Ready to be Reborn

the background breathing.
Slowly slipping down.
Setting-sail on a wide river.
With a mind attuned.
Focused not on here and now,
but on a place beyond the body.
The place where the soul goes.
Swaddled and ready to be reborn.

Cat Memories

Folding and unfolding.
Sleeping on your chest.
Needing, back and forth.
Back and forth.

How many cats,
have claimed their rightful place,
at the centre of the space,
that was formally called yours.

Returning selfishly,
all on their lonesome.
With ears primed,
for the footsteps of others.

With tractor purrs
and round the houses wriggling,
napping momentarily,
before moving on.

Leaving a memory.
A placeholder.
A warm spot.
Inside your collarbone.

Dead Fingers Talk

From an angle
and the city.
In a cold dim place,
as potent as lightning.
Like there’s been
some kind of ritual killing.
Burn its remains
as quickly as possible.
Deal with the body
the way you would,
a long hard winter.
Say without saying,
render into nothing.
Form squares in the sky.
Make lipstick with light,
and molasses clear.
In the shadow of the tower
on a motorway, west.
Feel the darkness around.
Feel the dead fingers talk.

The Isle of Lindisfarne

This is the news
no one expects to hear.
A collection of words,
spare in their simplicity.
A span of time,
too short to write a book.

But long enough:

to write a poem, compose a letter,
say farewell to friends and former lovers.

Long enough:

to make amends.

To cast out on the North Sea,
feel the salt air in your hair.
And sail on,
on to the isle of Lindisfarne.


Stones on a gravestone.
On a bright September day.
Visitors come and go.
Leaving messages –
tapped out in Morse code.
Rattling out their alphabets
of dots and dashes,
with umpteen variations.
And the three circles
of the trinity, symbols of eternity.
Of the great continuum,
that happens long long after.
Never still, never silent.
Always present, always there
like the stones on a gravestone.

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.