Julian Cason – 2 poems

Patch

            

When I was playing,

the decrepit neighbour approached

the gloss of laurel  

and pointed at the unruly flowers

squatting on our path.

My grandfather called forget-me-nots

‘remember-me-forevers’-

his own grandmother taught him that!

            

Getting up close,

talking like this

she would no longer see me,

her azure mac bobbing so near

as to briefly patch 

and mend

the coarse weave of leaves dividing us.

            

She would often repeat that 

stub of a tale

planting the shrunken smudges of prairie-blue

renamed and unwanted

in my head.

            

These flimsy strands

of ancient inconsequence,

orphaned words

she had lovingly long shepherded.

            

The last time I saw her

was from my window,

before college 

(she died during that first term)

her pulled door coughing into a final slam,

the same coat enveloping her

like a piece of misplaced sky,

though now tellingly 

freshly stained.

Piss-me-not, I whisper:

the remembering of her 

already twisting in my cruel hands.

            

Park

            

I am by the arbour,

under the small square plaque

screwed deep

into bare wood,

a school friend’s name, 

and two 

far away dates.

            

Sometimes 

these arches course with rose-blood,

but today 

they protrude painfully, 

like ribs.

            

I tell my almost attentive son

a little about you 

and realise:

I am all you ever were

and now can ever be.

            

My pruned sentences

are dishonest and incomplete;

you remain ungrasped.

            

The living can propagate the dead

but thick-gloved

and clumsy,

only as a stunted 

bloomless lie.

            

Before we depart, I notice

the empty benches surrounding us.

Each bears nothing more

than the rigid certainty 

that someone,

not here, 

always loved this place.

            

Julian lives in Cardiff with his wife and son.

The bulk of his professional life has been spent working with the terminally ill.

His poetry can reflect this but is equally often inspired by the minutiae of relationships.

Published in Envoi, Pulp Poets Press, Nine Muses, The Dawn Treader and Black Bough Poetry.

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