Tag Archives: SJ Lavery

Christmas Past

There are tiles on the
hallway floor, drying.
A plank of wood
stretches from bottom stair
to front room.
We negotiate the abyss
before getting a present.
Everything else is lost
or forgotten.
Only this fragment remains.

Shepherd dress fashioned
from an old sheet and tea towel.
A ballroom dancing girl.
A bun in her hair.
Lily the pink.
Simon says.
Waltzing round a school hall.
Everything else is lost
or forgotten.
Only this fragment remains.

Two desks stand side by side,
in the sitting room.
A Meccano set,
with electric motor
is spread about the floor.
The kitchen is engulfed,
by steam and cooking smells.
Everything else is lost
or forgotten.
Only this fragment remains.

Snow on the ground.
Snow everywhere.
Delivering post in a greatcoat,
falling asleep at Aunty Nells.
A Hard Days Night
spins on the stereo.
Marys Boy Child is number one.
Everything else is lost
or forgotten.
Only this fragment remains.

Christmas Eve

A mellow fruitfulness.
A raucous ride.
A Victoria Line.
A Central Line
A Northern Line.
A 134 stuffed-full.
A mushroom wellington.
A glass of beer.
A vegan cream liquor.
A gift exchanged.
A slow spiral to –
A bed warm and ready.


An encounter one winter long ago.

Django played in the tunnels beneath Bank Station.
He fashioned a twisted scale,
that drifted on the air.
And he made me think of Morocco,
and the sweet fragrant smell of Marrakech.

Django: all awkward and angular,
with a mop of thick blond hair.
Had large bony fingers,
that made  me think of Christ’s,
bending round the cross.

Django hummed as he played.
More moan than tune.
It sounded raw and real, and how he could feel the music.
And he made me think of the Mississippi delta,
and the wide expanse of river rolling along.

Django spoke silently to me,
and I to him.
We acknowledged each other,
as familiar strangers do.
With a nod of our heads.

One Christmas.
He wore a velvet hat Trimmed with ermine fur,
and an Arabian cloak to keep out the cold.
And I though of Gold, Incense, Frankincense and myrrh.
And things like joy and goodwill to all like Django.

Django was the name,
sent telepathically to me.
And I thought of Django Reinhardt,
and his paralysed fingers,
and of those who are not as fortunate as he.

Django busked during the winter of 1984,
while miners struck and the GLC crumbled.
And the memory of him, brings into focus,
this current hard winter,
and how warm it is underground.



A Passage in the Snow

A ghost of Christmas past

The smell of mistletoe
and newly felled wood,
Through a flicker of candle light
and candle mass,
a figure emerges.
Decked-out in sack-cloth
and winter finery.
All hail the dark night
at the edges of our world,
unrefined and unbroken.
All hail the fondness,
we hold such simple things.
And the passing of time.
And the footprints,
so small and indistinct.
A passage in the snow.
A way we hope to go.

Eleventh of December #2

Small spooks feel
the pace a little
stronger than the
Whistle all you like.
Follow the same
well-worn paths.
Things will remain
elusive to you.
Greater things.
Somewhere –
in the middle distance.
Shake-off the trappings.
Those shrill songs,
maddening in their monotony.
Lay down with the moon.
Turn back and walk,
away from the fray.
Into the shards of
tomorrow and the day.

RIP Pete

Goodnight Pete Shelley.
A Punk original.
Without the surface sheen.
The light may have gone.
But the pulsebeat,
Carries on.

Winter Wonderland

Daylight dreaming, yesterday.
A place of fallen leaves.
Take the train to Cricklewood.
Graffiti out of Kentish Town:
A night on my mind.
Neither cold nor warm.
Just a windblown
kind of day.
Grey tones interspersed
by news of Winter Wonderland.
A snowless, autumnal experience.