Poems – Autumn

To Be Grown

Youth is not a time but a tempest:

the peacock’s teal

the acid of sun

dirty fingernails




youth is now.

When your feet are raw

with rust and reel,

your eyes droop with

the weight of youth,

the crimson of you

has run out of hurry,

You will look to the sky and marvel:

how did I forget

whilst I danced, wept, raged,

that my skin must one day be shed?

Just you, time, and the

quiet of your naked.

All the waters of the Mediterranean

Could not quell your velvet flame

The roars of the River Nile

Would succumb to the silence of your sleep.

To be grown is to know that

beneath the swell of a thousand bodies

drifts the softest of forevers.

Poem for a friend

I long to know the mess of you

Won’t you let me trace the

bruises of your spine;

Let me whisper that

today you are the

sweetest of my sorrows;

Won’t you let me scrape until

you bleed into me and then

we can sit and talk of

how soreness is ours; it is

this business of human.

I want the courage to hollow you out

Didn’t anyone tell you that

turmoil is the tease of what love there is left?

If ever the present stings

If ever you need a hand

A coffee

A sleeve

You can paint me with the starlight of your fears

Then let’s watch a film at night-time

And it will be OK.


Do you remember how we rode fast

On a motorbike that wound

Through our sunrise like a spear

Poised for a wakening?

Do you remember how you told me

‘Don’t be sad’, then you stayed up

Talking about tea with me

Til both of us could sleep?

Do you remember how you held my

Head in your hands so strangely

As though you knew that it was

The last time that you could?

Do you remember how my ankle

Snapped when we were dancing so

You picked me up and danced

With me upon your back?

Do you remember how in Paris

You read outside and waited

Whilst I tried on musty clothes?

You said you didn’t mind.

Do you remember how one summer

We visited your grave and

It sung me your flower smell

And how you were still gone?

Do you remember how we stole sweets

From the smart hotel lobby?

I don’t like sweets but I loved

Collecting them with you.

And do you think of

The mess of my room

How I can’t dance past 3

The scent of my skin

How I sing all the time

Do you think of me at all?

And did you know that sometimes two souls

They meet in moonlight and sew

A seam into a moment that

Shan’t quietly decay?

And do you ever feel the lovelight

That warms you like a wingbeat

When sweetly and minutely

Your tapestry is changed?

Say Grace

Lord give me the grace to

Cry when I am sad

Mourn when it is lost

Scream when I am cross

Give me the soft ferocity that says

My terms are fair; take them and I will yield

Then to step into a world that

Is gracious to my tread.

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