“alternative ideas”

count the steps left along the river
to count its height  – it swells. burst
and take you with it, let the water
sweep through the memorial, stirring
up all the cigarette butts and bottles,
wash clean or knock over victoria.
i’ll tread water next to floating plastic
wreaths, swim up and stand on
the marble arch – from there i guess
i’ll watch the city try and apologise.


bare feet on wet patio paving

the sun dips beneath clouds,

dark and heavy with empathy.

they drop, and you – understand

that there is nothing to fear.

water smudges, paper runs clean

before crumpling away.


it doesn’t resist your steps,
forcing heavy legs to limp
through thick thigh-high
silt and water, parting fronds
falling down to drape across
your shoulders, catching foreheads
with the odd pin-pricking thorn.

the trees drinking so deeply
pack themselves around you,
almost marvelling themselves
to waking at this strangeness
trampling through the roots
eyeing the orchids perching
in fragile perfection on logs.