Tides II

The great tides surge
and from the deeps a
huge bell tolls, its
tongue moved by mighty
waters.  On the shore the
storm lashes and
skin is wet, bones are cold.
The day is not a
welcome thing - it brings
trial and suffering -
and all the people
trudge the road, backs
bent, heads bowed -
there is no looking up
for freedom in the day.
I float away, all
anchor gone, and memory
that hazy thing, like blown
grasses in the sun, cannot
catch it and hold it down.
Right now is all
there is.  What if
it is not enough, what if
it is too late to feel joy,
what if all things are dark,
all people gone, and the
heavy surge of the sea and
the tolling bell are all of me.
Tears on the cheek
change nothing, and
there is no care for
how we feel, here, in
all the pressing masses
and the rush.
My brother, turncoat, Judas,
has no love for family,
and me, a million miles away
in the push and shove -
I hate the day of letting go
and throwing out, of clearing
up and doing without, of all
the small acts that
were mistakes and there is
no fixing them, but they
stay in the head, always
found, like touchstones, to
the deepest wound
	that weeps
	that weeps
and in the busy day of
walking and of words of
plying the trade, deep
in deep down they fray
me and I unravel
in the minutes of the heart
that bear all the scars of
all the partings and the
loss.  My invisible, huge,
heavy cross, I cannot
lift it this morning
bowed-down by all my
mourning, my feet won't
work and my hands are
faint.  There is no-one here
in the silent moment
when I must gird my
heart and rise to the
challenge of overwhelming
odds, and my dear father
dust in the wind
and in my head are
all the words I never
got the chance to say.
The waking day and my
mother gone, I must go on
alone in black and white
eating my salt
and tasting bitter failure
on my tongue.  I wish
things had been different,
easier, better, happier,
with more time to fix
the messes and the draughts,
make it right.  But all
the world moves on and
death dissolves us in the
fast stream.  The trick
today is not to drown.
Not to wish I
had never been.

Collected Works
Return to Collections all
next poem