Tuesday, 29 October 2013

In the gap

There is a distance we leave between breath and word

Between breath and verse there is a distance

You pitched your tent there

Where in that distance I cooked up a book

A book you mistook for instructions

A book of maps, and curious odes

And illustrations of toads you took to be Darwin’s

Although it be know let it be known

They were mine those toads

Wrought of work, and fat of haunch

And deep did they squat, squat to be heard

In the distance

The distance between breath and word. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Your fire engine

I remember you 
rattling down the hall
feet raised for speed,
tiny wheels turning fast 
your subtle play 
into something more,
an archetype perhaps; 
the child delighted,
but unique here with my joy too
seeing muscles hardening, 
pushing you inexorably up to 
this lofty complicated place;
the crash site of adulthood.

The trauma of growing,
like that of being born
is too much to remember
and better left in darkness,
but once all growing's done
and children come
the scorch marks of that crash
and a slow healing wound of the heart,
start something new
built of fear and love
like a soft but heavy beaten blow.

You're a big boy now
in that urgent emergent rush
to be done with all these
playful settled things
and I suppose I am 
the vanquished land of deposed kings.

Even as I wrestle your little limbs 
into the trunks they will become
I hope when you are me,
watching tiny wheels
produce ecstatic simple squeals,
that you will feel enough to know
there's one thing only a child's love can show;
we want our headlong rush 
into the emergency of life to slow
as we watch our small ones quickly grow.