Sunday, 27 June 2010

Eyewear posting

Short piece about American band Violent Femmes by yours truly newly posted at Eyewear -

Monday, 7 June 2010

Poem Train Passing

Train passing

On a cold hot day, when clouds and breeze
from the sea leave only sheltered corners
to sun that does more than warm the skin,
it might be possible to find something
like a particular gap in a dry stone wall
or the rhythm of a specific line of trees
which, for the moment, appears identical
with how it felt to be standing, looking
at some trees, a wall, in the summer
you would rather be remembering.

On a reservoir’s artificial shore, for instance,
you'd been fishing overnight, keeping
yourselves from sleeping with passions
imagined for the girl next door.
And had there really been a party where,
strewn across a lawn, you’d been alone
with whoever is was had lain
across your lap and casually said
if it wasn’t for your mutual friend
she would have loved you instead?

You doubt it now, of course. Such seasons
came and went in twilight possibility,
fruit-pickers arranged across an orchard
that smelt sharp-sweet of fallen apples,
combines thrashing over ripened fields,
a slow, exploratory kiss beside allotments -
and beyond all that the sound you do recall:
the shuck, the rattle of a Glasgow express.

May 2010, originally circulated via Various Artists

Poem: Boundary Crossing

Boundary crossing

You know and I know that here, at this candlelit table,
what’s being said can have no consequence:
to get so far we’ve passed through many hands.
I’m in yours now, and taken back to moments
I’d otherwise be wary of: potential, spilled
beans and glimpses of a parallel life.

Are you for real? Of course you’re not.
This talk is all there ever is between us.
We laugh. You say the right things.
Another elsewhere disappears from view.
For a second, I almost catch your eye.
At the door you seem hesitant when saying goodbye.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Stone Platoon (new version)

The Stone Platoon

How else to look at this fountain
with adjacent memorial statues?
Drizzle’s left droplets finding paths
through embossed verdigris,
such-and-such a name who fell.
I’m not close enough to make
more of others’ particular loss
in whichever battle or campaign.
The stone platoon endures
inclement weather, helmeted,
bayonets fixed at thickening air.

Remembrance Sunday every year
we'd stand with such indifference:
dragooned Boy Scouts in the breeze
which furled around a cenotaph.
We’d put up with it, out of respect –
although, eventually, out of respect,
we’d be prone to goose bumps,
laughter and knocked knees.

Here, though, are three historians
come to read blurred epitaphs
for losses in some foreign field.
What could it be to them,
in any event, who died
and who came home again?
Their silence affects some care
as, beneath a sun-split sky,
they line up for a photograph
before those who, in memoriam there,
did the best they could have done.

April 2010, originally circulated by Various Artists, May 2010