Category Archives: Closer to the Flame

If tonight were the last night of the world

If tonight were the last night of the world
I’d regret not having taken time
to listen
or even really sound you out
about the things that deeper lie
against your heart than mine.

If tonight were the last night of the world
I’d wish I’d kissed you, Ruth
upon the mouth;
embraced you Allen,
let my arm along your shoulders lie
in comradeship;
dropped a word of love
on you,, Roseanne,, when most I saw
you needed it
 and least expected it would come

If tonight were the last night of the world
I’d wish I could once more, before I go,
walk upon the mountain tops
hear the needle fall
listen to such vast silences
they make the earth grow small.

If tonight were the last night of the world
I’d sit here talking quietly to you
before this fire
holding hands
watching the embers fall
knowing that what’s gone
is gone now, past recall.



At times like these I feel the years upon me

the slow aching in my limbs

as reluctantly they face the floor

for yet another chastening day

the downward curl of lips as jowls sprout

yet another line.

Ah gravity! You’ll make jelly of me yet.


The season of snow’s upon me

the light november warmth caresses only slightly

as the sun passes the thrusting tips of the maples

it seems I planted only a hundred years ago.


Deep deep down, curled among the roots

somewhere a burrow there must be

a place for me in significant soil

where I can sleep the season through

to waken only when the sun has kissed the crocus

and the melting snow has breached my winter coat.


O then to spring again . . .

white and tough, pushing up through the sward

to the springtime world above knowing that

though winter comes

the earth in this enchanted land will nourish

me a thousand seasons through,

that my own thoughts

like leaves each season blown

return to earth that richer makes them grow.

unstoppable male thoughts

And now for something completely different. I make no apologies for this. Men are incorrigible when it comes to women. I wrote this when I was much younger and it really is about a young woman I worked with. There’s no hiding that male lust comes upon us inadvertently, and though I’m now well past this manifestation of it, I still laugh at the feeling. I hope you do too.


There’s a girl I know
I’d love to stick my face in her boobs
and inhale.

None of this “what a lovely dress you’ve on today
my dear and how-that-tight-top-does-suit-you” stuff;
“let me suck your tits” would do.
She knows it, too.

Once we met
me rushing down the hall
she stepping out of the john
we struck and stuck.

She has a sweet face
but I just couldn’t tear my eyes
from her magnificent breasts.

“Oh Mr. Hancocks,” so sweetlly she said
“how pleasant to meet you this way . . .”
“You bet,” I said
as my nostrils flared and my digits curled . . .

One second more wold have torn it . . .
my hand in her blouse
and the rest of the girls would
have been  treated to screams
from the storeroom next the ‘ladies’
to which, at that precise sescond it blazed through
my mind,
I had the key.

It was only her checks that stopped me.
“I’ve got to deliver this money,” she murmured.
“You’ve got the money, honey . . .”
I leered in my finest dirty-old-man style,
leaving the rest unsaid.

“Later,” she breathed
and bobbled away.
There’s no question about it!
Lust at first sight!



Friday the 13th

I didn’t know it would end like this, she said, and died.
The ring I gave her more that 60 years ago
clipped cruelly from her swollen hand.
Her body, from the bed, to the morgue, to the flame
to me, in a box heavy with grief.
I didn’t know it would end like this–
the love we shared, the lives we built . . .
in a box, to the grave, on the 24th
on a day we should have celebrated birth.
Hail and farewell, my love. I’ll see you when I sleep.

24 August 2015

Our Love Flashed Down Midnight

like a comet through the Dark Ages
vanished round the rim of the world…
left three lives in its trail…
questions scattered like dust
in the wake of its passing
answers to some best left unasked.

Now I know love leaves you open,
waiting, bared for the wound.
Nothing gained without giving
yes, that’s the way of it.
I understand less than I ever did
but had the sense to quit asking.
Questioning’s an endless noughts and crosses,
the game that never ends…
the thing’s to feel
grasp the nettle, forget the pain
Move Closer To The Flame.