Friday, 27 February 2015

Баба Марта/Baba Marta

Midwinter spring and sunlight strains
beyond terracotta rooftops: the year
is already poised in the balance

as if because we lack faith it would go,
become ceaseless cumulo-nimbus,
a drowning of prospects in cotton wool.

Except no. Because this is something
others have known from on old:
seasons hint and need placation

like unexpected loves which depend
on linden branches in a park,
like these assertions that all will be well,

like a ripeness and a readiness
which here, amongst the red and white,
I confidently thought to tell.

Friday, 20 February 2015


It is all potential:
us, beneath this,
a concrete council building,
where a 75 or 77
will growl to a stop
on my first visit
to our future home town.

Unfamiliar shop frontages,
lit for an autumn evening,
are signals I fail to decipher,
flashes along our progress
to your mysterious address.

Walking up and around
the pub where we would drink,
the office where I would work,
we’re arriving outside
the house which, long before that,
(but sooner than we think)
we would come to share.

In your room, on the sill,
are the bowls and vases you’ve made
working the summer in a pottery
and I’m just in the doorway, clay-like, still.

Friday, 13 February 2015

За любов/For love

It’s not so much to say, a few breaths
adding up to an indication, a hint
at what we might be revealing:
words which slump into meaning,
a promise and a memory –
the best that we might hope for, actually.

After so long, I will step into the kitchen,
ingrained with borrowed jargon, toying
with mistaken punctuation, that world
they think they’ve created –
and recall the fence where lovers left
their padlocks when I was, as you know it,
not so far away in Dubrovnik.
 Here, then, is spring and the roses:
the start of it, a coming home.

Friday, 6 February 2015


February hangs in the balance.
Sunlight’s proving deceptive,
luring snowdrops out of the mulch
to be decapitated by frost.

Midway down the garden,
our anniversary rose
holds its ground, stately
in its refusal to bud.

Those profligate others ...
Well, here, perhaps, we’ll shake
at the season’s mastery –
almost precisely as he put it:

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?