Zen

we sleep together
she sighs
and turns away

this day of hope
I fight despair

the blackbird
warns encroachers
in a song

faded photograph
only her eyes
and lips remain

the balloon pops
her shriek dies

curled leaves
set forth bravely
across the pond

she casts away the quilt
I shiver
in the night

rain taunts
with scattered drops

empty verandah
grey boards creak
at my approach

she pays
then talks
about her pain

I mow
buttercups fly
into death

she breaks off
advocating equality
to scold the maid

he jabs with jokes
here comes
a killer line

family Christmas
excruciating cheer

the meal ends
guests narrowly watch
the folded bill

she glances through his life
then bins
his application

I gather wood
by the hollow tree
bees murmur strategy

she inserts shrewd questions
into conversation
like wedges in a log

stallion
galloping
rain streaming from his back

news of another atrocity
I tune in
to the mountains

the cat arranges baby birds
each morning
on the mat

she laughs
in another room
I writhe in jealousy

night cats
spit curses

the morning mirror
his anxious face

she leaves
the phone sulks

retrenched
his suits hang
unconsulted

laughter shrinks
she moves away

I write of love
she corrects
my grammar

take your time
he orders
impatiently

I’ll call
he promises
then slinks away

I bury my parents in a wood
ghosts remain at home

unnoticed
the old woman
skips across the path

savagely thrusting
his car into gear
her shocked face recedes

I crumple
a useless afternoon
tossing it away

they’ll miss me
at the party
no, they won’t

forgetting his argument
he prays
for interruption

toy racing car driver
snarl moulded
into tin

wild geese
beating the sky

three days’ rain
the frogs’
deafening joy

dark garden
a cricket’s song

the mountain basks in sun
we shiver
on the plains

crumpled party dresses
spring
has left the garden

sighing at
the severity of her diet
she butters a croissant

frozen smoke
of apple blossom

the wheezing rage
of a fox’s bark

last night
the dead rang
to wish me well

I shrink in a lighted house
dark freedom
stirs beyond

professing limitless friendship
he pours a pauper’s wine
with miser’s hand

Zen

Stephen Collicoat

Joined September 2009

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