Manvers Lake, Jan 30th, 2015, 8.44, 13.00.

Icemirrors, frostpuddled, icesprinkledpebble, globuledreflections

Icepools, icedvolcanicflow

Strangegalaxies, icedpuddles

‘Wath Daisies’, Silverbirchmelt, shadowroot, woodfall

The Drawer

There is a beautiful life
in this drawer somewhere,
I put it away in here when you left.

I rummage for a glint of it,
pull out your birthday, anniversary,
condolence cards to me.

I put my whole arm in the draw
and feel for that beautiful life
I put away when you left.

Ah! Perhaps this is it. It has the texture of beauty, I pull it out, but no. It is only a stunning frayed recollection of you.

You always said
Or was it me
Men can never find stuff.
They never pick stuff up
or move it.
Perhaps this is why
you left.

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My Other Coat

I left my former life in my other coat pocket, in my other wardrobe, in another world this morning.

My other pocket holds my life, an elastic band that wrapped your letters
to me, a rusty steel washer and Orange peel.

My other coat smelt of the ashes of your letters so I let it hang unwashed.
The rusty steel washer held your favourite seat together.

I peeled the Orange, put the peel in my coat pocket while I watched the flames lick around the perfumed words in your letters.

Now I wear a different coat

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The Matter of England

I stroll the matter of England
every workday. Recall rich
ancestral lords use miners sweat
lay clanking rails, raise putrid stench,
employ.

I walk the matter of England
see lives snatched by unmarked
uniforms, history laid waste
to make a point and remove sting
of sweated labour

I tread the matter of England everytime I chronicle the artificial lake, pit demolished, rails removed, soil has been moved on, seasonal.

Decipher its taste when we in/exhale its dust, decode invasions private/public, ingest new blood, remember old.

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The Cage Drop

Pit demolition crew joke all will not be there, a memory.
Pit security guard
I laugh. Cage drop, ears pop, reach deepest Barnsley
Bed. Never knew vast gusty dark, blue hat hard.

Its lamp helps avoid stumble on railway tracks,
see yawn of cathedral roof, crumbly soil, root
rot, pit support steel arches. The Drift darkness
I often stared into when above now stares
mute

where once much clank, heat, scrape and busy dust
there is left the gust and heat slow dust. “Turn light
off.” says Deputy. These eyes cannot adjust
to absolute dark, cannot see this hand. “Turn light

back on.” says Deputy. He heaves open small,
latched white wooden door to limewashed storeroom,
discarded tools in stone trough. Once pony stall
where they rested between shifts to feed and groom.

To fresh air, cage rises one last time and date,
To “Land to Let” and Industrial estate.

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The Snail

Employers say ‘Can I have a word?’ Talk to side,
‘Are you happy here? Sorry, must let you go.’

‘You are a nice person, get on well workwise’.
‘We needed work done faster, must let you go.’

‘There is no problem with your work quality.
You are thorough, but, sorry, you are too slow.’

Business wants workers always accurate and quick
When you work too slow. no choice, they ask you to quit

Slow workers move from job to job always expect
the phrase ‘Are you happy here?’ and always regret.

 

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The Harsh Light

Gentle light should enter these open eyes slow.
Sat on slagheap blue sky midday watch flit white
clouds pass shadows over pit, ripple and flow
girded redbrick coal washery
over bright

puddles, empty slurry tanks, across concrete
bunkers of unused sand, lime. gravel.
Recall
dark days ago nightshift veins freeze
blood heat
ice encrusted hands on ground concrete
hurt all

when I fell one snowed Winter day heavy
weight
hauls postal bag down, I slip on an iced drift
to letterbox bottom of door number eight.
I push prise open. Whole hand with letter lifts

sprung letterbox fringed with sharp stiff brush drops cold
letter quick pulls out and metal lid slams shut
in face. Shadows never what they seem in
bold
iced night. Come morning bushes, metal gutted

old men slumped down after pit work, cloaked gentlemen.
Whoever I meet wants to hurt these eyes. Brash
people are like harsh lights snapped on. They urgent
my thought. I do not think fast. Slow thought clouds pass.

Last girlfriend she dimmed harsh lounge light before sex
on sofa. Her ten year old son she said
did not
know we had sex would call out, ‘Mum. When you fetch
ing to bed?’ Like a harsh light, or rushed
reflex.

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The Childhood Tree (Sonnet)

Gang found it side of canal down Lovers Lane.
Canal too full to flow of ancient bedsprings,
glossy wheel trims. Over a fag scratched their names
in its skin, shinned it, slung a rope round a limb.
over the water. Who could swing out further
without a wet? Then big lad Wayne had his turn.
Expected happened. Limb snapped. Told his mother
he’d slipped in a puddle while we’d all sunburn.
Later, some of them, like him and wife when courting
would boast of these cracks. Even then tree looked ragged.
All wrinkly and scabby wounds. Still some sporting
sap all over hacked their names  ‘LUV’ or heart tagged.
Then big lad Wayne overreached on a joyride.
Took collectors Chevvy, dumped and set it aflame.

Too close. Childhood Tree went up. Now waterside
him and wife see younger carvedhearts in it’s remains.

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