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

there was a window

& it was all I could do to look out of it

couldn’t be out there in the world

really enjoying the view

while you were moaning on

how I spoiled everything I tried to do for you

I kept on looking seeking grace

while your lips continued moving

distorting that once to me pretty face

thinking I’d surely paid enough

in bringing you here paying for the room

the window framing the view

wondering too how soon I could escape

leave you somewhere good for you

another hotel country town city place

knowing no matter how much that cost

& right now if you hated me

knowing you hated more being alone

but at least then

I would be out there

in the world in the view

another way

I’d drive them out of the city

sensation seeking students

& sometimes aspiring ne’er do wells

who the city wanted put straight

driving out to nature

where I’d walk them down a trail

to a full green valley bowl

scatter them off to disperse

find a spot by themselves

just sit for a while

four hours maybe five

until they heard the come here whistle

& some would come back too soon

unable to be alone

to be set back off again go complete

& at the end of the exercise

some would complain

of the tedium boredom isolation

the long dragging day

others would say felt like minutes

& the long drive home

was full of silence as the experience

of no phones no tv no people

just sitting by themselves

settled into their bones

now they knew

there was another way

five lanes full on to hell

early Saturday morning

heading into the big city

the morning sun there somewhere

hidden behind fine mist rain curtains

rooster tails thrown up by the cars

five lanes full on to hell

suddenly a sea of red lights

& we stop

sitting there for long minutes

I turn off the engine

no silence

the whoosh of the car tyres

on the other side of the barrier

we sit checking the radio

for local station idents

hoping for a traffic alert

but no

& any screaming

is left to the internal

maybe a mute sigh

we talk softly of our plans

the time delay

& then we all start up again

slowly gaining speed

up to 20 then 30

we pass the bashed in barrier

car front end ripped off

everybody slowing to rubberneck

eye the tragedy

pictures to retell think of later

& then back up to speed

all of that is gone

left behind

on to the city now

on our five narrow lanes

heading to hell

but what do you do?

city refrain to country folk

them not knowing where anything is

where nightlife

fun can be found

not part of the endless round

of meeting people

obligations to be fulfilled

the fayres jumble sales

table top sales

whist drives beetle drives

bridge for the fatous

the pub connections to be made

kept up

if you need x doing at mates rates

your keeping your side

of the bargain

the dodgy deal

twisted arrangement made at midnight

involving livestock

the death of that

& your hands in the doing

but what do you do? they ask

& you have nothing to say

for this

is but a part of it

really living in the city

the areas the tourist people hate

see as difficult & dangerous

are the bits you love the most

being for you & yours alone

the darker places few lights

even less street cleaning

people your mother would not like

hanging out on the corners watching

as you bring your out of towners

with a don’t worry these guys know me

this is the best Chinese spot in town smiles

& you go into the warm spiced fug

hearing the clicking of the tiles

from behind a bamboo & plastic flower screen

the waiter appears slow from behind that

reluctant maybe to leave the game

throws you a couple of laminated menus

sit there sit there he points I bring the jasmine tea

& you sit as they look anxious over the menu

the girl comes out with the pots of jasmine

you want anything else? I come back

& everybody orders as the clicking tiles get louder

it is not until the food arrives & they nod approval

that any hint of relaxation happens

& you’ve done it helped them crack the code

given a story they can tell their boondock friends

life in the dangerous city twisted tales

where everything turns out right

one night howling

out in the deep woods

sucking on the booze

clearing my head of the city

the shitty stuff we do to each other

in the sadness of living & wanting

compulsion came to write something

all I could find was a stick

digging into the soft sand

lit in the thin light of the moon

sonnets stanzas slick couplets

dragged in the sand & gloom

feeling good about the dust raised

words carved into the earth

finally falling onto the same dirt

to wake one eyed wondering

what had survived the night

& the glory sight of the stick

still standing right & upright

footsteps everywhere clouding

seems for every one thing I wrote

I’d stamped all over that for the next

to drag in another note to self

& if that ain’t a metaphor

whether for the impermanence of life

the majesty of the poet drunk

mebbe don’t drink & drive stick

transience of the written word

maybe nothing is

for the magic to flow

taking a long walk

with me

nobody else

doesn’t matter

city streets

bucolic countryside

just me

my thoughts

& one foot in front of the other

not waiting for clarity


yet knowing this will come

giving time

for the magic to flow

but first

one foot in front of the other

listening to the world

sniffing the air

breathing easy

letting it be

whatever comes

my way