New work

I’m working on a lot of new poems.

A selection of which I’m in the process of preparing for submission.

This is a work in progress, which might mean it is finished, or just that it might disappear at some point to become something else entirely.

Poems can be slippery like that.

Adrift

and set to fail.

Like the doubtful seaworthiness of old boats.

Shipped out and shut up.

If there is a secret password for this time, now is when you must speak.

Only silence,

static and far-off channel changing.

White noise turns to wave crash.

Dead calm and there is still the beating of the surf,

the echoes of recklessness

and the heaviness of time passing.

If I open the door, the sea will engulf us,

the bed awash with the salt-scum and tears.

It was never my intention to let you go.

I was ready to take your hand and walk with you on the beach,

but you said the driftwood reminded you of bones

of dead things. And once

you found the skull of a sheep there, with teeth still in half their sockets

and seaweed sloshing inside the brain cavity,

like some macabre ornamental snow globe.

I poured the brine onto the sand and tiny shells slid between my fingers.

I burrowed them into the wet sand and the warmth made me tremble.

Your own fingers were cool in my palm as we returned along the shoreline.

The gulls shouted at us to get gone and we ran from the encroaching storms.

Later, the fire cracked the wood and the smoke wafted through the night and

stillness arrived.

I think I knew then,

That soundless beat, the bitter pause,

was your final word on the matter.

And even when, lying side by side,

your fingers retraced the tracks on my cheek,

still I hoped.

Still I waited for the unuttered syllables to become

whole on your tongue.

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