Author Archives: sjlavery

Valentines Day, 2020

Reality feels so damn disappointing.
A scratch on a pristine car.
The difference between black,
and everything in-between.
Inhabitants of earth take this very badly.
Take it to the razors edge, sometimes.
Come play with sticks and
throw them in the stream.
Hurl with all your might.
And watch them float away.
Happy Valentines Day,
is what I meant to say.


Say we walk in spiral.
Circulate about the place.
Circumnavigate in style.
Open with a poem.
The man in gabardine says,
with unflinching certainty.
There will be copious
rhyming couplets.
But no central meaning.
Thrown-out the way
you chuck rubbish out.
Down chutes to collective bins.
While whispering with that
old style of singing….
The moon in June.
And I have a memory
of that drunk on the 134.
Ranting-on about effervescing.
With a plastic two litre
cradled beneath his armpit.
I could feel the exasperation
seething from his point of interest.
A well dressed older lady
who fielded his insights
with the skill of a professional.
(file-away as accustomed to intoxication)
We shall fade out now,
as the bus turns into Camden Road.
And the ripple of people moving,
in sweaty exodus, head towards the door.

Time Travel #2

Wake up, wake up !
It’s time for a séance.
We need to summon-up
the past and make it real.
And the only way of
doing this is by being
a breath away from.
From everything a-crumbling.

Wake up, wake up !
Slither out of that imperfect
skin and return to perfection.
With all body parts intact.
The scars of life,
how they trail away.
No time like the present.
No need for a map.
You know this place.
Every wardrobe and street-corner.
The route to work.
The place you call home.

Wake up, wake up !
It’s time to be that person again.

The Old Merry-Go-Round

The old merry-go-round,
scratches into action.
Once again curling its spurs.
Horses, fixed horses.
Going nowhere but a-round.
Make them gallop.
Make them jump.
Work them though they’re crippled,
by years of repetition.
No canter to a quick end:

The cold rusted gun.
Stroking a silver mane.
The click submerged beneath
a steam organ drone.
Burned beneath a pile of wood.
Delivered to the atmosphere.
A ghost rider in the sky.

And the old merry-go-round,
scratches into action.

Christmas in Vietnam

The Christmas music in Saigon
Is enough to drive anyone insane.
Strange glockenspeil renditions of
Carols and familiar festive tunes.
Even George Michael is remembered.
Forever consigned to a Last Christmas.
Frozen in an Alpine Ski Lodge.
All buffant hair and heavy coat.
Chiming, imbibing, living on fresh air.
So distant from the man he would become.

A Strange Cacophony

What a gathering.
What a host.
How they all played,
not quite together.
See-sawing through a tune.
Like a drowning man,
signalling to the shore.
What a cacophony
said my companion.
But I point-out
the unwritten rule.
The one that says:
even when you’re
not quite together.
You’re more together
Than the dangerously
The bumbling fools.

Forward Motion

The scent of morning
as it flows into midday.
A perfect end,
to a special slice of time.
Meet me at two thirty.
When the afternoon
is in full swing.
A round wheel spinning
in forward motion.
Hold out your hand.
Feel the cool air, venting.

Time Tunnel

or the end of British Summertime.

Mojo the navigator,
turns onto an unfamiliar road.
Got my man-boy workin.
Says the puppet master,
breathing-in a shot of rarified air.
Only lovers of pure CO2
will be left alive by the end of the month.
That glorious day when nothing happens.
Just the clocks keep on ticking an hour behind.

Untitled 1

Marching through thin air.
I become old.
Unswervingly fragile.

Hovering outside,
on the perimiter,
sit the ghosts of real people.

Narrow tendrils of pain.
That sting again, again and again.

The Whirligig

Imagine taking a pill,
to make everything all right.
Fixing those things
that can’t be fixed anymore.
How come it’s all been undone.
The silk thread running
through the tapestry,
is through unravelling.
Grotesque is now normal.
A whirligig has wiped away calm.
Imagine just one day of peace.