Stephen Goldrick: ‘Just Desserts’, ‘Roots’ and ‘For Mr James’

Just Desserts

Which girlfriend will I get in Heaven?
Which second-hand five-owner car?
Which camel will I use to get there?
Which escape-clause from eternal fire?
Who’s meeting me there at the gateway?
Do seraphim smile when they talk?
Will I fly like all the angels seem to?
Will I walk?

Stephen Goldrick


An oak tree has me rooted in its garden,
allows my quirky growth into its leaves,
the bee hive sends me suckled invitations,
a sage bush gives up what the wise believe.

A maple scarlets all around me,
squat palms seem happy to receive
a searcher sad with longing and uncertain
how to seed, root, climb, drink, unfurl, breathe.

Stephen Goldrick

For Mr James

Not a believer, he’d still pray, while we all slept
small background rills of dreams as, wise, he wept
laments laid end to end like sandstone bricks
of logic, learning and a good supply of shtick,
a river wild with longing in its spate,
for truth and sense to have a steamy date;
Clive is, like Weissmuller, now remaindered—
That deluge, heaven knows how he contained it.

Stephen Goldrick

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