She wipes her spit on a handkerchief
And dabs the face of a child
Who raises its eyes to the street outside
Heedless and full of care.


Autumn Sprezzatura


Under white skies on the long drive down,
The trees fulfil their rapture.
Their pale and well drawn lines suggest
Greatness, easy done.

* Sprezzatura: Italian, ‘learned ease’.

Scrambled eggs


A blitz of yellow,
And fresh sprigs of herbs.
Bread; on a sideboard,
A dripping whisk.



Wandering the corridors between the words
She keeps her head down and composes the work,
Following the threads of argument
Along winding pavestones in her garden of books.

Death is nothing compared to the fear of loss.
Once dead, all’s lost, or all of here;
It’s loss that chokes, need exposing loss,
The loss that comes with having.

The cat in her cradle,
The old elephant beneath the sheet,
The way Servant the pig does rondels
As she sweeps the fireside clean.

In a bear pit in Bordeaux we played out our souls
On rickety trumpets and cat’s-shriek viols,
Sounding the march of our different drum,
The audience, reeling, bellowed ‘encore!’

A woman gets used to sharing her body
With monthly blood and others.
Mechanical man moves ever alone,
Ego a submarine.



All these inquisitions,
These verbal attritions,
Are nothing but a single finger
Tracing the outline of God.

Years later, he told the story again,
One that had performed to laughter before.
His eyes twinkling, voice wisdom-cracked,
He became the old teller and his younger self.