Washing Up

Easing brittle rim of plate
into warm wetness of sink,
a flicker of aroma rises
and, ah, there!
Recollection, arching like a cat,
swoons into a flash of what we shared last night;
and I stop for a moment, smile.
This, too, is making love.


Poem For a Sleeping Sooz

Funny, since I am a man for whom
Words are the loom
On which we weave our loves;
The warp of agonies concealed,

The weft of bliss confessed
All formed, or so I thought, a part
Of the proper garments of the heart.
Lacking such, love went about undressed.
Yet how much, so much more expressed
By this sleep-heavy arm

Thrown across my chest!

Published “The Spectator” Saturday 23rd June, 2001


Despair comes, a red-eyed crow,
thick beak tearing at my living brain.
“Cheer up!” you say, but what do you know?
I shake my failing fist,
it rises, circles three times
and lands again.

Published in “Dreamcatcher” issue 8, 2001

Calder Valley, June, 2002

Shattered tooth majesty of a derelict mill.
Flash of sunlight through broken cloud.

A bus disgorges Asian girls,
slender in shalwaar-kameez.
Streamers trailing, a flight of dragonflies
comes laughing up the street.

Knuckled up fist of hill crouches.
Summer here is brief.

Published “The Spectator” 21/6/03


As in your childhood home there was a lamp,
Bottle of brass beneath a gourd of glass,
Which shone its gentle beams about your world,
A world of wooden walls & iron roof,
Of packed earth floor & snails in the well,
A light which shed each night it’s tender glow
Giving just enough to light your way
Into a wider world of gods & wars
Of bronze and spears and horsehair-headed crests,
Whilst overhead a war of petrol raged, 
Of bombs, of gunpowder, of screaming men,
So you’d grow & the world encroach with fists
And teeth and wolfish eyes, gazing, glaring,
Then darkness, howling, secrecy and shame
Til, after many darkened years of pain,
A too blue baby’s cry would light a lamp
To shed it’s gentle beams throughout your world,
A lamp that will withstand a hurricane. 

G Abbott 2017

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