On a good day

I can forget
Feet pounding, racing heart,
Each painful drawing in of breath,
And run.



Unwelcome wrench from sleep in winter dark;
Unnecessary, had I only known.
Another morning late to work, so late.
More minutes wasted not on things that count:
Not sleeping, working, running, eating – no,
Nor time with husband, cat and cosy home,
But waiting at the station, cold and damp,
Excuses on the tannoy ringing out.
But leaves on line, or signals down, who cares?
The consequence is always this: delays.

On the Beach, in the Rain

A Sunday morning journey
Over many weeks repeating,
With sandwiches and flasks of tea
Then walking, talking, eating;
Past the fishing boats there creaking;
To the shingle’s crisp refrain;
Our footsteps locked in keeping
On the beach, in the rain.

It lingers in my memory,
The setting for that sweet thing:
Where you first said you loved me,
To the sound of waves retreating.
And although the spray was beating
Almost to the point of pain,
Our happiness was fleeting
On the beach, in the rain.

A wedding party by the sea
With bonfire night competing,
A firework-popping symphony
And chorus of gulls shrieking.
Then voices raised in greeting
As we huddled by the flames:
Three generations meeting
On the beach, in the rain.

And when our years are near completing
Will we find ourselves again,
Old age and ills defeating
On the beach, in the rain?

Black Friday in Soho

The day the lights went out in London,
Workers rushed to look outside,
At Golden Square, no longer bathed in
Golden light from all four sides.

A few took pictures through the windows,
Of central London swathed in black,
But darkness turned their shots to photos
Of, “What in heaven’s name is that?”

(The once-a-lifetime circumstances
They were fortunate to see
Could not  – cried they, “what were the chances?” –
Be witnessed by technology.)

Outside, the evening crowds thronged, coldly,
As workers shrugged and left for home,
And Christmas garlands glittered, dully,
In light from many mobile phones.

No restaurants, nor bars could serve;
No theatres swallowed up the crowds,
Of people, drawn in from the suburbs:
Travelled up to paint the town.

Then in the dark streets, in the throng,
A blackout memory awoke:
The day the lights went out in London,
Complete strangers stopped, and spoke.


Perhaps this exercise
Of creativity and diligence –
Even if it does not produce good results –
Might prove a worthwhile exercise.

A kick-start to my writing journey.

Without a map, it stretches
Endlessly to some unknown horizon, which recedes
Ever further into the distance,
Keeping the words eternally just out of reach.