Of Amber Have You Heard?

If that was your last sight…
if she was your last view…
it would also be your first.
You could go, contented that
you forced a draw on life.
Such are not formed to rise
before midday. They are not
the ones who cleanse their
mother’s legs of diarrhoea.
They are those we never spot
inhabiting our time; those we don’t
see past our shoulders as we
file another petty human crime.
There’s gold, there’s blush, there’s
smoothness, and the lines are kind.
That ratio! Those proportions.
Of another age or space. A better one.
A something almost half-conceived
in briefly elevated moments.
To be, to resemble, or to reach for that…

And yet, to be, to fail to sound like
or to equal, and to misembody that!
The eyes of Amber, how they circle
and they deepen into nothing.

The Weakness of the Ages

Remember that girl you thought
you loved when you were seventeen?
Check her. Won’t be hard.
See how far her face has fallen.
No one looks and sees the glory now.
Don’t dare to calculate the hours you
floated round debating if she liked you,
and how you’d journey further if she did.
Her, and all the others you can still
recall (to join the ones you’ve since forgot).
Ask yourself if efforts matched ideals.
And see that beauty’s only this.
(If beauty’s even what it was!)
Time. Time magnifies the worst and
turns us into grotesques of ourselves.
Time, turned backwards, shows us
for the shiny fools we were.

And then, when you became a man…
The days and nights you traded for

a sole intent. The weight of words and
vain preoccupations that your body left
your brain encircled by. The subjugation to the
whims of others. The ridiculous immersion.
And yet you managed well enough
without each other subsequently.
All recessed into their natural places
with just occasional remembrance.
The everything of once, the later nothing.

So elevate yourself, my son,
because it shrinks to this.
The pursuit of that which quickly
disappears will come to nothing.
Fix your clock up on a firmer wall!
Synchronise your hour hand and goal.
Know where the minutes are.
Seek diversions on the way,
but don’t let them define you.

Rakes and Reminiscences

I didn’t need to dig:
the evidence was there.
You, of the triumphant night,
so favoured by the lamps
and drapes, were made less
glorious by that sun of dawn.
The minute caves and forests
of the skin forever tipped
and froze some gauge inside.
An absolute became a horror.
Warm life, in blameless sleep,
became a death. The shock
of that first seen for what
it is did not supplant
affection, want, or ‘love’.
It was love that changed itself.
And if I saw you now, more
grained and graveward still,
I’d doubtless feel a jolt of
equal kind. So why then
would give my greater part
to let the light eat in once more?