Monthly Archives: January 2018

Elegy to Another Year (A New Year’s Day Walk)

Goodbye, fair corpse.

A twinge of remorse

Grips me as I place my boot downwind

The frozen moan

Your twisted, blistered mouth uttered

Once upon a snowstorm

Not many days ago.


Sweet 68, according to your driving licence,

And you’re in your Gucci padded men’s down jacket,

Swing tag still on,

With your Scarpa Phantom walking shoes,

Still stickered,

That had never seen the sun

Before they saw the snow,

And your iPhone,

Fresh unboxed,

Wrapped in the warranty leaflet and the plastic protector film

(Not that you’d have got signal at this altitude).

A first-aid kit lies overturned

At your naked, blanched-white ankle

And a thermos cup sits palliatively

At your clenched, outstretched Sherpa glove.

And that is all.


You had dreamed of seeing your youngest son marry

And your grandkids graduate,

Then you sucked in your last breaths

And howled them out


Until the bitter end.


Their love for you just didn’t run warm enough, my friend.


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The Season’s Greetings

‘Happy New Year’:

The brassy, stand-alone shout

Of a snowflake-spangled round-robin,

From a self-made virile voice

Bristling with existential hubris,

In his starched, crisp-collared suit,

Sharp-edged and clean-cut a little too close to the skin,

Like the tell-tale redness

Of a freshly-sheared



You would not know

That a week ago, in his wake,

Had stood a bumbling old oaf

Dusty and musty and engulfed in cobwebs and tat,

If you had not invited the grey head to your hearthside

And watched your innermost longings commune

In the hallowed light of his sad, wise, warm eyes

With all the broken things of this world,

And fallen in love a little,


Before looking away

And quietly locking him back in the attic for the next eleven months

With tree, and tinsel, and plastic Santa Clauses,

Like a dirty secret.

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