Celebrating Love, by Gerard Rochford

Celebrating Love, by Gerard Rochford


Expectation, by Klimt

Expectation, by Klimt



Come in your black silk nightie,

the one with a broken strap

over your right shoulder;

through the unmended tear

the bud of your breast breaks out.


The first time you said: Oops, and covered it up.


Come to me in your new kimono,

on its back a bright redwing

rising into the parting leaves

of a japanese abelia,

its blossoms flushed with pink.


I will say: The bird knows the best places.


Come with the light-green blanket

your good friend lent you,

the day I showed you the path

into the listening forest

to look for chanterelle.


I said: They lie near the stream where the paths cross.


Come when the curious moon

stands on tip-toe at night

to watch through the window;

and come again at dawn

under the frank blue sky.


You will smile and say: You are so predictable.


And come to me

after your shower,

as my white towelling bath-robe

opens up like the wings of a swan

upon our feather bed.


You will say: Yes…



The Kiss, by Klimt

The Kiss, by Klimt



I come across it

in an envelope,

still shocking red,

curled like a hair-spring.


It tells the time of a secret

kept one summer,

the spent evening

and the moist walk home.


From a purse

you took wee scissors.

Snip! Placed it on my palm

and closed my fingers,

said: There! And here it is,


sixty years on, and you dead,

like the watches I took apart

and never could remake,

the jewels shy, the cogs elusive.


Now I take the hair,

place it on my hand,

open a window,

and blow.



by Klimt

by Klimt

Ironing a Sari


This hand dyed cotton

unfolding on and on,

until its face and colour

are young again.


Such length is like a path

down to the river,

which morning and evening

feels the feet of women


who wander from the village

to the washing place

and laugh about their men

beside smooth stones.


The cloth has no one now

to fold around;

one brown shoulder covered,

the other bare,


breasts shaping

a tease of bodice,

the crucial tucking in

around the waist.


And I am wrapped

within this task,

breathing warmth

from what has touched your skin.




No man walks her street

to call at her door;

no rising waters at her feet

of children wanting more.

Her skies are emptied now of rain.

She shines since she has lain

with a woman. Owns

the freehold of her land,

her love, her flesh, her bones,

the rings upon her hand.


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Gerard Rochford was born in England, lived in Hong Kong, but has spent most of his life in Scotland His recent collections include: Figures of Stone. Koo Press. Aberdeen. 2009. Failing Light, a handcrafted limited edition from 2010. Of Love and Water, a limited edition, Koo Press/Malfranteaux Concepts. Aberdeen. 2011. A collaboration with David Ladmore an artist from Victoria, B.C. Canada. Anthologies include: Erotica. Ascent Aspirations.Canada. 2008 and Silver. Polygon. U.K. 2009. His poem My Father's Hand was included in Best 20 Scottish Poems of 2006 for the Scottish Poetry Library, selected by Janice Galloway. He is the Makar (Laureate) for to which he contributes a poem every month.

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