One More River to Cross

One More River to Cross

I’m just trying to find my way home,
gritted into gracious severity,
and deportments of a straggling mind.
Conflicted. I tell myself,
just one more river to cross,
but I’m in all the wrong places,
and looking at all the wrong

things, not a care for the rightness
of things, clutching gaping ideas
better left to rest, and I tell myself
just one more river to cross.
Does it shows, that I’m
an exhibit of profound
dispiritedness. Better that you lock

me up before successive distractions
take their toll. You see, I once stood
upright as houses, but now look
at me – a flounderer in nooks,
drooping, and listening
for conversations that require
my silence. And I tell myself that

I’m just trying to find my way home,
the way light finds its way
though shutter slats, the way time
ignores graves. And this journey,
which I hoped to be short,
seems inconsolably long.
But there’s just one more river to cross.


inspired by Bleak House


A Devil’s Wind


It was a Devil’s Wind, They Say

It shakes,
this paper tiger wind,
broken twigs and jostled limb,
torn apart, partitioned
night to day, swept
through its twinge of rain
and bruised the way
storms hurdle
like a meteor – tail twitching
in its flailing wake.
It’s a Devil’s Wind, they say.



The Village Uniform


The Village Uniform

Much has changed in my life. Village life
changes everything. It’s not an easy
place to keep secrets, even though most
claim to keep themselves to themselves.
We’re all sneaking a peek at the person
queued ahead at the post office, who
is sending what where, how many

Christmas stamps did they buy, as if
that number reveals the size of your
inner circle of friends, who buys cheap
wine at the co-op’s shop, and who
buys a dozen mixed-colour carnations
at Texaco. And the recycle man, he
must know more than he should about

us all, paper with grocery lists, to-do-
lists, love notes, and who scrubs inside
empty tins with soap and water, and
who’s messy enough to leave a few
Heinz beans stuck firm as Polygrip
inside the can. Everyone gossips,
everyone thinks they keep secrets,

but these are village secrets,
the village uniform.



For Miz Q “Uniform”
image WikiCommons:
Public domain.

Winter Hung an Eggy Wobble


Winter Hung An Eggy Wobble

The sun rose
an eggy wobble,
tall and high above shearling rain.

Blown clouds. Lacy. Faceless.
Hanging on a heavy mood.
It didn’t bring the foggiest trust,

just failed tests of lore,
trials by weather, this wintry
form. Those twelve men of jury –

Anointed. Appointed. Weathermen.
They tapped their twiggy sticks
into bony trees and up bushes,

hoping to pry spring’s peep but
all remained a wobbled quiet.
All remained a winter hung.

The Spirit of Fête

The Spirit of Fête

We were heaped up of cakes, a buxom
display on country tea-tables, charm
gathered in scrumptious mentions

of autumn. Of peaches and plums,
pears and quinces, cream too eager
to pour on our plates, and I wanted

to whoop and halloo the spirit of fête,
happily banquet too eagerly, and pop
all my brass buttons like shooting stars.





Found and remixed text from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

A Day in the Base Noise of Living


A Day in the Base Noise of Living

The morning is a clear bell sounding,
and I am full with its music. I leave
my pretty countryside, fields dotted 

with unsheared sheep, scented old hay,
and frosty hedgerows. I set a path
for London. A day in the city. Those

trapping influences. The City. Life.
I miss noise, the rush, the push. I miss
the crush of people who ignore you,

have no wish to know you. I miss
the scent of women rushed and passing,
perfume the only memory left. I miss

the call of newspaper boys, brash
headlines shouting at crowds. I miss
humming pavements as people hurry.

I miss the base noise of living.



Found and remixed text from Bleak House and
my 1991 Winter Journal of Bletchingley, Surrey.



A Padlock Dance

A Padlock Dance

We were tweed – tight as stitches,
but come night, we dressed as scarecrows.

Danced the fields into a paradise ditch,

lying there side by parallel side,
mirrored in fading thoughts. 

We were hungry as weeds, had an affinity
for imported gin and green olives. 

Your jagged tooth split my lip in the perversity 

of our lock. No keys, you said. No worries,
and we snapped shut like a padlock.




The Common Measure of Wind


The Common Measure of Wind

The wind from north, we poke the fire,
sparks’ playful obligation,

sharp blows from east, bedevilled cold,
it is as we observe.

The breeze from west, sea foam is blowing,
conscious always, going lea

soft from south, oft overlooked,
weather clips a broken sentence.



Remixed text from my 1991 Winter Journal
and Bleak House by Charles Dickens






Those Strange Ways


Those Strange Ways

He had a quick face,
changeable, motion like clouds,
but I can’t recall the colour of his eyes.

Whether respectful or frankness of iron,
he was pleasant, although sudden,
and most would be glad

of this acquaintance. But of his eyes.
Those I could not define, nor his
memorable draw on that day.




Found text: Bleak House by Charles Dickens
and remixed with my 1991 Winter Journal

Waiting for the Glazier


Waiting for the Glazier

The glazier comes, although my wait
has lasted all the day. A stone escaped,
flew a small boy’s hand, and it happened
through my kitchen pane. Such fear,

indeed, I saw in those small eyes until
I said it was all poor chance, bad luck,
and the stone’s own fault. And so I wait
through this day, the glazier’s arrival

long delayed. I wait same as air, heavy
with cold as fog levels the ground to grey.
These three months of winter, too prolonged,
and how protracted my journey’s become.




Found and Remixed from Bleak House
and my 1991 Winter Journal