richard pierce

richard pierce

31 December 2010

orion's belt

holy orion’s belt
the ancients’ wind chime
to illuminate their sky
drags its buckle
across late evening
a million years ago

slow light to travel
bears down on dawn’s red eye
before night ends

miles between fingers
hiding the light
when dusk eases

watch the stars change
in the grass
on your back
wide open eyes
never sleeping
focus on the black
its pinpricks an echo of passing

21 December 2010


Time to set aside the thoughts of greatness,
To cast away the dreams of acclaim, wisdom,
And knowledge, to let the mundane take me
Away from the open skies, and tie me down
In its boredom, worry and lies.

Time to run from the words in my head,
From the delusion of making a difference,
Of thinking my voice would be heard and
Heeded, to give up correcting the mis-spelled,
Stop righting the wrongs committed.

Time, there was a time, when all was clear,
The capacity for happiness endless, when
A smile was the beginning, not the end,
And purpose was selfless and kind and meek,
Breathing without effort.

Time to put down the tired pen, clear away
The crumb-filled keyboard, extinguish the screen,
Delete the files full of visions and never-to-be-got
Illusions, to settle by the fire, pull on the slippers,
Wait for the scytheman to release me.

Time, there comes a time in every man’s life,
When he has to turn and see where he’s been,
Realise that time’s wasted and gone, that
Nothing will change; bitterness the only fruit
From the withered tree.

2 December 2010


I stroke my children’s backs, arms, legs
to help them sleep, in multiples
of onehundredandtwentyfive,
each multiple to be complete
even if they’ve fallen asleep while I count.

I’ve always done this,
don’t know why,
since the first of the four changed my life.
My parents never comforted me with caress.

The youngest has woken.
She wants more milk, and while I listen
to her hungry gurgles, I think

Upstairs there are sheaves of untouched paper
waiting for me to fill them,
and a computer with words to be assembled;
uneaten food whirring with wasps.

She’s asleep, finally. They all are.
I’ve lost count
of the words, caresses, thoughts,
bottles of milk, wasps.

I forget the night.

Just dawn, and I’ve slept for three hours.
The house is still.
Another hour before it stirs.
I grab a piece of paper and begin to write.