Rolling a cigarette in the rain is always tricky
but I find a dry spot under a tree next to the church
and I remember the last time I walked past here, late night,
when there were two guys humping away on the lawn
and I never did figure out if they enjoyed it more
because it was public
or because it was ecclesiastical
and now this vicar approaches me
and says he'd prefer me not to smoke outside his church
and I just laugh

~ ~ ~

Victorian Wood is Good

Your hands belong on old gloss
it wears down well
smooths and tapers
Perspex replaces glass
but scratches, like history, can be OKů

Bare feet pad down bare stairs
torn, brown paper
Cigarette smoke hangs
mingles with yesterday's garlic
the way friends mingle
just because they're friends

Someone's etched the panel in the front door
acid patterns and cut bevels give rainbows
stretch and shrink the shapes of folk who walk the pavement

The steel bell is a wake-you-up bell
it cuts a trough
wavelets tip over in frothy crests
yesterday can just be yesterday
like a fresh pillow
when you're tired
and feeling safe

~ ~ ~