The Regreened Leaf

Leaves on a tree wear a green mask.
Autumn as they die the mask falls
And we see their true self
Red, yellow or orange

Without sunlight
A tree can no longer mask a leaf.
When it is too cold leaves turn brown.
When a leaf dies we see it’s true self

The tree takes water from the graves
Replenishes tree
Replenishes with memory in water
The tree is the dead
Regreened leaves applaud life

The regreened leaf is a hand
Reattached to a limb
Tree feeds the hands of its canopy
Hears their clapping

I hear the special hand clap
Of my late mother in the canopy
Of the applauding trees
And my hands want to clap too

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Candlelit Seventies

Without a thought switch flicked
And if glass globe works light
And I recall candlelit Seventies
evening in Winter’s discontent.

How important during that Winter
Electric light, few hours TV,
The extra jumpers and ignorant
thrill of days extraordinary nights

Those nights I recalled stood Underground in Eighties closing mine
That darkness lively with ghosts
As imagination lit up with stories

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The Invisible Town Commercial Register (Updated Regularly)

Fish & Chip Shop places your bets. 2 to 1 Haddock. 3 to 1 Cod. Accumulator includes a bag of scraps.

Hairdressers do not dress your hair. They cut and blow extraneous parts of your life. Declutter you with head massage.

Estate Agents is a butchers, sells accessible sausages, secluded pies, spacious legs of Lamb, picturesque Chicken.

Card shop is a bakers. Inhale fresh baked birthday wishes, admire Hen night buns, Stag night fairy cakes, seeded get well

Indian Takeaway is a flower shop: Chapatti Roses, Naan bread Daffodils, Pot plant Samosas, Jalfrezi garden ornaments.

Key & Shoe Repair is a library & Media Centre: Headlines reheeled, Twitter Yale keyed, Facebook resouled, books polished.

The Butchers is a swimming pool. The water tenderises your flesh. With this tender you can buy groceries.  Swim with knives.

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The Gust


Gust says ‘ I can make hills jump,

and seas hills, I can make you suffer.’

You’re a bully’ says the quiet earth.

Gust says ‘I belong.’ then disappears.
Soil shouts ‘Who to?’
‘ I belong here.’ to Gust already gone

Gust returns lifts soil to another place.

Gust tumbled through the grass blades
‘I’ll spoil your hairdo.’,
‘Spread my seeds’ replied grass
‘I can always redo my hair later.’

Gust to rock ‘I will wear you down. I swear.’
and promptly forgot what it said.

Gust returned with grit in its teeth
unaware of what it had said.

Gust blew dead leaves into a blazing swirl.
‘I can make you live again’ it said.
No reply,

but a rustle from leaves on the tree above.

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The Abundance

Brought abundance for the winter
Down from Summer’s high warmth
Abundance stored as welcome wealth
Rests ready for the darkening

Brought from hedgerows, woods
abundance of wild damsons, sloes,
rosehips, elderberries, blackberries,
hawthorn berries, nutmeg, cinnamon
Fruit is the seed carrier.

What is this ghost of a leaf?
Where is the pattern it makes?
How does the pattern of a leaf
Become a ghost of its tree?

It is the season of the open door.
It is the reason of half day of light
It is the reason of half day of dark
We stand between days, colder

On that eve of halves
When we go disguised
From old ghosts, new ghosts
Cold door to warm door
In hope of gifts and a smile.

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