Taking my daughter to school in autumn (and 20 March 2019)

On the trees the leaves which once burst open,

each one a miracle, stiffen, and evenings quicken

eager to slip the day and roam the night, to take by

the throat, to bare teeth and nuzzle the rotting,

fecund things that summer has shed and left and spent.


And when the sun comes again in the morning – to warm

and lift the earth’s scent, to harvest the dew for the clouds

and coax us from out of ourselves back to this bent, soiled

world, this rent world – it comes with diminished strength:  

ailing; a disappointing and faltering ascent from the night.


I will admit the joy of it: of taking my daughter’s hand;

the sun’s strengthening stand; the children’s voices ringing

high, and singing from playgrounds, and classrooms.  Singing

“I love, I hurt, I laugh, I cry”.  But I know the darkness too.

The gloom, the night light, and the circadian unanswerable why.

Leaving him in pieces

He thought he would be a tree.

All feel the power of a tree.

A forest is a form of indifference

with its back to the city.

He’d be deep in the dead

centre of the heart of the wood;

turning sun into shade

and eggs into birds.


He thought he would be an axe.

Nobody fucks with an axe.

An axe is always lifted for a purpose:

wood-chopping or murder.

He’d be the handle and the head;

the head hurtling down dead

centre on the heart

of the wood

turning wholes

into pieces.


He’s wrong about

axes and trees:

he’s pieces.


Cut, nailed and planed:

into wheels and crosses

awaiting fire.

Brother Smoke.

Sister Ash.

All of him is split

offerings for

Mother Earth