Paeans - and Aches

over the years

Friday, January 01, 1999


The poems listed under this date were all written over the eighties and (mainly) nineties, but even if I remembered the dates, Blogger doesn't permit pre-dating before January 1999.

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Everything I Know

I know the sun comes up at dawn
And that it sets at dusk
That grass is something you find in a lawn
And elephants get turned on by musk
And I know, I know, that I love you.
I believe that good is its own reward
And that it’s worth it to have ideals
That, yes, there has to be a God
but it isn’t necessary to kneel
And I’m convinced that I love you.
I’m aware that summers get very hot
And that winters are usually cold
That black is black and white is not
But above all I don’t need to be told
I love you.
I’m passionate about snow and rain
And mountains, streams and trees
And bird calls, pine cones, winding country lanes
And wind-lashed stormy seas
But they’re dead without you.
I could spend hours in a moss-covered ruin
Or with a few chosen friends and a glass
Or with a book or a campfire or the moon
Or with a sunset over a mountain pass
But I could spend my whole life with you.

riff 5

Losing you.
That isn’t true.
Never had you.
And now I never will.

riff 3

And then
i found her,
But she,
she wasn’t
looking for me.

’Tis the season... Four riffs on Christmas

Christmas 94, 1

Merry Christmas, they say to me
as they hurry, homeward bound.
I sit like Scrooge in misery
with no one to put my arms around.
Writing mournful poetry,
chin sweeping the ground,
feeling sad for poor ole me,
lying unclaimed in Lost & Found.

Christmas 94, 2

Christmas is like Noah’s ark :
Couples Only or you can’t park.
All you solitary types,
lower your voices as you gripe.
Endure your 40 days of rain,
and excuse as we kiss again.

Christmas 95

This year, I said
i’ll stay in bed
won’t even try
to get ahead
what’s the point
of trying hard
its much safer
to stay on guard

Christmas 96

It’s that time of year

riff 2

There are two things I still like to do
with my eyes closed.
Sit down beside you.
And sleep.

Museum musings 2

Rain odours trickling through blocked sinuses
and there’s hope.
Thunder stage-whispering somewhere
it might happen still.
Feather-light raindrops on sweaty skin
maybe there is a chance.
Fingers of air stroking drooping leaves
and words that shrivel a dream.
Fluorescent carpet of fallen flowers
and a wish that curls up and dies.
Sun setting behind tie-dyed clouds
and grey thoughts.
A choppy sea sensed not seen
and turmoil that just won’t go away.

Museum musings 1

Fluorescent carpet of fallen flowers
and a wilting soul.
Sun setting behind tie-dyed clouds
and words that end a dream.


All week, there’s work to do
Masks to be worn
People demanding your minutes and your hours
There’s coffee to be drunk
And deadlines
I can even work Saturdays
Or drink myself silly and sleep
So many things to keep you away
But Sundays, what do I do with Sundays?


Some you lose
Some you don’t win
Some things end
Some never begin

I found a grey hair in my brush

Back then, I was immortal,
i knew i wouldn’t dye
when all was young about me
no chains, no string, no tie.
But i found a grey hair in my brush
and all is lost, alas
pray don’t jostle, please don’t push
for I am aging fast.


Back then when i was immortal
When i knew i wouldn’t - couldn’t - die
when we were inseparable
when we loved one another, you and i
      (do you remember that far back?)
we were wild. and so amusing
we had it all sorted out
more used to winning than losing
more willing - and able - to shout
      (now we talk in decorous undertones)
you’ve put on weight...i’ve lost some
and some hair as well
no longer pretty, not quite handsome
why exactly, we couldn’t tell
      (how deceptive, these telephones)
outside “our place” it’s warm and bright
but the conversation’s strained
not enough in common to start a fight
it might as well have rained
      (remember those silent walks in the rain?)
i found your jokes not as amusing
and somehow, i couldn’t make you laugh
      (Lots had changed, but then, so have you and i)

Mournful Country Song

Please don’t let me down easy
don’t try making it slow.
If you don’t love me
i wanna know.
Can’t stand the uncertainty
Can’t stand the wait.
Just finish it quickly
It’s not knowing that i hate.
If i have to get over you
i’d better start now
On second thought, maybe,
i don’t want to know.

All together now...

no money
and a deadline.
Why is it
always a


You’re everything I want to be
Do all the things I want to do
I’m consumed with jealousy
For a little while, can’t I be you?

Beach Haiku

A gentle push from the wind
A door creaks
Voices flutter through the trees

For better or verse - Three riffs on marriage


We fought
sitting together on that journey.
The old lady opposite
thought we were married, because
we fought
sitting together on that journey.
They must be married.
See, they’re fighting.


in five years
they’ve run out of things to say
two children
and not much else in common.
if that’s what happens to love
i’m glad i’m still alone.


And a warm meal
And a home loan
And what?

I also ran (and now i’m finished)

To love and lose is noble
All the world loves a lover
Even more so a jilted lover
but what about us poor saps?
The ordinary, ineffectual chaps
who don’t get the girl in the first place?
who were never in the race?
the ones who’re always in second place
or more likely, in third, fourth and seventh place?
No one writes ballads about us
we don’t go down in legend
we just go down the drain.

For M, with a smile

A teddy bear
is always there.
Around somewhere.
Whether or not
You care.
A little threadbare,
a cut, a tear.
Teddy bears
are always there.

Walking Alone

When you walk till it hurts
some of the other hurt goes away.
A little.
Circumventing puddles, navigating rubble
and keeping a sixth sense free for traffic
somehow creates a peace.
Of sorts.
But sometime, you have to stop walking.
You have to stop running

For my future wife, whoever she may be

you’re my strength
and my weakness
my work
and recreation
i live for you
i’d die for you
you move me
and keep me still
i’ve always loved you
i always will