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All Posts By David Selzer

OMENS

This October’s high water has almost reached

the top of the sea wall, its lapping

silenced by two oafish nabobs on jet skis –

iconoclasts shattering the seascape

of the Straits. Rain clouds along the mainland

are lifting, greyness lightening, slowly

becoming white – revealing early Autumn’s

gradual alchemy. Two porpoises

surface briefly out in the deepest channel,

swimming, in the remnants of the Gulf Stream,

from Cardigan Bay to Liverpool Bay.

 

As the tide drains northwards over Lavan Sands

from the unexpected south a cold breeze blows.

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OCTOBER 4TH

My first, and, so far, only – and that minor –

cardiac infarction fell on the date

of the sixty fourth anniversary

of The Battle of Cable Street, when the Jews

and the Irish stuffed Mosley and his Blackshirts,

the Old Wykehamist and his numbskulls,

the Daily Mail’s darling, a Great White Hope.

 

***

 

The consultant – of the old, aloof school,

and treated with awe by theatre staff –

liked Benny Goodman for accompaniment.

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FROM THE PERCH ROCK CAUSEWAY, NEW BRIGHTON

A small boy is digging in the Autumn sand.

Ships pass in the deep channel. Someone

has made a stand of driftwood twigs topped

with modest baubles. Directly below us

on the sandstone rocks is a dead buzzard

spread eagled – yes, almost literally

the right word – its head gone or hidden,

its exposed viscera gnawed, its talons

limp. We are humans therefore forensic

so discuss the causes of the bird’s demise

and mutilation: low flying aircraft, rats?

Some spring tide will lift whatever remains

of the magnificent black tipped wingspan

out into the oceans.

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THE FIVE GIANTS

Walking down Renshaw Street from ‘Rumpelstiltskin’

at the Unity then along Bold Street,

with its strolling crowds and varied eateries,

to Central Station, thinking of spinning gold

from straw, we pass beggars in doorways.

‘What are they doing?’ our granddaughter asks.

We explain. ‘Why don’t they get jobs?’ We explain.

 

My mother would tell me how, when she moved

to London before the war to be a nurse,

she was appalled by the rough sleepers

on the benches along the Thames Embankment.

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WINTERING

Pink-footed geese are wintering on the marshes

west of here – flocks from Spitzbergen, Iceland,

Greenland. This late October morning

the garden is full of noises: the trimming

and shaping of hedges, bushes, trees,

the blowing and gathering of leaves –

and high cries as a skein flies eastwards

to feed on wheat stalks in the stubble fields.

 

The afternoon is disturbed by sirens –

not fire or police or ambulance.

There have been explosions somewhere north

we are informed –

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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

i.m. John Wareham

 

The tide of chance may bring
Its offer; but nought avails it!

THE OPPORTUNITY Thomas Hardy

 

Each week on Tuesday promptly at seven –

chicken curry and chips from Barry Wong’s

on West Derby Road at the ready –

he and I would turn on the TV

in our rented rooms to watch Hughie Greene’s

‘Opportunity Knocks’.  It was an hour –

including adverts – of metaphors

of the mid-sixties: kitsch;

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