Up root.

I wonder what these places would have looked like before the committee got to them, more trees, and weeds on ledges, less Tarmac, and garages.

The visitor board illustrates what was here, look for the stumps left, two flinty ankles of a giant cut down, a two story toilet block roofless, the soul survivor, cattle shed, the finest remaining medieval toilet block in England, it states,

Where two monks were beaten till dead after taking a local girl one afternoon for a walk in Tyne woods, over the vally and there, making her ugly,
And the low stones of the origanal church where a monk stole silver and died of disentry, and the outline of its apse, where a monk spat on bones.

Forget me knots grow now around the base, imitating their fathers, a few daisies do no good and the mark of the mower, cheap council cut and a budlier, as always up early rooted in rock, as well in the a grade listed ruins as the concretes curb behind the warehouse at work, leaving for winter, and returning,

I look to the few remaining faced stones, the ones that were exposed to the insense and lines of Latin, observent stones, monk feet moving in their lullabies lull, on a dark candling December between councils, plague between no such things, keeping the initials of ghost, tough to the last few stones.

More light now, sussex rain on nylons, the rain of teens and raised voices,

Rough song stoney song, that of hounds heads built into walls, each overtakes the other, one verse a starving gate, a chores from bramble and often seen first to rise weed, thorns that could not intake sleep, pushing thorough frost and clear branches, incarnations of winter, captive saps up in the end of summer. When the earth had lists, served a sentence, returned to the freedom of desolate places,

The brambles hide calling creatures, behind the steel fencing, that protect the public ruins, the birds call like the death end men did, in complex harmonies, hard to up root, up at dawn, equal clothed, each with a habit and book, straight silent, tall, unpopular, flowered demolition, infront the warm sun, the start of a mothers lie,

Why do me get to choose what is chi or other wise. Gifts from the unloved, the youth steel, drunk breath, gallons of misty breath. Bulls breath, waiting for trains on exposed platforms, another stranger and another, on looking dark stones of ghost spires, of naked men, climbing demolished stairwells, broken bells, electric bells and lights announcing the coming light around the curve of the line, that will take me home to humiliation in the morning.

Dreams are mothers with sick children amid Ruins of a disappointing deposed, dismantled, quarried, killed, risk litany, resilient faith. A faith that will only happen to me.


Obituary of a five year old child

I didn’t realise he had died, no one told me, so before it disappears I need write down what I knew of him, as there is no grave and even if there were it would mean nothing.
I remember he liked bows and arrows, I’d pick out long stems from plants, look for straight sticks to bring home for him. Ones I could wire up none were that good but it was better than cardboard swords and Shields,

He had an apple tree that he could climb, and sit there half hidden, sometimes my cat would follow him up there, he would sit, arms around his knees and when he came down what ever angst had sent him up would be gone.

I’d help him turn over the benches, to make a den, to weave leaves through, the sense of making a new home, some times he would show me a corner of the sofa where he propped up a few pillows making a roofless room, inside the square were a few sweets in one corner, a few collared crayons in The other,
‘I would be happy there, what else would I need’.

Often, I saw him fall asleep holding his mother arm, it was regular, the same arm, the same sofa, curling up the same way, against the same wall, a regular child.

I wasn’t his father, I hadn’t the strength to have kids of my own and I wasn’t gonna take on anybody else’s. His father worked over in Worthing would drive back every night toward the other side of town and as far as I know he never stopped, months would pass with out visits. I didn’t blame him though, I thought he was a good guy deep down. He runs this boy a lot, would ask how school was and tell him how much he loved him. But when it came to the everyday job of being a dad that came down to me, I had to find the football, make up the goal posts, I had to explore the old shed with him, bring him down stairs when his fear of ghosts got too much. I dried him off when we swam in the tarry sea after school, I clicked the lunch box, estimated how long before the corners scrapped along the floor would crack, I found the toy shop, just him and I. The feet leading the swing above the scout hut, he believed in me, I know that, he thought I was different and now and then he would remind me that he was only a child, but that he felt as if life could be very long, with so many stories, I remember he adopted a tree and after a great storm when others fell he said how proud of that tree he was, that it never fell when so many more gave in. He seemed to always have great energy just before bed, a new drawing, dinosaur, knight, castle walls collapsing,

I remember he had unquestioning faith in me, that I would be different, I know I let him down, he didn’t die at age five, but I remember him at that age, a great love un opened, a desire for each season and each evening, a rate of growth, exist, in all things, things that I try so hard to hold onto, it all would follow him around, a long exposure to the time before birth hung around him, trailing where he went, a reminder. He gathered and perhaps in his death he has been allowed to keep those precious sights weakened in others, I shouldn’t care, he was always going to die but it was only recently that I realised what happened to him.

In what was his home, the heavy wooden door, the slanted drive, in what was his room other infants fit into their summer evenings, to warm to sleep, he left some excitement there for them to find I’m sure, perhaps they see his ghost now as once he said he saw the old lady, that went by the same name as his great grandmother, something we never told him.

Rest in peace little man, explore the old field before the hospital was built, and know you disappointed no one, I know you had faith in me, more than all the others, I’m sorry I let you down, my future is still uncertain but at least you are safe there in childhood, untouchable, complete, safe in my past.

Deptford den

Bookies, a 75 % win rate! the tips reinvested in long shots! He said he cleaned at the den, before he came here, he went into the police CCTV Center, the wall was covered in pictures, faces of people half of which he knew from burmancy, the weapons were taped under the seats but they left them there cause they were all on the same side.

He spoke of the old dog track, the fairyland where jewish boys handed out sweets to the other kids when the street was destroyed,

What have you got for me said one of the three boys, He struck the one doing all the talking, caught him right on the jaw, he fell,

You want not fuck with me he said, to the kids, they pulled away, shouting back, I know your face bruv, we’re gonna get ya, he looked over and said I don’t give a shit he said, I can fight. Then he smiled. I get the impression he is a lot tougher than most guys I know.

We wished the sun was out so we could have sat out side,

Barflies, the dog had his hair cut, you can see his eyes now, Bill talked of the wild mint that grows in the tiny garden, and carol said the sickly siclymin is still growing I brought to her last time we made a visit.

We saw a hawk steltering from the rain at crystal palace, a child sat with his American mother, and looked at the bag full of Easter eggs,

She smiled as I got up,

I got a snapchat from a girl in pyjamas, I sat opposite a window too low to see my reflection in, we checked our photos,

It’s better to see the lights of gatwick at night, we saw the luggage on wheels and we arrived and left, we saw the dogs, we eat, we exchanged DVDs and chocolate and her sister filed francisis nails down,

Uncle chris sat on his own in the front room, Her nan was pale, the first time she had been out since being ill, she laughed and looked like Carol in thirty years, she spoke of Anderson shelters. bill spoke of his brother that made a fortune through selling tea on the balck market at deptford docks after the war, howitzer was stored in the local police station.

They live around the old east, where the dockers once lived, I spoke of George being a fireman in the blitz up here and pulling a beautiful girls body out of the rubble when all her bones were broken, about his friend who went mad nerves burst, Jen spoke of her cousin who had a break down through being bullied at school and on facebook at the age of fifteen, who still can’t leave the house, who is recovering slowly, I thought to my self, how I’d like to meet her.

Conversation continued in the kitchen after we left, it carried on next door, and through the estate, into the town houses, through the newly built existention where paint is tacky and the air is fresh, through the boroughs, the tower blocks and cement stair wells, conversation continued long into the night, through the seasons, through the stations and tunnels, through the weeded edges of feilds, through the desires to get onto the hills and out into the years ahead long after we parted, continued undocumented, in each cubicle, un caught, feral words, silable exchanged, economy of words, catalogued, cached, historical and harmless, homeless, backs to locked doors, after hours, conversations good as they are, enough only to be spoken, like butterflies that remain as beautiful in death as in life, some seen and sort, nearly all going un examined and being far better for it.

The mirror

I can stand in front of a mirror a lot like that one there and all I can see is that fifteen year old waiting for his mum to get home. It’s pathetic I’m thirty four years old and I’m still waiting for my mother to get home, imagining her dieing all the time cause I asked for her to pick up a macDonalds on the way back from work. Sometime she was crazy late, eventually she ended up at boyfriends each night, to the point that by sixteen the house was pretty much run by me and my sister, and when we moved it was her escaping single mother hood and I know if she could have left me there she would of. But she had to take me on to her new life.

When I look in the mirror, a mirror like yours all I can see is that hand looking at me, it’s oily folds filled with baptised school friends, sent out to the middle of this lake, rolling doors back and forth, imagining the holes in the sandstone, burrowed out one grain at a time can be laughed off. can be replaced by west facing light and wide quick strides.

And you got to take that hand, cause that’s the only hand there is to hold, and under it’s nails are all the breath you breathed, each creeping dream and brief infatuation penned on the slats you slept beneath, it keeps each sat down slump, each revolving opening of eye.

But you got to take that hand cause it’s the only one reaching down to pick you up, cause there is no other hand, all there is is you reaching back from some time in the future saying, ‘hay,
You let me down, get out there, make it happen, look what you’re doing to me’.

All those chances never existed, sure you can see all sorts off stuff from up there but look at that space beside you, think about the staile smells in the kitchen, there was no choice just the rails that kept you from staying too long in any moment.

I see he had choice, no choice but to take the girls he found and search out that winter wind to tie up in a case and let the worlds watch the stranger pass, holding a whole season in his shaking name. He shakes not cause of what he carries in his blood but what he tied up inside him, looking out at a cross roads where a car over turned once, where a screen exploded, where all the nearly ends stopped chatting and looked in unison, I wonder what lay ahead? They saw it and knew it wasnt worth mentioning. There in the church service I sensed the greatness of the world but It wanted more and took less. Being forgotten while you live is a blessing, being able to name few of your loves, fewer of those you shared a drink with, they have forgotten you already, and near every one of those part time people has already shared their last word with you, no matter how many miles into this century you make it, now it’s your turn, choose what to sever and get on with it, don’t carry the mirror.

Discretion of a tree

A tree is a whirlpool
Where a quarter of a dusk lit sky,
As seen through eyes, of a man going blind lives,

It is a facade/ a room chipped out of a red stone cliff, where all earths open into the sea.
It is the out held arm of a woman describing her past,
It is the pleat of curtains living in light,

It is the hung up and fearful. The hesitation to cut, the apprehension that the words you say may undo all the good you have done,
It is a granite curb, eighteen years ago,
a taxi tire against it, is a girls heel upon it, is virginity, it is a younger me, high on E, outside adulthood and Ociana, it is being told, is the things that live, when mountains unthread, and moths become scratched.

It is a sequence of acids, it s the language of infants.
divinity arrived in containers from the east, it is the bridge of a nose, the folded arm.
The woman pretending to be ill to get money, a stomach tightening after foul food, it is not surprising.

It is a cloud sharpened toward the edge, being drawn over a difficult skyline, it is a cornered cripple. It is of light and air, pulling out impoverished stones,
A tree is being dragged between pairs of electric pillon, it is unwanted, letting only the least pass,
It is lifting out all clenched objects to be piled aside the Proserpine, beside covered waterside shelters,
It is inside the back of the soup kitchen vans. It is the easterly, it is no good to man nor beast, its a keeper of ways, of means to farm single stars on clouded nights, it is how to line our earliest thoughts against our very last.
It is seeing bare earth and it is here, it is the flesh of the things to come, Ageing in unpronounceable towns.

It is the sky above the peir, local heavens, it is impersonations of the boney bridges that span the waters course, it is become brittle, it is tare, it is fibre, it is pressed into thinned sheets, it is layers of life overtaken. It is the airs so common earlier in the day. It is now, nearing marble never to be mined,
A tree is a destructive curious creature, looking, living and linking events, it is occasionally aware, preparing for renewal, it is a creator of voids, spanned by the narrow angles. It is the clouds creep, it is scrambling through reversible tunnels, .

It is Life, is light and shadow, the yelp of a dog or a child, the blunted notes of instruments, the spark of train wheels, the led chimney smoothed by blackbird claws.
It is Light on saddened soil, it is bad things, not the weighing down of sin that brought gestated them, born not because god favours one more or less than any, it is because you live, it is all happening and happened because you live, believe in it and know it will tell you upon your final breath enetring the world, it is something worthy, it is the hope that the light of that desire is sound, it is the persevering glow of summers good,
A tree is in the discarded dark that will inevitably exist between us.
It must be the language of infants.

Ruby in rust.

I push hard against the fire exit bar, the metal moves, cranks and release,, sunlight falls at my feet and fills the doorway, brakes like a pain of glass, in triangles over
time yellowed paint, minute concrete chips glisten, against crates of second hand electrical goods, seeking attention.

I sit down on the steps, lean back, corrugated steels runs down my spine, under which white woodlice ribs gather. I look through the hand rail, it’s dozen iron bars bucked by years of rear ends from scaffolder’s trucks. There, shadow crosses my legs, individuals, preserve of dark meats left within, the rooms once used for drying oats. I think of the injustice of labour, and the comeradry of being walked over by the over paid and indignant. The unity in hate and long harboured resentment.

I have a few minutes to be quite, lensed eyes listen, tiny red creatures, seek food, on the three great steps. Two crows pluck leaf bud from the ash, square to the carriages which runs behind the valets, recently gone to the wall.

Forests lie stacked on thigh, in the scaffold’s yard. The fore-mans staffy ‘ruby’ appears across from me, seeing me, she begins a slow pace over, free from vermin, a small black beast, like an upper cut clothed in furs, she is a unit of firing muscle, with bone and tendon, stomach and spit, a pit of leg less lizards in a pot hole covered in frosted silks. Ruby is a royal rhino, small and respected.

She sits between my legs, looks back to where her owners feet twitch beneath the axial of a stationary engine. she stairs toward the great rolling gates raised, the hull like void beyond, where muted obscenities cut the white noise, muffled chatter, aggressive laughter and metallic screams expand then retract.

The blinds up stairs lowered at the weekend, razor wire above side gates precautions, a settled rose with black spot struggles on in the scrubby boarder beside the obnomemous entrance. There is a mechanic that works alone in a nearby warehouse, who dances ball room in the evening, and always warns not to get into fights with Albanians, he tells me with amusement that he knows the owner here is a small time gangster, that all these arches belong to respectful men, they all have properties in iberia, near one another, in a single gated community. He suggests that they are violent or use violent people to deliver messages. He knows how normal, how necessary this is, working men, with worked means.

Ruby and I appear to have a lot in common, a unity of language, a child beating the boarders by night, a tested friendship, She is like all the men here, capable of great violence. I have a few layers of cloth warming me, she has a black poor less pelt, beside that there is only the cement, and beneath that Sussex dirt that will not see the light of day for another century, until the structures that sit upon it are done with, like ruby and I we will be useful in light, for a short while and other searching structures will be sent out to take our place.

We sit between the two, beside my hole in the earth and hers oppersite, the abnezezuor of defeated day over head. And perhaps we desire an end to the irritation, to pull free from splinters of neon tubing. I hear a whistle, her owner calls, who saints a rag between his oiled fingers. I lean back, alone and look to the blues above, think of the five minutes remaining and await my whistling.

Leaves of the budlier touch behind me, as fish gills, it was cut back by the bank of Scotland last summer, It was savaged to a stump, by May it has grown a fresh, it cares not who injured it, nor why it was attracted to this cage, nor does it ask what happened to its parents, it’s brother or sister, rooted in crakes, in cement foundations, of a warehouse, beside a railway, nourished on covalent dreams of antipodes, it is green, the only church draw smelling green, an unusual spelling in stagnate slopes.

The leaves look for wide summers, and a cessation in frosts, dreams that summer will grant, hunger enters the air, unanswered blue, ignored green, guilty absent minded acts and it makes me think of my original garden, my fathers trelace work, the grass of another decade, alined events, loosening of ties, midnights, , jigsaws, sea-sores, covered driveways,

An older cousin now, a mum of teenage girls called in last week, she mentioned my parents, she knew them before the divorce and said ‘they were always tired, stressed’, they were sad, pestered by children.

I wonder what cheap materials the ocean brings us today, the harbour gates close, I think what triggered the alarm in the distance. I read diaries of dinosaurs left in geraniums hum And I know how tiredness will steel, what little of this day is left to me, but for now It is nice to be watched and not to care as a train crosses the street, by my tiny creatures, ten hundred must have passed and I never saw a single one, you begin to go blind, inevitably, certain noises and distractions go unentered, ten hundred warehouses fly by, irrelevant.

And One day Ruby, all this will be yours.

Taking my post

There is noise laid on noise, stain mounting stain. The air is thick with noise, a thickened noise, sticking to the walls and walkers, the twitching of unseen hairs in tunnels, through the middle of the week.
Gulls grow in greatness and Siren’s circle, words miss one another by half inches and knifes and forks balance on the waiter’s hands and all the faces move, muscles move and maintain thought, concealing intentions inside movement, pouring out over the Portland pavement. Lighters strike, nostrils flare and toddlers fall on surrendering palms.

Everyday begins the same, the dread,
The locating of keys, the dented debit card case, clean Cotten, the razor from the toothbrush holder, the damp towel, misted mirror, the damaged skin, a last black bean, a moments stillness.

I look at the books and papers that must wait for another day, I think of calling in sick then think of Andy, of jean, Tim, of all the good people I’d leave in the shit.

I take my last ten minutes, a last inch of coffee, a nonsense story on breakfast TV, the time touching the forties in the corner of the screen, massive morning hits, flog it, teleshopping, today, tomorrow, the guide for the week ahead, I look to the clouds that promise what I can not carry, the readying, a quickening,

The recognition that no matter how hard I work it will not be noticed, the resentment.

On reaching the road, a builder slows his van, a mother pushes a child behind me, a bus waits at the stop, it is not mine, on the margins of the square, a few blue flowers wither with the spring, the downs are in the morning air , the scent of rape seed oil, the smell of spectacles outside the suburbs, of meadows decreasing in clour, become dilute into sky, deliberate distance preserving the chalky folds that circulate the town. an ant is crushed underfoot while foraging, a man with bow legs sits under the shelter, the ants body is carried away for consumption, a blond office girl eats bread from foil,

Steel fencing lets the feilds pass but grips to me, Men acknowledge, divorced sorters sniff ‘morning’. I no longer lock up my bag, it’s thrown onto the lockers, onto the boxes of Colombian coffee sachets awaiting the coming weeks, less workers come, disolutioned, swearing, the smells are oviuos at first but soon lessen, learning is lost, reposition, repartition.

I take my post.