Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Thin Margarine

There's a hole in the clouds,
like the old fashioned holes that
Christ peeped through in those
pictures that hang on old cottage
walls. But it's just a hole in the clouds
after rain, after sun, and
in the distance, the cuckoo calls.
Cuckoo. Cuckoo.
A light rain falls, and blows away.
It's May, and my lettuce is
coming on well, I can pick
leaves now to make a BLT,
and I'm hoping for tomatoes
in a month or two.
I'd like to be a true earth mother.
Right now, I'm only practising.
I have parsley and leeks, carrots and chives,
and my garden moves slowly.
A steady beat. Robins
and blue tits feed at the feeder.
I want to feel the days pass thickly,
richly, like freshly churned butter,
not here and gone like thin margarine.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Post War Blues

In my earliest dreams, before I had language, I
Walked through a landscape of desolation and fear:
Darkness, explosions and burning all around as I...
Ran through fields and blackness and...
Warscapes.... which I never knew but.
Born in 63, I inherited a
Memory of war through
Movies, and parents and games in the playground where
Guns and bombs were part of it all and
Old air raid shelters littered the city and we
Played in old cars and pretended we were
NOT nazis and we
SHOT nazis and we slept
Safe in our beds with nylon sheets and we
Didn't know what it meant to be hungry and we
Didn't know what it was to feel fear: the
Scariest thing in our day to day business was the
Man who ran out of his house to shout because we played
Cricket against his wall.

Late 1960's and war just
Twodecades away.

Every night I walked through
Desolation and
Bomb blasts:
In the dark with
Tongues of flame rising and
Bombs dropping and
Planes flying overhead.

Post war.
Post war blues.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sip Step Sip

On those nights, I'd leave the house,
pick up two cans from the offie,
put one in my pocket, open the other,
and walk the streets. Sip, sip,
the world becomes simpler. Sip sip
some more. Jacket collar turned up
against the wind and rain,
step step step, to the end of this street,
sip step sip into the next.
You can walk far, when you've
no destination in mind. Up
past Swanshurst Park, over Billesley Common,
right over to the Maypole ( sip, step, sip)
with the street lights coming on, one by one.

The first can's finished now, snap the second open; sipstepsip.
Back to King's Heath and down through Moseley,
past people heading into pubs,
walk on and down Anderton Park Road,
where the cars pull up
and the men ask "how much"? and I
pull my collar higher and
toss the empty can into a hedge and
cross Stoney Lane, up Esme and
through the passage behind the new houses
and open the door and
for that night at least
thwart despair.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Smell of the Fox

I know the smell of the fox,
I've lived in the country long enough.
But I'm remembering a night long ago
in the city. Midnight. Walking back
from the Chinese.
By the bus stop on the Stratford Road
there's a young man staggering,
blood on his face,
incoherent shouting in anguish
I didn't do anything
I didn't do anything
help me help me help me
where's the police station
and we tell him
and we walk on home
and eat the chinese, because
we don't want to get involved
and they might still be around
and that was night in the city
and now I walk in the morning
and I know the smell of the fox
I've lived in the country long enough.