No 12 - September 2000
i Back, from Beckley, to Blaina.
Diary 1998: Return, the warm home chilled by absence; marble-silent,
tidy as last left, ‘cept the mail, grown across the hall and crimped
under the opened door, reedy to be sorted like a card trick.
Defibrillation, click, click, electronic
systems booted end cold displays wink for attention.
Hellos My voiceprint back. The walls recall;
the Spanish mirror gets me
in full vision.
Yesterday’s even fields hoisted to a mountain.
A window frames an oblong of bracken and like
projection a watery light dances only
a hinted me, silent onto a painted wall. Today
another page in a book of changes -
a wash / different clothes.
ii From Darkness
Diary: Bad night.
Seconds of water (hear them!) drip.
Delicate explosions give away locations
darkness fails to disguise and insomnia tries
The destroyer swims deltaic above coiffured artex,
a Nile into the Mediterranean of my bedroom, washing
grit to deposits which puncture first morning steps.
Diary: Phone calls, many cells, for help! Wait.
Young voices, clinical, operational,
diet on details - postcode and claim’s number.
Real response is slow.
Nile turns Victoria.
Cups of capture;
Moveables - bed, wardrobe, desk - to dry ground.
to find the source. Logical;
geographical to trace
Diary: No entry.
iii To Light.
Mother has an open reference
from Shell Oil Co., South Africa.
She is proud of it and shows
the letter. I think of
each time I fill with petrol. The evaporation
ripples back -
octane has me as high as Mum.
Her film-star-face in ecstatic youth
each time she shows the letterhead.
T’ make her face, impossible. At that time
when sepia barely coped, colour, then.
would have captured not her, but iridescence.
This diamond - no,
Diary: Insurance green light. Builders - much mess.
Never on time. Many phone calls and careful words. Keep calm ... time.
Mothers’ Day soon.
Running tearfully after her as she escaped house-tension,
thinking she would go; knowing
I couldn’t let her.
A picnic on the front lawn
in summer after school.
How she made things WORK. The walks
‘cross the rocks from Cullercoats,
‘round Brown’s Point, by the wreck, searching
every rock pool to Rockcliff.
A sea breeze billowing her checked frock
thro’ the village, home.
A jumper handed over the school wall as the day chilled.
The front door pushed easily. The sound crinkled -
like the door-case’s copper strip - in my memory.
My universe, a few acres of land;
a tidal margin of fun
from which Foxton Avenue was sprinting distance;
number 30 the end of the race.
Yellow, yellow, days, sand, swimming trunks,
kitchen, tinned pineapple, eggs ...
simple as an illusion.
iv Almost Losing The Music
In me evrything of the river. I have
splashed over the rock bed of youth, dashed
fantastically without purpose and felt
of each outcrop.
Eric Burdon opened the door:
We Got To Get Outa This Place,
to find the way home by the journey outward.
Restless liquid teens spurted - London
and beyond, the valley
stretched into the arid emptiness of Spain.
That dry blade bleeding the river.
Remembered Bella Taylor selling winkles
from a Bank Top stall, singing
her trade. The last Cullercoats’ Fishwife.
Too, St. Mary’s Lighthouse
distant and close as its beam
wielded like a claymore to slice the night,
the short distance to shore and out
to scar the far horizon.
place As employed in HUMANIST GEOGRAPHY.
place refers to that geographical space
occupied by a person or object. Modern Dictionary of Geography
The river can never return to source
nor ever lose it.
I hear the music
a clattering rapid: MacSweeney, Shearer, Shearer ...
Diary: New roof. Kika Onza.
- 10th Muse
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- Modern Poetry in Translation
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