“Bookshelf”

the titles reached up high,
the mountains of fantasy
dominating the upper reaches
in long stretches of hard-to-say
names and strange england-like
lands, then came the crime
in black-and-white city streets
and men with eyes too haggard,
then bright-souled coming of age
novels, asking for optimism and love.

at the bottom sat the poems
tucked into notebooks.

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“Indifferent Isles”

these shores have met many ships,
bearing men and women of all walks:
the soldier weighted with metal-memory,
the farmer fleeing continental conflict,
the cross-men clasping golden idols,
the reaver in his longship laden,
the roman with her pointed spear:
Gods have died on these shores,
alongside the celt and the saxon,
the angle, and the norman; all swept
by wind through the broken trees
back to the coasts that once welcomed
indifferently.