Born again

 

A man botched up from sticks and bone –
all angles, elbows pointing out,
and one leg twisted round its mate
like ivy round a tree.

As we come abreast of him, I see
the sleeveless denim jacket, skinny arms
pale and freckle -spotted, his white face
wet with effort, clenched like a closed fist.

“You’ll walk with me,” a child’s voice
slurred around the edges,
a statement, not an invitation.

We stand still.

He finds a solid anchor for his crutch
then drags his tangled limbs to follow it.
We move forward just an inch or two.

His name is Tim and he was born again
ducked in the winter river last December.
Three crucifixes hang round his neck
like winners’ medals.

The square is transient space , where every hour
a thousand different purposes collide
and split away. A place to walk across
or cycle through, which only takes a moment.

It takes us half an hour to get across.

We pause.

“ Born again” he mutters , “I’m born again”
over and over.

A child cries out – a yelp of pain –
head -high above the flinching crowd
pigeons whirr like shrapnel.
I watch them swing a circuit round the sun.
“Born again …” Continue reading

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Side effects

Side effects

Danger ! This course of action
may seriously damage your health !

There are reports of dizziness,
a spinning sensation in the early stages.

You may become restless and irritable.
Weight loss may occur in many cases.
You may experience difficulty in breathing.
Light headedness and confusion are common –
giddy euphoria, sudden inexplicable despair.

Many people experience long term heart problems.

But that’s always the way of it
with love.

Landscape with figure

One of everything-
a lake, a ruin
and a man, waiting.

Nothing moves.
Clouds, huddled together,
hold the pose. The empty road
waits. The trees are still

waiting for you.

You could always climb in
through the frame.
It would be easy
like crossing a stile.

Then you could feel
the wind brushing your face,
watch clouds drift in the light air,
welcome the man
striding up the road towards you.

 

Enjoyed that ? Try this York

 

 

Re-cycling

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Down the dusty, data-blown back streets
of my computer’s hard drive lies
the dumping ground-
the place
where failed poems go to die,
and fragments too, which make me feel
embarrassed or ashamed-
lines leading nowhere, overgrown
with lush, excessive, choking adjectives;
a rusting heap of mis-matched metaphors;
a rhyme scheme spray-canned on a concrete wall.
And that’s not all
that festers here-
a ballad that would put a saint to sleep;
a cinquaine that’s correct, but deadly dull.

The place is full
of junk.

Yet often when I’m stuck
I wander here
to browse the trash
(it’s happened many a time.)
I pick up some soiled phrase and rub it
on my sleeve
and sometimes- you won’t believe this-
I can see a gleam of gold beneath the grime.

Pruning

DSCF2155
Just another word
for amputation.
Fleshed of leaves
the hedge gapes open
like a charnel house-
clawed fingers, knuckles, elbow joints
fused in a mass of spikes and barbs.

An eye for cramped and crooked growth,
long handled cutters and a pair of gloves
will see you straight.
Now pull the twigs aside.
See the main stems- long bones, twisted
tight as cables in the bitter winter.
Pick those thinner than your wrist
and slice them through. The stumps may bleed
a sticky sap, but this will clot and heal
the gash.
Now drag your cuttings out
and burn them.

Thin as lace and filled with air, the hedge
will fade from sight
until the warm days come,
when overnight it grows a lush green pelt.
It smells of sunshine.
Its dappled heart is loud with sparrows.

A serendipitous error

You might wonder why the strapline to this blog is

“ Where poetry and Lego collide” or something such.

Well……I’ve got a bit of an apology to make. It was all going to be much more serious. The strapline was going to be”

“Where poetry and ego collide”

I was going to write this incredibly complex and exciting analysis of the way in which the ego ( and indeed the super ego) relates to the writing of poetry. Damn it ! I’ve got  a whole shelf of Feud’s books on the subject. Who was Feud ? Johann Sigmund Feud, who was the first man to explain the  symbolic significance of cigars.

Nothing to do with Freud. And certainly not a typo.

Glad we’ve got that cleared up.

Why is the blog called “ The Top Banana” ?

Easy. My grandad was a gangster in Chicago in the twenties.