At The Big Blue

The sun goes down 
after six
at The Big Blue - 
and the wind picks 
up, chilling, as 
the river curls its way 
under bridges 
gritty and pale 
with sandblasting - 
and your sweet face, 
your stalwart hand 
wrapped around a 
beer marks the day the 
hour of our reality - 
a West End life 
penned in a pine 
flat thinking glass 
doors and wallpaper 
to make it better, 
soothe our eyes with 
new colour - and 
out beyond the river, 
the cold air, the 
and you, are other 
views, other 
weather that hurts 
the skin and binds 
the mind till I am 
tongue-tied by 
city grit and a 
ned-decked way 
with naw and aye 
assailing my ears - 
the doughty nodding 
of the pigeons in the 
Botanic Gardens 
ever-living, as if death 
in life did not go on 
and one could lose 
nothing and keep the 
heart whole, the soul 
unharmed in our 
walking days here - 
a grateful bench 
and a warm sun, 
a whirling mind busy 
with words and winging 
as if by vision alone 
one could make them

true -
the distance from here 
to The Big Blue is not 
far, but the scour of 
miles wears 
on the soles, and in 
these cold-air-days 
when the sun goes down 
and the grey takes over 
by the river 
hard-pressed am I to 
see the road 
pick up my pack and be 
ripe for travelling - 
your arm is strong, 
the raised veins, the 
muscle ropes 
hold me, like tent pegs, 
down     and 
grateful I am 
for your calming mind 
the measured 
conversation, the warmth 
of your body and your 
overflowing heart 
which feeds me my 
living time, still 
here, still 
armed, and
trying - the truth will 
out, and when I have 
disappeared from view 
I hope I am not still 
what it meant and 
what it was and 
how I filled the 
minute well 
always at cost 
always under some 
spell of delusion and 
analysis - and so I 
sit, breathe, hear the 
children, the rattling 
pram wheels, the traffic - 
and hold all of it 
like water, clear, 
I can drink, the 
living moment tracking back 
upstream -
going back to source - 
that unknown fount 
where the river issues 
and searches its own way 
in, down and through 
to the sea.
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