…..when you’re not looking.
There has to be studied inattention
to let creep up and leap and hook
those things that we can’t quite
apply to ourselves-

are the crevices for seeds of the shocks
that change everything to nest within.
Mum throws herself onto the lino and tears at her face;
Moses tumbles down the mountain
smashing his ipad, soiling the arrest warrents;
uncle Frank has tantric sex with the anatomy
skeleton in the mortuary

(The day Mike dug the empty hole in his garden
( his wife blamed me )–
they came with straps and yanked him out, you know;
but I’d only told him the truth, saying,
dig holes Mike, if you want, one day, to have a choice.
Later he told me ‘Life is a kind of silent voice’.)

None of this is down to us.
Nobody knew beforehand
but Life made it so. We were cosy under
our plastic snowy skies.
We imagined a completely different end.

Prayer and refusal are pen pals
describing to each other what life does, and doesn’t do.
Prayer’s betting shop is open for business,
Refusal’s booze bazaar
teams with fireflies. I’m
engraving my tombstone as I write this –
‘This is what life does.’