My Patient Lover
You stroke my tired, evening neck before a dying fire. You’re tried by my absence, neglecting aching needs of your own. You gentle my mood when agitation rules my restless mind and limbs. You sooth my endless disappointments in myself, my acid doubt of others’ motives. You say – look outward into the welcoming smiles, the warmth of those who now surround you. In childhood she, my mother, blew and blazed, hot and cold. She cast me saint or sinner, mostly sinner. You alone know my truth – I flinch from accepting love, it hurts too much. Ramsons Each year Flora waits, eager for the scent of wild garlic. Such a brief flowering. Once, in their early days, they’d tumbled, tangled on a woodland floor in summer, by a Brecon stream. New to sex, intoxicated by skin on skin, eyes staring deep into eyes drunk on perfumes from crushed alliums. Last year, she passed seventy. He does not know her, any longer. His eyes stare, vacant, unfocused until she offers him her posy of ramsons. Briefly, miraculously, the sight and scent stir him. His hooded eyes shine and for kind moments his memory’s restored. Once more, he bathes in her beauty – his Flora of the Beacons. *Note: ramsons – another name for wild garlic Palliative Care It matters who's around, who shares the air, who breathes next to me. Please, hold my hand. Soon, I'll cast off alone. Estuary Dead tired, I trudge by our riverbank, sink in mud, hear cormorants and seagulls shriek and cry. Bones of old ferry boats pierce through thick sludge, I wilt beneath ghost-stares wheeling in the sky. Hear cormorants, and seagulls, shriek and cry; I long to free souls, trapped in birds, after death. I wilt beneath ghost-stares wheeling in the sky; no-one else feels their plight, lonely and bereft. I long to free souls, trapped in birds, after death; some young, some ancient, some slaughtered in wars. No-one feels their plight, lonely and bereft, how they plea to rest, washed clean on tidal shores. Some young, some ancient, some slaughtered in wars, all would forfeit squawking limbo, if only they could. how they plea to rest, washed clean on tidal shores. Dead tired, I trudge by our riverbank, sink in mud. *Note: Folklore is rich with stories that brings the dead and birds together, from the first recorded stories right up to the modern day.