This is the bit I did not expect,
it will be a relief, when it’s done.

A surprise, filled by knowledge,
dug up, excavated, sifted
from the earth, by telescopes
to look up, and binoculars to peep
onto pictures as heights,

depths as dichotomies,
together with the possibilities
of what could have been,
but despite myself, was not.

We pick things up,
change them
walk away or notice

how they affect
something deep
inside us,

use them as a charm,
a symbol for good luck,
for direction, a reminder,

and to ward off bad spirits,
bury them in our lawns,
the flower beds

amongst the geraniums,
in the corners
along picket fences.

Then dig them up
before we leave the house
we call home,

all the while
we are keen to find,
one to define our dreams.

We never return
to lift the floorboards
we hid our gems under,

only recover memories,
make maps and send out

We whittle
our memories
into dreams,

in hope
to forget

without purpose.
Or love,
without reason,

but give anything
to want nothing,
in return.

My words are used
back upon me
by my daughter as ivy,
with roots that spread
quickly over a life
bathed in light.

She speaks in waves
fresh as a breeze
through the curtains
blowing gently over
an open window.

My errors stand
blank as foundations,
that morph into augury,
I must keep going, being

anything but detached,
although I fear
to disturb the truth
that lay in her.

The night the Tories got in
we were sat in a hot tub
in a surf club,
and danced to jungle.

The victory speech came
as the clouds cleared
in the night sky,
and conversations
faded into rising steam.

With our heads above water,
in murmurs of sharing
we threw out wet crisps,
and took turns to dunk
in a tub of dark ice.

In one long breath,
we immersed ourselves
in a circle of reflection,
for the new tory moonlight,

with not much besides
despair and disappointment,
under the stars that burn
with total indifference.

Sadness touches me
like an old ladies hand
across a kitchen table.

Her old wrinkled knuckles
rest lightly on my arm,
with wisdom in lines
etched into her skin,
but they mean nothing.

Her weak arms steady
my walk to the lawn
patterned by rectangle
shards of flat light.

The snowdrop spathes
have pushed through now,
and look ready to be cut
for gourd glass vases.

Their delicate white perianth
as sign of comfort
bowed in wait of grass,
after the tiredness of winter.

After the snow melts
all that was concealed
returns to itself shiny,
cleaned from the freeze,
the still and echo of cold
air holding darkness
like ash from a fire.

Mornings come home
as a family from a holiday,
the scent of absence
on the walls, and a refusal
clicks on the lights
to switch us open
to emptiness of the hallway.

Our returns are shuffles
to place down bags
welcoming you back
into your being
-the self of your own conscious -
to unpack without invitation.

The disappearance
defined by impermanence
once imagined as a failure.
Only to discover a postcard,
a picture of an osier,
written from impatience
on changes as touch,
a reminder for the fridge
on rewards of wakefulness.

Renewal comes
as a victorious relief
a spring from a diving board
to the floor of a pool
suspended in the blue
press of rising bubbles.

From the hole,
remains of what have been
left to examine sits

besides what can be,
next or taken from
what has gone

over, or into
a departure.
The gap where the roots
were torn and the curve
in the frozen earth
will thaw and the rake
pulled through the clumps
grow and compost,
is laid like spring blankets,

when the blackbirds will peck
at the dips and leaves
covering the soil
as a response to winters cold
imperfect suffering.

Dried rough by air
sharp with new light,
that returns comforting
as a first touch
after a long absence.
to surprise us.

She waits for something
to happen, or somewhere to go
maybe stations,

remembering Audre
(Amazing Grace sung
so beautifully at her memorial)
moving by underground
standing by maps

trying to keep
hold of knowing
what we had is enough.

Taking our losses peacefully
while reading humorous
polite notices with cursive
aren’t you wonderful
backdrop smells of taxi exhausts,
and the endless
grey rain of February.

Joy is windows
onto forks clipping ceramics
glasses clinking steam
rising scraped dialects
rounding vowels
into tiled blue walls,

macrame hung plants,
orange flowerpot pendants,
lighting up moments,
the pauses, the relief
of daffodiles on tables
as a space between noise.

When we spoke last night
I heard your voice
so jolly and yawny,
and I felt our distance
come into sleep,

alongside the images
forming as the softness,
hands touching between sorries
given and retracted,

the sense of falling and rising,
in landscapes of imagination,
with vistas of pub theatres,
little lanes of writing by number,

weightless without paper,
that want so much to be
in the house of your dreams,
on a river and walled garden,
across the town, with a view

over hostas in a communal garden,
with pathways to hold secrets,
passages like fingers,
where a wish for freedom
and happiness to find you,

the reader of my poems,
about fear and healing,
in the compost for stories
with hopes to be written.

Naomi Folb

writer, poet, educator, over-active thinker, in search of anything orange.

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