The Prisoner

Here at the belated funeral
Of your overrated youth
Where a million mourners lean
Ever closer to the edge
Laced they leave their flowers
And obituaries untrue
And the stars collide chaotic
Above the writhing hedge

This hole agape in blue landscape
Lies fecund and yet uncovered
Encircled now by estranged friends
And lost lacklustre lovers
You see them now as crystal clear
As from your teenage perch
A tame time traveller stranded –
Left here in the lurch

From the withered roses strewn
Across the golden room
Barefoot ambush thorns await
On broken stems to bloom
Eros and Psyche there raising heat
Whipped up a sensuous storm
Combined, conjoined, divided
Took on a different form

You left your empty baggage
at the point where pavements end
The luggage tags offered up your life
To destiny bedevilled
And walking on you trusted fate
The bullet-holes to mend
And the grooved soles of your stolen shoes
Were by association levelled

Onward to where the fountains
Tread water in the corner of your eye
While compensating clouds obscured
That familiar alien sky
To the echoed halls where pictures
Perfectly framed and hung
Are bathed in solid amber light
From a distant prodigal sun

And now the looming shadows mock
Your future they belittle
And laughing smear your twisted past
With blood and rust and spittle
This ghost ship’s decking danger creaks
And insects black leg crawl
Across your eyes and silenced heart
That teeters yet to fall

For you are the frightened prisoner
Behind panes of frosted glass
Faithful but forever shackled
By the chains of seasons past
So you watch this waning world rerun
A trillion raw refrains
And feel the rain fall cold upon
Your smouldering remains

January 2009

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