Engine

!Speeding up to an amber and beating the red
That’s my life, that’s me - revving -
Tyres worn and alloys chipped
I have skidded, spun and slipped through

And I want to slow down, believe me
I want a passenger, I want to take corners like butter
I want to idle through leafy scenic routes, I do 

But even now I want to get to the end of this poem
See it in the rear-view, drop my pen and sit in neutral,

See, I'm simultaneously scared I’ll take the wrong turn
Or I’ll get to wherever I think I’m speeding to grey and alone.

Anyway, for now, 
Windows down, wind in my cheek,
Sun on my skin, ‘Is all i need.

-revving-

Compass

on my way to Jeddah, i saw a man
step down from his lorry
put his knees to the earth and bow;
i am not proficient at reading the stars
& i don’t know where North is
but there was something about the devotion of
a man shadowed by his lorry
knowing his cardinals and touching his forehead
to the earth that reassured me;
i too will always know where God is.

It is still two minutes to midnight

there’s riots here, fires there
protests in the east, suppression in the west
annexation in the north, secession in the south,

pointing fingers, sure that if they ruled,
if they had the power, if they had the keys
the right seat at the high table,

there will be enough – no, more than enough
this time, they say, the earth will sprout green
& the sky will bring rain in due season,

it is still two minutes to midnight.

Silver Anniversary

Eventually, my military drilled
boarding school stationed
karate black belt dad
gave up on moving mum’s heels
from the living room, scarf from the sofa
flats in the kitchen, earrings by the china
getting there on time…

and she too has ignored
his bullet proof snores, CNN & caffeine addiction
phlegymy wake up coughs
toothpick picking, salted peanuts snacking
talking to strangers when she wants to go home timing

and they clink their non-alcoholic glasses
to another fifty years of acceptance.