When this is all over :Day 7

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The Horologist (Mick Jenkinson)

I’ll tell you about time

You see enough, you come to understand

how shallow the conceit

that one might influence the falling sand

.

The tiresome tick and tock

my patience never tested so before

The plague’s relentless mock

beat us till we in blind obeisance swore

.

I need to clean my hands

This work requires a sterile atmosphere

Should you wish to observe

then do the same before you enter here

.

Bring me your broken clock

chronometer or clepsydra to mend

This is my element

a steady eye and yet more steady hand

.

I’ll show you whole worlds

within the shifting gears of this chablon

but out beyond these walls 

could you be sure that life and love go on?

.

And though time finds its voice

from pockets, mantle pieces and bell towers

now clocks can only serve –

each timepiece striking off life’s hollow hours

.

When all of this is done

would you meet me by the meridian?

We’ll take a quiet turn

I’ll tell you of the great John Harrison

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Ice Cream Man (Anthony Wilson)

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I pass the cones across the shelf,

planting them like light bulbs

in their fists, livid blue bubble gum,

squat tubs of ripple,

coffee and walnut tasting of nothing.

.

Tourists, mostly, even in winter,

detouring south to the beach

we aren’t famous for

before heading to the hills 

where at least the ice is real.

.

Or these schoolkids and their mams

for their three-thirty rush,

tips slimmer than I used to be,

hips held in by elastic

that never sees a gym.

.

I wipe things down and see it shine

between indecisive anoraks.

I never pretend to smile.

I have worn this badge so long

I have forgotten my own name.

.

.

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Jigsaw puzzle designer. (Di Slaney)

.

When this is all over, said the jigsaw puzzle designer, I’ll stop looking for identical blue bits and dark shadowed edges with the faintest hint of grey. I’ll abandon beige for the rest of my life, seek out the single bright stem, the gimlet leaf, leave overblossomed branches for someone else to fret over. I’ll take a long flight somewhere warm and as we pass over the sea, I’ll stop noticing puffs of wavecrest as differentials, and take a merlot without matching it to the headrest. When the scented woman next to me asks what I do, I’ll look at my blunt, practical hands and say “Carpet fitter”. I have transferable skills. 

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Jack-of-all-trades Di Slaney)

.

When this is all over, said the jack-of-all-trades, 

I will focus on doing one job really well. 

No more of this fixing, mending, bending, 

up-ending, tapping, wrapping, brushing, 

rushing, slushing, plunging, de-gunging, 

wiring, re-firing, all in one day. 

I will be full fat perfection

in my niche, I won’t spread 

my margarine-self 

so thin 

the toasty burns shine through, 

I won’t be busted for my lack

of quals or certs. I will master 

my destiny, choose my path, walk the walk 

and talk – well, I’ve always been good at that

One thought on “When this is all over :Day 7

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