& would prefer

evil as

I’ve only met true evil

three times

& would prefer

not meet a fourth

otherwise

all I see is jealousy

misguided misdirected emotions

playing out of control

uncomfortably in public

to teach lessons to others

only the actor can discern

oh they may look the same

but these are not sadism

driven to action

the way evil does

doing sick things

because it can

or wants to

going to be?

to see her in the street

talking to strangers

catching anybody’s eye

she can meet

thankfully not seeing me

finding mine

tho’ I see her clear

bedraggled lost forlorn

& I turn away

we have history

warmer times days

when I was broke

painting her house

she wanted more of me

& I gave in

being broke lost lonely

quickly finding out

I was in over my head

to run away being chased

threatened cajoled

& later a postcard

blank card black letters

your son still born

died this morning

the priest gave last rites

& to wonder now

was I part of the creation

of who she is now

or was I aware enough

to know this was how

things were going to be?

over positive

ooh sweetie trilled the hippy lady

life is just one lesson after another

you learn from the lesson & move on

you let it go

otherwise you become a prisoner

to yourself!

oh really I said all soft in the way

that gets my girl clutching my arm

never quite sure

what I might say next

have you ever been a prisoner?

I asked

as my girl sighed sat back

no! of course not!

mrs hippy getting all indignant as I smiled

well maybe it isn’t always possible

to just learn the lesson & let it all go

there may be always will be others invested

in not letting you let your lesson go?

we are talking about spirituality here

she continued getting nervous

have you er ever been a prisoner?

oh I’ve learned my lessons I countered

& I let all difficult lessons & labels go

haven’t you?

tragedy or comedy

setting: 19th century canal bank somewhere just outside Wolverhampton

scene: psychedelics ingested we’d been apart for a while

this was our getting together party some drinks couple of acid tabs

& a walk in the countryside until we realised we were lost

but that came on much later & slow

first we talked & talked for hours about where we’d been

the things we’d done & then I looked into her eyes

falling falling in deeper coming to understand who she was

& seeing our future or the not of it knowing we’d only be together

a little while longer until she was gone

I’d become silent going inside already experiencing the sense of loss

tell me tell me she said we promised no secrets remember?

& maybe it was cowardice or just plain wanting to hold on a while longer

so I told her of my plans that I’d seen going back to school university

teaching training developing to what I had once been but had let go of

& none of that quite worked out as foretold

but she did leave me some six months later

final scene: & I was devastated by her loss

even though I’d known that was coming

as nothing ever can prepare you for the real event

these predispositions

these predispositions

inherited

from those who made me

black traits of darkness

from the old man

that I only truly escaped from

by recognising how like him I was

then differentiating what was truly mine

beginning the process after that learning

the runaway gene

from her I never knew

met just a few times in passing

knowing nothing of her or her kith & kin

but seeing in faded photographs likeness

these predispositions

I hope will wash out

lose their lustre over time

in those who will follow after me

become but dwindling characteristics

fainter memories of a broken line

of a time

& people gone before

next county over

the agency got me a delivery number

driving a white panel van taking medical kit

to ill sick people across the county

first I had to find the equipment in the warehouse

picking up bedpans lifts ramps hoists the docket said

load these into the van working from supposed 8 to 5

finding my route via paper plan & sat nav

to remote places I had no ideas as to where

I was always late finishing no time for coffee

one handed eating a sandwich other driving

running onto the next the next stop dropping off

you know I quit not that I couldn’t get the job done

finishing most of my days sometimes after seven

but because

the people I delivered to bald headed angels

glowing with spirituality the serenity of close death

fierce cold coursing deep in their fine blue veins

frail old men in never got out of rancid beds

waving to me quietly pleased to see a live body

someone new tending to their terminal needs

glittering eyes in white faces from their loved ones

me a fresh face to speak to in their grind of living hell

but because

I was not strong enough to take these blows

killing me too slow in their pain of always arriving late

leaving too soon to go on to another level of pain

true to you

they got formulas

tones to hit

melodies to make

registers couplets

keys rhymes

to tear your eyes

lure your ears

pull you into relationship

emotions as targets

all learnt in English lit 101

to be thrown up

hurled on blank walls

& don’t get me started

on character crisis arcs

just please

make what you write

put down on the line

true to you

because I felt

she tells me now

of the times

I wanted to end this

end myself

help create shame

diminish me in some way

because I felt

deep on my failures

those things I did then

that did not work out

but I picked myself up

started over again

swearing never to forget

so here we are

still kicking

trying pushing on

because I felt

& try as she might

she cannot shame

hurt me now

because I felt

& that

never earns any of that

never did that for me

I couldn’t:

do the dishes

load the washing machine

hoover the carpets

mop the floors

I could

leave the tub in a mess

drop my clothes on the floor

screw up a tidy kitchen

& on

the list gets tedious

& now

when she’s talking

to my new beau

about the stuff I do

around the house

all she can say is

he never did that for me

not a thought

for how that was

mebbe

the reasons why