Five poems in five days [5]

Just to prove there’s a life after nostalgia. This came out of a workshop; I had not been thinking of Stanley Spencer. It was maybe six years since the retrospective in the Liverpool Tate. Anyway, thanks to Jane Draycott for the workshop task. Whatever it was.


……with an indrawn breath, with a scratch of air,
the sky went white and crimped. A dry creak like
the turning of a big old key, and one
of leather, twisting, like the axle
on an overburdened cart.
Then the bell sang.
Pigeons clattered out of the tower, like applause;
crows from the elms, a slap of wet sheets in a squall.
Then nothing.
The sky smoothed its brow.
The birds settled.
The sun shone.

Stone drawn on stone sang a slow note.
Laurels and ivy sighed. Subsided.
There were dull thuds
and small shrieks of pried-out nails.

After a time there were voices,
the trying out of tongues and
lips awkward from a too-long sleep.

They said: but

This first appeared in The Interpreter’s House a couple of years ago, and then in‘Running out of Space’  [2014]  For details, see My Books at the top of the page

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