Table for One

Together but alone they come in from the rain,
wait at the counter of The Wicker Man Café.
She admires his shark grey boots and denim thighs.
He looks back, meets her eyes. She smiles.
She orders chocolate cake and tea.
He orders a bacon roll and coffee.

They take separate tables, numbers two and five.

She sits facing the street, looks at the harbor.
She admires umbrellas, orange boats, blue water.
She thinks – is this the start of a long lasting love affair?
With sparkle and poise she spreads a hard knob of butter.
She thinks – find extra pleasure in the small.
She thinks – the possibilities are endless.

He sits with his back to the window, scans the jobs page.
He clocks the breasts on the young waitress.
He thinks – should never have quit the rig.
He tries his phone, searching for a signal.
He thinks – I’ve no more fight.
He thinks – it’s all too late.

She tries not to stare when he stumbles out the door.
On her way home she buys roses scented with moon-dust.

 

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Photograph by the author

Broken Strands

Solitary mortals blaze so bright
dancing through the bitter night.
Beacons blue with pain,
broken strands of DNA
or jewels in the wilderness
trying to connect the dots
into a merry necklace?

The Year is old,
seeping away alone and cold,
face down, skirts up on a park bench.
Poor bag-lady, she’s undone,
waiting for the dawn of a waning sun.

The sky is falling, turning greens to gray
as the child climbs up the hill to pray.

 

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Original photograph by the author

Tales from the Bog

The house Fred built for her
sprang scarlet from mud
like a poppy on the battlefield unfurling
hope among dismembered men.
The bog land wavered between mountains
and a cold sea and the sky hung
white flags of surrender.
In the year seven, her house fell.

The house Gerry made for her
curled pearl from mud.
Like a salamander it grew,
tail renewed, warmed by winter sun.
The bog land quavered between mountains
and a cold sea and the sky hung
grey shrouds of decay.
In the year ten, her house fell.

The house Jack saved for her
sang hallelujahs from mud.
Like Jesus it rose
again, hope alive.
The bog land shimmered between mountains
and a cold sea and the sky hung
pink streamers of bliss.
In the year two zero one five, her house… thrived.

 

P1020844
Original artwork by author, acrylic and household paint, collage on canvas.