clouds

Colder On The Inside

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I was sitting alone and the house was cold
and it began to rain,
darkening to twilight in minutes,
freezing brushstrokes on the glass.
An office full of papers no longer readable
and a broken amethyst windchime
drained of colour years ago.

+=

The rain turned into sleet and snow
and there were phonecalls in the dark
— Will you make it home all right?
— Do you need anything?
In silence again, tiny blue figures seen
descending from the valley treeline,
all raincoats and walking sticks and boots,
caught out by the storm.

+=

On the clear days, fighter jets scream overhead.
In the spring, rich ancient woods fill up with bluebells.
Now that everything's dead, we who are left behind
must deal with noonday eclipses,
freezing slushy mounds of rotting leaves,
and stark stunning starfields
glimpsed at night between streetlight auras.

+=

I have a son who screams at night,
for no reason but the horrors of empty space —
ice-clouds engulfing the car on the way home,
as strapped into his car seat he watches the road
and the river recede through the rear window.
No reason but cold bedrooms and a sore stomach,
the clinging silence of clothes and books,
the terror of being in such a body.

+=

I'm waiting at the window
for some kind of reason or warning —
something in the rain, before it ends,
to let me know at last
where all of this is going.

==

No-one's Garden

Parin tends a garden owned by no one -
bushes growing stunted in the red brick dark
between two terraces; old wooden gates
that only he opens; a path from street to street
never used and usually never seen.

With no alternative and no one to stop him,
he plants parts of his own mind in the dry soil
along with the shrubs and the ivy:
blue clouds blown across a cold red sunset
as he crested the hill at Roundhay Park on his bike;

the cold air and the noise the fox made when Sajid
killed it behind the school all those years ago;
the way the motorway noise never ended at night,
eventually drove the cat insane and made her shit
all over the house, until Dad wrung her neck in a rage.

Parin buried her in the soft dirt at the edge of the park,
because their garden was only glass and concrete.
The soil between houses is hard and thirsty, but he's healing it.
He remakes memories on the city council payroll
every day, in this dark little space between lives.
 

A Ghost's Journey

The wind was driving the clouds insane -
terrified shreds flying off,
glowing sun-pink over the pine silhouettes
and foaming into a daylight moon.

We climbed the graveyard wall and crept
between the decaying headstones,
counting the years that have gone missing:
1843. 1875. 1912. All times as one.

Through a low stone arch, many tombs
like soldiers' markers in a quiet clearing.
The last time I was here, the sun marked me
as I invited the ghosts on my journey.

One followed, out of love. Now it was stormy,
and I'd returned, and no time had passed.
A new bench beside a new stone; statues
cut into an old sepia photograph.

I hugged her and kissed her hair,
feeling the energy between us. I wondered
if my ghost friend would stay or go,
if this was to be an end or another beginning.

Her mother sat smoking by the dead wife's grave
as we kissed, and the pines shook and crashed.
All time as nothing. All the death around us
had never happened - just life turning to life, forever.

Downflight

pink, smoky cirrus
accelerated sunset
35,000 feet

the Canada tundra
a jagged jigsaw
a desert of lakes

I only wanted
to stay high
in your arms -

crazy cloud,
never raining,
never dying.

Darkness Shaking

eyes closed
                      phosphor flashes
          earlobe heartbeat
pillow thunder
                      midnight quiet

prayers over
                      cool sheets
          cloudy blackness
growing deeper
                      sleeping shapes

hands vanished
                      air keening
          distant voices
faces floating
                      glowing weightless

heart racing
                      dizzy bedroom
          thoughts swarming
morning fever
                      darkness shaking

Cloud Bellies

cloud bellies
dusted red -
translator -
treetop, single leaf
rain kisser, free in the Autumn wind,
still under ochre sunset

this, my breathing into eternity
to witness the million greys and reds
of the Leeds evenings

Insect Orange

When the lowest clouds turned insect orange
I looked through you and saw stars, atoms, petals
realized I was flaking away like white iron
because you were breathing on me

you foamed in patterns of arms and legs
circled and eddied to iris and pupil
became a river to inhale me
became a screen to show me visions

the moon shivered like a penny
through cloud-branches, dead silence
summer cold, sun-music
singing like a child with my fingers in you

everything peeled off like fruit-skins
even time itself, we see each other
“luminous undying and translucent”
we are a fire within a fire

we are doors opening to one room
what we love is the part that is the same
recognizes itself and kisses and cries and comes
reaching out to itself like a baby

I never knew who you were, tiptoed
around you like an idiot not to wake you
let there be no morning, no endings
one of us dreams the other, let it not be me