No 11 - 1996
A Grand View of the Bay
I’m thinking how your eyes would sparkle
To see the plastic grass lining your grave -
An emerald baize beloved of Lammas markets,
Harvest-festivals, humble greengrocers.
The way it hides raw earth with cheerful cladding,
Like you, down on your hands and knees to coax
Another sullen gleam out of the lino:
Marine Place, after the hurricane.
The Sea Box Co.’s two damp rooms
Where overnight your shoes would bloom with mould.
From time to time, your life
Leapt into headlines from the Sunday Post:
- BUDGIE SAVED HER LIFE IN HURRICANE TERROR -
- BEE-STING KEEPS FATHER HOME AS SHIP GOES DOWN -
- WOMAN GIVES GOLDHSH KISS OF LIFE -
Canvassed at seventy on the American bombing
Of North Vietnam, you sided with Hanoi,
Thumping the table, making the doilies tremble:
Bombing folk oot o’ their hooses? No me!
Ah wis bombed oot in the gales!
Ah ken whit like it is tae loss yer hame.
Tentsmuir’s horizons; Arbroath sparkling at night
Like diamonds on a ring, impossibly far.
Fretting you’d up and marry, your father would stand,
You said, at the top of the close, peering the length
Of North Street, shading his eyes against disaster.
Ah niver had a jo. I heard a kind of
Wondering grief, tempered by pride.
The other Jockies & Joeys, your Bobbies & Billies,
And the one who turned out to be Billiamina.,
Laying one small cold egg, are long since
Tucked up under the turf.
And they’re burying you with Snowy the doll
Who came with some shortbread, silently, one Christmas.
The shadow of St Rule’s
Leans out across your grave:
Your father still speiring after you,
And you just gone for messages, maybe.
Or off to meet some fancy fella.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The