Thursday, 29 December 2016

A Swinsty Walk 28th December 2016

Still water, rather low, no gulls, a few geese,
Cobalt sky, beech leaves, mossy walls,
Freezing mist, trickling stream- rather slow, peace.
Old home, no longer my own calls,
Mind sees Solar, flagged halls,
Mother.  Eyes see Stone slates, sagging, thick fleece
Lagging beneath, keeping in heat - didn't in our day, which galls.
Still water, rather low, no gulls, a few geese,
Hikers - even more than before, mud, ice like grease.
Little dogs, yappy, owners similar, happy. Balls,
Thrown, retrieved. General post Christmas release.
Cobalt sky, beech leaves, mossy walls,
Nostalgia's shadow falls,
Fit each piece:
Freezing mist, trickling stream- rather slow, peace,
Into the jigsaw of memory, deep in every crease
Between grey matter, easy, nothing stalls,
All goes, especially smells, makes sadness increase.
Old home, no longer my own, calls:
Can't go into it, have to go past it. Hear how my voice drawls,
Dragging out descriptions, hoping to be overheard: "The lease
Was 25 years, they did their own repairs" voice grows louder, mind recalls
Scenes from childhood, still feel dull, no sudden caprice -
Rather low.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Observations While Sitting In The Farmyard, During a Late December Riding Lesson

Clip clopping,
Cobs walk across concrete,
Sounding like an imitation
Of cobs walking across concrete-
Clashing coconut shells,
A nags long face protrudes above a stable door,
Looking like every horse
Who looked out before,
Like Mr Ed,
Whinnying, tossing his head.
Also: brown cows in stalls,
Country smells,
Empty pens,
Piles of old straw,
A rusty bike,
Ground thick with mud and manure,
Puddles of pale sky on the ground,
Snow white hens
Scratching round -
Clean, pristine, finding grain on the stable floor,
A silver tabby trots dressage like,
Lifting high each precious paw.
Two people stand,
Chatting, as water from the hose falls,
Beside a fittingly filthy fork lift truck,
Their Yorkshire voices swear at each verse end
Without a care,
Turning the air
A different shade of blue,
For no particular reason,
Just because they do,
Just because they don't give a fuck,
The habitual use of the obscene
Adds spice to banter, otherwise bland,
Between an old farm hand
And a young friend
With an orange face, smeared in foundation,
As thick as the muck in the yard,
And eyebrows, after the style of Cara Delevigne,
As out of place
On the local face
As the bags on the bales,
Shiny, thick, black polythene.
There's a slight sense of the season,
But it's not cold,
The ground's not hard,
There are no mangers to be seen,
Though much hay,
Something in the last light of the day,
Describes endless ends of term
And walking home, happy,
After the nativity play.
And here's the file of horses coming back,
Grey, bay, dun, piebald, black,
Plodding now, 'the weary way',
After the hack.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

' Fat Man's Cycling Shorts' for AA Gill (sonnet)

I doubt that you will pen a single line
About ambrosia, dished out by God,
For nectar up in Heaven, though divine
Grows bland and makes one long for Whitby cod
Its batter, dripping fried, wrapped in The Sun
And eaten on the sand, watching the tide.
And deer on the Elysian plains don't run,
You cannot stalk them as you cannot hide,
There is no sport, the animals are tame.
Good writing needs sharp contrast, there's no thrill,
When every day is lovely, dull, the same.
We'll miss you and our tears as they spill
Will be as ham in one of your reports:
'As salty as a fat man's cycling shorts'.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Annoying Wood Pigeon

When I'm grown up, or after I'm dead
I'm going to be an annoying wood pigeon.
I shall coo down chimney pots at top volume
And eat all the thrown out bread,
Before anyone else can get near it.
I shall have noisy, flappy quickies at the tops of trees
On insubstantial branches, which can't support my weight,
Or my bird's, who will be a bird.
I will repeat the same few words endlessly,
I shall just state things
Over and over again,
And have rainbows on my wings,
And I'll glide on currents of air
And not care
About owt
I shall be even more free than a man in a scaffolding gang,
Swearing and singing and throwing poles at people's heads,
Life will be one long hoot.