the song you most loved then
followed you and helped with homework,
revisits at odd moments like a lover’s text messages.
bringing pictures of water — some surf or current,
opening into softer days and safe evenings.
memory and imagination — nonidentical twins
we redress anything or anyone for finer times.
strangely humming a new tune you dreamt once,
relying on creative impulses lately like family favourites.
dark ages promise dazzling opportunities
fresh journeys tackling old obstacles — bring torches.
we could discover better ways to stand this war
to lie down may mean we’re tarred over.
another roadway lining crooks’ pockets.
battles on paper bloody minded,
bursting egos and wallets as hungry as crocodiles.
then that tune again and flicker of a photograph
forced awake to connect answers in need like friends.
a machine of words to drive us out of here
into the new place we promised ourselves.
away from hasty hopeless plans
bursting into messages of light — reborn, already loving better.
young women pass in tight clothes
bright pink skirts and fond song memories
the careful hands of a nurse
gentle sunshine before the ozone hole
a hand-written letter
wondering if I need to explain
the part this dirty street plays
in our suspension from alternative schools we built
secretly learning better then found out
seagulls fly low along the roads at 3am
searching for food wrappers and passed out teenagers
I move instead to where the sun plays
catching warmth as old as life itself
preparing to face the day alight
they’d have burnt me years ago
scorched many clever lovely women and men
dumbed down entire countries for ego-boosts
now some pile insults and lies about my feet
and wish their heaped words could suffocate or bite
those people speaking snakes and toads
repulsive animals jumping from their slack mouths
lives of stone and moss
as sad and predictable as laziness after bullying
but I watch nothing but my weight
light enough to float out of unwelcome pictures
any day could imitate a cloud in sunlight
hope penetrates deeper than any evil brief