Cat and mouse
Sun bed, shorts, sun cream.
Another chance to top up his tan.
A cloud smothers the sun.
Sticks it out as long as he can.
Finally, pulls on his sweater.
As if on cue, the sun re-emerges.
Hotter than ever.
All morning: sweater off, sun in.
Sweater back on, sun back out.
Only when rain sweeps the patio
does he admit defeat.
Retreats indoors, to be met by
the Paleface’s feline smile.
Every time a charity bag
is posted through my letterbox
I think ‘this time I’ll let it go’
But then I stroke its fine velour,
admire the red silk lining
of its jacket
take it out to dust it down,
put it back and close
the wardrobe doors again.
I cannot bear to let it go
even though it’s a long, long time
since I sat sideways on a horse,
even though I was
a different, smaller, size
So you’ve written 31 poems in the las 31 days and you can’t just give up the habit.
Habits. Make what you will of them…
Here’s a poem by Jonathan Edwards:
The Therapist Gets An Eye Test
The circumference of his face
hung like one of saturn’s moons
blurry in the middle-distance
of the two-metre square dimly lit room.
“Look towards me and follow the tiny light”
he spins her gently to the right – swoooooosh
“look up to the ceiling and down to the floor”
rolls himself in apparatus cupping her chin
and their knees come together like scissors.
Proximity Distance Boundaries
things she calculates daily with
verb tense form of address
he has no regard for. She hangs
perpendicular to the chair symmetrical
as a split pear. “The coloured lights
the red and the green the two circles –
which is easiest to see?” She blinks
then blurts “The red?” schlott
a lens is dropped “And now?”
“The green – no still the red” – she’s lost
Schlott “And now?” The lines shudder
as if an earthquake or a tremor
hit the room – years and years
of looking into things but never
have things appeared this unclear.
She squints stares stabs out “The Green!”
but he sees through her empathetic manoeuvre
“No no Miss Harrison it’s what YOU see.
Try again – the red or the green?”
“Never keep your tomatoes in the fridge”
my visitors tell me and I wonder,
as I make them tea,
– one weak as dishwater
– one artificially sweetened
do we all display these symptoms
or is it a British condition?
During dinner I am made aware
of a universal intolerance to nutmeg,
there is rampant heartburn in town,
blocked sinuses are inherited.
As for the deadly qualities of kiwi fruit …
I suggest a small break
before we move on to dessert.
Stalling for time I return to the tomatoes
asking “What will happen to them?”
But the conversation has shifted
to the pavement that rose up,
the new car bumpers that get bigger
the closer they get to inanimate objects,
and the annoying fact that days of the week disappear.
As I make them coffee,
– both with cream
– both with biscuits
they discuss macular degeneration
as if it is the new margarine
and I place the tomatoes in the fridge
to stop them going wrinkly.
Fatal moment, first time I saw her,
felt the pull from fifty feet away.
Stella the North Star.
Cool blonde, ice maiden,
northern lighthouse across a sea of faces.
Caught in her frosty beam, I was
drawn through the crowd to her side.
Soon locked in her cold embrace
But I wasn’t the only moon
attracted into her orbit.
She collected satellites,
craved to be the centre of attention.
Her tongue an icicle, piercing the heart.
The North/South divide.
Realising we were poles apart,
I was repelled.
Only a bottle blond, anyway.
Magnetic, not True North.
The room was silent except
for the crackle of electricity
which flared from newspaper
pages. The three of us waiting
for a ghost from the past
whose shadow flickered
on and off, on and off.
A knock at the door. The ghost
stepped over the threshold out
of darkness and into light.
A substantial ghost with tinkling
jewellery and auburn hair
which she coiled around her finger
Again and again. Again and again.
A daughter, granddaughter
lost at birth and passed to strangers.
A beautiful woman whose aura
of evangelical curse lifted floorboards,
turned the house upside down,
shook out torment, blew on shame
and made wrong right.
Her flesh is rosy, her father’s pale.
The severity of witless morality
weeping in an osmotic rush
through his skin. The iron grip
of nun, nurse and family
Here’s ‘On the Meeting of Garcia Lorca and Hart Crane’ by Philip Levine:
Meeting. Anyone with anyone, real or imagined.
written by David Edwards, re-posted by Robbie Burton
It was a frosty morning, the hoar contained me,
my relationship, encompassed fear,
she might leave me, float into softer fields,
where dandelions look like daffodils.
I didn’t care, I’d had enough, my skin was bare,
the years of self containment, strangled me,
she always knew I would return, protect my den,
I’d waited for her long enough, she was a shadow,
I, a free running hare, why let her capture me,
repair the fallen walls, disparity, her recklessness,
search and seek, discover a trickle of common sense,
imagine buds of love could grow again, or germinate,
but why, why try, to make hawthorn co-exist with holly,
it was time to scythe the ivy of distrust,
those arrows lay too deep inside my heart,
I must allow new, barbs of self respect to sprout,
make love’s suspension disappear, into forgetfulness,
impossible to sleep again on nettles, or yesterday’s thorns.
Written by David Edwards
Apologies to Sarah Dolan in advance of this post. I have no wish to embarrass you Sarah, but I’d like to say how much I enjoyed your latest poetry collection, ‘Back then, when I was a child…’
The dedication says, ‘this book is for you if you still use words such as ‘Fab’ and ‘Ace” – which I do, all the time. And I remember ‘Sandwich Spread’ butties (I still eat them) and the ice cream van. The poem called ‘Veranda’ is truly ACE, my favourite I think.
I also love your website www.lemoninkproductions.co.uk
If anyone is thinking of putting together a collection of their own, Sarah’s web site has some great tips. You might just be inspired to have a go yourself. I recommend Sarah’s latest collection (part of the proceeds of which go to charity).
Well done Sarah.
Now I’m off for a fab Sandwich Spread butty…
from – the other Sarah