Runaway Prayer

from around an old stone pillar,
it blinked into the sulphurous light,
just one, undone, slick with blood and tears,
they were still chanting when it ran,

a fugitive prayer, weaving through trucks and cars,
through mottled backseats, with broken stains of failure,
with the purple sweat of fear,
with yesterday’s hurried lovemaking,

at the traffic light, where a hollow battle tank
celebrates someone dying, someone living,
more supplications join, fluttering down from strings of flags,
from whirling wooden wheels,

a procession of invocations,
rising above the ruffled hem of the canopy,
under tombstones, the earth loosens folded hands,
trees unhook their boughs, scattering leaves,

a train rumbles through the bruised twilight,
the kneeling dusk stands, brushing gravelly sins off its pants,
all those prayers, now a gold rimmed cloud in a parallel sky,
here the night gyrates in a nylon chemise, the colour of absence.

Call it Love

this whole business of longing,
my mind and I disagree,
the theatrics of darkness,
hysterics of a parallel eternity,
the waxy sadness of being,
longing is purgatory
between what was and
what cannot be,
no, never mind its shroud, its soulful rhapsody,
don’t, just don’t
call it love;

here and now,
this moment of belonging,
held close by a word, a glance,
the cold edge of a dagger,
time hanging from a trapeze,
a dewdrop between earth and sun,
measure it if you can,
whisper it if you can,
call it by its name,
it wont mind, call it loudly, free its arms,
call it love.

The Midas Touch

the detritus of another summer afternoon
arrays itself on the blank page,
there is nothing to write,
a word or two drops by occasionally,
for the last hour ‘phantasmagoric’
has been swinging in the shadows
of an apple tree
with no fruit;

I am pleading for the gift of Midas,
the instantaneous alchemy of word to poem,
every word turning itself into sublime poetry
that will sail down with the glorious plumage
of the setting sky,
somersault with the iridescent fish,
and fall again as sweet rain
with the kiss of the eager sun;

I can hear you laugh,
the wind in your voice,
fluttering above, in the leaves,
Midas starved when food and drink
turned to gold at his touch,
I can hear you ask,
the poems swirling in your eyes,
tell me, what will you do,
when you run out of words?

Still ‘phantasmagoric’ listens
from a bough,
nibbling an apple,
his lips smile spun gold,
the sky is flying away
with a flap of its aurum tail,
the leaves and the wind
are filling my empty page
with polished iambic rain.


For Poets United¬†where the midweek prompt is ‘Wealth’


in a dark corridor,
feet skulk,
what shadow does love cast
in the uncertain light?
eyes rattle,
in the labyrinth of the mind,
a door opens, shuts.


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