ACCIDENTS

A sudden heavy shower of summer rain

slows the early evening motorway

to a blood red blur of brake lights.

In my mirror, I see two cars collide,

career across the lanes – and others stop,

receding out of sight into the downpour…

 

I am thirteen and a half and tall for my age –

the year of Hungary and Suez;

am sitting on the red leather back seat

of an almost straight-from-the-showroom

Morris Minor (in the inexorable green),

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LOVE, AGAIN

Above me, on the slates, pigeons are cooing –

and some already billing, though winter

has many weeks to run. Like a shadow play,

sunlight silhouettes them on the wall

the study window faces. From the desk,

I have looked up, over three decades,

to tease, from bricks, reluctant words of love.

 

Before the allotments were sold off,

by the railway, there were pigeon lofts.

At dawn, out of a livid sky, birds

would home with only guessed at effort,

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THE WRECK OF THE ROTHESAY CASTLE

A dirty night in the Menai Straits…

a paddle steamer on a sudden sandbank –

pounding itself, pounding itself, pounding…

seas silencing the hullabaloo.

 

For the last time, the lifeboat pulls for the shore.

Two lovers, roped to the mast, drown their joy.

 

All turned to chalk on the dark sea bed.

Far, far above was the muffled cry

of gulls, the cormorant’s swift shadow.

 

 

 

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THE POKER

An upper room, somewhere

in Cambridge, England, 1943.

 

Outside, a rainy night, the Kardomah closed,

long queues at the Alhambra

for Max Miller, the Cheeky Chappie.

 

 

 max-miller-3

 

 

Inside, a roaring fire and a pride of philosophers.

 

Wittgenstein:           The world is everything.

 

ludwig-wiittgenstein

 

 

Russell:                     Man is not a solitary animal.

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BESTIARY

Ram, The Aberdeen Bestiary

Ram, The Aberdeen Bestiary

 

                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                               i

 

A swan, standing, preening itself obliviously

in the nearside lane of the overpass,

diverts the chance commuters into

storytellers for the day.

 

                               ii

 

One morning, perched on a bird table, a kestrel

was tearing a head.

A pheasant, late in the afternoon, whirred from the terrace

and over the privet.

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