Mown Down

There once was a girl with blue-tits

Standing on the corner

Of a dirty street

Letting them sing in the lamplight

At half past five on a wet autumn eve.


Lucky to have them

Printed on nylon, somewhere

In China in colours to match hers.

Lucky to be there, at the dirty

Street corner, no care but getting

Wet through the wet autumn eve.


Moving into the twilight

She breathes holes in

The air, past the day’s paninis

Left out by Cafes for tramps to eat

On loose-knit streets

Paved over fields, gradually, down

Decades, first cobbles then tarmac,

Bits of both, interweaved, gum daisies

Sprouting pink and yellow and green

 Through each kink-



About to cross the road

The blue-tits stop singing but

She ignores their hiatus and makes

For the van, white, common type


The blue-tits go red and

 Death fills the street.


New Year’s Eve, now and then

Drinking sweet

Liquor rum

In my brain

Thinking of

Cuba and you,

Together. Why,

When you are

Here and now

And that was

There and then,

But somehow

Intertwined round

The same bend

Of year, this

February time

That should be

Winter and isn’t

Spring. This

Fuzzy hiatus

Before the year

Begins in earnest.

The Chinese got it

Right, ours was premature,

Christmas merriment

Still mulling

Recognition through

Old Lang Sine,

Sung too soon.

Febbraio en Cuba,

February in London;

Two thousand and nine,

Two thousand and ten.

Alone abroad,

At home, with men,

With you, maybe.

More at sea than

When the Malecon wall

Fenced me off from

Them, males with

Bright, tall sails

Bobbing, skidding, winking

Through the sun-hot sheen.

Now the year’s

Stacked up its freight.

Destined where?

No ship’s docked

Yet, while me,

A girl, a rum girl,