Come, I will offer you crumbs of sour bread.
on your tongue;
your mouth fills.
How different the emptiness that fills your belly,
the emptiness in my heart
when you are not here.
After, we will drink mint together
or boiled water on ginger,
for the sweetest spark in your eye.
and time and time and time
will catch us in its oily grasp
and hold us there unmoving
as people places memories all fade away
the broken vase no longer holds flowers
the shape of its shards in the sand is pleasing
the vase was blue and held yellow spring flowers
the cat that smashed it tar black
water drains soon into dryness
I took the larger pieces
– the dust I blew into corners –
and painted bare pottery gold
laid in the garden its function has shifted
now pure adornment (if purity we know)
still its being enchants me
birdsong perfectly shaped takes flight
clotted clouds cover discoloured skies
winter thoughts are fleeing spring
My brother was my brother. There, always there when I needed him and when he needed me. Years later I paid him the greatest compliment I thought when I called him my friend.
I met Deep through friends of friends of friends. Three degrees of separation or of closeness. Long time no see a lot of times but still close whenever. I called him brother from another mother and he did the same.
Then Deep met my brother. They were more than close, they were tight. Still are. Love them both.
in the darkness snow falls, covers snowdrops
green heart quivers
daylight cracks unclouded sky
iced snow shields the living
He was sobbing. I stopped. It was minus five degrees.
His ma had just died. She was a great wee woman who hated that her son was a junkie. It was minus five degrees.
He sat crosslegged on the filthy thin sleeping bag on the pavement. Someone had paid for him to stay in a B&B for two nights but then the money ran out and he had to leave. He sobbed. It was minus five degrees.
He could have a hostel bed in three nights’ time but now he was on the streets and scared to death. His ma had just died. It was minus five degrees.
She loved him but she just couldn’t cope. I held him tight as we hugged. He sobbed. It was minus five degrees.
once they would have celebrated a goal with a cheer, a punching fist
but now older men complete crosswords and smile
they know the past and its value
and the warm contentment that enfolds them into the darkness
dark night, dark dreams swirling
eyes flicker, will they open?
blue bruised sky slowly lightens