he certainly looks a superhero,
defined in blocks of
masculine warmth and prowess
all wrapped up in demerara skin and eyes
but it’s not so dramatic
the way he holds his hand out to
cradle me in my fear
I shine a light to the sky when
I see a burning building in the mist
and he arrives on time
gently turning my face to the present
a flame in the oven
does not mean the building burns”.
I don’t know whether to
call you brother or father
or both,
or neither.


my comrade in doubt and kindness,
I channel strength to you and from you.
your beautiful soul hurts, I
know it does, yet you
are the fireman hero
jumping into the fire despite the
smoke already bleeding in your lungs.
you are the human hero,
you are.
but this does not mean
that you must never be weak.
be weak, my friend
because you can
because you are strong
because you have me and us to
cradle your mind as
you have cradled mine and ours.
we survive always
you help me heal my burns
I see yours itching for ointment.
your kindness could
never be contained by pain.
expand and
let’s let go
and be the
embracing heroes
that our children
always wanted to hold onto.

star part II

read part I here

I wrote once
a little while ago about
a burning hot star that
scalded my palms and
blinded my eyes
I wondered why I was
so paralysed by its beauty
and so afraid of its power
I plunged my hands into it then,
not knowing how to harness its purity
I gilded my fingers silver
and skinned them to the bone

stars are all white gold
and full of dreams
but they don’t travel through galaxies
and now that I understand how to
work my telescope,
instead of staring into the light
with bare-eyed fascination
I can see that the star, so far from
my breathing earth
is burning itself into static death
going out in a blaze of beauty
that will suck the life out of every
little thing around it

I look away from the endless sky
and down at my feet, tempered in their
little leather boots
and see the leaves swilling around them
I see the pearls of dew drops glisten
and grass growing through cracks in the pavement
a sparked single match lights a
wood fire somewhere to my left
and I realise that a burnt-out sun
a thousand light years away
could never warm my healing hands
could never captivate and delight my eye
the way my left-hand fire could