Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Your hand on my lip,
testing the hardening bristle
finding dimly;
baby simplicity nothwithstanding,
your father there sure as any rusk

And he feeling flimsy for you,
not tough enough to take
firm hands to your wavering grasp
like coral, or a polyp
in the terrifying sea, anchored
to it’s maternal unyielding spot

I am the passing diver
or maybe even still 
just a flickering fish 
heading back to shallows

or perhaps I am an anemone
filtering these cold currents
for nourishment,
and my hard worn hand,
flashes with yours, reaching
ever hopeful in the darkness. 

River Stories

You said if the river carries more than mud 
you’ve yet to see it, but I saw a tern take an eel, 
and in the challenge of slower beaks drop it.

And I know that eel wriggles it’s Sargasso desperate dance
into banks where mudlarks take their chance
hoping for storied relics;
the musket ball with tooth attached,
the jawbone of a bronze age girl 
whose mission for mussels ended in a muddy trip
and countless rings thrown in anger 
or lost from fasting fingers 
when the boatman dropped an oar

This river carries more than mud, 
and hides a world besides
Stories folded in the filthy loam 
and sent on a spring tide home.