swings & roundabouts

of feelings moods

I went past the park the other day

walking slow looking in

the green painted metal bench

that supported me on a couple

of day dark nights has gone

the local council in their wisdom

not knowing the need for it

ripped it away

sure it was some time ago

the need for it for me was there

as I was fleeting between women

temporary accommodations-as that

always seemed to turn out

somehow that bench was meant forever there

green cold metal with dark wood slats

curved long comfortable even if

I lay there shivering fretting wondering

where I might go in the morning

hover sleeping starting at squirrels

neighbourhood cats creeping dog foxes

& while I’ve not had the crises to bring me

to that small park for a fitful night three

there was a shred of comfort knowing

that bench might always be there

my haven in darker times tight in

among the swings & roundabouts

of feelings & moods

live like that

I could not live like that

these days any more

buying cars for a hundred

driving them until

they broke down the police stopped me

brakes exhaust engine radiators

died dead as

selling them for scrap at twentyfive

occasionally lucking into a good one

lasting six seven months no fines

walking between rooms suitcase

records paperbacks typer maybe a month

sometimes a season once twice almost a year

evicted

for noise no rent money too many visitors

girls women late into the night morning

working here there chasing hours

driving between jobs hovels girls

sleeping in the car after a late night drunk

to be there in time for the early shift

or get fired again again again

oh lord no please not those days

I could not live like that any more

Howard XXXXX is a fornicator

indeed

Howard was the head the principal

of the art & design college

I taught remedial maths english at

one end of a long summer term

the kids turned his office into scout camp

complete with wash line glowing fire

artfully artificially constructed of course

as knowing reference that he slept there

nights he never quite made it home

keeping a sleeping bag under his chair

one morning the sixth floor windows

spelt out one letter per panel pane

facing downtown the busiest city street

artfully completed in Baskerville old face font

spelt HOWARD XXXXX IS A FORNICATOR

by one of the design lecturers cuckolded

by his wife & Howard in nights before

we understood he had some feelings about this

& appreciated he’d put effort thought

into the project worthy of his skills

in exile

I wrote to her

the pain of being in exile

just to see if

she thought of coming home

& she wrote back

checking to see if I was ok

did I need her to ‘phone?

what I didn’t know

she was settled where she was

found her new life

got a new man

thinking of babies

buying a new place to live

maybe next time

she might come visit?

& I reassured I was good

all ok

it would be nice to see her

no rush need to ‘phone

then I took a long walk

sometimes a man

just needs to be

with his thoughts

alone