The Slow Heart Pacing


it’s not so much the double push

one then again straight away

and noticing how it flips and floes

when i feel i am made of nothing

but blood reminds its home is here


up and back around renewed

so many tunnels to travel

so much dark time

and noticing you are not me and

i am not more of nothing


there is a way a hand or voice can change

that squeeze of sinew filling veins

of time with blood and you

the pacing heart moving across that space

on the way to slow forgetting


how to move that red that is not red in the dark interior

its not so much you as the second beat

the heap and heap of you

that presses my whole still life and moves it


sinew flicking through time

up and back, renewed.

245 days


The air is tangled

all around her

filaments in and out

of these breaths I count

the snug of her

against my side

warm that’s mine

but now her’s.

How can I know her

and not – ?

those days she spent

gathering herself from me

in and out with the


up and down of the two hearts

rubbing rubbing

chaffing life up.

As if this face has always

been with me

and is more my own

than the mirror or window’s

bright fleck of person.

But only this short time

the sleep of her

so enormous.




As the sky leaks

so will you

a minute apocalypse

of fluid

once seemed to be yours then falls

and you find yourself outside yourself

exacting callous flow

from time to time.

He cannot change this

small wonder

that leached your bones’ own filaments

the fine lines of marrow


from the sun or some explosion

in the sky

where all this seems to start

and end.

You see yourself

as structured from surroundings

like birds

who weather

wear the sky from claw to beak

themselves a drop of yolk

sunset pinched to yellow

the salt blue of that fellow

how the clotted bloodstream

twisted up with iron and elements

whose very names – nitrogen oxygen hydrogen –

are foreign outsiders marching

on time’s own order

not soldiers of the self

that pulled me from you and then on again

file after file

in a library of clouds.

Some days you are the sky’s

immense sadness

that speaks up and is surrendered to

blood cord taught

that ends all ends

and will conclude…



I would take all your injuries

and put them on my body.


The swell of blood up and out

would be my own.


The way it falls tearing out of you

to swallow in me and become


that magic river of pain and painless

that granted thing that once spilled


congeals and stains a dangerous red.

When you were born your whole skin held you


so complete yourself so fine and finished

the skin of your heel that spread to shape your eye.


I, breathless with wonder at what had fallen out of me ,

found falling the clasping point; the broken thing was me.


Made of blood and so brimming with it

that I could weep and weep and not lose you,


and you go and damage yourself against

this ramshackle world never to lose me.






The time filled day

plasters itself all over the body;

wears it like paper

frayed where it has torn.


There is the sweep of it

like the wind with its overing

and the broom with its hush hush hush

along the floor’s crevices.


Tidal with the moon and never

whiter than when it is

with its whiff of blanket fold

and the curve of it downwards.


It has loomed the blood

felted it with the gentle incessant rub rub

and now so fine thin

rice paper smooth; fragile.


Milked and trembling

the paper sky filaments

are all ready to rest;

moonbeam bones.





When I was a child

it was always autumn;

with the rain and fungus

the fruit and promise

the leaf-mould and running gutters

where fat worms wandered

through the clear as light water.

Once there was a frog,

grey and spangled at the thigh

exact yellow, exact black.

It would rain and I would wait

in the car and try to count

the droplets forming on the window

as they ran together like so many memories.

The cold would come and stalk

the stars at night

and in the morning we’d fog our laughing breath

and laugh at its whiteness

and how it came while we weren’t trying.

Exact fog white, the crispest kind.

In the afternoons we’d forget our woollen jumpers in the leaves

and traipse around at dusk

looking for that yellow cuff

in the places our games had travelled us.

We’d fill the green bucket with apples and

spend the afternoon cutting our woody

homegrown windfalls

to make jelly,

fingers were slit

and the blood was exact.

Strangely familiar

and unknown.