Monthly Archives: February 2013

Shipping Forecast

The rain came on time, aslant, at

ten o’clock as my coffee cooled, the

radio mumbled, damp birds not so much

flying as drying themselves, my

words sitting like disobedient, overfed cats,

staring at me under half-lidded eyes,

fat and unexercised, when I wanted them to be as

lean and packed with meaning as the

Shipping Forecast.

The Great Lost

I was adrift on the Great Lost, the

Moon-breathing Ocean which knows no

East or West, just motion, turbulence,

deep convections that kept me

buoyed, not letting me sink though I

wanted to whilst my eyes were full of the

fixed and errant stars.

Stiff Walk to Stiffkey

Do you remember, Simon, that

stiff walk to Stiffkey? The

promise of a pub lunch

stiffened our stride and we made

good time pounding the coastal path, the

North Sea bristling to our right and

people stepping aside before our purpose:

good beer, an open fire, basic food,

stories of the infamous Vicar, more beer….

 

Well the pub was closed and the

tightness of opening times then meant a

stiffer walk back to Blakeney, our

thirst by then unquenchable, my mind

full of unanswered questions about a

man so admired yet so traduced, who

fell through fallen women into the

jaws of a discontented lion.

 

There was only time for one and

no food, but I knew there wasn’t enough

beer in Christendom to riddle me

all those riddles.

Fishnet

A shoal of small clouds

swims in from the East,

close-knit for safety under the

moonlit sky looking like a

pale woman’s thigh in a

fishnet stocking.

The Poet

The Poet only felt alive

contributing to the crushingly

vast sum of human misery, despite his

Muse tugging at his sleeve

hinting at love,

humanity and humour.

London to Belfast

Eyes follow sound even when the

source cannot be seen: so my eyes from

my childhood bed followed the

ghost track, the deep dopplered drone of the

piston-engined plane curving overhead

each night comforting me with its

endlessly modulating throb,

teaching me something about music, about

yearning and want, until it

disappeared into the dark distance

carrying, as I later learnt,

prosaically, the mail from

London to Belfast.

The Sky Over Kent

They come in line abreast, great

behemoths trailing turbulence

criss-crossed by the Grand Fleet’s

auxiliaries, the tenders, oilers,

reprovisioners, and their

darker counterparts, destroyers,

mine-layers, monitors, gun-platforms,

submarines, all creating a

cat’s-cradle of wakes under which I

lie doggo in deep waters

gawping like a fish.

 

Ceòl mór

There’s a skirl in the wind tonight like a

bag being inflated, pipes being

cleared of dead air and the

crushed bones of old tunes, the

hint of a new song coming, wheezing about a

rumour of snow, hard times, a

reckless flirtation, silent suppers, an

empty purse, seed spent

stupidly, the scent of a

woman in heat on the

now-groaning air, the desire to

just jump, dive unbuoyed into that

invisible ocean of noise, that

frighteningly big music.

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