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

What Is A Fire Without Flame?

a dispassionate mound
of glaucous ash
the warmth lost
ready to die out
at any moment

or rather

a scattering of embers
the reminder of warmth
we shared
when flames flickered in frivolity
kissing and caressing
kindling and coal
when white,gold and ochre
danced
as strong as they could 
for as long as they could
to the gentle chaotic rhythm of crackling
shades of silver in the hearth
silently whispering
Live Life Like The Fire.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this poem and are having a great day.

Take it Easy

Paul

Image courtesy of Canva.

Dedication

I felt it was an insult that
each new street
was named after
a different species of tree
they chopped down
a lasting dedication to
rapid decimation
of the ancient woodland and hedgerow
their deaths were dealt so swiftly
that the hawthorn berries
didn’t even get time to bleed.

Now when I walk past
Oak Avenue, Ash Drive & Beech Terrace
each brimming with life
I think of the bricks, mortar and glass
I believe the woodland remains
just in a different guise
and the dedication isn’t an insult
but a celebration of what came before
that the trees that once thrived there
are a solid foundation for new roots to form.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem, feel free to leave a comment if you wish.

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

Looking Through The Window

On Wednesday morning
with my eyes closed
I looked through the window
and listened –  to –
the natural percussion
of pouring rain
drumming
against mottled flagstones
creating a cacophony of calm
in the storm of my mind
not quite serenity
but not far off.

I hoped you enjoyed reading this poem. Feel free to have a look at my other work or leave a comment if you wish.

Take It Easy

Paul

December Nights

finding comfort 
in a chunky knit sweater
and sherpa-lined socks
hands clasped around my favourite mug
the steamy scent of hot ginger wine
waltzing in the air
with the aroma of an oud wood candle
while the crackle of beechwood
burning on the tv
soothes selflessly
the hardest choice I have
is deciding what book to get lost in.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this poem.

Paul

The Display

remember that time you had fun
watching the fireworks fly
rivers of light flowing across the sky
whilst a tower of kindling burned nearby
well aware the scent would wrap around your clothes
inhaling the ashen smoke through a crimpled nose
sipping hot chocolate
with friends by your side
watching people queue
to gorge on something fried
those were great times
and the photos we captured
show sincere elation
like the one that caught you laughing
when someone shrieked at the shrill
of a rocket in ascent
an excitable reaction that you’ll never forget
and the time you wrote expletives
with a sparkler in the air
and people were frowning and you didn’t care
but now you’ve joined a group on Facebook
whose culture is to cancel and signal their virtue
I know this is a display
and I’m really sorry for you
that you’d rather be passive and see the world in grey and beige
than admire the spectrum free of echoed rage
banning the possibility of fun
when you’ve already flew close to the sun
and enjoyed the inferno on your face
is a bit of a hypocritical disgrace.

It was you who once told me
the reason why fireworks will always be fun
and bonfires welcome
is what they represent
the overthrow of control
by those who have been oppressed
so rather than call for a blanket ban
add some fuel to the fire
and inhale the memories of fun
washed in smoke.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem inspired by the rise of cancel culture and hypocrisy.

(Image adapted from Jamie Street via Unsplash)