Paul Brookes



As I did when she was alive

I risk infection or rejection.


I sterilize her ash in an autoclave

as with needles and rest,

makes sure it’s fine powder

mix it with the ink.


She will be under my skin.


Limbs With Pears


Pert  plump  green

as if young lasses first bairn

she shows as a bump


dangles from limbs

as if the tree needs a pillow

for its back


autumn shivers

as tight skin bitten

sweet waters break


Some Days I Am


young, rave


the rush, tingle in the stomach.

Mostly, I am old and want to rest,

from daily survival, scrimp and scrape.


Can’t plan,carry anything over,

no skills. Only certainty is uncertain.

I need regularity, rhythm, habit, sanity.


It doesn’t matter whether

I’m awake or not. In the space

of a day I’ve been old, deaf, dumb

and blind, no legs, no arms, no voice,


a she, but nothing lasts, for long. For a time,

I had a wife, kids, grandkids,

few hours later, perhaps, I had none.

I had brothers for about a week.


I loved, and was loved once.

Was it yesterday, or the day before?

We kissed. I remember the kiss.


Useless to think where or what they are.

All are strangers, now. Or once a billboard message,

perhaps “Friends who haven’t met yet”


I awake one day huddled in a shop doorway,

another in silk sheets with duck

feather pillows and a servant

asks what I would like for breakfast.


I can’t keep anything. Grab it,

while it’s there.  Buy my stuff,

again, the next day. Use it or lose it.

Things made, soon decay. Leaves


fall in summer, flowers blossom

in winter. Animals unsure what

they must do. Many die, as do we,

when wrong choice is made.


Maps are useless. Streets change

shape, new buildings where old.

Clothes bought that day

are soon rags. It’s a rush to buy new.


In summer folk say, ” Stuff it.”,

go naturist. Summer could be

Autumn. A lot of people

die in Winter. Pay Euro one day,

Yen the next. Rhymes are rare.


Language changes too.

Yesterday black was white,

red was yellow. Spend most

of my days out of fashion.


Cynics say it’s all about profit,

shops say they’re it’s a response

to customer’s needs. Often stuff

comes full circle, but all of its


perishable, now, clothes, cars,

buildings, walls, streets. History

is what you can remember, but

stuff changes so fast you can’t


remember it all. Against the grain,

never plus ca change. Even glass

decays nowadays, and these words

become something else. Maybe.

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