There is no-one in but us.
We sit reading,
quietly engrossed in our books,
yet the old house talks to itself.
Floorboards and stairs creak,
complain to each other of heavy feet
and recall good old days
when they were new and when brave men
trod on them.
Windows breathe draughts,
send whispers around rooms,
across landings and down halls.
They remember keeping
laughter and pleasure tight inside,
not letting bad outside get in.
All agree they like their job.
Doors shrug in frames.
Some settle for the night
though one or two
mutter about being slammed
or having keys roughly turned.
They all remember voices
who sang and joked, sometimes cried.
Perhaps it isn’t so different now.
Walls stand firm saying nothing.
They listen instead, soak up
stories, laughter, chatter, music
or tears that are the life
of the house.
Lovers in Bronze
no warming flow of blood.
Yet love for this quiescent couple
lives for all to see.
Her head rests on his shoulder;
he folds his cheek into the carved shine of her hair.
Her gentle features are motionless,
sweet bowed lips cast in tender smile.
Their unblinking eyes remain half closed
in the pleasure of togetherness.
Delicate hands hold him,
caress his muscled back in a captured moment.
Her bronze breasts press softly against his firm chest,
torsos fused in eternal intimacy.
No tick, no
tock from hibernating clock,
yet seconds flee, as months and blood still flow
through seamless years of happiness and woe.
you stop so time could tease and mock
so doomed to silence watching children grow?
No tick, no tock. From hibernating clock a silence now.
No key to
stir your lock.
In empty rooms the hours all drag so slow.
Once, rhythmic comfort, now, we only know
no tick, no tock from hibernating clock.
in Flanders Fields,
surrounded by proud, white headstones,
feeling no fear, no terror,
but a beetle of sadness burrowed under my skin.
The soldier’s eyes, full of pain and questions,
sought answers I could not give.
I had no comfort for the shade
who had taken the King’s shilling
and set it in Death’s palm.
This shadow, so young and innocent, whispered,
“Did I die for nothing?
I felt thundering of guns
as the wrath of war rose again.
Could you not keep the peace I fought for?”
This boy, who had lived but a few short years,
sleeps forgotten now, beneath the poppy blooms.
The spectre spoke again,
“All these were sons and fathers,
come to fight for promised glory.
Some are mourned,
their graves watered by grieving tears,
but most, like me,
were kissed farewell,
never more to hear a loving voice.”
I could not speak,
words choked by shame and sorrow.
Kneeling at the spirit’s resting place,
I kissed the wooden cross in my fingers,
then placed it gently against his stone.
When I looked the apparition had gone.
Leaving me with poppies, bravery and heroes.