Tag Archives: holidays

Tan

Inspired by a woman I clocked outside the bread shop a few weeks ago….one of those thin women with snappy ankles who wear converse and skinny skinny black ankle grazing jeans and a parka and manage to ooze sex.

Envy really.

 

Tan

 

She’s got an old neck though.

Skin pulled across muscle and ligament up to her thin downy jaw

like the tension cables on a bridge.

And beneath?

A body dipped in tan.

An expensive sun for that one

not a cheap last minute costa sun

but a far off five star sun.

A tan that cooled itself in near clear,

shallow, glittered water,

no swell to knock it off balance

to leave seaweed in its hair

to leave it gasping, winded,

topless and unwitting full frontal to the larded gawpers on the beach.

She’s waiting for him to buy bread

holding the dog of perfect black

one foot pointed,

eyes still behind dark lenses.

I drink my coffee,

my skin the colour of froth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Year, New Poem

Porcupine

A still night

lit by paraffin and candle and camp fire.

An intimate pause with strangers

over white table cloths

in a clearing among trees next to the banks of a river.

We took our seats at table

so far from the north of England.

The fire red-licked our wine glasses and

painted red the artichokes

put before us by thin smiling men

with gilded skin.

We were deep in Kenyan countryside and there were artichokes

for supper.

The newly weds shrank into panicked whisper,

picked up their knives and forks and

put them down again.

Flashes of red vitriol flicked across the table.

It’s not the honeymoon she’d wanted:

it’s mud and monkeys

which sit on the concrete walls of the bathroom

and watch her naked with small black eyes

and steal her things

and laugh at her bareness

and just a man with a bow and arrow

between them and the jaws of an alligator

and unidentifiable insects floating,

decomposing in the pool:

insects with blue bodies, the size of birds.

And a bird the size of a goat

which clacks and pecks at her bed through the tent canvas.

And now something on her plate

which she doesn’t know what to do with.

I took some butter and let it slide down the sides

of my artichoke,

let it pool between the leaves

before I pulled the first leaf and scraped off its metallic flesh

quickly getting to the pale thin-silk leaves

and then to its core,

to its throat spearing choke.

I cut it away,

its shorn filaments pustule-dotted like the head of a sunflower.

And then they came,

the porcupines,

their bristles clicking like heels on parquet.

Three then four

and a small one

rooting, snuffling into the red Kenyan earth.

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Italy

Italy. I’m still half there. Wandering around a little aimlessly, sun-flattened, that feeling you get when it’s so hot, when you have to calm everything inside just to breathe. I have the view from our house just inside my eyelids and that tarmac aniseed smell from the fields of wild fennel lodged in my nostrils.

I want to cover my sitting room walls with frescoes, replace the roof with a  Brunelleschi dome and fill my garden with olive trees and naked sculpted alabaster.

Enough fantasising. I wrote a lot of words in Italy, not all coherent. But this is ok.

Boy

Is this sleek green eel my boy?

Swimming through diamond-cut pool water to me

hair streaming as sea weed.

The same who swam from me waxed and bloodied

on that plastic hospital bed

with the speed of soap slipped from wet hands

his blue lipped face unfolding in air,

his hands starfished wanting to feel,

his skin pleated in fleshfolds on his thighs and groin.

His body is browned now by strong Tuscan sun.

Long-limbed and hard-muscled

his arms stretched and silvered in water.

He breaks the surface at my feet

and gasps hot aniseed air.

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