Not Moving On — Part II (slightly delightly)

(more positive verses around the subject of devotion)
see part I for caveats

"unless you love someone, nothing else makes sense"

(last added to 7/1/18)

Folding Chair
What If Katie Hopkins
Surprising Joy
No Need
watching the world go by
Conspicuous Absence
as yet untitled
eleven times the muffled midnight chimes
from time to time, forgetful age
To Be Or Not To Have

Folding chair

I have a small folding chair.
I carry it with me everywhere,
not just to rest my weary limbs
or aching heart — but so that I
may sit in contemplation
of the beauties of the world,
when inspiration strikes
but no seating is provided
by nature or the corporation.

A sketchpad and a notebook
in my bag, always prepared,
like some superannuated scout,
and, for encouragement of course,
a photograph of you. After all,
I live and work under your shadow;
It's rather pleasant there.


What If Katie Hopkins
(Ann Widdicombe revisited)

What if Katie Hopkins —
a woman whose opinions,
indeed, whose personality
I do most heartily despise —
what if she somehow, say,
found my stuff on the web
or saw me in a show, and,
for one of those unfathomed
'love' reasons, developed
an infatuation, a lifelong adoration
for me? What if she cried
every night, curled up alone
in a chair, contemplating,
her heart breaking, her quietus making?

And say, somehow, despite
her sturdy fortitude,
atypic self-control,
in never talking to, much less stalking
Yours Truly, I yet become aware
of her deep distress, this sorry mess?
Who on earth would hold me
responsible, expect me
to call round, strike up
some sort of friendship,
Grin and bear it, pop some
Viagra®, do my humane bit?
I can't think I might feel
any obligation, any call
of pity, much less duty.
So why should exes be expected
to respond to, act on,
even feel compassion
for those who failed to be
sufficient to requirements?
In terms of evolution
it makes more sense to be
more callous still than I
should be with Katie. Let
others offer tea and sympathy –
move on.
                   That being said,
you are my one excuse,
my saving grace, my just-in-case,
should that said dreadful Hopkins
somehow become obsessed
with me. Were I not so
insanely (notwithstanding vainly)
dedicated and committed to
my love for you, being here
against a day that will not dawn,
I might just go and ease her pain
at dire and dreadful cost, because
when all is said and done, I'm just
a big soft hap'orth, me.


Surprising Joy

"In times of great emotion we speak in clichés"
[Malcolm Arnold]

Dearly belovéd, assembled today,
Hear my last willing text as I'm slipping away.
My subject is joy and the pity of joy
That the tortures of heartbreak can never destroy.

For nearly a decade I've cried every night,
Knowing there's no hope of putting things right;
Each New Year and Christmas I take to my bed,
Not bearing to hear 'Happy' anything said,
Clutching her photo and hoping that she
Is having more fun, and not thinking of me.
And when I climb out of sleep's bottomless pit,
The first thought that greets me is, "Still alive — shit!"

Far too often I sit with a blade or a rope
Longing to leave this cruel world without hope,
But the cause of my grief is the same thing that spoils
All intentions of shuffling off mortal coils.
If love is a giving thing, could mine be true
If I render it void just because I feel blue?
No; I must be ready, the whole year around,
To help sort major problems — or just lend a pound.

That she doesn't want it, in fact never will —
Does that make devotion more meaningful still,
Or simply seem foolish at this loveless time,
When loyalty's viewed as some self-harming crime?
Oh, it isn't as if it's a matter of choice,
And, much as I mourn, it's far more I rejoice.

Though personal gain nor emotional glee
Are never the reasons, if reasons there be,
There are compensations which keep doom at bay
And more than console me for feeling this way

When I gaze on old pics of her face, wreathed in smiles,
On a raft back in Thailand, a yacht round the Isles,
In Parisian bistros, on some country walk —
My spirit starts singing and soars like a hawk,
And each recollection of good times we shared
Takes me back, just like Proust, to a time when she cared
(Or seemed to at least), and, as if she did still,
The thought of her kindles a rapturous thrill.

Like a hopeless addiction to drugs, where the hit
Far outweighs the withdrawal (which is still total shit),
My whole body trembles, I've tingling skin,
My features contort in a ludicrous grin.
It's a thrillingly new but familiar sensation —
The spit of a newly-formed infatuation.

Though the pain may depress and the symptoms annoy,
They're a small price to pay for this ecstatic joy;
If this be a sickness, then let it get worse —
There are worse things to die of than this blesséd curse!


So from here on down, let's be nicht diese Töne,
Leave heartache and pain sitting on the back burner;
No hint of nostalgia for things that are lost
But rejoicing in pleasure that's well worth the cost!


No Need

You don't understand
You naysayers, Job's
comforters, well-meaning
advisers, friends and foes

Don't try to fix me up with
amiable acquaintances —
lonely single friends of yours —
condemn another lonely sod
to some bland this'll-have-to-do,
a twilight years companionship,
or on the sad and slender chance
of ending up as soul mates
after all.
              Girlfriend, lover,
partner, even wife, all these
are not, for me, mere job
descriptions, vacancies
that must be filled, lest I be
                      My love has
made me whole, and loss
of faith could only undermine,
diminish me.
                      Can you not see
just how the pitch is queered; how
sometimes something
so stupendous comes along,
that cannot be replaced
however badly it goes wrong?


watching the world go by

watching the world go by
over the rim of a coffee
wondering where you are now

and yet, as one more sweet
barista brings a steaming cup
with decorated foam, a smile
at which my faithful heart
still sings, perhaps a
diet-thwarting cake

my sorrows are, at least in part
offset by life's small pleasures —
to carry on seems — possible


Conspicuous Absence

I don't think 'they' would let me write
a three-word poem. The three words I

most want to say, and you
least want to hear. Even
the haiku needs
full fifteen syllables for
its condensed profundity.

But everything I
do or make
is built on
those three words.
To use them
is to make
them clichés, stating
them, to state
the bleeding obvious.

It's tempting to give up,
accept their unsaid presence,
look – and strive – elsewhere —
not reinvent the
over-burdened wheel.

But poems, like ambition,
should be made of sterner stuff.


Serenade (nunc dimittis?)



walking new
routes, finding
less-known ways,
rail lines, branch
canals, knee high
grassgrown towpaths;
couple, speaking
little, sharing
inner thoughts;
pointing out
the passing,
sunset owl,
the powling cat;
at ducklings,
clustered close
to mother.
Solitary strolling
into the twilight;

me in the flesh;

you in my heart.


as yet untitled

After decades of inaction
(Spreading my dissatisfaction),

I found the One, just right for me,
A soulmate with a spirit free;
A mismatch folks called heaven-made,
More precious, being so delayed:

An instant, numinous connection,
That slowly grew to sheer perfection.

Or did it? Time's discrepancy
Began to chafe that spirit free,
And fear of obloquy soon frayed
That golden fabric, heaven-made,

Then half-healed wounds were torn apart
Breaking her spirit — and thus my heart.

So I have passed a sad decade,
With memories of 'heaven-made';
While she's known spells of misery,
Fearing to let her spirit free.

Folks say, "You dodged a bullet there."
I say they're wrong or I don't care,

And, still buoyed up by 'heaven-made',
I've wished, I've hoped, I've even prayed,
Her soul may find stability,
And set, once more, her spirit free:

That she can find the right direction
(With or without our re-connection).

I still bathe in the memory,
So joyful, of that spirit free;
If absence could true love degrade,
How could I call it 'heaven-made'?


eleven times the muffled midnight chimes

notch up another year

eleven times the muffled midnight chimes
a pillow over ears, a photo in my hand
but no light to illuminate your face

wind down another year

the distant fireworks fade and later on
the pissed up revellers are noisy on the stair
at random, sleep-impeding intervals

tick off another year

a personal catharsis clears the soul
a private wallowing far easier to bear
with only lasting joy allowed to show

start up another year


from time to time forgetful age

from time to time forgetful age
and shortened northern days combine,
and nearing home I see a light
still shining in the living room.

and though I'm never daft enough
to leap up stairs three at a time,
hi-honey-I'm-homeing at the door,
cruel hope still bares my breast, ready
for disappointment's barbed stiletto


To Be Or Not To Have

we watched Être et avoir
bringing on brief broodiness
captivated by cuteness
we joked
of how we'd need one Asian child
among our clutch of thirty

later on
effects of film diminishing
but love and sex encouraging
continued thoughts of procreation
we cut
the number down by quite a a bit
to a more practical six

your studies
and exciting social life
nurturing architectural ambition
opening new sexual vistas
you thought
that children maybe weren't for you —
a damper on ambitions

many love disasters later
crushed by failures, anxieties
and the advancing years
you moaned
that love and children now seemed
out of reach for you for life

I weep
to be no more an option
to have no part to play