Arlington

row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row row upon row row upon row
row upon row row upon row row upon row
row upon row row upon row row upon row
row upon row row upon row row upon row
row upon row row upon row row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row
row upon row

Dusk

The butterfly
wakes 
and breaks

its womb,
fluttering

up

with
weightless
wings

to the barkless arms

of a tall ash tree,

where it sits
and sits

alone in shadow.

Rafael Calvo

As metal shutters
rattle around him,
a whisp-haired man

with yellow fingers
and grey,
cracked teeth,

trudges towards
his corner stand,
his spot for thirty years,

where he shrouds
himself in clouds of smoke
and waits,

red-eyed,
with the sound of bells
ringing in the distance.

Awoken

Dancing

round

each

empty

room

a

strong

wind

stirs

in

a

dust-filled

house

softly

billowing

long

white

sheets

draped

over

frayed

chairs.

Retiro

I see old men bent forward on benches, spitting out seeds from crumpled mouths, leaning on wooden sticks.

I see people lying in uncut grass: some of them read, others just sunbathe – one man sleeps, wheezing with each deep breath.

I see young boys waving sticks, playfully fighting, and couples sitting on stone steps, whispering about something excitedly.

I see men plucking strings, their fingers plastered, their heads bowed, and women cradling blankets that will not stop crying.

I see a girl scuffing her shoes on the dusty floor; her parents don’t notice – her parents don’t care: shoes are not what trouble them.

Bellis

The bud bursts through earth’s frost
to greet pale shafts of fragile light.
Its wet petals spring open slowly,
waking from some forgotten sleep.

N.B. Bellis is the botanical term for the European daisy.
The daisy also symbolises common and loyal love.

Published in The Æolian Revue

‘A Sad Tale’s Best For Winter’

Leontes: the RSC’s production of The Winter’s Tale in 2009.

 
Just beyond the mirth of great nature’s rebirth,
bitter winter beckons to confine the shining sun
and stamp out all life young. It tears each leaf
from each limb, letting each fall into the grave
of all that’s nothing, where the putrid stench
of decay is as potent as the plague of darkness
that reigns over all like a tempest of tyranny.
But, in the midst of nothing, some life interred

stirs to inch slowly upwards through benighted
daylight, shooting through the earth’s melting
mantle to bring spring forth and rot the root of
flowering winter: so I do not sit above the grave
of all, but the great womb of all, where all that’s
nothing swells nature like two mingled bloods
so that it may soar beyond our horizon of time
to create, from all that’s nothing, all that’s great.

Published in The Monktonian 2009/10