One poem from each of the three sections of West North East (‘Fugue’, ‘Edgelands’ and ‘Chinese Lanterns’)

Because I Was Nobody

Mum’s new bloke called me ‘the blob’.
I’d no idea what I wanted to do
with my life. I’d come home from job club
and watch anything on TV. It’s true,
at dusk I’d walk out of the estate
into the scraggy grazing land beyond
and light fires. On a hump of earth I’d sit
sipping Thunderbird and warming my hands
as lights in the distant high-rise blinked on
and off. Once, I stumbled down a mound
into a herd of cows. The heat of them
was like a drug. All I wanted was to stand
feeling their breath all night. They let me try
because they knew I had nothing. Was nobody.


From Edgelands

Edgelands. Showrooms, factories
lapsing into pylon fields.
Where the road bends, fresh debris.
A hubcap like a felled star.
A severed tail. Grey. Still puffed.


From Moving With Thought

On April mornings
  after soft rain,
the soil will open
  its cask of scent.

The cherry blossom
  is lit by noon
and bees rev engines
  inside the trees.

Is that old soul manning the checkout
Issa? I know those sagging shoulders
and blackened thumbs. They have known better
than packing bags for smirking students.

I know that laugh and sudden banter.
It cracks his mask when wrapping whisky
for an old friend: ‘If we’re sacked again,
we’re only sacked. The cherry blossoms’.

5 thoughts on “Poems”

  1. Love ‘bees rev engines’ blending mechanical and natural world. Because I was nobody recalls my 2 yrs unemployed in the Eighties. You have caught it acutely.

  2. Love that I found this today. Brilliant voice, I will be delving back here regularly. Thanks for sharing.

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