New Necessities and Old Tradition

A month to watch a wreath decay.
Ribbons pulls friends home
to mothers, in towns away, ‘cross
hills and tracks with luggage
to escape being alone on Christmas.

Arthritic, brittle leaves dry out, and
leprous branches fall.
Crimson berries, cries of red
from cherub-cheeks stuffed
with glowing rosehips
finally lose their gloss –

before shrivelling, fading
and passing into hallmark shades of Winter grey.

Quiet, deserted houses in cities
light up again come new year,
when the ribbon unravels, new shoes
tread into cold buildings
to find unused candles, abandoned blankets
and corpses of wreaths by the bins.


A Story for Breaktime (Poem)

A bright cool morning running late for school –
my feet were squeezed into pinching shining shoes.
Breakfast turned over like butterflies as I tore
downhill, until a flurry of sun-illuminated plumage
turned my feet, to see nature’s violence in a bungalow carport.

Pigeon breast opened, a bloody feather cloud –
idyll frozen, chaos, talons – hell in soft shroud.
My flushed face opens and all stops with the breeze,
but feathers still float, sink, and stick to concrete.