Sheep/Sleep poem


The white sheet of sleep

stretched taut

falls to the arrowheads of your cries

(black sheep laughing at the end of my dreamstring)

that hand – yours or mine?

the hair in my mouth

the breath wet on my cheek

(small and quick woolsteam)

it would be love making,

but that’s already done

and now you’re here

(vernix slipping unabashed all three bags full)

the world’s darlings

writhing howling in my arms

with your curls akimbo

(yes sir yes sir)

it takes hours for

that moonshine cloud

to spread across us

(the little boy who lives down)

calm is

tucked at the edges

and wrinkled – only –  by ourselves.

(the master and his dame)



now, looking down

we feel the stunt of our own bones

these thick limbs grown on the ground –

yours taper : made of wind,

sea air – the stuff of storms

wheeling over white caps

their own colour exposed


your head drowses now,

the last lick of high tide:

beak breastbone wingspan

larger than life

one foot gone

feather mounted

straight onto bone


what once was

fishing rising in the updraft

life far from the

circle of nest egg

clack of mother’s beak

the streak and wonder of flight


now we take ourselves

away from your washed

torn wet sand pressed form

even though we have

so many questions

to ask you

children turn away now

time to go.