Canto CCCLXVII

When daylight prods into the travel cot
and baby girl alerts us to the fact,
I rise to lift her out without a thought

and place her down gently at the exact
mid point between my pillow and her Mum’s.
Sometimes we all agree a silent pact

to sleep another hour despite the sun…
and you can take your leave now, dearest reader,
these iambic confessionals are done

and I’m anxious to reinforce the border
between my family’s bubble and the world.
The ebb and flow of linked Terza Rima

continues elsewhere, endlessly unfurls—
the words that I lobbed in were only pebbles,
the flow was always there, as eternal

as rivers that vanish below ground level
to leave the jurisdiction of the ear.
Some of the world’s worst poems are immortal.

The verse endures, the poet disappears.

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Canto CCCLXV

I try to picture this child in my arms
as an old woman in a distant time,
despite global warming and nuclear bombs.

Maybe she’ll one day read these dodgy rhymes
to Great Great Grandkids I may never know?
Well, are you currently reading these lines?

Have I been gone a long, long time?
                                                                 Hello.

Canto CCCLXIV

Occasionally, my sleeping baby girl
wakes alone within the darkened room,
lets out the saddest little drawn out wail

then falls asleep again. The summer moon
glints icily through our uneven blinds,
a helicopter judders through the gloom,

a dog across the road barks and then grinds
his canines against his new favourite stick.
There’s never a moment when you cannot find

something that’s crying out, but if you pick
a random living room, you’ll find instead
a roaring soul within a nest of brick,

a trembling lip, a hairline bead of sweat,
a knot within the stomach, a slight tick,
a mental rerun of a great regret

that will not be alchemised into talk,
nor find throat in primal, mammalian cries,
the expression rises within, then balks,

returns to its cramped cell behind the eyes.

Canto CCCLXII

The car enthusiasts amass below,
around a seventies gas guzzler.
The bonnet’s raised, the engine’s revs bellow

as I charge at full gallop down the stairs,
to demand that they play their games elsewhere
instead of waking up my baby daughter.

Twelve middle aged businessman stare
back at me like surly boy racers,
but that analogy just isn’t fair

as Jack the Lads will rev their souped up cars
in city limit, desolate car parks
beyond earshot of family homes like ours.

They kill the engine, head back to the bar
to find new ways to over compensate
for libidos that wane over the years

unlike the cars they choose to salivate
over in public. Two hours pass by
before the car’s owner retakes his seat

and revs the engine full blast before I
can make it to the rattling window
as he’s accelerating out of sight

as limp-dicked Clarkson clones are wont to do.

Canto CCCLV

After baby girl goes beddy byes
and dinner’s eaten before it goes cold
boredom saunters back in from outside

to help us locate the remote control.

Canto CCCLII

The most the Jazz bar patrons see of me
is when I slink outside with a bin bag,
loaded with plate scrapings and nappies.

Imagine if I ran in, lost my rag,
and freestyled beatnik poems to the squeal
of saxes high pitched as slaughterhouse pigs?

I doubt we’d recreate the birth of Howl,
it would only kick up a local stink.
Today’s jazz isn’t counter cultural

it’s just a pop commodity, like Punk…

Canto CCCLI

If your mum promised me a night of fun,
then threw me a set of joke shop paps
before heading off to town on her own,

I’d probably also throw an epic strop
and pound the walls, causing the flat to shake.
I get it, this bottle’s a load of crap,

but come on girl, at least the milk ain’t fake.

Canto CCCL

A young Korean couple, tall and slender
practice the same balletic exchange.
She twirls,  catches his palm, attempts to wander

beyond the bubble of his arms’ wide span,
then stalls at the meridian of his grip.
They catch breath then repeat the move again

about a dozen times before they stop
and repose on the station platform bench.
Across from them, I squeeze the chubby chops

of baby daughter,  off with mum for lunch
in Peckham Rye, two measly stops away,
and yet I wish our goodbyes wouldn’t launch

them out of my patriarchal embrace,
I wish instead the gestures would repeat
as the world freezes on its spin through space,

and life’s a dance through which we never part.

Canto CCCXLIII

That green outside the carriage,  whizzing by,
is England, out of reach and mythical,
reflected darkly in my daughter’s eye.

The lonely houses, facelike, quizzical,
lorded over by thick pylon wires,
where home’s a stopgap between the local

and work, where gardens cough up thick bonfires.
I don’t know if it’s fields or momentum
that keep my girl’s attention on the blur

before our city state welcomes us home.

Canto CCCXLII

The ghost white husky sniffs at baby’s leg
and I think back to all those tasteless jokes,
those “so damn cute that I could eat her” gags

that adults make while pawing chubby cheeks.
The nose twitches, takes in her soft skin’s scent,
blue eyes widen and the rough tongue licks,

then offers me a paw like a true gent
and I affect my best “How do you do…”
before the mutt upstages me again

by breathlessly exclaiming, “IIIII ruuuuuv roooooo!!!”

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