I listen to the voices of those
talking quietly of their day
of their worries,
and sharing the joy
of milestones missed
the sadness of memories
and the missing of you.
I watch men who stand
leaning, crying in a grief
that has no sense of ending
of the keening, of the longing
to hear your voice
before the sound
of it is forgotten
and that dread of forgetting.
There is a kind of peace here.
The cruelty of lies.
Why do they say it?
I really wish they didn’t.
We must meet and do this again
is how the saying goes
and they say it.
And then I never see them again.
Hanging from the wash line.
Is this a wash day?
A wash day like it used to be in the village.
With every house on a Tuesday morning
hanging the washing on line after line
in the back gardens.
The wind catches the sheets.
And as they billow like sails
they make that cracking noise
as the cotton snaps to its full length.
White sheets blowing in the wind.
Rising and falling as they are caught and buffeted.
The wind drops and the white sheets
slowly drift back to hang limply.
The wind rises again and the sheets
begin to stretch out with the force of the breeze.
The clouds break.
And brilliant sunshine illuminates the sheets.
A stronger gust and the sheets stream out again.
Each sheet rises in sequence to reveal the pathway.
To reveal you standing there.
You. Watching me.
And the sheets hide you again as they fall
to hang without movement.
But then begin to unfurl and rise
as yet another gust pushes the white cotton out
and you are once again exposed.
You stand watching me with that serious look.
Your eyes expressionless.
And once more the whiteness falls
to cover where you are standing.
There is no movement now.
Just the brilliant whiteness
falling on you like a curtain.
And then you are revealed again.
But it is not you.
It’s the girl standing there in your place.
Standing there expressionless.
Staring as the sheets rise and fall rhythmically.
And then you begin to move.
A long slow stride.
Almost as though you are in slow motion.
That slow time again.
There is no sound now.
Your eyes are focused on me.
You know me.
You look at me.
And now rain drops.
The sound of a steady pit-pat.
The sound increasing.
Suddenly a crescendo.
White sheets spattered.
On white sheets.
Nearly dry white sheets.
Hanging limp now.
Hanging to the ground.
And you are gone
Awake now in the darkness.
Uncertain of the time.
Lying there listening.
To the rain.
Rain hitting against the window of the bedroom.
I love the revelry of words sound
words as they ride and are formed
languishing momentarily or longer
on the back of the tongue
brought forward on the breath
to roll and reverberate in the vault
of the mouths vast darkness
to briefly rest on the tongues tip
a momentary and glorious savouring
and then to flit from the bit of my teeth
and freed then thrown outward
on the stuttering blast of breath
the sound of words the dissonant clash
and the smooth assonance
that always manages to awaken me.
Of words and truth.
Like grasses bundled
And withered in storm
We are blown helplessly
And not a word is spoken.
Who sings the authentic song?
Who speaks the words of truth?
Who stands for me and mine?
Who looks at what we see?
Who hears what we hear?
Who breathes the air we breathe?
Who sees what is right and wrong?
Who speaks for me and mine?
Who sings the authentic song?
Where are our heroes and poets now?