there

under the trees

stopping at the side of the road

taking a walk

long slopes cool breeze

how do you know this place?

oh I’ve stopped here for years

clear my head

sit & listen to the birds

& there just there I think

under the trees is where

I made love to her

but I cannot tell you that

for you that’s diseased

& I can feel ghosts

tugging soft at my sleeve

we sit for five minutes

that feel like hours

c’mon we got miles to do

thank you for stopping

she smiles it’s a nice place

I’m pleased

you’ve shared this with me

we go to see

this woman

I had something with once

felt things for I think

& she leans in

only a peck on the cheek

on the painted face

I’m searching for clues

now

where once

I presume

I felt passion

& she talks of how I was

with her

her friends

& the ghosts crowd in

I remember nothing

of her or them

though they feel

they owned

a part of me

enough to feel happy

about that dead past

everything goes away

of all of them my grandmother

who held love in her eyes

those arms never turned me down

& you go

attend in body

when they put her in the ground

& where now?

so many more things died that day

everything you love

gets taken away

that girl with the bright eyes

you were clear enough not to love

taken by cancer

another another & another

take a look around

surrounded by ghosts of people

we care cared for gone to dust

& all you can do is one foot

in front of the other

keeping going in everything you do

as your memory grows holes

holding on to something

some kind of trust

that the plan will be explained

someday

blue overalls

walking

in the woods

one of those times

she was asking about us

I was trying to respond

honestly as I could

without making commitments

& I saw him

a man in blue overalls

there by a tree

following us

looking to say something

looked like a big no

so I stopped

waited for him to catch up

which he never did

though I saw him clear

I described him to her

watched her face turn pale

sounds like my father

been gone ten years

& he smiled at that

pointed to me mouthed go

maybe you should wait a while

see if he’ll speak to you?

she stayed a while

then caught me up

said: I got nothing

though I could see him laughing

hanging back there all blue

waving goodbye

he knew

like I knew

we would not be walking

there again

Ancient houses

Hold treasures

dithery ghosts

that hide

the things you need

to then

put them in plain sight

when you don’t

creaks in floorboards

mad holes in walls

whatever

could have been there?

a sighing

in certain winds

cold corners

even spiders ignore

memories under

over wallpapered walls

impressions of heads

bodies

messages from builders

now joined the long dead

to enter a room

that a presence

has just left

though you are

supposedly

on your own today

and to not feel fear

upset

but to know

that ancient houses

hold treasures

without a price

ghosting

It is hard to look back now

those years drifting

ghosting in the community

I fear I was always good company

there in the corner

talking to fresh blood

sleeping over at yours

then yours

occasionally having my own space

and you’d sleep at mine

there is a sense of poverty

though no thoughts on hunger

we were all thin

necking on beer & pills

smoking whatever was around

listening to music thru’ the hours

running in the dark

towards everything

no goodbyes recorded

tho’ you are all gone

to better lives

sullen wives

who will not speak

in case I dragged you away

from a night with the tv

bringing you home in a mess

again

now my ghosting

is a different turn

sliding by you in the street

by you in the supermarket

you do not notice me at all

as I try not to speak

in case you hear the voice

if not recognise the face

what could we talk of now?

you no longer paint

your potters wheel is still

& the line has left you

bereft

of words to string

sing

I cannot do this for you

now

Ghosts

Ghost of my mother
wakes me about three
keeps me in that twilight zone
of not awake not asleep
until she quits around five
she wishes to apologise
make everything a ok
I think what this really about
is she doesn’t like what I write
about her
the way she was
so I tell her it’s a bit late
for all of that
when you were here
you would not let me in
should I be the same to you now?
& my dad is there somewhere too
I hear him chuckling
he knows he did his best
has no apologies to make
except that of not loving enough
& that is a sin
I believe we all create
while I try to tell her
like your life
your will
its too late to fix
I’m not in it

Ghost of my mother

wakes me about three
keeps me in that twilight zone
of not awake not asleep
until she quits around five
she wishes to apologise
make everything a ok
I think what this really about
is she doesn’t like what I write
about her
the way she was
so I tell her it’s a bit late
for all of that
when you were here
you would not let me in
should I be the same to you now?
& my dad is there somewhere too
I hear him chuckling
he knows he did his best
has no apologies to make
except that of not loving enough
& that is a sin
I believe we all create
while I try to tell her
like your life
your will
its too late to fix
I’m not in it