1967 VISIT.

Sunny day
that hospital
visiting day
she outside


in a chair
smoking a cigarette
I sat  in a chair
next to her


let me out
she said
wanted to meet you


in London
but the docs
put their spoke
in the wheel


and the parents
are none too happy
about it


they have
to visit me
rather than I
go to them


I said nothing
let her speak on
get it out
of her system


she had this
dressing gown on
her hair tied back
in an untidy bun


bright red slippers
on her feet
if I didn't have
these cigarettes


I’d go completely
over the wall
with the other
fruit cakes in here


she said
they said
you were here
at the hall


I said
I went there first
Warwick said
you were here


bought you these
and I gave her
a pack of smokes
and a small box


of chocolates
she took the gifts
with her free hand
and placed them


beside her
on the grass
God you are good
to me


if we were in the City
I’d repay you
she said
no need


I said
given out of love
not lust
she smiled


guess so

she said
they keep
that small cupboard


locked now
she said
after that time
we had it off


in there
she said
I looked back


the hospital ward
a few yards away
too small anyway
I said


she inhaled slow
on the cigarette
her eyes half closing
due to the smoke


do you really get
that church
banging thing?


she asked
the essence yes
I said
not necessarily


the trappings
she stared at me
her free hand
in her lap


the other holding
the cigarette
to one side
I suppose people


need to believe
in this darn circus
of a world


she said
guess so
I said
she looked down


towards the road
some fifty yards away
where traffic
moved slowly by


and as she moved
she crossed her legs
a glimpse of thigh
caught my weary eye.

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Milka touched
on the arm


her fingers
running down
to his hand


touched Milka
on her thigh


his fingers
running up
to her sex


their lips met
hot kisses
wet tonguing


both eyes closed
his fingers
making play


her fingers
his open palm


she thinking
dream like things
wedding bells


wedding rings
he thinking
fingers warm


opened her
like flower


in spring time
her beauty
undone him


sucked him dry
she asked him
her questions


like girls do
he answered
one word why?


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Baruch liked
Yehudit's eyes
the smile that lingered
waiting for her


seemed an eternity  
being with her
always seemed
too short a time


the walk
by the wood shed
the memory
of their first


smoke there
she almost choking
that first time
the path


through the woods
the trees tall
sky above
hardly seen


she by a tree
that time waiting
said she wanted to
but they didn't


not just yet
he said
the walk to the pond
warm weather


unlike that first time
when the frost
bit them
he waited


by the pond side
ducks swimming
the water's skin


she lay once
beside him here
talked of sex
or what


she knew of it
what girls
at school said
what one girl


said it was like
he watched the ducks
smelt the weather's air
that first kiss


kisses followed
she and him
the moon shining
above them


he liked the way
she lay
on that bed
the sunlight


through the window
on her breasts
he watched the sky


the tall trees
clouds passing
he liked her hand


in his
warm pulsing
fingers touching


waiting seemed
an eternity
he often said


playing out
the last kiss
his morning time head.


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Jeanette looked
back at me in class
I was at the back
with Reynard


on the history lesson
as best we could
the text books open


before us
some colour picture
of a cave man
with a spear


and dressed in fur
and some cave girl
standing beside
looking butt ugly


Reynard said
in whispered breath
Jeanette’s eyes
were focused on me


dark looking
her hair long
and dark
thin hands


and frame
she looked away again
her narrow shoulders
full to view


the teacher
was chalking words
upon the board


after sentence
in a measured script
I thought about
the quick peck


on Jeanette's cheek
at lunch recess
just so
quick in and out


before she had time
to say or breathe
or feel the affects
to make her swoon


or sick or both
I scribbled
on the exercise page  
in untidy scrawl


Reynard muttering
about the cave girl's tits
about hair


under her arms
but I was focused
on Jeanette’s line
of curve


the way her
narrow waist
went in and out
so narrow


I’d get my arms
all about
dark hair
on her shoulders


well brushed
or combed
the head


at an angle
as if to scrutinize
the writing
on the board


take in the words
and sense
and write it down
in her (I imagined


far finer hand
than mine
going by the smooth


of her fingers and pen)
maybe I could
kiss her again
I thought


some place
some when.

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Elaine sits
in her room
the door shut


her sister
in the room
next to hers


plays records
all too loud
an Elvis


Rock and Roll
kind of song
but Elaine


shuts it out
as best as
she now can


curtain's drawn
chink of light
through a gap


gazing hard
at herself
in mirror


her features
those two eyes
her thoughts on


the boy John
what went wrong?
almost there


getting close
yet so tense
lost in words


burnt in touch
scared to feel
love as this


lost balance
this love feel


this chasm
she pretends
to kiss him


her eyes close
Elvis sings
from nearby


the song hurts
feels undone
makes her cry.



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thinks of her


the girlfriend
at high school
as he now


for bedtime


she far off
in her house
in her town


her parents
below stairs


watching their
dull programmes
on TV


while she in
her bedroom


or so he
(in his head)


watching her
each piece of


as he too


in his room
a coloured


of a fast
racing car
on the wall


and her small
by his bed


she gave him
he'd seen her
on the field


at high school
during their
lunch recess


she sitting
with her friends


then walking
off alone


high smell of
her soft hand


lips kissing
now in bed
lying there


lights all out
just moonlight


her image
he pretends
she is there


next to him
not speaking
not laughing


both watching
the moon move
and stars shine


hands touching
fingers entwined
each having


the same thoughts
in shared mind.


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She brought
two pieces of cake
her mother had made
to the pond


she termed our lake  
and we sat
on the dry summer grass
she unwrapped the paper


and handed me
the slice of cake
looks good
I said


it is
Judith said
she can do
some things right


the cake was sweet
and soft
and mouth watering
I held the cake


over my palm
collecting every crumb
she looked out
over the pond


the still skin
of water
flies hovering
over the top


bird calls and songs
and the sun seeping
the tall trees


she had her hair tied
in an untidy bun
at the back


her grey dress
came to the knees
dimly flowered
I sneaked these out


Judith said
not often
I get the chance
well done


I said
the last few crumbs
were gone now
just a damp palm


where they had been
she finished hers
and licked her palms
do you remember


when we first
came here?
she asked


I said
and I was frozen
and my fingers


were numb
she smiled
yes and I licked them
warm again


I smiled too
it had been
as she said
frozen fingers


sucked warm
her mouth over
the fingers
one by one


wouldn't do it
for just anyone
she said
I hope not


I said
that first kiss
recall that?
she asked


of course
while carol singing
and the moon bright


and you embracing me
and our lips
kind of met
you embraced me too


she said
your lips met mine
they did I recalled
sitting there


next to her
her body so close
to mine
I could hear


her heart beat
her pulse race
what carol
were the others


she asked
haven't a clue
I said


too busy kissing
and you had
your hand
drawing me tighter


to you
on my backside
yes I did
didn't I


a bird flew across
the pond noiseilly
we looked up
caught sunlight


with our eyes
bird sounds
clouds passed
her hand


touched mine
a tingle raced
along my nerves
ringing bells


in my head
years have fled
time emptied away
and she is dead.


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Put your finger
along there
Jane said


and she opened
her hands
to form
a kind of cup


and there
was the butterfly
yellowish with white
it opened and closed


its wings
feel the smoothness
she said
I focused


on her palms
the skin
thinking how lucky
the butterfly was


to land there
I gently touched
its wings
with my finger


gently so as not
to make it
fly off
she was intense


gazing at my finger
the wings opening
and closing  
my finger


was a mere
breath away
from touching
her skin


the warmth
of her palms
I leaned in closer
could smell


apples or fresh air
and her dark eyes
turned on me
and I looked back


at the butterfly
and stroked its
wings again
it flapped


and flew off
and I watched it
go passed
her dark hair


her eyes following it
in the air
and I followed
her hair


the dark and straight
the opened necked blouse
the green skirt
isn't it beautiful?


she said
yes very much so
I said
gazing at


the line of her neck
the area
where her hair
and collar


didn't meet
the jawline
and she
was looking up


at the sky
where the butterfly
flittered amongst
nearby flowers


at the foot
of the Downs
so gentle their wings
she said


she imitated
a butterfly
with her hands
the thumbs


hooked together
flapping her hands
out and in
and looked at them


then at me
should I stroke
the wings?
I said


she smiled
her hands slowly
so I did


stroking slowly
and gently
the outer line
of palm


with my finger
and she gazed at me
then at my finger
her small tongue


at the corner
of her mouth
beyond her
the butterfly


flittered off
the white and yellow
as it went away


my finger
moving up and down
then slowly


like the butterfly
a little bit away.

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Baruch could hear
Fay's father
bawling her out
along the balcony


his  Catholic platitudes
filling the air
he watched
from a safe distance


as Fay's fair hair
was caught
by sunlight
her father's


dark expression
like black clouds
on a summer's day
Pater Nosters


rose and fell
then he went indoor
and left her
standing there


the echo of his voice
staining the air
Baruch waved to her
and she descended


the stairs
to the balcony below
and along
where Baruch stood


what was that all about?
he asked
the nuns
reported me


meeting you
after school
the other day
she said


your daughter
is meeting the Jew
they'd said
he said


Fay looked back
behind her
as she touched
Baruch's arm


you're not to meet
the Jew boy
he was shouting
said he'd give me


a good hiding
if I saw you again
she said
looking up


at the balcony above
Baruch looked
at her fair hair
let loose


unfettered by bow
or ribbon
over her
blue dress


guess we mustn't
be seen then
he said softly
by Burton's window


in half hour
she said
and fled
along the balcony


and up the stairs
to her father's flat
Baruch watched
her go


the sway
of her dress
the hair in flow
then gone


from sight
just going out
he said
to his mother


at her ironing
in the front room
she said


be careful
and so he
went down the stairs
and across the Square


down the slope
and along Rockingham Street
under the railway bridge
and along by


the back
of the cinema
and on to
the New Kent Road


down the subway
along the echoing passage
thinking of Fay
and her father


and his ways
he whistled
as he walked
his sound echoing


along the walls
a Hebrew tune
he'd heard
whistling loud


like a noisy bird
then up the steps
to the place to meet
by Burton's window


on the corner
of St George Road
racing by


waiting for Fay
her beauty
to greet
his Jewish eye.

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