1. After The Ball

After the celebrations
We found your bed and
Tipsily but enthusiastically
Redefined our bodies
And extended our personal space

We restructured our histories
Formulating new interpretations
Of riddles older than Nostradamus
Or the Rosetta Stone

Older, perhaps
Than love


  1. Afterwards

Darkness descends upon us
A warm cloak
Of soft-woven slumber

Ghostly spinners
In Disneyland turrets
Watch the joyless minuet
Of the bobbins

To the grating polyphony
Of the wheels

Dust settles
On stone flags


  1. Valkyrié

Far into New Year’s Day
The burnt-in end of the morning
Is force-fed into my vision

I hear you bustle listlessly in the kitchen
As I huddle beneath suddenly-thin blankets
Tracing another footprint on the infinitely slippery slope
From oblivion to obliteration

From shawl to shawl to shroud

One year further from Christ
And closer to Armageddon

Later I walk back alone
To my bedsit Valhalla

O but the winds bite fiercer this year
Gnawing through muscle ever closer to the bone

O but the thermometer is falsely cheerful

The calendar quotes with cruel precision
52 weeks progress from snowfall to snowfall

I have no time to accommodate the encroachment of middle age
I need time to decide what to be when I grow up

For now, I fill the kettle
And hope against hope for your phone-call

(c) 1986 David Harley

Author: David Harley

Musician/singer/songwriter; independent author/editor

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