The lonely tree
There is a pain, like no other for me,
the pain of knowing you are together
and I am here.
Locked down, locked away.
The primary classrooms when too tall I towered out of the peer group clusters,
The secondary scythes of wop, diego, spik.
The secret of the shameful family split,
not washing our dirty laundry in public.
I do now.
The only one to not go on the ski-ing trip,
The Littlewoods T-shirt instead of the longed for Fred Perry,
The spots painfully burning me into the darkest corner of my bedroom.
The southerner in a northern town
torn by Tory shipyard closures,
the striking miners
holding out buckets
to my imagined rich, southern, hands,
whilst I dreaded the knock of police
for a fraudulent bus ticket
to save some money.
Lucky to have a full grant,
or I could never have gone.
more secret shame,
Nothing here to talk about,
people don’t want to hear it,
please move on.
To India, Israel,
searching for what was lost,
not knowing what it was I was looking for
not knowing its form.
And then I found it,
thought I’d keep it
in the back streets of a dockyard town,
shared food and stories
music and late night talking,
whole flocks of us
debating, berating, falling in and falling out
but I couldn’t stay within the terraced streets
the small, warm pub walls
I wanted wild space so I could see the stars.
maybe I should have stayed
in those days
where I was part of the crowd.
Landing in a new place
damp and cold
too far away for visitors and too new to be a local
But the coallescing of a moment
the future wide open.
Then the winds blew
the tides changed
the seasons turned,
and moved on.
I had hoped the ring would secure the missing thing,
but it trapped the hope in fear,
never lonlier than
with a body
The circle of gold making it hard to leave.
Yet when I did
there it was again,
the mothers at the school gates,
the play dates, the shared sausages and dip-dip
the horse children, hide and seeking
the mothers sharing
until the children aged
and moved on
to the big school
where our presence was no longer required at gates or sports days or proms.
Shining at times
in offices and corridors,
tales, tears and hilarity
people moved on.
People always seem to move on.
I had imagined that
one day I would
find the bright treasure
that I would be finder and keeper
of its safe
My childhood dreams
of a large and loving
with a farm house table
filled with elbows, leaning in the listen and tell,
where teaspoons clinked on mugs
I wonder if there are people for whom it fits snug,
knowing they are warm,
Maybe it is me.
Maybe I do not know how to keep the nestling safe
inside of me,
maybe it can’t take root in my restless
I am locked down and out in the cold again.
You are there and I am here,
and whilst we connect electronically,
whilst I know that I want you and you want me,
whilst I know that this is how things must be,
I am a horse and I need my intuitive wise herd,
my roots need myceloid connection.
I want to break the law,
break for the border,
ride wild wide and bareback to join you,
to feel part of something larger than me,
somewhere that I am one of the parts of this great forest of beings,
where our roots entwine to feed,
where we may lean against each other’s trunks,
where we might rest in each other’s shade.
For this has been a year of storms
and no tree should face the thunder of