As she lay there
under the debris,
bleeding to death,
I kept saying
the dumbest kind
of cliched things.

Stay with me.

Help is coming.

Look into my eyes.

You’re gonna be okay.

As it felt the life
departing from hers
my hand’s grip
instinctively tightened.

The feeling
in my heart
of utter futility
as the blood
trickled gently
from lips
which, seconds ago
were trying so profoundly
to tell me,

I ask myself on waking,



BELIEF (poem)

Because they despise
the material realm,
some adopt spirituality.

Because others despise
all forms of religion,
they proclaim themselves
to be atheists.

Better to genuflect
before peer reviewed data
than personified energy,
they would argue.

I had this dream once,
where I met a guy
who had been trained to fight
by the S.A.S.

I asked him to teach me how to fight.

He taught me that for a strike to be effective,
you have to channel the earth’s power,
and he went on to show me
how to have a low centre of gravity,
and to advance in the way of a fencer,
pretending my arm was a coiled cobra,
the two knuckles, fangs,
ready to deliver the lethal dose
between the eyes,
or to the throat,
or wherever.

He then told me to doubt this technique,
because he, and many others
knew how to counter it,
and also, that belief,
in, and of itself,
can be a dangerous thing,
because it makes you feel confident,
and that there’s a fine line
between confidence
and complacency,
and that,
at any given moment,

it’s a short space
from my head
to a hard place
and then dead.