What I’ll Do Today
Away up, away, away from home,
way past the place they call Botany Bay,
there are balding Hertfordshire meadows
spiked with pylons that lope like grey,
spray-painted sci-fi monsters and today
I think I’ll walk up there alone.
I’ll sit down on the sun-browned earth,
light a fag, watch trains trudge past,
each bold and noisy and whistling
to my odd desires, to my hope,
to my tight little schemes.
I’ll pick a blade of grass then,
run it along my finger,
try to cut the skin with it,
rub it then twist it,
ball it into shapeless mush, taste it
and feel peace return, as it always does.
I’ll snooze for a while and in my dreams
I’ll share the quiet breeze with Her,
with The Imagined Other,
and she’ll be sweet and look like
the dark-haired one
in Charlie’s Angels
and she’ll lie there with me
and we’ll make love gently,
hold each other for days,
then self-consciously pick dandelions
while I tell her it means ‘lion’s teeth’.
And we’ll know how clever I am.
And we’ll blow our clocks into the wind
and time will stop, the stream will twinkle
more purely, I think, and the sun
seem a little less harsh than it does
right now: rather more forgiving.
An old couple will walk past and,
instead of that fearful envy of youth,
they’ll be wearing
the indulgent smiles of shared memory
as we make up names for them,
contemptuous of their mad hair
and extreme age.
As the day yawns to an end,
I’ll lean across and kiss her –
Rachel her name will be, or Amy,
it won’t matter at all –
and our lips will conduct
our tentative passion,
we’ll know our perfection and feel
smug with love
and the promises of imagination.
And then? I’ll wake up
and I’ll head back down the hill,
back down into the London
that will kiss me
and make me promises forever.