Friday, 13 April 2018

Le Grand Depart

Le Grand Depart

Truro Station never felt so threadbare cold
as my dumped case found a pothole puddle
precisely splashing taxi-rank water on my clothes.
Exit papers in a malicious man bag muddle,
passport dancing the fantangle with boarding passes,
flight reminders and kiss my asses.

Now we’re off and running:
Competing in the customary
100 metre Olympic Dash platform bridge event,
beam balance across the tracks,
floorshow with tepid coffee half spent
while the suitcase gains points for trampolining off cracks.

Crotch clutched by the bitter April breeze
my skin sticks to handle metal at minus two degrees.
On platform three, the shivering audience,
double parked on brown benches,
cocks an ear:
acknowledge announcements with mute intolerance
soundless cursing and silent fear.
Frigid buttocks clench.
Constipated by the clock’s failure to function
trammelled by the engine’s paralysis at the junction.

Sodden thoughts sift their slow way through the brain
as we look to each ignore the other on the train.
Like, I mean, what’s the point of Ivybridge
and who are they that do what they do there?
Why the stop at Par for Newquay, anyway?
And who is the stupid bloke with no fare
interrogated incessantly about his Tiverton Parkway awayday
on two separate lengthy occasions by loud officials who care
for his safety? And are not troubled that the bugger pays.
Definitely not. No, sir. We’ll charge your ticket online,
for your security, sir, protection,
sir, nothing to do with crime.

A weak struggling sun is thick cloud tracing
as I’m shoved in the corner, backward facing
at Taunton, by a front faced, beany bonced
chin jutter-nutter, in seat squirming nonchalance.
She munches putrid cheese and onion in my ear
spraying chips while declaring she feels queer,
hacksawing brayed laughter at anyone near.
To please him, she got a room at King’s Cross
he’s cancelled but she’s on her way to check
in just in case any of us give a toss: well, his loss.

Two fat sisters, clickety click on phones,
plugged in;
opposite and together yet with each other alone,
vacant grin, in silent sin, and whatever world they are in
is preferable to the company of their skin,
while Westbury wrestles with the eye
and shards of vapour dash across the sky
at Reading, a concrete grip of the throat,
distant glimpse of departing planes that float
to other worlds and places
leaving sad traces.
Quick shook speed, rushing miles faster,
the imminent approach of the grand departure:
black brick beckons now beyond limelight fields
and all the trees that shield London part, unveil and yield
up the acres of grim concrete clinker.

Windowed reflections show some old, frowned thinker,
a sad smile, yes, but at least a smile of some measure,
forward looking back to the years we will treasure.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Demons and Angels

Demons and Angels

Angel, between the bare branches
and decaying leaves
in the forests of Albion
the guardian mists exhale
your great men of great promise.
Now, each man has his angel.
A swift exit and a promised return to grace,
just cut the cord, praise the Lord,
then swab the smile from your face.
The bubbling swamp mud
has barely belched them
erect from the sludge,
when all you angels swarm
to nest them in bushes warm.

Now, Angel, my dear,
these poor old eyes are hardly fit
to see which of you is witch,
    and which is not.
You write in nothings, you speak in vacuum,
you use the language of the chatroom:
And I fear something dire
hides horrid in the ditch.
The bluebell trembles and tolls
forgotten; forlorn forecasts
of bankrolls and soiled spread sheets.
Great men reveal their exit plan
as you angels open legs, sod on polls,
until rank shit hits the fan.

Oh, Angel, with your leased love,
these feeble arms with
fists balled and claws extended
dragging finger nailed dirt from the pit
where you took vague pleasures
from ducking me in the shit,
returned me to dry land.
Where television shows the great men,
counting Dollars, Euros and Yen,
you angels, wet weeping at their shoulders.
Truffling between your thighs
for pungent sick and soured honey.
Once sexed, shrug sad sighs
to see barefoot children shiver and lunch on lies.

Within the grove, dark in the bushes,
my lady shivers at the approach:
the rustle of rutting cockroach.
The wind trembles and the ancient stag
paws the turf, chained beside the bent bullrushes. 
Great men, determined to conceive
upon which tide we should leave.
My lady stirs, too old to resist, too weak
to scream violation or report outrage:
you angels have already scratched out the page.
Gashed the great oaks from the earth
fucked the soil and given birth.
Ripped forth from her moorings; tossed;
torn out from anchorage safe;
rocked, wrenched-wrecked and foully displaced.
You leave on the tongue a bitter taste.

Look back upon the things you waste.
Never cry. Never weep. No tears -
the trail you blaze will curdle the years.
It is as it should be: selfish, foolish, stupid,
blabber your bile like some cut price cupid.
Leave us. Go to your great men.
Oh yes, Angel, you left your scent,
It stinks of badly scrubbed gusset.
Now my trust in you I do repent.
We’re all, I suppose, fortune’s puppet.