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?

but hope

I walked everywhere then

in that easy gift of youth

good feet strong legs

the courage to wander

with nothing in my pockets

but hope

a smile on my face

a willing for something good to happen

creating its own confidence

to strut the streets

able to deal with whatever occurred

there in the day

where now

we must plan have destinations

contingencies resources

which only limit the possibilities

graveyard

the story was meant to be light

she was cycling late night

past the graveyard

& her chain fell

not knowing this she felt

she was being dragged back to hell

& all this had happened

way before I was born

some time long gone

& I was listening to her talk

feeling out of depth & lost

having no understanding of graves

bicycles heaven or hell chains

I was just a kid y’know

only recently learned to walk

but I knew she was trying

in her own way to be nice

so I smiled hugged her close

wondering why she couldn’t stay

make this happy feeling last

more than minutes into days

I was bored again

late summer about six

I was bored again

my woman had left months ago

& of course I was broke

I started in back of the sofa

going through old pockets

the pennies started mounting up

& then there in amongst the lint

an old hit of blotter acid donald duck

I put it under my tongue continued searching

finally I had just enough for a bottle of cider

but first the wait give it an hour

which came & went with nothing

resigned I set out for the store

walking the empty streets feeling the sun

wanting so much more

& then

just as the door opener went ting!

the rush came on

I was underwater

in a green room filled with bottles

feet stuck to the ocean floor

& a grinning man saying

yes?

I began counting pennies

into a mountain on the counter

what else could that be for?

yes?

one of those I said pointing

green bottles high to the sky

can

you

be

more

specific?

he asked aching slow

with a leer

apples

green & red things

grow on trees

picked in autumn

crushed squeezed

to make drinks

cider he intoned

you want cider?

yes

yes

that’s it

in a brown bottle

here are pennies enough

to purchase

he thrust the nectar at me

& I began the slow cakewalk

back to the door

along the undulating pavement

to my castle

here somewhere in this enchanted land

but first the quest

to find the keys

to my kingdom

& then

I remember no more

free’est I’ve ever been

I was feral for a few years

between three & seven

nobody stops a little kid

going where he wants to go

I was dirty unloved antisocial

nobody knew where I was

more there was no one there to care

I could hop on a bus

walk wherever I could

there was always somebody

with a smile asking if I was lost

& if the police picked me up

I’d make sure to avoid that place again

I had an old lady I could knock her door

she’d invite me in

give me a slice of cake or a sandwich

ask about my folks

& when her questions got too close

I’d run away again

& that my friends

was the free’est I’ve ever been

it was something

though I cannot remember the why now

I pulled the car over

you drive

& started walking there in the sun

she drove off

the few clouds scuttled slow & high

I could hear the birds

feel the breeze blowing scents

from the pines on the ridge

I saw a sweet spot green & open

pushed through the hedge

to lay for a while

& I was gone

waking to the sun lower

wondering just where I was

made the few miles back home

she was sitting staring into glass

waved my hand no answers

just don’t ask

though there was no need

she already had something more important

so I filled her drink again

knowing

none of this will last

paseo

A long evening stroll

casual yet wearing good clothes

to say hello good evening hi

depending upon the person seen

& the very importante ‘dios ciao

time to talk with old friends

talk of the neighbours

chat what is new

connect with everybody

& nobody

say things

hear things

news gossip scandal

file favours away

receive or refuse them

all

while appearing as though

nothing

is happening

but this stroll

seeing

& being seen

Jah Rastafari

dread told me early

you

are part of the walking tribe

was as far as he could say

before the smoke took him

further away

& though these were not

part of my belief system

the interest to hear was there

& I am a walker

if others have not walked

away from me

finding solace strong answers

amongst the tree tracks

meander of silver rivers

step for step breath

to attain the mountain peaks

& as he spoke

there amongst the smoke

Jah is there everywhere

you just need

to stop look listen hear

feel the peace walking brings

to your people

that walk

I hated she had a hold on me

I’d throw her out

when she got into her incoherent rage

two three in the morning

& she’d beat on the door

finally coherent

about how she hated me

my ways

how one day she’d get her revenge

not knowing she already had

the next day

maybe two

she’d come around like nothing

had ever happened

we’d go get drinks

& I’d watch her walk to the car

into the bars

her walk

that wiggle

just the way she moved

pushed the hook in deeper