Wednesday 31 January 2018


They’ve capped the shafts
To the mines of hell
Rust and brick remain
Empty shell

New houses spring up
At the roadside
Fresh plots at the graveyard
Filled, in time

I crouch at the graveside
Your stone cage
‘Forever in our hearts’
Words worn away

Those untold stories
Whole universes lost
Diaries in boxes
Hoarding dust in the loft

The daily forgetting
Breathed out in sighs
Shrouding the silence
Our ritual disguise

So we play detective
Imagine their faces
House numbers, street names
Overlooked places

Filling the void
With clues left behind
Joining the dots
On maps of the mind

Under cover of darkness
We seek out their relics
Labours of love
Like citadels derelict

No lights in the windows
No glass left at all
Just pulses that throb
And canaries that call

At the edge of the mine
We hurdle the gates
The palms of our hands
Are astrolabes

Inside their halls
Of brimstone and fire
We stand still and listen
To a voiceless choir

Ducking the fence-gap
Wire pierces my skin
Seams fall unbound
Canaries don’t sing 

What life in the ruins
Our ancestors built
Like flowers in concrete
Bloom bright, then wilt

We witness it all
And emerge unscathed
For time is a healer
Our scar’s on the page

O land of the living
Dead, but for myth
Why summon a ghost
When you dwell there in spirit?