Living with loss

he tells me of lovers

counting them off

finger by fingers thumbs

indicating toes

people he called out love to

now gone

the way of all flesh

living with loss he tells me

as the jug empties

& we call for more

gentle under the trees cicadas moon

& my turn will come he sighs

caught in the thought

the majesty of death

of course I say quiet

reaching across for olives

& oil

I know nothing of any of this

for I am immortal

having never ever felt loss

suffered in any way

felt life’s thin cruel whip

y’know he said all bright

& firing now

for my longest ever friend

you can be such a arsehole

a place to sit

these things happen

when not paying attention

I had bad dreams

for days afterwards

fighting demons

until I understood

where I’d gone wrong

not paying real attention

to the people walking by

looking right on in

knowing exactly where I was

tho’ covered by camo

deep in amongst the trees

then came aches in my legs

low voices whispering

unkind in the night

this once precious space

was mine no more

whether a wrong coven

ditched disbelievers

had gotten in to sully

the signs were there

time to say adios

thank you & goodbye

find another place

where I could just sit

let the world

whir on


within the orbit

I could hear the train

rattling in the distance

the rain landing on trees

the roof & the road

cars hissing by hitting puddles

splashing back again

& nothing

plenty of that

more than enough to go round

lasting for days weeks months

enough to push me

into wanting to leave

where those left behind

were content to be born

live & die within the orbit

of sound of that distant train

to see me as the black sheep

jumping the hedge

escaping the fold

at a loss to understand

why something more

was needed than that big pot

of nothing


the years I lived slept

autumn beginning of winter

to the rising tone of the trees

above me on my green hill

the wind whipping through

a gentle roar that never grew

to a full howl or decline

until the snows came

bringing their hush

stoppage to the day

the wind the dark night

all now in half light or blind glare

foot paw prints that appeared


of white ghosts gone to sleep


I’d got giddy on her

be all hugging trees

picnicking the deep woods

sitting in night silence

stalking spirit worlds

working to be ancient

a better vision person

wafting sage willy nilly

when all I wanted

was to be with

between her thighs

inside up close

holding on to her smell

smiles laughter love

as she wanted me

to be this other

wiser more spiritual

less lusty being

it was all a matter

who woke broke

blinked first

Very probably

this mountain has been here

for several million years

but today

I was stood beneath

& over time the weathering

growth of trees plants moss lichen

erosion by wind rain snow

millennia of storms

has combined worked to create

a pleasing perfection

which I wasn’t inclined to climb

make some facile attempt to conquer

I’d though I’d leave that

to some other fool with deep lungs

as this view had taken mine


the next motel

all I ever wanted to do

was walk down the dirt road

I saw through a car window

somewhere between

California & Arizona

a single mail box by the blacktop

to be dropped off by a friend

walking the last few miles

dusted in thirty degree heat

holding all I owned in my grip

to our cabin base of the hills

surrounded by trees & quiet

where you would be waiting for me

wanting my news word of the world

to hold me again


I drove on to the next motel

Atlantic coast

the kind of campsite

where if you don’t hear the roar

of the trees the pines

you hear the surf night & day

the season was closing fast

everybody local had gone away

when I found him in the shadows

he told me he was travelling

with jesus

hoping to find his way

between here & Santiago

& those I asked are your plans?

more for fear for him

with winter closing in

as I noticed jesus had not provided shoes

a tent winter coat or map

& he sighed long & low

like this question was raised by everybody

by fools who did not know

the lord is here with us now

he said smiling again

who needs shoes on holy ground?

& all I could see were shadows

stones & sand

a scruffy dirty traveller

standing alone

questioning just who

was the mad one


I want to be walking

somewhere strange away from it all

not here clustered staring at thin walls

roads with no ditches fences with nails

sun beating my head until sense prevails

walking into sunsets colours of reds

out of my thinking out of this bed

towards a higher new day tomorrow

brighter lighter end of old cold sorrows

but I’m here nailed fast to the floor

by older thinking shying from the door

only me keeping me here not turning the key

I’d go there that somewhere tho’ I’d still be me

can I please be you or you? set me free

I want to be walking under an azure sky

noticing the plants trees smells scents passing by

where the dog of sadness will leave my heels

for love to somehow take me make me feel real

& until then I will feel these walls

come closing in

until then