Listen hard .. clocks tick,
nibs scratch on paper, minds whirr.
Ten minutes left – finish off quick!
Summit of Catbells, January snow;
your arm round my shoulder, our eyes reflect
a shelf of mist trapped far below.
Father’s bedside, D4 East.
Soft kiss on his cheek
now the death-rattle’s ceased.
Moored at Abu Simbel, a December night.
We’re dumb-struck by the vast black dome
all studded with star-light.
Fairy lights twinkle on the tree.
The family’s gone and we’re left
alone in its tinselled company.
Stock-still at the Menin Gate,
our breathing light, tears welling,
for two long minutes, we stand and wait.
No-one will hear a meteor gathering pace,
headed straight at Earth’s frail crust:
the Word hurled from the maw of Space.