A New Year Sestina

At home, we meet the New Year,
With an embrace and with dancing humour.
It wasn’t long before we went to bed,
To where we’d played a little earlier.
As New Year’s celebrations still sounded,
We dreamt of another year together.

We have met years together,
Growing in our lives with each passing year,
In each, fireworks and church bells have sounded.
In all, we’ve tried to live in good humour,
More so than we would in lives earlier
And we end our long days in restful bed.

A haven of rest is bed,
Where in the silence we are together.
If we enraged each other earlier,
We know resolution will form that year,
Because battles can’t outlast the humour
Or the passions that this great love sounded.

And how to them it sounded.
Those times we silently took to our bed,
Could they not know the overarching humour,
That the nights mean that we spend together,
As weeks, months, become a year,
And we head to bed all the earlier.

And as I said earlier,
When magic words and noises have sounded,
And special things resonate with the year,
There’s no better place to lay than your bed,
Where our hands, feet are entwined together,
Enveloped in our own special humour.

We’re lost without this humour,
And brought back to those places earlier,
Where weren’t we ourselves always together,
Until at the end the claxon sounded
And when then retired to a peaceful bed,
To welcome the New Year.

Together we push forward with humour,
After a year, like those lived earlier,
When fireworks sounded, we retire to bed.


This cold solid suit,
Constructed by me,
Surrounding my all,
A wall that’s so thick,
It envelopes me.

Does it define me?
Damaged and rebuilt;
Protective layers
Perfected through time.
Pure sublimity.

Dangers stand afore,
None may damage me,
For this thing I’ve built:
A life’s barrier,
Stands to set me free.

But freedom is fraught,
Liberties hard-won,
Passions rested spent,
Wrent away from me,
For I am defence.

But do these walls defend?
And this armoured suit
Whence I establish,
Does it imbue strength?
Or does it restrain?

Am I limited?
Am I limiting?
Am I truly free?
Or am I bound by that which has been,
And lost in what these eyes have seen?

On Our 13th Wedding Anniversary

I see you;
I see you;

The years bind us,
They define us.

I look forward,
I see the next day,
Just one more day,
A day more to love you.

13 years.
Laced years.

Veiled in your words,
Veiled in a glance,
Veiled in a touch,
Veiled in the story we live.

I believe,
Because I see.

I see you;
I see you;

Knowing Love

Each morning meets me with joy,
As the lass comes bounding to greet me,
Relief in her eyes and her ears,
That the night turned to morn dawning
And her lonely fears are lost,
To be overwhelmed by elation,
For those she loves the most
Have come back,
Are still here,
Still alive,

Because if you want to know love,
Get a pup
For love unconditional.
But please beware,
Because a dog’s life lives too quick
And we love so long.

Those Magic Uplands

I long for those heavenly uplands
The crown that soared above my youth
And despite my regular wanderings
No summit can come close.

There’s a magic in their contours
That speak of histories forgot
Imprinted in their hearts of stone
Whilst planted on their plots.

I hear whispers in their waters
That babble from a stream
Or thunder from a waterfall
That seep into my dreams.

I taste welcome in the mountain air
And gasp in their hellos
I relish victorious apogees
That only gods should know.


In the four winds that swirl around,
The howling of a winter gale,
I see the me that I have found
And know I am invincible.

Don’t talk to me of happenstance
Or rose-glassed serendipity,
I stand before the great expanse,
Of this unfolding destiny.

Beyond the world I’ve brought to pass,
The joyless spectres of the grim,
Where soulless drones do live en masse,
And cower in the sight of HIM.

No matter what the world will bring,
You’ll know me and you’ll know this voice,
The melodies that I do sing,
Refrained, again; that is my choice.

After Invictus by William Ernest Henley

How to get on without society

Just eat with your fingers, Riley,
The washing up’s not been done;
And don’t make a mess in the living room
Before my friends have come.

Are there loo rolls by the toilet?
The Dorito dips‘ll have to wait
Till we’ve stocked the fridge with Lambrini
And washed another plate.

It’s bloody boiling in the living room,
But the kitchen’s not so hot
And Connor’s on his Playstation,
So come with me and have a shot.

Here’s salt for your tequila,
No! No need to take off your shoes;
And sorry I didn’t ask you sooner,
But what’s your favourite type of booze?

Cheers and all the best then!
Maybe we should have one more?
Oops, I’ll grab the Hoover,
I’ve spilt salt all over the floor.

*written after reading Betjeman’s How to get on in society

Everything I Say Is Wrong

These words spew forth,
They erupt out of me,
I don’t know what my words mean,
I try to connect the dots,
And then I see who I have been.
They don’t say what I mean,
But they do say what I feel.
There is a growing disconnection,
Between my words and my feelings.
And I am a monster with those words,
Who spits hurt effortlessly,
I am endlessly misinterpreted.
Even by me.
The vocabulary I have is lost in the effort
To communicate in a lexicon
That can’t reflect me,
And my words go lost.
And in the moment I say those things,
Then I agonise over what I have said,
And I analyse the words away.
I vocalise the things I think I may have meant,
Spend hours dreaming up reasons,
For the contradictions.
But I am in a circulate of confusion,
Because I don’t know why words arrive,
And why I birth them when I do.
I am in a place of nowhereness,
My language restrains me.
My language is everything I feel,
And nothing I mean.
The control is gone,
Its direction is lost.
Everything I say feels right,
Yet, everything I say is wrong.

This Middle Age

I am middle-aged,
And the rage that once consumed me,
Is a memory,
And I am at a loss.

Like the world beneath me opened void,
But I do not drop.
Destroyed possibility awakes,
Staring within me.

All I realise,
Is the ghost of my adolescence,
Fenced in by fate
And what these hands can this day create.

I am a success,
But I know I wouldn’t impress him,
The yesterday we,
Who dreamt a vast lasting legacy,

Who like children dreamed
Of fantastic lives lived and worlds won.
Whilst I with a shrug,
Dismiss what I bring into being.

With distant memories,
A wave of grief powered by regret,
I forget to be,
And I am lonely reminiscence.

Married In Bliss

They no longer trouble each other,
Not the way they did,
When passion’s heat seared
And when they ached to be together.

In their spring, everything was bright,
And right, fresh and new.
But the blossoming of that new growth
Gave way to plain boughs.

Paradise became just a garden,
And it needed work.
The unavoidable work was clear
And they muddled through.

They worked with what they had been given,
Broke earth and broke bread,
And although exhausted by their toil,
Accepted their lot.

Their battlegrounds were defined by chance,
Sowed into that dirt.
Oh, what a place they did build themselves,
Where war and love raged.

Separate allotments developed,
And jealous eyes gazed.
Questioning grounds and decisions made,
Where love was betrayed.

Autumn leaves fell down
And brown mulch decayed to soulless grey.
Winter brought hard frost,
And a silent, barren no man’s land.

But life still takes hold
And complicated accord did out.
A new contract writ,
Brought warring parties back together.

Those things grown with love,
Were set aside for this endeavour,
This togetherness,
The practicalities of being.

There followed beauty,
In their hard-won utopian pax.
Words and deeds dismissed,
For those wars are past and gone and done.

Establishment renewed rivalries,
Then it changed again.
As that new life sowed, looked at them, old,
And took its own root.

Then, new joy was found.
Unexpectedly, they shared again,
Daring to build new edifices,
New memories.

They no longer trouble each other.
Admiration sparked
For what they have achieved,
In their own Eden.

Only life rocks them.
Inevitability managed,
In their slow decline,
Until they harvest that final fruit.