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Tag Archives Armageddon

ODYSSEUS

This is the hardest month. Five days ago
clouds, as big as ships, in a blue sky blew fast
southwards. Next day there was an icy fog
that had silvered the lichen on the copse.
The sun had caught it. As the light rose the fog
dispersed and, through the damaged branches,
a church tower appeared – high, square, gothic.

Three days ago I crossed the motorway.
(I had entered the wrecked services first
to collect bottled water and oat bars).
A jack-knifed artic was still smouldering.
I looked away from the cars,

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THE CITY AND THE RIVER

From Woodside to the Pier Head by ferry

is a mile and a bit on waters

that smell always of mud and oil. Eastwards

is Overton Hill, the sandstone ridgeway –

westwards the Liverpool Bar Lightship,

Liverpool Bay and the Irish Sea,

and, far, far beyond, the widening

Atlantic skies where the weathers are made.

 

The Saxons named the river – a boundary

between kingdoms –  the Vikings the place,

with their numerous settlements on the heights.

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UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

One early afternoon at the nadir

or the zenith of the so-called Cuban

Missile Crisis – a good or, rather, bad

two years before ‘Dr. Strangelove’ and ‘Fail-Safe’

were screened – I was waiting in the drear

and white-tiled catacombs of Liverpool’s

Central Station – where it always seemed

as if it were night and the blitz still on

and water appeared to drip continuously –

for the next train, under the Mersey,

to Chester, when I heard somewhere beyond me,

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