Don’t do anything
Don’t do anything, don’t go anywhere,
don’t say anything, the water whispered,
and nothing will happen, you’ll be safe,
don’t rock the boat. The water in spate
then roared, keep still, you’re too small,
lie down and surrender to the waterfall.
People are like atoms
People are like atoms in molecules
bound tightly with other atomic people
as elements or compounds, stable/unstable,
in tension with the heat of passion,
volatile reagents, heavy waves of opinion,
wicked catalysts in the rolling news.
I’d go to mass only I haven’t got the energy.
The fearless old lady of Wood End Road
It’s raining but she walks with a stick,
its ferrule worn to thirty-three degrees.
Her feet are tiny but aright, her smile ready
to reply a morning to my good morning.
White hair under beret. Not tall.
I saw her walk with ski poles when it snowed,
the fearless old lady of Wood End Road.
I am a time traveller
I am a time traveller, same as you.
I travelled here from the nineteen-fifties
and I hope soon to visit twenty-twenty-two
and further into the future as well.
It’s always lovely, entrancing to see
old ones when they’re young, to meet
other time travellers in their home places
but heartsore to hear them wail.
Baby blue sky
Baby blue sky of November,
a touch of jaundice around your nape.
Nibs full of microscopic people
are drawing white lines on your face.
There are people walking behind me
There are people walking behind me,
I hear their steps and distant voices.
Will they see me looking here and there
At a willow or a birch, elm or linden,
A tree fern in a pretty garden? I wish
They would turn away somewhere
Because they make me feel uneasy,
Yet I laugh to imagine them saying
There’s a man who knows his trees.
I know nothing. Leave me in peace.
Photo: The Thames at Deptford, 25 Nov 2021