Monthly Archives: August 2018

Athena on Old Street

Fridayam's Blog

My wisdom was always twisted

like a worm in the earth or the way

birds convoluted in the air, with

words scarce since they

teemed with hidden meanings

only I understood.

There is an owl imprinted on my

coffee cup at this

impressive data start-up where

all these kids think themselves

head-born but really don’t know

shit from Schenectady.

These places are all like

steamy kitchens with a sorry

lack of sieves, so they will pay

top dollar for my wisdom not knowing it

lies all about them,

free but unclaimed.

Thames bristles,

chill breeze at my back:

beset by algorithms,

I should come back as code.

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Swords with Words

Fridayam's Blog

I said one thing and

she heard another and we

sallied back and forth like

skirmishers of heavy elements

just over the horizon which then

met in murky light,

little-used guns barking and

back-firing, taking chunks from our

tight-packed troops, our

positions penetrated, our

arguments shredded like

standards, each praying the

other would sue for peace,

would admit that to

cross swords with words was

indeed mightily perilous.


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“Las Meninas”

Perhaps when all is quiet

I can make a start

when the maids have

stopped their fussing and the

Infanta has stopped her tears and the

hangers-on hushed out and the

hound cajoled with a kick from

somnolence to stridour but

whilst I wait for your

Majesties pleasure I can

at least paint that writhing

waiting moment before my

painting is painted.


Fridayam's Blog

The big unfinished ships squat on the beach,

bodies on their backs, bare ribs

bemoaning lost faith, so I

hurry past to something simpler,

clinker-built, water-tight, well-

suited to shallow ponds or

chalk-streams, easy to work with

adze and chisel, stopping my ears to the

ghost groans of the oak that

might have taken me out to sea.

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Adam’s Rib

Fridayam's Blog

My rib hurts—

the one that’s missing, lying

upstairs alone in the

spare bed.

It used to hurt when

we were forced apart,

by work, by babies, by

wanting to be whole

and joined again as

man and woman, viscerally

smiting each other

hip and thigh.

But simple joys go simply, leaking

like the thin air of a

doomed encampment in a

high place, leaving only

the memory of a missing rib.

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There are those who seek to

hustle Summer off the stage like a

blown act before the

boos set in but the audience

claps and whistles for

encores whilst Autumn

stamps its foot in the wings

impatient to perform.

Trawlers and Drifters

Fridayam's Blog

Trawlers and Drifters—which was which?

Though born sea-blooded I preferred

watching water from firm earth but I

always wanted to be a Trawler,

hauling hidden riches from the deep,

dripping with slippery thoughts to make

buyers gawp when my catch

splattered about their shiny shoes

making them jump back in

astonishment and fear.


Many years later, alone in the dark,

feeling the sea beneath me by its

heave and swell, I’m content that all along

I was a Drifter, the haul is meagre and

I do not expect to find anyone

waiting on the quay.

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Shadows Pass

Fridayam's Blog

Shadows pass like clouds on a

perfect Summer day with the sound of

DIY and children playing

two gardens over, a lawn being mown and

unappreciated roses coming into bloom,

dust thickening, a trapped fly

angrily attacking a locked window, its

pocked buzz competing with a

telephone, bills still arriving,

white lines from almost

invisible jets just discernable through the window,

birds twittering for the

life of them.

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Evenings Out

Fridayam's Blog

I even out my life in evenings

out in the garden, making the most

of Summer, watching the

colour drain from things into

pools of black which

trickle slowly together to

drown the world in darkness,

like rock-pools on a beach into which

we stare at crabs and

starfish while the sea

cuts us off, and Autumn

swallows Summer.

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I live in a quiet country so

I’ve never felt an earthquake or

fled uphill from a tsunami

never feared a forest fire and the

ground being so porous here

never fretted about floods

however dense the downpours yet

fear surrounds me like a

vapour I can’t seem to escape or

shrug off like a blanket too many

on a sticky night.

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