The morning after the temperature dropped

the bed was cold
perhaps I had died in the night?
but no
it was winter, and
the boiler
was an old whore

moved my feet, eventually, out from
the duvet

blue, they went

but I was used to the cold
had a job in a food plant
growing boxes of meat
in the big freezer

the alarm was silent
the case cracked
where it had hit the wall
after waking me

sun started to creep past the
old cotton sheet that
pretended to be a curtain
but gave up
went west
and left the room grey

I shivered

a mug of coffee was on the dresser
behind it the whisky

i emptied the coffee into the bin,
and filled the mug with something
better for me
warming my heart burn
with preparation for the day

outside, children played with the
ashes of burned out cars

I heared the siren of a passing
police wagon
but the emergency wasn’t local
and it left

another top up and I was ready for
the day
prepared in mind
the body could catch up
or just get second place

Record of achievement

Your smiling face is reflected
by the steel face
as the pressure of the mind
is released

and your dismissal, gone
the rose tear on pale expanse
your expression

this is the way the pain ends
the wimper followed by a bang
later, as the mirror

after all
the greatest fear is
our own reflection

and the ever changing you remains
notices only sometimes a subdued mood
not the lengthening track of events

Amended 18 Mar 2004

Happiest days of their lives

There was the time I tried to walk home
got to the gates desperate to the caught
and sent back
stood there for a lifetime
until it passed and a teacher came
to reincarnate me back into the classroom

The darkroom was good
You could be alone, the red light
made it safe so
no-one could join the
smell of the chemicals
broken stool
and the clock that counted down to the end of break time

Of course they knew
They could read my mind
sat there, plotting against me in the staff room
that was why they’d cancel games for a
cross country run
and why one day there was that maggot in my lunch

I used to think that they didn’t like it if you
didn’t run
but now I know
that’s how they caught you
easy prey
a distraction from their unqualified mediocrity
and the years until retirement

Amended 22 May 2014