After TS Eliot
‘I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men’
They lean, quietly puffing,
on walls and fences
sporting pac-a-macs and flat caps.
I've seen the smoke that rises,
skims along the street on the light breeze.
It chokes and burns the throat
of the young girl at the bus stop
but the opaque clouds
of dirty lemon
hang and glide through the air
and congregate outside the church
in an Amberleaf- Drum protest march
all the way down to the circle.
The girl splutters as it passes
and the haze disperses,
and a wisp of angels
rises into the ether.
I can solve all your problems
with a simple remedy of my own making.
Just sip this Nepenthe three times a day with meals
and over time the square patches left behind
by pictures will be covered by dark
oppressive modern wallpaper.
The pink towels stacked neatly in the cupboard
will turn a Bachelor shade of grey.
The ornamental vase that holds the gas key
and the radiator bleeding key
will better serve some charity shop.
The faint sweet smell in the air
and you'll wake up one day
in the centre of your own bed.
When I woke up this morning, you were almost here.
I stretched and my hand
reached over to you
and lay in the cold hollow in the pillow.
I could smell you on the sheets,
catch you moving in the air,
rising from the radiators
on convection currents.
In the kitchen, you'd left the light on.
The kettle, still throwing tiny spirals of steam,
sat innocently on the sideboard
waiting for closure.