A glass of wine burns
My hand
And Sophocles sits
At my elbow, one
Eyebrow raised.

My last glance I give
His way
Before succumbing
To you, the music, my
Wine and the rank
Tangle of thought
And memory that is
My dark undergrowth
Never to be fought
Through, traded or revoked.

The sharpest blade
Could not excise
Your presence from 
My ground - the mint of you
Fragrant and virulent 
Exasperates me daily as I
Toil to suppress it,
Contradict its growth
By ripping it out at the 
Root and in its
Place raise peace
And a clean heart.

I cannot
Part your face from
Mine unless I wrench
Skin from bone, root
From plant.

How you green my
Eyes, evocative you
Pervade my days and cultivate 
The sore places you 
Soiled me with as I
Till my soul's earth 
And walk again
My scorched furrows
Where I tried to
Purify your breath, my love,
With exquisite flame.

I throttle you -
Phoenix in my hand, dumb bird
Who will not die -
Desperately as
I try to -
Ridged and sorrowed -

Living on and living on
Through these
Days I merely kill them with
Old sighs 
And find they
Re-emerge unscathed.

You never were
Mine.  Your lies were
Your own.  It's about time
I realised.

Tools down.  I will
Think and think.  I will 
Philosophise you away
Ironically and

Your mint must die.  Your bird
Must stay dead.  I will
Clear my jungled mind;
Dredge the ground you soiled;
Raise some Grecian peace -

	White portico with
	Red wine and a
	Sophoclean sunset.
Collected Works
Return to Collections all
next poem