Damson Season

Damson Season

Sharp, strong, the damson
breaks over my tongue like sleep –
wanted, fought, forgotten, precious.

Allotments model God’s abundance
mercurial and ingenious opportunity
for psalms of both
praise and lament.

Oh God, so many damsons!

Oh, God, so. many. damsons.

Facebook

Facebook

machine-minced glimpses
of a hundred other lives
scrolling past mine

here are five men in a boat
on an ocean somewhere
and comments in Dutch

here’s a friend with a new job
whose old one I never knew
whose name I cannot place

here are details of an encounter
on a specific London street
but what took you there?

a hundred other lives
scrolling past mine
in machine-minced glimpses

Experiencing the Mystery

Experiencing the Mystery

Gone.
God got washed away by waves
of blistering Freudian fire
or crept out while I was reading
leaving me silence and this stone.

Hiding.
I turn the stone over.
Nothing.
I turn the stone over.
Nothing there
but something there
as my fingers glide like the sea
over and over the stone.

The Cailleach is the hills from Callanish.
You can’t find Her
by searching them.

Us.
The sweating crowds of us, settling
floating in a warm river
finding the mill-pond and the weir
and I am carried
seeing here and there
a sweet wise hazel nut among us.

Flowing.
A moment of poetry or ministry
every cell shaking
with raw, electric leading
I call out “Goddess!” like a celandine
surprised by sunlight.

Here.
The soft-lipped pony at my shoulder.
The dark-eyed Jesus who always sits
beside me, never opposite.
Hecate with Her three faces is here
on a railway bridge
when I am at a crossroads.

Not.
You turn because I’ve stopped walking
I now can’t see
the things I see
the story with truth
that’s not a true story.
I try to stand
still as a tree.

Knees From Together

Knees From Together

between the hills
of my thighs
I am perfect
no more incomplete
than a river valley
without a shopping trolley

a vulva can need air
without wanting a dick
and my most unladylike poses
are the most personful

East Coast Line

East Coast Line

trains hang in fire
between land and sky

too tired to live
but don’t wanna die

train southwards
sun downwards
wheels sighwards

bed and up again
partial truth pain
and lies again

trapped in the fire
hanging on a wire

Consumerism?

Consumerism?

The ad, peeling, suggests
parts of four products
unable to, wholeheartedly,
recommend any.

Seagull

Seagull

like a seagull swirling over town
I see the stories on the ground
a littered chocolate wrapper
to tell you how I feel about her
I was too sweet and too bitter
not even a cure-all could make me better

like a seagull swirling over town
I see the stories on the ground
review the pattern of my days
when trees are brown and skies are grey
the fallen leaves and thrown out bills
leave us something in your will

Taste of Worship

Taste of Worship

The still, silent centre
of the liqueur chocolate
is not affected by
the gaudy foil outside.

The silence of Meeting
doesn’t live in my ear
and it can’t be touched
by children or crowds.

With patience I can eat
up a tree, in a box, on a train, with a fox:
intoxicating Living Water
doesn’t need a special cup.

House

House

It’s easy to mistake a house
as a home for humans
but we share it
woodlice in damp parts
spiders in high corners
moths in old cupboards
silverfish under the bath
something which eats basil
but only when I’m not looking
Some I remove
like the delicate snail
who slept in the lettuce
and some I ignore
like the tiny mites
you find in books.

Multiple Belonging

Multiple Belonging

many bobbins weave a life
I focus on each in turn
hands flying as the lace forms
here a cloth stitch there a half
the Quaker strand pinned firm
(now tightly wound with work)
twisting past the Druids
towards the edge
trying to keep the Spirit
as the worker

This was originally published in Blue Mountain Review, 2019.