Gorgeous boy, there is no need to overdress.
I can't urge you enough – ditch the artifice.
There's no need to bring me pricey black roses.
And you can lose that spider-spun suit as well.
Come to me naked – a simple myrtle sprig
bright between your teeth. Be mine, right here beneath
this cheerful old vine.
(first published in A Poetic Primer for Love & Seduction, Emma Press, 2014)
Prostrate birch –
what's with all the reaching?
So keen for something
that you can't get straight.
You lean. Invite me to
saddle up. Strong-backed
you speak to me
in mushroom and lichen.
green my tongue.
(first published in Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse, Emma Press, 2013)
The windows give onto a second room
that's been tacked onto the first; this second
room is a room of glass, a swanky green-
house in effect, and when the weather
becomes a room filled with things like fine
and bright and the heat becomes too much,
or when there is a need, as there is now
(for it is Bunny's eighteenth) for the flood
of words, of guests, to find a way into
something more than the sway of chat,
we swing the windows out and into
what once was garden, what now is not,
and the second room becomes all angles
and reflection. Light pings on repeat recede
and Auntie's crystal on the corner desk
trills – get me, in my multi-facetedness.
And Lucille strips down to her Jugendstil
rack, twists green feints across the walls.
And eyes darting, and words leaping –
this is us, we have become something.
And heat swoons at the unveiling –
the bone-white, perspiration-beaded
shoulder blades. And my niece shades
her eyes with dimpled fingers tipped with
five neat paddles, on each of which dance
nuns...in wimples. Only she is witness
to gulls (in glimpses) opening casement
after casement, thickly bordered with
white against the blinding revelation –
everything hinges. And the old girl, who
is fighting fit on talc and tonic, thick
with gin, swears down that there's a storm
coming. Her joints are singing – eggs
is eggs, there's thunder in the postbag,
the correspondence is all wet. And deep
inside the unlit quarters, beyond the rooms
both second and first, the kid that cannot
ride the heat, pads about on reluctant feet,
gathering, gathering strength to leave
the fans and shutters and space to be
in his pants and skin, to join the glittering.
The chink of glass, the iconic cutlery.
And it's all a-tilting, the incline of the cheek,
the nose to ceiling, the Darling! the clink
of green. The tart spumante of the pear tree,
around which wasps just fizz and bitch,
each gagging for a hit on this year's vintage.
And the North Atlantic Drift staggers
in its sleep, its lullaby of coast, climactic;
croons – hey niño, better run for it, kid.
(commended, Buzzwords Competition, 2013)