Birdsong

From the wrong side of the slow burned bridge,
at the edge of the rook black wood,
where giant thoughts used to dwell
she makes no plans for tomorrow
as she picks flowers for her daily grave.

The house, quiet as a failing marriage
stands alone in a bleached, peeling memory
under water coloured clouds.

She weeps for the summers passing,
the shortest of shadows
and the length of his kiss.

© D. Archer. March 2015.

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Best Before End

The weather drove in from the North
under an expanse of slate grey clouds
with a long, forgotten, Latin name
to provide a bleak backdrop
to the portly, whispering vicar
whose contemporary trimmed cassock
did nothing to brighten his turgid verse,
pricked with anecdote,
no doubt countless times cut and paste.

I soon closed my ears
to the proprietary brand of
“Funerals for Vicars: Standard Edition”
and thought only of the “Use by” date
on the hastily shop bought buffet
before pondering my own, unknown,
“Best Before End”.

© D. Archer. August 2013

Asylum

I stand in the shadow of a towering goodbye
with a sin in my head I cultivated a fire;
the pills, dated for convenience
in the cabinet holed for a heart
stretch out in their foil covered graves,
all the days of the week,
all the dose the same.

In the frost reflected glass
I see your fragile outline fading,
I sit in a circle of one
and to yesterdays same crowd
announce my faults and failings;
I listen to the mocking silence,
the phone reluctant to ring and
in the pennyless minute
I’ll hold my own hand
for as long as I can
until I slip into the calming black
that comes to cover
all remembered things.

© D. Archer. December 2012

The Times

I love you because it’s today
(and for other reasons, I forget),
love me in your own way
and tomorrow we’ll fill in the rest;
I love you because it’s today
(and for other reasons, I forget),
remember me when it rains
and quietly, stubbornly, accept;
I love you because it’s today
(and for other reasons, I forget).

© D. Archer. December 2012

One Minute Memory

Between the ordinary and the ornate
in an unloved, lidless tin box
countless, fading, tired and clichéd cards
untroubled his passing thumb until
a working girl captured
in sepia scarf and single pocket apron
sparked a one minute memory of her
before her hair turned,
before she became a photograph.

He remembered her
not in mantelpiece Sunday reverence
served with sweet tea and hushed tones
but how she was once young
before her smile began to fray
under the weight of a life spent giving
and the need for a white, washed front door step;
he remembered her last appearance
in and out of Chapel,
hands bleached so close to the bone,
her resting clothes paler than her flesh.

© D. Archer. September 2012

You have two ears for a reason

We say
the most
with our
mouth shut;

I feel
the most
when we
do not
touch.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011 

I was just thinking of my mum who says “you have two ears and one mouth, make sure you use them in that proportion”.

Gillian’s Winter (Sarah’s Summer)

Every time
you see a tree
remember his love for you
numbered ten times
every leaf.

“But”, I hear you say;
“Trees have no leaves in Winter
and like my life it is barren and bare”;
Relax I say; The leaves may be gone
but the tree is always there.

“What when they chop it down” you say;
“there will be nothing left to remember”;
Relax I say; Life, like some trees, is short;
but beautiful memories live forever.

© Copyright D. Archer May 2012

A Once Lost Northern Soul

Spinning around
my small one bedroom flat
Northern Soul so loud
it makes my ears bleed;

then starts your
favourite song
I stop spinning
and realise
it is you
not music
I really need.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

Its is no longer cold and I am no longer lost.

My Mathematical Distance

My golden badge
for coming second best
lies buried and I am stripped; teased
cut free from my lifeboat
I slow swim from what I once wanted
toward shores full of need;

Yet just before paradise touched
I am defeated, drowning not waving
I swim back to my two treasures smiling
and watch the fading lustre
of the horizon slowly begin
again;

I am happy in candid moments shared
but the sum of all my fears
is the distance between the lifeboat I have
and the island I want;
raised to the power of three.

© Copyright D. Archer November 2011

Boxed In

I was born on boxing day
I’ve spent my whole life fighting since;
every morning when
the alarm clock round rings
I punch into submission
my subconscience and
wait to see who wins;

in both the red and blue corner
drunk on punches I stand in
every morning none the wiser
of the opponent I am facing;

Forty three years
I’ve been waiting
for this first round to end;
Forty three whole years
will you please be my bell?