New Soles

There’s a salve for the spirit,
Or so I’ve been told:
A glue to be spread
On worn down cracked soles
Of boots which creak, ominous
Through a lifetime of wandering
With leathered holes
Near the toes
In the puddles swallowing water
From wrinkled clouds,
Their grey impassively bold

There are stitches to be counted,
By the blessed nine,
Rows of thread holding
A ripped coat to this back of mine
Within autumn and winter days,
Damp and cold,
Rich colours faded to dark
Hours, ruing their wasted gold
A treasury depleted and stark
Taken from the seasons’ emptying trove

There’s an ointment for the burn
Of regret, hot under a July sun,
Where lessons have been unlearned
And words tear actions undone
By a solstice flame;
White hot red, I read
A novel alone in suffocating sheets,
And long for you to return
To bed

There’s a bond to be cemented
Again, when green leaves flicker
Pristine pages in spring;
Flowers will bloom, unticked
No end-stops, a new beginning
Picked at the stalk:

You’ll buy me new boots
And cloth to cover my bones
As I walk,
And a new skin,
And indeed a new self to trip
Through the live-long year –
You’ll stay with me
And softly pave the fall?

The question lands on deaf ears,
My garments remain as they were,
The same;
I am unanswered,
There is no replying call