When this is all over: Day 8

I was delighted to finish yesterday’s selection with a Jack of all trades; pretty much how I feel today, having spent several hours doing a job that involved trowels, plaster, decorator’s caulk, two stepladders, boiled linseed oil, three collapsible crates, kitchen sealant and a bucket of emulsion. I took a cupboard down, skimplastered the wall behind it, let it dry, emulsioned it, let it dry, and then put the cupboard back up . I had it in my head that it would take an hour or so. Jack of all trades, master of none. That poem resonated with me. As did the idea that when this is all over….I’ll have a coffee and a smoke. And at three o clock, I did. Sometimes it would be nice to simply get a proper man in. I imagine that royalty live like that, unthinking, blithe. Stuff just gets done.

.

The King    (Kathleen Strafford)

When this is all over, said the King

I will pipe down the hammocks

float out with the tide

drink from an everyday jug left in the rain

later three sheets will blow in moonshine

                     & in the offing

                     watch the water-colour sky unfold

On days it’s pouring I’ll take long walks

            meet rainy day women shopping in doldrums

            who know the ropes

            grabbing hand over fist 

            for frozen tiaras & fishnet dreams

            who have no idea 

                       my heart

                                is at a loose end

they are deported in ships of fools

escaping through portholes

 I’ll chase their chasing shadows 

when I’m through      put on my shades

                    knock on your door  

                    bend on a royal knee 

like a seasick sailor      wave goodbye to the sea

                    hand you my heart 

                                       like a crown

  .

.

 Late Chain Survey              (Christopher North)

We drag our chain to the fuzzed margin,

        the field for us the only field on earth,

.

all else is blur. We rod the line,

        behind us upright wisps of red and white

.

and one distant in front. Then twilight’s grey pall

        and beyond the hedge falls black.

.

Our thin tape rasps out the offsets.

       The rye grass offers no mark,

.

the same in this station as the next.

       Then the chain goes forward.

.

Your figure quests onward into dark,

       until, link by link, there is only the moving chain.

.

  Listener (Char March)

.

When all this is over

my ears will have grown

been re-minted

learnt to swivel, independently, and often

to the rasp of damp grass 

the thump of butterflies’ feet

the thundering rearrangement 

of feathers on tucked-deep nests

badger air’s duskly snuffle

oxygen easing from trees’ leaves.

.

It will be, by week three, as if I had laid

your Windmills of Norfolk teatowel over the daisies;

reached in elbow-deep through my clogged glup of Icarus;

to unpin; held my auricle to the sun; become cog-carer.

Disassembled helix and anti-helix onto Cley-next-the-Sea,

tragus and anti-tragus to Burnham Overy, concha and lobule 

(strange to remove my gold sleepers only now) safe at Stow and on 

into the percussion section – malleus, incus, stapes to Turf Fen – 

for the full Spring clean while pear blossom snowed the veg beds

confusing the bees for days.

.

.

Then 

crowdscarsbuildingsitesplaneshornslorriescrowdsbrakespiledriverscarsplaneslorriescrowdscarsthebellowofgooooooooal

And once more 

I shall be deaf.

..

.

4 thoughts on “When this is all over: Day 8

  1. All those people wanting it to be over. For some reason the teatowel with the windmills of Norfolk really got to me. Also the idea of getting a proper man in. XX to you and yours, Fogginzo.

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    1. It’s a family catchphrase, Gráinne. Flo’s Auntie Beryl famously would say to her husband after another spell of his DIY: “It’s no use, Frank, we’ll have to get a proper man in”. You need to hear it in a Liverpool accent for the full dismissive effect

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  2. I like the Listener and not just because I’m envious that they used Cley-next-the-sea in a poem before I did 😂. Went there one holiday c. 29 moons ago with son Clay (yep spelling & pronunciation difference, specially said the Norfolk way).
    Great end line to that poem too.
    So enjoying reading all of these John.

    Like

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