Stations of the Cross

Published in Sledgehammer Lit Mag in October 2021

Meet me on the Northern line

in carriages and corridors

on stairs and escalators

in ticket halls and lifts.

Not the Bank branch, but Charing Cross,

and at the interchange at Euston,

our fate will be decided:

Totteridge & Whetstone,

Brent Cross and Burnt Oak?

Colindale or Highgate –

newspapers or tombstones?

Both relics of the past.

Meet me on the Northern line,

where we’ll kiss in dingy corners,

of bottle-green tiled platforms,

we will stop, applaud the buskers,

and watch the mice at play

from behind the yellow line.

We’ll take the stairs at Chalk Farm,

stand arm in arm on moving walkways,

hold hands and slowly saunter,

to annoy rush hour commuters.

We may get off at Mornington Crescent,

just because we can.

Meet me on the Northern line,

where we’ll travel to far-flung places,

where unrealised dreams

and untapped seams

are rich with new discovery.

Will it be East or West Finchley,

Tufnell Park or Golders Green?

In the appendix of Mill Hill East

we’ll embrace under fluorescent heat

of departure boards, whilst letting

the other passengers off the train first please.

Meet me on the Northern line,

and in the spirit of amorous adventure, 

we may venture south to ride

Angel’s stairway to heaven,

minding the gap all the way to Kennington,

to Colliers Wood and Wimbledon.

At the end of the world at Morden,

we will rise to the surface again,

I will touch your face with my hand,

and feel your breath on my cheek,

we will stand there blinking in sunlight,

and imagine we can smell the sea.

Stella Cadente

This poem about the birth of my daughter was published by Selcouth Station in August 2021.

Laced in the heavens,

     the constellation Lyra,

Falling Eagle shines

     visible to our naked eyes,

its eponym Orpheus –

     musician, poet, prophet.

Placed over Earth in

     midnight summers

of northern hemisphere –

     centuries from now,

it will shine once more

     as our guiding North Star.

Faced with my future wife

     for the first time

at the birthplace

     of the poet Sappho –

her words written for the lyre   

     sung with love for womenkind.

Traced across the sky,

     the Perseid meteor shower,

our hopes lit by shooting stars,

     the tears of San Lorenzo –

patron saint of cooks,

     comedians and librarians.

Embraced on the beach,

     then – looking at the stars,

dared not foretell our future,

     now – our own stella cadente

has fallen into our arms,

     and we have named her Lyra.