Abandoning the party,
Needing a walk,
And starting with the pavement:
Lining it, the things I focus on;
Like stone walls, pitiless ivy,
The layer-cake of battlements
– Their calm, cemented presence.
Between kerb slabs – their very brink –
I alternate screen-grabs of sensible fencing;
Sparkles of mica jump and I glimpse caravans
At the bottom end of drives where bungalows sleep.
But what are these damp footprints
On the mizzled surface
Coming towards me?
I have passed nobody, it is very late.
If I met a beggar now I would surely give him some;
After all, we are the same;
In my reduced state, I, staggering,
But trying at least to walk like a gentleman,
Remarking my insights to an invisible sidekick,
Practising for when I have a friend
To share the celebration
Of a shifting in the matrix
In the dark morning hours when the reins of reality
Slacken because the world’s people slumber
And dreams, like badgers and owls,
Are loose in the rift.
I have had a sufficiency of white-outs and black-outs:
At my age!
I thirst for colours of fresh daylight, not this lamplit beige
Raw truth of a bleached postcard.
Like a limp, homing pigeon nearing source,
I follow still those backward footprints
On the misted pavement, patterning slightly,
Small and grey.
Clive Donovan devotes himself full-time to poetry and has published in a wide variety of magazines including Agenda, Acumen, Prole, Erbacce, Salzburg Review and online; Ink Sweat and Tears and Algebra of owls. He lives in the creative atmosphere of Totnes in Devon, often walking along the River Dart for inspiration. He has yet to make a first collection.