on autumn

steamed up windscreen attracts a playful finger
the smiley ghosts in and out of view
through October's low sunsets
and at each evening condensation
I know it was you
I recognise that smile

~

CLP 13/10/2021

skirting

the wave breaks
coughs up kelp
splashes shingle up the beach
rolls stones over
brushes out sand
catches air in pockets
marks the tideline in thick foamy spume
leaves with a hiss
of bursting bubbles
slips back into itself
gathers in its pleats
to unfurl them again
backfilling our footprints
proving nothing
waits for us

~

CLP 11/10/2021

on the beach

at first sight old
older than you and me
much older
Walking hand in hand
as we might from time to time
in moments unconnected by conversation
they stopped momentarily
so she could stoop to pick up a pebble
or a shell, or a flint, or to investigate
a wave-shined glint of something
that caught her imagination
as he waited to be shown her find
at first sight old
older than you and me
but now not at all
not as old as fossilised sea urchins
not as ancient as bellemnite-bored chalk
they were just like us
two more children
playing by the sea

~

CLP 11/10/2021

Sickle

right in the hand
perfectly balanced
as if part of my arm
slicing the air
slicing my doubts
opening my skin
bare to my heart
opening me up
letting light pour in

~

n.b. Yes, I believe.

CLP 10/10/2021

no Moon

this is when I feel it most
the air thick with mist
desiccated leaves
scratching at paving slabs

fine webs strung between damp blades
covering verges except where disturbed
by fungi pushing through to pour out spores by the million

tonight there is no lunar distraction just railway siding lights,
street lights, traffic lights, headlights, crossing lights
red lights topping off a crane
a ceiling light in an uncurtained room
each corner bared without shame

above all this electric illumination
beyond the mist, night's black chasm
with Jupiter and its satellites bright
the redness of Mars distinct
even to my tired eyes

I'm nearly home, it's midnight
a digital sign tells me +17c
all I need to know
is when you'll next see me

~

CLP 09/10/2021

on fumes

how long was it, a week?
long enough to know
it was long enough

~

CLP 29/09/2021

on Switzerland iv

what defines our worth?
our place in society?
is it just money?

~

CLP 28/09/2021

owls

we diverted into a field gateway
parked up, got out to watch
the rising Harvest Moon
create silhouettes of Scotch Pines
mist from the marsh crept up
embraced us in its chill

I heard one.
she whispered
just loud enough
to give me goosebumps

~

CLP 24/09/2021

on swimming

break the cool surface
feel it slide up your body?
yes, you're beautiful

~

CLP 21/09/2021

embroidery

how much of these reels remain
stretched so long in our wake
we lose the golden threads in twilight
catching only rare glints
snagged by sunset
strung over hills hazed by evening mist
that fogs the vales we negotiated
through ill-lit phases of many moons
when we lay awake
each hearing lone minutes unspool

we cannot prevent this cord running out
but have we enough in hand
to interweave these unspent lines
and create our finest tapestry

~

CLP 20/09/2021