Behind The Wall
There’s something scratching behind the wall
in the dark above the kitchen
with the dust and the dead flies
around midnight, every night
above the wind moaning in the chimney
and the branches clawing at the roof tiles.
Through the holes where the pipes go
I imagine red eyes
with claws and gnawing teeth
to scrape through the comforting veneer
of any dream.
It is restless, fidgeting behind the brickwork
maybe it’s hungry, hoping for exposed fingers
hanging down by the bedsides
of unwary sleepers.
Think of the rodent skulls behind the shed
with the inch-long teeth
when the dream hurts.
Two Oak Trees on a Windy Night
Two oak tress on a windy night
catch the screeching gale in their ageing limbs
as it rushes down from Paradise Hill
with it’s shadows and half-dreamt stories.
Whatever walked upon that hill
those trees knew, as it shone bone-white
and crept into the dark corners
of the minds of those who saw it.
But with shadows gone, those trees watch over
the children playing beneath them
collecting acorns, that the squirrels would only eat,
to pelt at their friends until the light dies again.
A white ghost cuts silently through the still air
Eyes as black as the sky above
An angel’s face bobs like the moon on a river
A death mask to shine for the souls of the hunted
Lightning death strikes with a whisper of thunder
A clawful of knives and instinctive skill
The phantom assassin returns with it’s victim
To three hungry mouths still calling for more.
Time becomes a shadow, a distant whisper,
we are aware of not being alone,
A figure sits, still as the dead,
A laughing owl by his side, silent as a prayer
An aeroplane carefully tears open the sky,
as a twilight cat makes the between world his own,
The single flickering white light is stifled,
in the dark places where our dreams incarnate
For A Friend
Hidden from the street lights
the cats squeal and hiss
discussing their boundaries with claws and teeth
with fur on end, growing to twice their size.
Charlie returns a hero next morning
and from warrior to stately lord of the manor
we servants see to his battle scars
and the infected bite that made his face swell up.
Happily we pamper him in his convalescence
because we know we don’t deserve him
we appreciate his foibles and ignore the bathroom accidents
which weren’t really his fault, being shut in by mistake.
And when the carpet suffers his claws once more
we’re angry for at least two seconds
Until he gets his food and gives a purr
which says: “I love you really.”
He lay in the dark on his favourite chair
he was dying, crying, afraid and alone
so I went downstairs and sat with him while he cried
through the last night he’d be there for a friend.
The sun is half-hidden when he rises
The grey half-light takes time to slide away
Unveiling a mist creeping from the river
Tumbling phantoms I pretend not to believe in
A flickering streamer breaks from the trees
Every sense straining, each movement precise
No answer questioned, each need necessary
A glimmering instance of unconfined life.
The cats all cease their hunting and the owls go back to sleep
From far away come the early cries of cockerels and sheep
The morning dew still lingers on the ground like scattered diamonds
And the thick mists in the valleys make the hilltops look like islands
The shadows on the hillsides begin to slide away
As the golden rays of sunlight break through to start the day
The steep climb was well worth it to where my dad and I have just been
To the top of Rosedale Chimney just to watch the day begin.