass meets
The skies. Not this me
Strapped and seated
Watching the road fly past through
Streaks of water. Strapped
And seated, not
Undefeated.

The sea, like grey silk

Image may contain: cloud, sky, mountain, ocean, outdoor and nature

The sea like grey silk
Clothes its depths in
Shimmering sadness. And
Grief is not a cliff that
Demands that you leap, but
Every shipwreck knows that
There is a limit to
How long it can keep its
Secrets in the deep before
The sea strips all veneer, and
They rise, cliff like, to crash
On unclothed shores.

On A Leash

Often you can hardly tell
It’s quite long, and extends as
You go. Almost unnoticeable until
The jerk and tightening at the
Throat. Having a dog is not all
About cleaning smelly bits.
Hold your nose, grip the leash,
And learn your frikkin limits.

For Audur, In Her New Home

A new house is always
A lovers’ dream. A consummation
Of pictures and walls, a yearning
Of spaces for filling. The many ways
In which a corner can touch
A small table, a tall vase; of
Such missed meetings as brass
Candlesticks too awkward to place
Near settees that need the light.
Such may also be the delight
Of warm floors and stockinged feet
Of open doors and a happiness to meet
Those who drink wine at your table
So that when you talk late into the night
And lights come on outside to kiss the sable
Your home is that moment when eye meets eye
And the crowded world settles down with a sigh.