richard pierce

richard pierce

30 November 2013


The last few mornings, tired,
I have crawled across the bed into the space you left,
To wallow in your warmth, in your scent,
For just a few moments
Until I hear you downstairs,
Rattling, humming, moving,
Baking bread for the children,
Your eyes out into the burgeoning morning,

And I have woken, an hour later,
Still cocooned in the heat you left,
Still wrapped in the perfume you left,
Light now knocking on the curtains,
To the sound of other voices and echoing stairs
Rolling in through the half-closed door, and
Forcing me into consciousness and action,
Feet out into the cold, onto the floor,
Sit up and feel the cool air on my chest,
My breathing shallow from being deprived of you.

These may be normal mornings, boring even,
But they fill me with a new content,
Make me understand what it is to grow older
Organically, some goals still not reached,
And others there already, from the beginning
And forever.

Look, the sun, just cracking the horizon.
I know not to speak into your mornings now.

For M.

R 29/11/2013

25 November 2013


The stars shift.
Orion glowers.
The Pole Star wanes and stutters,
Extinguishes a gap in time,
Bridges an nth dimension,
Red and pale.

The night shivers behind the moon,
Its dominant light nothing but a reflection from the centre,
The invisible star the other side of our mis-shapen globe.

An explosion in the East is not the rising of day,
A silhouette of something that happened a long time ago,
Soundless and unobserved.

History is just the passing of the light.

17 November 2013

The Foreign Country - for Oscar on his 21st birthday

The morning,
This morning,
Seems the same until the sun
Falls in through the window at a different
Angle, and life becomes
A foreign country.

All you know is what was,
Never what is to be,
And learning is all new and uncertain,
Dark and light,
Dim shadows and questions,
Motes of disappeared dust.

We have no answers
To the changing keys of existence,
We cannot see the future
Clearer than now.
Each page we open has fresh words
And undone endeavours.

A paraphrase of hearts.

R, 30/10/2013

1 November 2013

A Universal - for Charlotte on her birthday

How do I grab seventeen years of words
And wrap them into one page
When I can’t remember each detail
Of that day you came to life
And we shared cold toast and worry,
Laughter and fear?

How do I turn my age into wisdom
When you’re learning more than me,
When you know more than I do,
And I am clueless, and your pain
Is more than I can paint?

Remember that walk, when you were
Much younger, and wrote your words
Into another one of my poems? That’s
Always my living memory of your birthdays,
When you became more than the sum of me.

How do any of us grab a life and
Throw it into a few lines of letters?
The possibilities are endless, and finite.
All things are a contradiction, as we are,
Hot and cold, loving and hating

From one second to the next.
That’s how we always will be,
The way we are built;
Sharp and blunt.

How do I grab all those years of you
And make new words again?
I look at you, and hug you,
And see a whole fresh universe,
Far beyond what I have created.

R, 19/10/2013