Author Archives: sjlavery

Especially When It Snows

for Boty

© 1996, the estate of Adrian Mitchell

especially when it snows
and every tree
has its dark arms and widespread hands
full of that shining angelfood

especially when it snows
and every footprint
makes a dark lake
among the frozen grass

especially when it snows darling
and tough little robins
beg for crumbs
at golden-spangled windows

ever since we said goodbye to you
in that memorial garden
where nothing grew
except the beautiful blank-eyed snow

and little Caitlin crouched to wave goodbye to you
down in the shadows

especially when it snows
and keeps on snowing

especially when it snows
and down the purple pathways of the sky
the planet staggers like King Lear
with his dead darling in his arms

especially when it snows
and keeps on snowing

A Ok

Round corners.
Tickets on the guest list.
Tomorrows undecided.
Feel that fleeting
sweep of indecision.
Those fast-shifting clouds.
Let’s celebrate.
Let’s say that everything
is a ok.

Remember Backwards

Right, it’s the.
Right thing to do.
The skin that shines.
The way we are.
When we pretend.
When we see an end.
Something that stretches
to the never end.
Ever remember, ever
count backwards –
one, two, three.
Ever see the light
on the horizon.
Stretch from nowhere
to somewhere then
back again, again.
Ever remember backwards.

Georgiana Street

Here is a link to Georgiana Street Housing Co-op’s new site.

A Burglar in Bright Daylight

The helicopter, a corpulent,
double propellerd beast.
Follows the line
of Camden Road.
So low you can
almost see inside.
Its noise cancelling out
all traffic and human speech.
Deafening us down
on the street.
Later I read the news –
it was that famous blowhard
making a landing
in Regents Park.
Avoiding the great unwashed,
at all cost.
Entering via a back garden.
Like a burglar in bright daylight.


70 years and still there.
Abused and battered,
left out in the rain,
for far too long.
A forgetful old friend,
helpful to the end.
You mender of hearts,
bones and so much more.
Many times you’ve
made me whole again.
Kept me in until
the storm is over.
Even the privileged
make use of your skills.
Long may you live.
Long may you disprove
all who wish you ill.

On the High Road

A sunny afternoon
on the High Road.
A parade of sorts.
Of short sleeves
and short dresses.
Of exposed tattoos
and soft summer fabric.
The pace is slow,
sluggish some may say.
In and out of
pound shops and charities.
Sitting at pavement cafes.
Steaming on a bus.
Face a gleaming.
Mouth as dry as tinder.
Windows open, air still.
Dead shops lingering
for longer than they should.
Missing teeth in a mouth
that’s getting older.
The sweet strawberry
of a vapers vape.
Fresh fruit, and
rotting vegetables
of a rubbish truck.
Heat rising in a haze
from the pavements.
It’s just like Greece,
someone says.
Only with less dust
and a lot more pollution.