Tag Archives: postaday

For Those in Peril

for-those-in-peril

‘For those in peril out at sea’ – the hymn of choice for we who know
How cruel the pounding waves can be along this callous, battered coast.
And, yet for all of that, I saw four fishermen at Anchorsholme
In combat with the thunderous storm, in oilskins, drenched to the bone
By deafening waves, still wheeling out their eight-foot wooden fishing smack
The wall of foaming, angry surf inhaling shingle, fighting back.
Then came the wave, at thirty foot in height it grabbed the flimsy prow
And hurled the vessel with such hate it landed, broken, upside down,
With all its would-be crew beneath; provisions for the voyage ahead
Now tossed and scattered on the plaster mountains of the storm instead.
And one by one, like drowning rats emerging breathless from the swell,
The fishermen, in rictus grins, fell scrambling amongst the shells.
And as the tide let out another roar and threw the wreck aloft,
The skipper, terrified, called out: “Per’aps wi’d better call it off.”

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The Unsubtle Self-pity of Youth

the-unsubtle-self-pity-of-youth

So there I was, just seventeen, four hours before the grey-drenched dawn
In South Shore’s grotty, out-of-season bed-sit land, the world half-drawn
On tungsten light with charcoaled lines, surrounded by some claustrophobic
Room that bore the trademark of the seventies – anachronistic,
Dark and dreary, listening to The Wall by Pink Floyd on repeat,
As Roger Waters’ dirges made my dank, self-maudlin world complete.
Outside the streets were closed for winter, only brothel doors ajar,
Illuminating men in flat caps, smoking Capstans full strength tar.
It really couldn’t get much bleaker. Here was life in all it starkness.
Then the meter stopped and plunged my rank self-pity into darkness.


Winter at Junior School

winter-at-junior-school

As constant as the northern star that wasn’t there on winter morns,
My mother dragged me off to school, as I, in turn, with wellies on
Dragged shiny heels through dark blue puddles streaked with yellow shop door lights.
In mittens, bobble hat and duffle coat, the toggles done up tight,
I’d stomp in through the playground gates and drag the dark on stubborn legs
Into the dim lit cloakroom where I hung it on the painted pegs
And, face as thunderous as the dawn, I’d shake the cold out, stumble in,
And try to figure out what homework stories sounded genuine.


The Summer’s Growing Older

summer's end

The summer’s growing older. There’s a morning chill again.
Every day it wakes in fits and starts, expectorating rain
Like gobs of phlegm, before it musters up its strength and tries to gauge
Its colour scheme – the golden fields anaemic yellow now with age;
As all the pin-sharp hues of yesterday that burst from every bough
Are fading softly into browns and greys, and on its shoulders now
It wears the bleached mists of the autumn’s cloak, and feels arthritis creep
Through shorter days, while, secretly, the season yearns for winter’s sleep.


Kitten Fodder

shredded

I’m shredded like an old kebab
By teeth that bite and claws that grab
With no consideration for
The pain they cause. I’m stinging raw.
There’s not an inch of skin unraked.
I’m sure the vet’s made some mistake.
It’s not a kitten, it’s bad karma
Trapped inside a mad piranha.


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