Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Life Not Lived

I have almost forgotten the life not lived.
It was not so very different, perhaps,
From this. The same comforts, and some faces,

On the whole, I think,
It was satisfying,
Like an absence of hunger can be.

Almost, but for pages like these,
And long evenings, and fading leaves
That remember a might-have-been me.

My life not lived searches high and low,
It haunts the street corners that we both know,
For a sign, a tap at a lighted window-
Till "Where were you so long?" said she.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


I have
A clinging vine of adjectives climbing up my wall,
A piledrift of infinitives where dead leaves ought to fall,
A parallel narrative that lurks beneath the floor,
A raging mob of metaphors behind the closet door,
An unruly pack of synonyms howling in the flue,
A suspect caricature stirring pepper in the stew,
A pathetic foggy fallacy with atmospheric rain,
A cobweb of symbolism on every windowpane,
An army of iambics all standing in a row,
A chorus line of unmatched feet that don't know where to go,
A ghost of a plot structure that daily groans and gripes,
A petulant allegory banging on the pipes,
A snatch of a lyric running circles in my head,
A solid ton of irony weighing down my bed,
A rogue alliteration at the tip of my tongue,
And the best of intentions, when all's been said and done.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


The stones in your street knew.
My wandering feet knew.
The bench that once bore our batedbreath weight knew.

The rain on our roofs knew.
The thumbprints on books knew.
The shoes by the door and the hat on the hook knew.

Each bird for a mile knew.
Each nerve in my smile knew.
Each gumchewing child at the metrorail stile knew.

The silence we bred knew.
The songs in your head knew.
The hands of the clock and the hours that fled knew.

May, June, and July knew
Before you and I knew
What scores of conspirers had ages since known.

And for this I thank you-
As kindest of friends do,
You let me conceit I found out on my own.