Spring through autumn
The weekend was filled with anticipation
Of familiar jingle jangle in the distance.
Growing louder, inescapable,
Provocative with its clarion chime.
We scramble into the street, answering the call to prayer,
Clasping shiny coins that tarnish our palms with their metallic tang.
Our reward for sunny disposition.

Eager faces beam with impish glee.
Stand on tiptoes to reach the counter,
Swine-like impatience,
Gorging on the kaleidoscope of treats with keen eyes.
Screwball, sparkle, strawberry split,
Calypso cup, tip top, feast, rocket ship.
But our amrita was found in the swirl of a cone
Topped with nameless sweet jus and bayonet of flake.

Victorious, we hold aloft our trophies
Before settling the craving.
Lizard-like tongues flicking greedily,
Tainted white, sticky and wordless.
It was always a race against time
As the sun boiled down on us.
Fingers wrapped tight around the base
Of our confectionary volcano.

Thick demulcent oozes downwards,
Clotting between thumb and forefinger,
An ox-bow lake of sweet addiction
To be sampled after the main course has been devoured.
Satisfying crack as we bite with newly-mustachioed features.
A glop dribbles down a syrupy forearm
Landing with a splosh between sandaled toes.
Such a mess for such fleeting pleasure -

Rest easy,
We have the whole winter to get clean.
Ninety-nine, Oakeswell, 2013.

Here is the girl’s head like an exhumed gourd.
Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth.

They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair
And made an exhibition of its coil,
Let the air at her leathery beauty.
Pash of tallow, perishable treasure:
Her broken nose is dark as a turf clod,
Her eyeholes blank as pools in the old workings.
Diodorus Siculus confessed
His gradual ease with the likes of this:
Murdered, forgotten, nameless, terrible
Beheaded girl, outstaring axe
And beatification, outstaring
What had begun to feel like reverence.

Strange Fruit, Seamus Heaney.