An Old Hut on Baildon Moor
It’s raining hard on Baildon Moor. We came here
today to make soup and watch butterflies
dance in the rain. Like us, they wish
for shelter. Like us, they’re alive to the possibilities
of the flesh, wild and somewhat madly dazed.
We kiss through the afternoon and our kissing
robs us of our defences as we stumble and swoon
across the creaking boards to the bed.
Now the light filters in through gaps in the walls
and we capture our fleeting recollections
of the Bandstand that brought us to this place,
where long ago we danced and dreamt
as children of our future lives. We never guessed
then we’d end up here, counter-balancing
our two realities between the pots and pans
and stove where we would prepare our dinner.
So the divinities of this place seeps into our bones
and we’re mesmerised by the sound of rain on wood,
the sound of the brook, bustling and bubbling
on the stones below us, and the laughter of our friends.
Encounters with Modern Art
We look deep into the fire, see something childlike,
the desire to be loved by the other. Seldom do we look
this way when we first encounter, only the yellow
flames bring us up short. First we watch paper and kindling
flare up, and the scene is set in the small comfortable room
for conversation that is less than snug as we delve, reading
the ekphrastic verse of R.S. Thomas, the hesitant stares
reflected in the conflagration as the blaze finally takes hold.
We wonder if anything is missing as we leaf through
the pages, kiss in the glowing air. Of course, there’s no lack
of bravery in our curious scrutiny as we realign ourselves
in the artistry of the poet, his lines taking on new implications
as the lines between us blur and the conflict rises again. Now
its time to throw on another log, burn the certainties
we had taken for granted with hope as our guide as we undo
the suspicions of which we’re made, until with a crack
the fire draws us back to our earlier innocence, bright embers
burning in our eyes.
Beyond the Beyond
We’ve already past beyond, I dare you.
You're both dared and daring
and I love you. Do you think me strange
as I think you strange? We rearrange
ourselves, accustoming our minds
to the present moment, each other,
the future, unravelling just for us
as if our wills could determine it.
Between the Wars
I cannot be
to all people
anymore than the moon can illuminate
the paths between us, or the heron
be magnanimous to the carp.
Before long the cracks begin to show,
the house falls in to ruin,
the old dog cannot scratch its itch.
Now I must betray my love
which ultimately involves lying to myself
in that Bombay garden we only dare dream of.