Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Door Knock

The housemates are already poorly
with something resembling glandular fever
when Carmel, the least ill, opens the door
to a pumice-faced pair
who sprinkle holy water, roaring
I exorcise this house in the name of the Lord.
Still fully clothed that night,
and even with body heat
and three hot-water bottles
permeating between the eight of them,
the housemates defy all common sense
by shifting up into one bed,
shivering and shivering.

Friday, 28 June 2013

summer rain
the mic'd-up preacher
addresses his feet
on the station map
all the train lines are faded
to the same indigo...
rosebay willowherb sways
beside the single track

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

in the cleft of the river's fork:
                          the blueness of viper's bugloss

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

a young wino
watches daytime telly
from the threshold
of the Sony shop—
midsummer torpor

Sunday, 23 June 2013

solstice evening
jackdaw bills scoop ants
from the slipway

Saturday, 22 June 2013

black eastern skies
the midsummer wind parts
a poppy field

Friday, 21 June 2013

talking weather
with my next-door neighbour
the magical swifts

Thursday, 20 June 2013

the sky about to break...
a grassed path leads nowhere
in particular

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

clammy day
the patterns revealed by
stripping back the walls

Monday, 17 June 2013

by the fountain
a barrow boy hollers
about aubergines

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Venetian Thumbnail

The narrowest pass between gondolas:
a splash of canal on a linen suit.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

summer fete:
the Punch and Judy man
losing his voices

Friday, 14 June 2013

now the swifts
in the rooftop nest have settled
we can all sleep—
my mind replays incidents
from another week of slog

Thursday, 13 June 2013

its owner yanks
the schnauzer from my leg...
summer rain

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Trip

Hours in, and halfway through Star Trek IV (wherein Spock breaststrokes around a tank of humpback whales), which we’re watching in technicolour on Ciara’s Binatone portable black-and-white, I start to lose all sense of time; what purpose it serves and why. I stare at the fire, where a log is wrapped in flame; then focus on the clock, but I just can’t fathom what the hands are doing, or how the present becomes the past. Ron, our friend from Chepstow, renowned for drinking homebrew after barely the recommended fermentation period, boasts of his ability to work out time, so we up and walk to town via the prom. That’s despite the fact it’s mid-November, when the North Atlantic gusts can lift you off your feet. Tonight, though, all is calm; the tide way out from the West Strand. But as we get as far as the point where, each equinox, the breakers crash right over, there are clumps of people, in primary-coloured puffas, whom I’m sure are Finnish. I hear them warn us to stay well away from the port. Nevertheless we carry on, lured, not for the first time under the influence, by Sportsland’s raucous lights; only to find a line of RUC vans blocking off Kerr Street. Ciara and I turn back, but Ron, whom we’re delighted to see head off, makes for the chip shop and the Harbour Bar. We cast our farthest gaze out to sea, jump onto sand, clamber over rocks and shine a torch into pools. Beneath the moon, whose cup is almost full, there’s a whole blue world of shrimps and snails, the clearest darkness imaginable.

Monday, 10 June 2013

sleeping geese—
the north side of the ait
completely walkable

Sunday, 9 June 2013

festival dawn—
Ceri reaches out from his tent
while he’s snoring
to grab a can of cider
for a long and audible swig

Saturday, 8 June 2013

handed payment,
the newsagent doesn't look up
from his mobile

Friday, 7 June 2013

Still Life with Ouija Board

Beside a bowl containing an apple,
on a cloth on the dining-room table,

four hands are piled on the upturned glass
frozen, mid-jerk, between cut-out letters.

It isn’t clear if one hand’s exerting
pressure on the others to flit among

the alphabet with mischievous intent;
but judging by the thunderclouds of dirt

beneath what seem to be male nails
one would surmise that the spirit reveals

nothing more in the way of transcendence
than would the movement of freshly-poured pints

between beer-mat and mouth down the Albert –
even though you know there’s something in it.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

bathers entwine
among the long grass
speckled woods

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

above our bedroom:
the evening chit-chat
in the swifts' nest

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

the sunniest day—
starlings after starlings loop
like swallows

Monday, 3 June 2013

on what remains
of the bulldozed facade:
white wisteria

Sunday, 2 June 2013

gnat clouds
among the new fronds
shadowed hinds

Saturday, 1 June 2013

sunrayed laburnum—
aged eleven, she still wants
to hold my hand