eart racing, the raging storm is inside my head,
No sleep tonight, I toss and turn instead.
Thoughts running on top speed through my mind,
Some make no sense and not always kind.
I feel a little sick, my stomach is churning,
My aged body starts once again a fierce burning.
There’s no escape from this constant attack,
Exhaustion overwhelming, all seems so black.
Feel dark clouds gather, gloomily overhead,
It takes all my strength, to stop tears being shed.
It’s tough to turn a corner, when life seems full of woe,
When one after another, it’s blow after blow.
But I get up and go out in the cool morning air,
The weather’s getting better, sun peeking out as if it is on dare.
Lots of friendly greetings from all the passers-by,
I smile, pat dogs and remark on a beautiful blue sky.
I take in the stunning East Lancashire landscape,
This breath-taking scenery is my joyful escape.
Here I feel safe from feelings of dread,
It is the only thing for my heart and for my head.
A natter with a neighbour, catch up on local chat,
Talk of holidays and ailments and everything that goes with that.
The Canadian geese are noisy and boisterous on the lake,
A regal black head, giving lush plumage a gentle shake.
Horses still wearing coats, just in case the weather takes a turn,
Calmly chomping grass with a certain air of unconcern.
The farmer whistles to his dogs, they are taking to the chase,
Time to bring in the sheep, the dogs loving the morning race.
On my way home, I buy some lovely fresh baked bread,
To make a pile of sandwiches, filled with delicious spread.
A wonderful morning stroll over, I feel like I’ve been given wings,
So, looking forward to seeing what the rest of the day brings.
I recently learnt that I can melt cheese under my oven grill.
I lived here three years with butter and jam on my crumpets.
Now, I watch cheddar and mozzarella bubble and spread
across fruit bread, teacakes, pancakes, whatever will take it.
I have my very own place – rented, yes, a shoebox in a stack
of shoeboxes in the middle of a city – but I have grilled cheese.
I have a washing machine that leaks, but washes my clothes:
the suit I bought when I realised I just could, my plaid shirts.
I have an exercise bike. I don’t report to anyone, just turn on
the radio, gulp water, cycle my legs and dance in my head.
I have my fairy lights, my cheap little blue lamp by my bed.
I have a fridge of soy milk and raspberries and dark chocolate.
I kiss the walls whenever I move in somewhere, and whenever
I leave, but that doesn’t seem enough this time, here. All night,
cars whir like the sea, up and down our hill. Trams honk like geese.
I trace the perpetual light behind the blinds, and I know I exist.
Today I praise beige reliability
the carpet beneath my feet
the way it soaks up spillages
energy, dog hair, footprints.
Even when we vacuum every night
we always miss the corners.
We take it for granted. Without it
we’d mourn in a cold echo, finding
it difficult to explain to strangers
who had not met our particular carpet
especially in younger years, less worn.
When there was more bounce and
we felt held up, our naked feet
singing with joy.
Apart from when you rode away, suddenly unrecognisable in your leather armour, motorbike roaring as it took you out of sight, each Sunday parting just as painful, leaving me adrift, not knowing what was left, we have been together for 33 years… or so.
These days there are no frosty morning departures, you determined and huffing cold air as you flick down your visor, me worried that you’ll freeze, have an accident, not come back. Or summers, you too hot in your leathers, me worried that you’ll have an accident, not come back.
Now each morning my eyes open to the hump of you, your face almost reclaimed by the boy you, dreaming, or sighing, as you answer your alarm.
You. So different yet, 289,245 hours or so later, I feel that even our bodies have fused in some electromagnetic, non corporeal way, become one as we dance around the kettle’s whistling, knowing without saying that a cuddle is due.
For every one of the 17,356,284 or so minutes we have been merging, our bodies calling to each other across the 12 inches of upholstery as we settle into an evening’s tv watching, hands reaching as we walk into town, merging so that my-me knows your-me is feeling that 1,041,378,558, seconds was nothing and everything and not enough.
Carpet sighed as I sat down
Satisfied as bum met weave
We communed a while
Cup of tea glanced cannily up and winked – waiting to be swallowed
Sofa sang quietly at my back.
It didn t need to rest like me, stood for days on end, wondering eternally
Knowing the peace craved by humans
They stuck together and laughed hysterically when
they got wall-papered