1971

BATEL AND SHIRT SLEEVES.

Batel was showing me
how to fold up
my shirt sleeves
although I knew how

 

I liked her fingers
touching my arm
her eyes searching me
as she did it

 

got it?
she asked
sure it looks easy
when you do it

 

she walked off smiling
and I watched her
wiggling backside
move away

 

I carried on
with my work
at the nursing home
making beds

 

tidying up
the rooms
taking some
of the old guys

 

to the lavatory
or for a bath
or talking with them
about the old days

 

about their war
trenches
bombs
dead friends

 

mud
lice
and old Sidney
singing the Red Flag

 

loudly as he bathed
his croaky voice
very moving
and I sang along

 

to make him happy
but it was Batel
who came to me later
and said

 

how's the shirt sleeves?
they’ve come down again
I said
shall I do them

 

again for you?
that'd be good
you are flirting
she said smiling

 

I’m working
I said
yes
on me

 

she said
as if I would
I said
she folded up

 

my shirt sleeves
and I sensed her fingers
on my skin
maybe you could

 

come to my place
she said
for a coffee sometime?
you're married

 

I said
I’m asking to coffee
not to marry me
she said

 

ok
I said
be good
and she went off

 

wiggling that backside
of hers
Hey Benny
old George

 

called to me
take me to the bog
I'm in need
of a piss

 

ok George
I’m on my way
and I thinking of Batel
and a promise of a kiss.

 

View dadio's Full Portfolio

SNOW AND ECTS.

There was snow
and ECTs
and the locked doors
of the locked ward

 

and Yiska was sitting
by the window
looking at the sunrise
after an almost

 

sleepless night
looks deep
I said
looking out

 

at the snow
on the trees and fields
she gazed at me
can't you sleep either?

 

bits and pieces of sleep
snatches of dreams
or nightmares
I said

 

I heard you
with that night nurse
during the night
Yiska said

 

asking her about
going home
you were awake too?
yes I got up for a while

 

and stared at the snow
coming down
against the moon's light
it looked so peaceful

 

so surreal
being stuck in here
seems surreal
I said

 

we'll get out one day
she said
walk out
into the free air

 

and no quacks or nurses
snooping over you
and no more ECTs
no more darn headaches

 

and all because
that bastard left me
at the altar
on my wedding day

 

I looked at her
sitting there
her hair unbrushed
her eyes red

 

her dressing gown
loose and pulled over
her white legs
gives you time to think

 

of things you don't want
to think about
and the ECTs
don't help

 

despite
what they claim
I said
when I woke up that time

 

after one
of my ECT sessions
my head was heavy with pain
and I saw you

 

lying on the bed
next to mine
and thought momentarily
we were dead

 

and I’d woken
in some kind of Limbo
with that white light
coming through cracks

 

in the shutters
then you woke
and we stared at each other
and never spoke.

View dadio's Full Portfolio

COULD NOT REACH.

That monk in the refectory
sitting there
reminded me

 

of old Jack:
same look,
same eyes,

 

that quiet presence.
The French peasant monk,
cutting back

 

the hedgerow
with a scythe,
black robed,

 

tonsured,
humble as cheese,
nods and bows.

 

I picked apples wrong
in the orchard,
the monk said,

 

he showed how,
his fine fingers
twisted just so,

 

feminine,
pinkish nails,
his dark tight curls

 

untonsured.
For whom the bells toll
down to the sea and beach?

 

I tossed stones
across the incoming tide,
further

 

than Brother Hugh
(moaning Myrtle)
could reach.

 

View dadio's Full Portfolio

PRACTISING.

Christine winds
the necklace
around her

 

going red
small finger
the small linked

 

silver chain
swells the flesh
why do that?

 

the quack asks
to get me
away from

 

deeper pain
she utters
the quack scowls

 

his eyebrows
like dark birds
join in deep

 

hovering
signs of non
approval

 

she unwinds
the necklace
the finger

 

once again
turning white
practising

 

she whispers
shoving it
deep within

 

the cleavage
of her plump
bra-less breasts

 

the quack stares
like some kid
taken in

 

by an old
conjurer’s
sleight of hand

 

all gone now
can't see trick
you big prick

 

she mutters
feeling then
the warm chain

 

fall between
her closed thighs
sitting there

 

silver links
shut away
from his eyes.

View dadio's Full Portfolio

COLD AS SNOW.

It's snowing out,
Christine says,
peering through
the glass

 

of the window
in the locked ward.
You stand beside her,
staring at the falling flakes,

 

surreal, chilly, white.
I want to be out in it
like a child, she says,
not stuck in here

 

like some prisoner.
You can smell her scent,
near by, entering into you,
distracting you. She

 

presses her palms
against the glass,
breathes on it,
steams it to a small

 

area of invisibility.
There's a tractor out
in that field, she says,
see it? Yes, you say,

 

sensing her closeness,
her arm touching yours,
elbow touching elbow.
And those birds look

 

at them, gulls, rooks,
feeding on the churned
over ground and the snow.
You wonder why

 

the dick who left her
at the altar could do
such a thing, why he got
that far and then left her

 

there in her white dress
and flowers and a church
full of people waiting
and then not show and she,

 

now, stuck in here full of stress
and with a fragile mind.
I want to go out in the snow,
she says, but the nurse

 

ignores her, walks by,
goes on about some other
business. Why can't we
go out in the snow? she

 

says to you. Maybe they
think we're going to run off,
you say, watching the tractor's
slow drive, the birds flocking

 

behind on the ground.
She sighs, puts her hands
down from the glass, holds
them in each other, could do

 

with a fucking cigarette.
Hey, nurse, got a cigarette?  
Need a smoke, she says.
I got a smoke, you say,

 

I'll go get them. So you go
to the side room, where
the men are, and bring
your packet of cigarettes

 

and plastic lighter, and give
her one and light it for her
and light one for yourself,
and she inhales so deep

 

that she seems to stop
breathing and then exhales
up in the air, holding the
cigarette between her slim

 

fingers, her hand just so.
And you stand there by
the window watching the
tractor again and the falling

 

snow, and she's there again,
peering, smoking, sighing.
I'd not have left you at the altar,
you say, I'd not have done

 

it to you. She says nothing,
the smoke hitting the glass
and flowing inward again,
she gazes out, the tree tops

 

blanketed in whiteness,
birds in flight, you sense her,
smell her, imagine her.
I wonder who he's fucking

 

now? she whispers, easing
out smoke, the snow falling,
the tractor pausing, then turning
back up the field, birds following.

 

She inhales again, looks away,
walks back into the main ward,
her fine ass having that sway,
her white night gown like some

 

dowdy wedding dress, holding
tightly to her, her figure shown,
the outline of her panties showing,
blue against white. You turn and

 

watch the snow fall, the tractor
drive, birds in tow, your mind
blank now, white, cold as snow.

 

View dadio's Full Portfolio