Knee to knee, shin to shin, bubble to bubble

Within each crease lies my past.

An historic furrow,

burrowing above my eye line.

The platinum curls form

a crown, not yet the weight

of the band, that held our vows.

Safely set aside, to marinate in the salt

distilled from inconsolable tears.

Daily, as the bath fills

I recall us sharing a story,

knee to knee,

shin to shin,

bubble to bubble,

until the burst promises

were replaced by goosebumps.

Had we both outstayed

our welcome of the other?

I wish I had been more courageous.

Stepped out of my mind and body

months, years, a decade earlier.

Yet now on this day, some seven hundred

and twenty since, I stand, proud

of the visual indentations sadness has left

and wrap my right arm, gently

around the shoulder of your memory.

His Decorated Soldier

I attached pins to his words;

wore them like badges

sewn onto my breast.

Accomplishments, they were.

Skills attributed

to an adherence

of another’s will.

Another’s way of being.

A projected accolade

to which I conformed,

reflecting nothing more

than his desires;

a mirror of his intentions.

How proud I had been,

to be his decorated soldier.

My medals shining

more brightly than my heart.

The velvet lined box,

taking pride of place

above and beyond

any of my own desires,

which sat muted

in the shadows of a love

I could never make whole.

it is time

The clock strikes the hour

slapping her sharply across the face,

admonishing her precision;

her steadfast requirement to record

each and every second.

Never looking back,

the metronome of her heart

keeps her dutiful march steady

as she leaves history in her wake.

Her divine potentiality,

kinetically buoyant.

Its creation equal

to its destruction.

She waits

for no-one.

Time waits

for no one.

No queues

or overtaking masses.

Mankind scared

to look her in the eye,

scared to take hold

of her ticking hand,

for he will find it empty.

Empty of everything.


but for this moment.

Left-Wife Goose by Sharon Olds


Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2012 and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, Sharon Olds’ sequence of poems in Stag’s Leap, tells the story of a divorce, embracing strands of love, sex, sorrow, memory and new freedom.

“America’s greatest living poet” The Guardian

Hoddley, Poddley, Puddles and Fogs,
Cats are to Marry the Poodle Dogs;
Cats in Blue Jackets and Dogs in Red Hats,
What Will Become of the Mice and Rats?
Had a trust fund, had a thief in,
Had a husband, could not keep him.
Fiddle-Dee-Dee, Fiddle-Dee-Dee,
The Fly Has Left the Humble-Bee.
They Went to the Court, and Unmarried Was She:
The Fly Has Left the Humble-Bee.
Had a sow twin, had a reap twin,
Had a husband, could not keep him.
In Marble Halls as White as Milk,
Lined with a Skin as Soft as Silk,
Within a Fountain Crystal-Clear,
A Golden Apple Doth Appear.
No Doors There Are to This Stronghold
Yet Robbers Break In and Steal the Gold.
Had an egg cow, had a cream hen,
Had a husband, could not keep him.
Formed Long Ago, Yet Made Today,
Employed While Others Sleep;
What Few Would Like to Give Away,
Nor Any Wish to Keep.
Had a nap man, had a neap man,
Had a flood man, could not keep him.
Ickle, Ockle, Blue Bockle,
Fishes in the Sea.
If You Want a Left Wife,
Please Choose Me.
Had a safe of 4X sheepskin,
Had a brook brother, could not keep him.
Inter, Mitzy, Titzy, Tool,
Ira, Dura, Dominee,
Oker, Poker, Dominocker,
Out Goes Me.
Had a lamb, slung in keepskin,
Had some ewe-milk, in it seethed him.
There Was an Old Woman Called Nothing-at-All,
Who Lived in a Dwelling Exceedingly Small;
A Man Stretched His Mouth to the Utmost Extent,
And Down at One Gulp House and Old Woman Went.
Had a rich pen, had a cheap pen,
Had a husband, could not keep him.
Put him in this nursery shell,
And here you keep him very well.

Within Reach

What is my life,

by which I seek accord?

My dysfunction the result,

of opinions squatting, uninvited.

My unseen mate,

anonymous in his visibility.

A bond forged,

an unbroken potential,

of another who sees me

as he sees himself.

Torn open by my longing

of his unfeeling touch.

Knowing me,

as I know myself.

To share the love

we both kept distant,

now within reach.

Burning Bridges

The bridge burns fiercely

on a lifetime’s kindling.

(Love has skipped town)

Connections compromised.

Truths floating,

suspended in plain view.

Charred possibilities

still too close to the flames.

A powerful ego dances madly,

extinguishing living potential.

Smoke circles of options dissipate.

White light and love, attempting

to create new pathways

for momentary growth.

The final tear falls.

I turn, walking away.

My own bridge beckoning me.