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Love to Like

When does love
Turn to like?
Is it in an instant,
Triggered by an incident,
A specific event
That you can recall
And remember forever?
Something they did
That disappointed you,
Or, perhaps, more likely,
Something you did
That offended them.
Worse,
Was it all the things
You did
Together?
Or is it more gradual,
A long unwinding,
An erosion,
Like water on the rock
That you thought
Would never wear?
And does it only end in like?
Does love diminish
Even more than that?
When there is nothing,
No feeling at all,
Is that the very end?
Is that terminal?
Or is that
Just how it is?
Is that how love really is?
A process of decay,
A natural law,
A divine mystery.
At the beginning,
You cannot see an ending.
At the end,
You cannot understand
The beginning.

Being Young

Shouting
Wearing shorts
Knee scabs
The joy of worms
Always running
Never walking
First time tastes
Ice cream soda
Christmas morning!
Pets like pals
Alien girls
Forever friends
First time met
Eating for fun
Enemy vegetables
Stories in books
Comics
Television
Games at school
Laughing
Brotherly love
Mother as god
Father just gone
Crying
Growing up
Quieting

I Am A Man

In many ways
I am a man
Made up by many others:
By father, brother,
Sister, mother,
Grandparents and cousins.
I am a man,
Like any man,
Who’s formed by other people.
By friends and foes,
And those that know
My many lovely evils.
I made it work,
I played at work,
And then I made it out.
And now I’m free
To just be me.
That’s what it’s all about.
A man, they say,
Is born one way,
And some may say that’s true.
But I was born
To be myself
And not at all like you.
For not all men
Are made the same,
And I am quite unique.
I know it’s true.
I’m telling you.
There’s only one of me.
I am a man,
That’s all I am,
That’s all I want to be.
A man alone,
All on his own,
Unshackled now, and free.
And so I draw,
And paint and write,
And think on what I want.
And what I want
Is what I am.
I am a man, I am.

It’s the Ecology, Stupid

It’s the ecology, stupid.
Don’t you get it?
All those things we do,
Eating and drinking,
Everyday living,
Everything
That comes from us.
What we can’t help but do,
What comes out of us,
That’s the problem.
It’s the ecology, stupid.
What we make,
What we do with it,
What we don’t do with it,
How we ignore it,
How we don’t see it,
Don’t even talk about it
That’s the problem.
It’s the ecology, stupid.
All the birds,
All the bees,
All the flowers,
All the trees
All the going things.
All the dodos and the auks
All the moas and the aurochs
All the gone things,
They’re the problem.
It’s the ecology, stupid.
The way they die
When they’re near us,
The way they fear us.
Our casual killing
Of all the things
Now living,
Now going, going,
Gone.
They’re the problem.
It’s the ecology, stupid.
They’re not the problem, though.
The dying things,
The things we kill,
The things we ruin,
What we burn,
What we poison,
What we use and lose,
They’re not the problem.
It’s not the ecology.
It’s you.
It’s me and you.
Stupid.

A House

A house.
Four walls, a roof.
A container.
It keeps things in,
Lets nothing out,
Not even hope.
Feelings wither,
Unreciprocated,
Damaged,
Both, apart together.
Dreams die,
Strangled,
Unarticulated,
In these silent rooms.
Side by side
We sit and hide
From each other,
Unliked lovers.
Here, in this house,
We see only
Something
Neat, painted,
Well decorated,
Cracks papered over.
We do not see
Ourselves.
We have too different
Visions of love.
Perhaps nothing
Is what we wish to see.
This place is
A building,
Peopled,
But not lived in.
This is
A house.
This is not
A home.

Being Alive

Breathe.
A misty morning,
Spring, cool.
Voices far and near
Muffled
In the vapour.
Nascent sunglow
Diffused by fog,
In fret beneath
Hidden heavens.
Breathe.
Intake of cold gold.
Outswept brume
Of my ether,
Adding to all that is
Already there.
The taste of steel
On the still air,
Hometown flavour.
Breathe.
The metal seat
Is cool and hard
But there is comfort
In knowing it will warm.
A robin sings
It’s warbled warning
In the garden
I made for us both.
Breathe.
A small space
But my own.
A small life
But enough.
No need to go
Elsewhere.
No need to do
Other things.
No need to be
Someone else.
No need of anything
But being alive.
Breathe.

Love is a Nonsense

Love is a nonsense.
It is, isn’t it?
A stupid idea,
Perhaps conceived
In conception
Or some other
Fulfilment of need
From the time before we had
A need for words.
I mean, what is it for?
What does it do,
Love?
It lays a burden
Of duty,
Propriety,
On those it afflicts
It constrains the minds
And steals the time of
The lover
And, in return,
The loved.
It dilutes the power
Of concentration,
Of one mind
Focused
On one thing.
Because
Another thing
An other half
Is always in there
Demanding
Time, attention, obeisance,
More.
Leaving less
Of me.
Other love,
Brother love,
Mother love,
Love of family,
Love of friends,
That love is pure
Unqualified, unsullied, unselfish
Given freely,
Taken, and given back.
What am I saying?
Am I even speaking
Of love?
I don’t know.
Love is a nonsense.