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 shed 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 gentle glow

To give you just enough to light your way

Through pages to a world of gods & wars,

Of bronze and spears and horsehair-headed crests,

Whilst overhead a war of petrol raged, 

Of bombs, of gunpowder & 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, and pain,

A too-blue baby’s cry will light a lamp

To shed it’s gentle beams throughout your world,

A lamp that will withstand a hurricane.


(c) G Abbott 2017

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