And the inmates get beaten on Sundays

and the altar boys make up their beds

and the booze that laid waste to their manners

and the coke that raised cain in their heads


and the girls who came and saw trouble

and the trouble that came as they said

and the sack that they left in the stairwell

and the letter they found on the bed


and the life that you try not to think of

and the mail that you never picked up

and the hushed conversations about you

and your neighbours become so abrupt


and I wonder how they can find respite

and I picture them sleeping in bed

and they rest like the children of Christians

and they reek like the old and the dead


and the forests are mustering commons

and the waters are gathering strength

and the bikers are smiling and waving

and the snake hisses down past its length


and trouble is present but falters

and staggering, falls in the shit

and goodness is drunken and stumbling

and kicks trouble's face back in it


and the boxers are singing and crying

and the nuns are all dancing in line

and the buses are backed up for miles

and your heart is a closed diamond mine.





Garden sketch




herbs sage rosemary basil

overgrown mint strangles


but we love it anyway

brave hollyhock


lost marigolds

ring the birdbath


lemon balm 

a stoned cat









in spring






G Disley