Then the awakening

Anger, thick old-blood red anger,
the fury that drives you to drink
to drink till the black velvet settles
soft feathers that smother your breath

And so sleep. The sleep of dreams
of people and horses and places once known
their lives continue when you are no longer
their lives continue though you are now gone

Perhaps some calm sleep
Perhaps some deep sleep with no nightmares
no eyelids fluttering or moths in the night
but the calm of the sea when the wind has forgotten
when the wind has forgotten its nature and calling
cracking no cheeks for children are silent
the storms of grey seabirds have spiralled and landed
the sea oil smooth, angered colours of sunset

Then the awakening and the bed is still empty
empty the bed and the room and the world
head slopping with sorrow and hope that is absent
you are gone you are gone you are gone you are gone
never my life the blinding injustice
I hold tight to my belly and smile

Birds weigh less

Birds weigh less than air

and force themselves to ground.

A fluttering shake of wings

takes them to the skies again

a cloud a cataract a single point.

I feel my heart follow

soaring through the blueness

I feel my heart follow the birds.

In the Committee Room

The man finishes his intervention and bites into his apple – with his desk microphone still on. Twenty other people around the oval table look at one another. The next speaker soldiers on. Apple man takes violent, oddly-timed bites and chews over thoroughly. The twenty other people shift their focus to the woman next to him, eyebrows and foreheads doing a lot of work. Eventually she understands and leans across and turns his microphone off. A quiet satisfaction ripples round the room. He smiles at her and bites into the green apple again. He is louder without the microphone.