You could always
be relied on

to provide
an elegant solution

to a mathematical problem
however you stank at life

your four marriages
raw testimony

to your obnoxious character
when your absolute being

was not consumed
by pure science

which was your true soulmate
your perfect love

the consummate equation
in an otherwise sterile world.


As the ship bubbles under
leaving bobbing containers

in the hissing reach
an oil slick is on fire

I think briefly of pollution
dismiss the ludicrous notion

because the whole scenario
is astonishing

like the death cargo
of a Viking longboat aflame

there is even the apparition
of a blood-soaked sunset

to guarantee absolutely
an eternal afterlife.


There were
no embarrassing mishaps

like a stumbling courtier
or a misdirected canon

in fact
the whole show

went off splendidly
a thousand years

of royal pageantry
on global display

the correct acknowledgment
of a queen

the proper surrender
of her crown

orb and sceptre
the breaking of a staff

of office
a frail old lady

allowed to rest
aside her husband.


You’re incompatible
to sunlight
to jollity
to people

you get
a toxic reaction
just thinking
of crowds

whereas I simply relish
a scrummage
in a packed-out mall
around Christmas time

you adore
the melancholy drawl
of a frigid tide
over a shingle beach

I worship
tropical heat
fine sand between
my splayed-out toes

despite such different perspectives
our relationship has endured
grown into these contraries.