He was my friend, but he escaped
Further from the lavish beechwoods south of our youth
Far above the individual houses, sequestered in gladed roads
Their lights that punctuate the night
To greet a winter stroll
Or leafy summer with an endless season ticket.
He was my friend, but could never stop
Careless of those island zones of wealth
Free over their gardens tamed from the escarpment
Held in perpetuity or not
From there he was always separated
Between the ring-roads on the council estate
Tarmac shimmers under the rainy night
Each close and kerb lingers inside
Their shrubs, their broken cars, their numbers
Put to sleep
And curtains shield our sight.
Wrought from marsh, this housing island too, refuses to float.
She was my friend, and more than that
Separated together, we were glad!
We had everything and travelled richer hills
To share beneath the red cliffs
And a patient disdain for the human world
Knowing real life is elsewhere
Now it’s time to go for good
We’ve had enough of compromise
She is my friend yet more than that
I see the truth behind her eyes
Patience is a virtue I have lost
With chalk and sandstone, hope and trust
She is my friend, but the world is not.
Title painting: Talewater Evenings Gouache & Oil Pastel 55.8 x 76.3 1989