Hope, Bottled

I remember how
my hand fit into yours
with welcoming ease
and the warmth of your skin
heated my tepid fingers
as we walked along the beach

the North Sea was trembling with chilling intensity
– as we skimmed stones
plucked fresh from champagne-gold sand
they wisped over waves
their light friction warming the water
and calming the sea

I told a joke about blushing lobsters and seaweed
you laughed because it was so bad
and the frame of your face
lit up the dusky sky
better than the distant hilltop fire beacons
could ever hope to

I’m hoping this has all has gone to plan –
that some years have passed –
and our hands still fit each others
that the message I buried in this bottle
is not lost to the tide
like so many other romances
and we’re reading this in the spot
where we sat and snuggled that night
stargazing at the peach-kissed setting sun on the horizon

      – because I know that I will love you forever.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem dedicated to my beautiful wife, Christine.

Take it easy,

Paul

That Shirt

that thick cotton shirt
shade of  deep midnight
with moon-silver thread 
glistening ethereal under streetlights
wearing it
felt celestial
so I only wore it once
for our first date
drinks and pizza
looking at each other
over red gingham cloth
and flickering candle
wax dripping down
an empty bottle
of last week’s
house wine
conversation mostly answers
to silent questions
asked with eyes
and the curve of
nervous lips
I tried to be a gentleman
and pull out your chair
as we were leaving
the waiter saw it as an affront
for which I apologised
to show I was a gentleman
and when we hugged goodbye
I felt our cheeks touch
both warm with wine
and affection
so when I see
the same shirt
folded neatly in your drawer
close to the memory box
and wedding album
I catch a glimmer from
the moon-silver thread 
that helped stitch
our lives together
I believe in magic.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem, dedicated to my beautiful wife.

Take it Easy,

Paul

Winter Walk

Zero degrees C
in the peak of midwinter
we wrapped up warm
in wool and polyester
pulled on our boots
thick with suede upper
and gripping rubber soles
primed and ready
to walk the forest
its floor frosted white
glamourising the
natural litter
of fallen acorns and amber needles
we held each others hand
through our scandi grey gloves
a) for support since I was clumsy
and b) for love
we looked out over
the blank frozen fields
and into the feeble glare of
a weakened winter sun
some chimneys breathed in the distance
a sign of life going on
while time stood still
as we tightened our hands
our minds raced
to what the future would hold
luckily for me
I still get to hold you.

Thanks for reading. Thanks to freestocks on unsplash for use of the image.

Take it easy,

Paul

An Early Date

A cornflower sky
littered haphazardly
with spluttering wispy pearls
housing an effortless sun
watched over us
as we dangled and dropped
twigs of beech, ash and elm
into the dawdling waters below
our knees planted
porous
on the sandstone bridge
absorbing some of its history
our eyes followed
the branches ferrying
along the river
stroking and slapping
against limestone and basalt
we were quiet and thoughtful
wondering where they’d end up
wondering where we’d end up
and although sometimes
silence can be deafening
on that day
the silent moments we shared
only spoke of our serenity
with each other.

Like the river
we’ll continue our meander.

Home

I felt at home
in Copenhagen
at winter’s twilight
under the glow
of warm vintage lanterns
our breathing visible
through knitted woollen scarves
the air was kissed
with scents of
cinnamon, clove and citrus
the nearby sounds
of mirth and merriment
interspersed with delighted
roars and screams
from the roller-coasters above
warmth came
from holding your hand
and the chewy crunch
of sweet-spiced almonds
while opulent flakes of diamond snow
fell graciously
each one uniquely dazzling
lining our pathway
already a vivid spectrum of technicolour
we sat on plastic and pine stools
dropping kroner into the palm
of a great Dane
and laughed with love
as we tried to make wooden horses
gallop to the end of a straight line
taking our time
appreciating life
as it’s meant to be.
Together.
That’s why
I felt at home in Copenhagen.