Down where the washing-line stood

an orange flicker
in the outside privy

where leaves rustle
where night screeches

said carpets rolled
said bottled beer

said black and white faces
to fade, to stay young

for voices by the piano
for tunes of summer nights

when fat fingers thumped keys
to gramophone scratched trumpets

while in shadows
in unlit hedges, a cat hunts
and something bitten screams a melody

 

Reach Poetry

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In want of a relaxing countryside walk

I saw a horse today,
nothing strange about it.
Chestnut, with white patches
and the usual four legs,
not even the head and
body of a man.

I never understand why they can’t wear vests,
the centaur, not the horse that would be silly.
A string vest on a horse
makes it look like a haggis.

Alongside the horse,
the tree, an elm, stretched out
with the arms of a woman,
a young woman that made each
wave of a hand her tears
for the face was hidden by bark
and could not show
what was warmed by morning sun.

This was distressing
for if trees suffered as this
then what pain grows
in flowers and grass?

A walk on a summer’s day
is only pleasant and fine
because we never look
for the arms stretching up and out to the sun.

Perhaps, if the chestnut horse
had been strange with a man’s chest
in or out of a vest
I would not have lost
my solitude.

Published in three drops from a cauldron

A good bird is one roasted in goose fat

Bird song, bloody bird song.
Seeing larks as you cough your morning up.
Being wise with crows as the roads shuffle you to work.
Count the magpies because ITV was good when you were a kid.
Think any pigeon is a bloated banker rolling off a business lunch.
Look at the cuckoo, and wink at the lipstick pout next door.
Bird song, bloody bird song.
Feck nature and land and the watery place of the gods.

The Cannon’s Mouth

A walk defined

 After Jerome Rothenberg

Curlew

brown of weathered stone. A curve of a clay-pipe beak, the chorus of death at sunset. Alone at midday in spring colour,​ the herald of storms.

Meadow Pipit

snow with smoke grime when seen from below. A call in conifers too young to kill sunlight clearings. A see seet under blue sky. The cuckoo boarder.

Crunch

​​shells and bones from a sea of dragons when the moon danced daily and sun tears trapped wind kissers.

Moorland

high, flat, flat with the cracks of streams, here a stumble of rock, rock round and fire made, rough with prayers, dark lines of mud-peat, yellow gorse and black burned bushes.

I walk the flat. I jump the streams. I live in the smoke dust. I am born in the wind. No one is the moor. The moor will sink in a sea of eyes.

Mountain summit

a place of stones, lamentations for a time of sighing, winter rests waiting for the fall of leaves, the brown ripeness to rot.

I wait for the moon to show the secret sliver road. Breath clouds gather in night.

Published in Uneven Floor