Grandad stood at the kitchen sink

Grandad stood at the kitchen sink, eating an apple with his gutting knife. His bloodstained vest strained against his chest as he sliced so delicately with the rinsed-down blade. His jaw muscles worked under leathery skin; white stubble caught the light. He looked at the fish piled on the Sunday dinner dish and at the guts in the sink. He was thinking. “Nipper!” I jumped. “Clear up these guts and get ready. We’re going out.” A pause. “And don’t feed that cat. V, the fish is clean. I’m taking the boy out.” He put on his weekday cap and went into the yard to wash.

I’m not sure what I heard

I’m not sure what I heard.

“You know what gets me, pal?”
“What?”
“Hinges. Always squeaking.”
“Oh.”

“You know what gets me, pal?”
“What?”
“Angels. Always speaking.”
“Oh.”

“You know what gets me, pal?”
“What?”
“Edges. Always leaking.”
“Oh.”

I’m not sure what I heard.

We have grown old

Invecchiati simu, frate.

Yes, you’re right. We have grown old apart
distant in distance and distant in time
but friendship is deeper than years.

We will always be brothers, brother;
our hands still hold the thin blade scars.

I see your face and you are your father
as he was when we were young
and ran and swam and threw stones at the sentries.

We will always be brothers, brother;
our heads still hold the baton scars.

And now we may be old my brother
and our bones may ache in the morning mist
but when they come to cut the trees
the trees which hold the world together
we will be there and we will be waiting
hand in hand and scar to scar.

I woke up

I woke up from the glue dream and got off the train. Up the emergency stairs to Holborn where the traffic had stopped. Why? Because Bobby had landed his helicopter in the middle of the street. Yes – Bobby, helicopter, Holborn. Again. The rotors blew years of diesel dust from the trees into my eyes. I squinted between my fingers and Bobby was waving to me. That did not surprise me though it should perhaps have done but the helicopter did. It was soft and hazy and billowed and waved, red and pink and spots and stars. Jump in, jump in, called a voice, a spinkly sparkly monkily voice. I jumped in and we flew upside down above the river towards the sea. My hair had grown and curled and flew behind me in ringlets. I closed my eyes and tried to wake up again.

Eating the lamb

They eat the lamb in memory. Bloodied and rare or crushed-almond sweet; both
are their worship. Chocolate eggs, a grinding of salt, lemon zested on the
grater. Rabbits; pictures of rabbits. Those things are theirs.
They shall never be accepted.

We eat the lamb in memory. Bloodied and rare or crushed-almond sweet; both
are our worship. Chocolate eggs, a grinding of salt, lemon zested on the
grater. Rabbits; pictures of rabbits. These things are ours.
They shall never be forgotten.