Saturday, 16 December 2017

A Writer's Album December 2017.

With thanks to Barry George, Philadelphia poet, for the photograph of the Japanese temple.
Season's Greetings to Everyone,

Friday, 1 December 2017

'The man with no umbrella'

The man with no umbrella    
The man with no umbrella
lives with a raindrop in his ear
it gossips of tides and oceans
how the dogdays
would see it mist out of the waves
how it would find them again
at the dark swing of the weatherglass

its earliest memory
it insists
is of waking to itself
amongst the toils of Eden
binding with the millions
to pour down on Adam and Eve
marry them fast to their guilty clothes
so hard
the sword of the sentinel-angel
rusted like prayer

it crawled it says
in and out of the bitten apple
which tasted of a colour
you wouldn’t wish to dream

over time it has mimicked
a tear on a cheek
and so sealed misunderstanding—
where kindred pairs have parted
hidden in separate footsteps
while the ill-sorted have pushed on
biting their lips  

for this the raindrop is sorry

the man understands but just stares down
he has lived so long
he has nothing of his own to hear

if he thinks at all
it’s of the umbrellas
he’s left among the years
the trains they might still be riding
the music that might still be stuck
among their folds
with the click of last lights
the long gasp of dark
across a concert hall

it was bad admits the raindrop
but not bad bad
just that the dove overshot Noah’s prow
the million drops
had to bulk a last squall
to turn it back

of course
it might have been making
for a land of birds elsewhere
happy to let the ark turn
to a drifting bonescape

in which case says the raindrop
I wouldn’t be here
feeling the smoke of your mind
you wouldn’t be picturing where you are not
as it fills up with umbrellas

the man hears this and doesn’t
he is looking at a long-ago summer afternoon
a Friday with time caught between strikes
four-fifty four-fifty-five
a campus and everyone gone
departure tugging hard at the world
the world digging in like a mule

he stands in an adjacent park
the campus gate he came out of
will stay bang shut
till an autumn he won’t be in
all that quitting smells heavy as musk
as a raindrop rolls off a leaf
another and another
waking him for the first time
to his open throat
thin collar
empty hands