walking under the trees

hearing the sighs of leaves

wondering on this feeling of sad

then remembering

this evocation

of my campsite under trees

three months in a tent

up in the morning

riding my Harley into the city

commuter fighting traffic

to work with people

who would not could not

talk to me

for some imagined sin

they never verbalised explained

had no need to hear me out for truth

giving the cold shoulder

silent treatment

from some inner higher moral ground

they paid me off eventually

& we were glad

to see the back of each other

I rarely think of them

& I’m guessing that’s mutual

except for now as I hear the wind

rustling sighing through the trees

passing through leaving no trace

until the day she didn’t

she loved me she said

until the day she didn’t

& me?

all I could was be there

before during & the after

watching her trying other men

who were once my friends

taking her on for a night

or two before

slipping her back into the sea

I think she thought

she was making a fool of me

but from my low viewpoint

as far as I could see

if somebody

was going to get bored

with this

it would not be me

so like the others

I was hungry


that I took a kind word

or two

a nice smile

went along with that

having found nothing better

& soon

she began using the L word

we were lovers sure

but was this Love?

then came needs demands ceremonies

meetings with families priests

& I rode along

like so many others

until the day

she asked

why so quiet?


I offered

I’m not entirely sure

how I got here

so like the others

she told me

I’d broken her heart

I’m still looking for mine I said

which only made that scene worse

ya win

in not one easy victory

some decisive battle

where you get the spoils

their history gets erased

ya win

by living going on

day by day

I think

of the handsome young men

the frail pretty girls

who ended their days

leaving those of us left

who endured

just endured

flying our freak flag

winning through with each breath

against the petty tryrants

lawyers cops teachers snitches bitches

pushing us into ready meals

stay at home soap watching drones

hustling conformity think the same

forcing us to shame

yeah you win

in not one easy victory

some decisive battle

but by keeping on keeping on

doing what you know

to be true for you

enough paint

it ain’t easy pulling the plug

but sometimes

this is what has to be done

she grows cold

no longer involved in what you both

set out to do

& if these things were easy

we could lose all those songs

covered in blue

& if I told you I loved her

that pretty girl

blonde hair sky blue sweet eyes

I hope you’d understand

pulling the plug saying goodbye

was one of the hardest things

I’d ever done

& then she decided I was wrong

set out to kill

threw out all kinds of rotten lies

turning half friends to enemies

poisoning the well

which did nothing to convince me

pulling the plug

was not the right thing to do

& all I could now was wait

see if she had enough paint

turn my world to hell

26 degrees

we go there & every time

the heating is on summer winter

at 26 degrees as I sit sweltering

taking off layer after layer

she comes to mine

& needs a jumper cardigan something warm

complains you always have the windows open

& I don’t tell her

the why her being much older

death is closer to her than me now

but I will tell you

I’ve felt the reaper close by

the warm there in hospitals where people die

I was wishing one fella to please just go

around 3 in the a.m. crash crew keeping him going

over & over they resuscitated him

until round 5 he slipped away

while I lay the next bed over

ill’est I’d ever been

wondering if my turn was to come

wanting a window fresh air to blow

make it uncomfortable for the reaper to stay

hovering at 26 degrees

wearing black

you always wear black don’t you?

at least she’d noticed me I thought

don’t you ever wear colours?

thinking take me home make me all yours

you can dress me in any shade you like

the strong silent type eh?

it’s just I got nothing to say

I’m not picking apart your clothing choice

you wear what you wear I don’t care

& I’ll go about my day

what a rotten thing to say you don’t care

I could hear her words floating

as I gently walked away

understanding clear

when a man in black has a funeral to go to

the lady did not give much reason to stay

flying home

G to E after a week working in S

an hours journey supposed to be

diverted to M because of snow

so I caught a train from the airport to C

after a ‘phone call asking if I could stay over

another train to S to stop at my stepmothers

the old family home

she couldn’t drive out to me she told as it was dark

so I walked the four miles to her house there

via the grog shop of course two cans of Newcastle brown

& a half bottle of gin

needing something after the freezing night air

we sat together the tv turned up to 11

as she is slightly deaf if too vain for deaf aids

offered me a slice of toast was all she had in she said

as I sat warming up trying to decompress from the hours

of trains the turmoil the walking the cold

drinking my cans of newkie’ brown

the tv was all reality shows or soaps with people

going on or shouting at each other

when she asked

you know my filigree silver cup?

the one with the blue glass bowl?

I think so I offered

well since you were last here I can’t find it

no idea I said downing the second can

then getting up to take a call in the kitchen

from my love in our home there in the Devon snow

I’ll be on a train home tomorrow its five hours

if they’re running there wasn’t one tonight

I’ll see you soon hope you’ve got enough wood in

for the log burner xx night night

& went back in to the roar of the tv

the half of gin

where observing me from her la-z-boy she offered

you do drink a lot don’t you?

are you some kind of alcofrolic?

I never

I never

gave up

though to the honest onlooker

it sure looked like I was crying

doing my best to be dying

walking away from everything

but inside I was holding on

waiting for something

anything really

to make this day better today

& if you were watching

hands in pockets

rather than pointing to a better way

then fuck you eh?

at least I was trying to find

rather than let it stay that way

the first one

went to the sky with the child she was carrying

we burned them both on a pyre to appease the gods

singing our songs to speed them along

after that the women stayed away fearing somebody had lain a curse

I gained the next wife after a war party with the Belgae against the Atrebates

she needed educating in our ways the days of the Gods food we ate

but she fitted in well after a while until the days of the storms

giving us the tribe two healthy girls & a strong boy

then one morning she was gone bad spirits had taken her clean away

my foul curse had raised its head again

to cure I went to the tops of hills standing naked no furs in the rain

fasting taking the sacred mushroom burning my soul to the bone

staying away until I could come home free from darkness

to begin start over try again living in the world clear

but this was never to be

I found another a fair-haired girl took her into my house

I brought her meat ducks rabbits deer from the forest birds from the sky

she lived loved me for three dark winters until she too said the long goodbye

& after that the shaman warned me

to never try again