The Other Life

in memory of Emily Riall



I want to wake up in a house

where the ghosts have recently departed,


persuaded to leave by prayer

infused with wordless singing,


its roomy silences punctuated

by waves and far-off bells.


I want to visit a village,

its market infecting the alleyways


with tables groaning with cheeses,

gossip and outdoor coffee,


where they call me my childhood nickname;

may I know and taste the air there,


a whiff of salt and apples,

a backnote of conker and dog;


and may it be endlessly Saturday,

the bonfires yet to start drifting towards the blue.


from Riddance (Worple Press, 2012)