MY TROUBLED MIND

confessions are self-serving

Tag: life

I seen hope in a train station

I seen it wink on the wet cold of the tracks
I seen it smiling in slices of wheel
I seen it hug with a hot breath of diesel
I seen it clatter in tippy tap heels
I seen it squeal in the railway man’s whistle
I seen it clutching up bunches of skirts
I seen it rumble along with the luggage
I seen hope so it no longer hurts

Windows/Rain

When I was a nipper
I used to love to watch the rain
rip across, along
the car window as we blasted
up the M1 towards Doncaster,
endless rivulets and patterns
dancing, swinging with the lull
of brake and acceleration,
countryside dark, barn shapes, bales
street lamps deep orange
in those days, something poignant
between the in and the out,
Beatrix Potter scratchy on cassette,
heater cooking velcro shoes,
and out there, the night
always magical, darkness,
the universe mirrored
in every glittered drop,
no want, nor need
to catch the feeling
in a net of words
or analysis,
t’was merely life
being lived
one breath
to the next.

On not getting the job

Beyond disappointment;
I saw real fear in the tears
of flashes of future
cold as hands on bed-warm thighs;
of ruby-stained teeth,
a fist-shaped hole in a plasterboard wall,
nicotine stained fingers rough brushing mascara
against eyes soupy and hard,
and silence nasty
as a conman at a bus station
filling every room like gas,
and years
and years of dust
and the feeling that even nature’s
out to swallow you up and crush
what’s left, which ain’t much.

And I’m scared too
of what I see, looking out the window
on a moving train
going the wrong way,
the wrong side of twenty-five
complacent in love
complacent in care
terrified of a lifetime
of standing in takeaway lines
and staring blind through screens,
unable even to tell you what I read,
watched,
liked,
five minutes ago.

Slices of lives tease me in quiet moments;
the delirious rhythm of the baglama,
a chipped bowl of steaming pho,
a mosquito still on a baked white wall
turned apricot by late afternoon;
or the simple weight
of a dog’s head resting on your lap
salted from the ocean.
I tuck them away, these tiny embers,
and stroke your forehead,
desperately damaged but aware,
determined.

Another self-centred poem

I tried
being a deadbeat alcoholic
junkie,
the nights got longer
and the world darker
and much smaller.

After I tried
sobering up,
drying out,
walking, watching
the dogs, the ducks
play
envious of their glass-eyed
peace.

I began to meditate
and things did quiet down,
I look more kindly
on the dogs, the ducks
now, not that they care
either way
of my opinion.

They’re safe, I suppose
on that Other Shore
while I thrash
and sometimes drift
against and sometimes with
the current, studying
much too seriously
the shadows in the shallows.

 

Candle on the Beach

This beach
reminded us of a place,
and it was bittersweet –
it felt like home, but also
not so, the wind
the gulls,
our age, something
was astray.

I’ve been so deep in my head
these weeks
I’m disgusted with myself,
so for a moment
I just tried to live
for someone else –
you, and your friend
passed –
in tribute
we lit a candle
on the beach.

And so I dug
in the murky
sand and water
for shells, thankful
for thinking only of that –
shells, sand, mud
water –
what peace,
however fleeting,
what peace.

Lost something

lost

Don’t blink

dont

Insta

Robin Redbreast

It may not be fashionable, but
it certainly is nice
to go to bed at 11pm on a Saturday.
The air seems lighter,
though that may just be the spring,
outside, the street sounds calmer
trickle, tick in like raindrops
off banana leaves.

Today, I did not wake up
to find marinara sauce
slopped over my keyboard, nor
crinkled lager cans
by the sink excreting their
sweet yet sour scent.

I know it’s not popular
for a man of my years
to walk around a cemetery,
but the sun and grass and graves
hold no opinion
as I stand and watch
a robin sing
under the canopy
of firs.

 

Life

I don’t care about the news;
shootings pile up like two, three, four nights’ worth
of crack rock hard rice and sauce on plate
and I don’t care, I don’t.

It’s not a good feeling, nor one
that’s big or clever, but christ
there’s so much dust and dirt and grime
coming at me like a persistent pounding tide
it’s hard to notice
who or what is persecuted,
why or how we’re butchered;
the recycling must go out,
where are the forks?
where’s the last bowl?

Rizlas everywhere, always, every morning,
the clothes are washed, left wet and washed again,
sirens buzz down the street
bricklayers joke and carry planks of wood;
there’s no life in my eyes
as I try to remember if I’ve cancelled
my subscriptions,
snake oil multivitamin
tablet bitter, bitter
on my tongue.

Railway sketch

Railway station in a country town, flagstones wide, dark and wet with rain. Cast iron bolts suffocated by thick beige paint, flaked with age.  Train delayed 11 minutes, passengers sleepy and few in number, apathetic to delay or even cheerful, ‘it’ll be alright’, lo holy British stoicism if only in this crouched corner.  Gentleman across platform studies paper, widespread khaki slacks and slightly bruised red brown leather shoes asunder, thin and aged hand peeks out of overcoat to grip paper tentatively, though firm, like a mouse’s nose out a crack in a wall.  Grey hair not too thin, combed, skin sallow and liver-spotted, chin a wreck of flesh after many years sitting reading papers no doubt, dignified in its way. Pages turn slowly as he bends to his serious study of another day’s events, quiet and watchful as a predator.