Poetry

Coins for the parking meter

 

Stacked in an empty Kodak film roll

Children, Don’t touch

Road atlas seat pocket (left)

And a kitkat foil they don’t know I hid there

A scratchy tartan blanket

In the boot is a Briefcase he takes to the factory, I like playing with the latch

Inside are drawings of machines 

 

It’s a Jaguar xjs and it needs to be sold soon; there is rust forming underneath because your Father hasn’t built a garage yet and we have been living out of boxes for  years we don’t have a kitchen I don’t know why he always starts a project and never finishes anything this house will never be done

You children don’t know how fortunate you are with all this space to run around in, we have a vegetable patch although the voles are eating the peas and you can have tremendous fun playing in the sand heap we got for building

Don’t play with the cement powder or with fire again though please darling

Could you say hello to granddad on the cassette and we can send it all the way to the farm in Australia 

 

It’s got a 6litre engine and my god the price of petrol now

 

I don’t like it when he picks me up from school in it because everyone looks

There’s also a leather smell when it’s hot

You notice it when you feel carsick

 

Maybe in half term we can go to London, It’s my fourth time

there’s an auction at Christies for clocks

Something at the theatre (boring but can we have ice cream in the interval?)

Natural history museum, whales suspended in the air and stuffed animals with their dusty fur and unseeing eyes

We will go on the tube, the crush of rained upon commuters, wet umbrellas, stale smoke

 

His hands grip the wheel,

elegant tanned weathered, 

the cuff of the sleeve slightly frayed

Jesus Christ that bloody motorcycle 

 

The street lights on the a4 look like little boats, I count them

We are listening to classical fm

 

Could you two be quiet in the back seat we have had enough of that

And we will get there when we get there

In the comfort of crows

Your wings of oily midnight in the bright light of a spring day

Otherworldly still air

In a city silently sleeping,  around an ancient castle

Layers of a cyclical history

The sharp realisation that we have been here before

You appeared in many guises but it was always you

 

What have you come to give me

Your mysterious presence

An enthralling dark magnetism

As my life’s sepia tones finally fall away

I can see in colour

And cry to feel joy

Bloom and decay

Whispering waves grinding rock to dust

Ceaseless friction eroding micron by micron

Shaping of landscape with an unknown design

Billions of process and intricate results

Unimaginable years, time in-comprehendible

 

Bloom and decay like the rise and fall of nations

Countless lives that nothing remembers

Meaningless beyond their moment

 

Nothing stays the same

 

Mysterious objects we never knew,

Deep under the waves

Layer on layer

Silent in darkness

Existing until discovery under shrieking gulls and salty sky

 

Crystallising bones where once blood pumped

And sentience lived

Into stillness and waiting

For millenia

 

From rot and mulch into sharp crystals and clear refracting light

Iron of blood and damp of leaves

Life both filthy and bright and new

Repeating cycle of rise and fall, growth and decay

 

Meanwhile

Creaking river of ice with tremendous strength

Scour the bones of the mountains,

Carve landscapes,

Roll boulders,

Freeze and thaw

 

Shards of schist fall into the valley below,

Tree roots entwine, grasp and squeeze,

Foliage scatters the loam

Oxbow ribbons meander

And a trillion corals build their fortresses under a full moon.