Personal, Poetry

2016

the smell of 2016:

sickly-sweet incense from zara
feline diarrhoea
her house, a mix of essential oils with underlying tobacco
a going-off fridge
a dog
and, right at the end, Hillside

the taste of 2016:

increasingly good wine
several pizzas
late-night burgers and
too much Red Bull to keep me going
coffee, of course: shitloads
that horrible fluid that dentists use
and, right at the end, the brilliant Laphroaig Lore

the feel of 2016:

finally, a comfortable bed
dust underfoot and all in disarray
a muscle snapping, a nail ripping off
the ground reaching up and slapping me in the face
the dentist’s finger holding down my tongue
hand over my face and
the memory it produced
her hands, always cold and
her hugs, always warm
the breeze blowing through the flat
and the fuzz of the fake fur blanket in winter

the sound of 2016:

voices rising in a chorus again and again until perfect
duets that wove their stitches beneath my skin
her voice through headphones every Sunday
and hers, calming and low when I needed it
Bowie’s new album, number one when he died
and Space Oddity accompanied by the sound of sobbing
the radio babbling late into the night
as I sat drawing shapes at the kitchen table
voices on the phone: tremulous, desp’rate, unsure
and my friend’s: urgent, sad, defeated
a couple of songs I wrote, a few still unfinished
and the pounding of my heartbeat in my ears
and the soothing throb of the waters in the pool

the sights of 2016:

his face, ashen under hospital lights
and the gunmetal skies under which I walked home
hers, that final day, bony and stricken
the cat rolling comfortably on the grey sofa
a rainbow, a spectrum from bedroom to bats
an oasis of calm in the Glastonbury mist
her face for the first time beckoning me in
her smile and his in the pictures from travels
myself in the mirror, a changing reflection
Renaud on a stage, then tattooed on my back
an array of books and an arsenal of bottles
and the smoke curling gradually away
and the light through stained glass windows as I sit and pray
and the clouds through the living room window all day
and the single star hanging at night lights the way
as the year fades away
well, good riddance, I say.

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