Poetry Blog by Jonathan Humble
The argument stops. Slowly the heat dissipates;
clouds drift away over torrid skies.
The silence is broken by a dripping tap;
water easing past a damaged washer,
falls, swells and falls again.
A few words return; the question is repeated,
hanging on each pulse and breath.
The droplet hangs too,
bending the light,
distilling this moment and mocking the room...
Wednesday 21st August 2019 10:49 pm
Such a sketchy fox;
broken lines and poor shading,
a child’s painting rushed onto paper,
barely recognisable in two dimensions.
Autumn riot of matted fur on frost,
an arrangement set amid a fog of guilt
and quickened wisps of midnight breath.
Deep colour oozes in slow flowing pigment,
warming these shaking hands, melting snow
steaming on the canvas of a hidden ...
Tuesday 20th August 2019 4:10 pm
Unable to return it, the boy kept his mother’s gift;
heard it, understood it,
accepted her beast of words.
Ill-conceived, born of incompetent rage,
it latched itself inside his aching rib cage.
Wary of guilt-ridden, thinly spread
slices of mother’s pride,
the beast gnawed at young bones,
consuming his youth instead.
The boy grew old dealing with its anger.
He questioned his beast, learnt...
Wednesday 7th August 2019 8:45 pm
If I wanted to remember you,
I wouldn’t use this picture;
faded and mildewed through years of neglect.
If I wanted to find you,
I wouldn’t start from this place;
confused by thirty years of one way streets and dead ends.
If I wanted to walk to where you are,
I wouldn’t want this baggage;
collected as if purpose hadn’t come into it.
If I wanted to talk with you,...
Wednesday 7th August 2019 6:38 pm
I am six years old, my pencil breaks
mid-word in Mrs Foster’s class.
So I turn to my friend Martin,
show him the pencil and whisper,
‘Martin, Martin, my pencil has broke.’
‘Use this,’ he says and passes a substitute,
secretly under our desk.
‘But it’s a red pencil, Martin,’ I say.
He smiles a smile. It is an ‘it’ll all be ok’
sort of smile and so I carry on,
copying lines of words I cannot read,
but which I ...
Saturday 13th July 2019 11:13 pm
How bad it is when every note you play upon the keys
sustains the void within the waiting soul;
when it is accepted that this flow will not stop
and bring an end to all these helpful faces;
when your scent assaults my senses like a bludgeon
and takes me to a day I want to bury;
when an empty chest refuses to give way
under the repeated blows of expectation...
Saturday 6th July 2019 12:47 pm
Thirty years ago, he gave up in that place.
He cried a lot. He laughed and cried again,
desperate to welcome the oblivion of sleep,
exhausted by Machine Theory,
confused by university social politics,
rejected by the faces staring at him from his flock wallpaper
at three in the morning,
medicated on an unfamiliar bed by someone unknown;
alone within an establishment o...
Sunday 30th June 2019 2:18 pm
In some other universe, you and I didn’t play football as kids.
We weren’t lucky enough to have Mr Walker as our teacher.
The team photograph doesn’t exist in this other place,
so people wouldn’t wonder why we looked so serious,
you and I.
Or maybe through some weirdness, we lost the cup final,
so the victory meal at the chippie would have been cancelled.
Or at lea...
Thursday 20th June 2019 6:51 pm
Hello Humber Gateway,
you old dock drab,
winking at passing commerce
with your ample warehouse acreage,
welcoming skirts hitched
up the legs of the Ouse and Trent.
Under stretched skies,
I am a salmon swimming the sixty-two,
past rotting coal fired corpses,
where orderly pylons queue the lanes,
sturdy girls whispering old secrets;
gossip from a shabby adolesce...
Thursday 30th May 2019 11:30 am
I’ve stumbled over rock and root,
torn fabric holes and worn out soles,
the dirt and fraying scars from days
spent pounding roads or rutted track,
while eager laced, I ran on routes
from which there was no turning back;
those proper runs, in shoes like these.
I’ve pushed old limestone crag beneath
this body. I’ve compelled the world,
with cadence eating up dead...
Saturday 4th May 2019 8:09 pm
Lost in an oversized raincoat, she sits outside the library;
an old book, out of print in a dog eared dust cover.
Through thick prescription glass, puddles ripple
with memories leaking in the autumn rain,
spreading as oil dripping from a rusty sump;
time worn colours swirling away in a wet breeze.
Jaw set, head tilted, she tries to stem the flow,
but the past sl...
Monday 22nd April 2019 7:40 am
This is an old feeling,
standing by this evening’s field,
these dark rags hanging, strung on wire,
beaks silent and unmoving under a stretched sky.
So which lore or gods apply?
Would it help to free your feathers,
wake thought and memory in cold skulls,
wear a black cape in silhouetted brotherhood?
Should I take up your work?
Am I a familiar to a Norse god,...
Saturday 20th April 2019 3:44 pm
In search of yew in Borrowdale
that shared the sun with Judas,
I walk a rutted path,
aware of twinges, snares, rocks,
carrying your paints and easel
along with this bowl of words,
no longer fit for consumption,
mold festering in knots
from sour touching fruit within.
And if these words were berries,
gardeners would stand disappointed
at the canker in...
Thursday 18th April 2019 10:18 am
I was the designated person. I’d seen it
before and I am hard. All over in a few
seconds; a slow movement across two
graduations, then an increased flow to a
final stop at empty. Clear eyes to
opaque in an efficient procedure
performed by this calm and experienced
professional; the dog, supporting his
own weight one moment, to being a
dead-weight slumped in my arms on a...
Saturday 13th April 2019 8:21 pm
In these shoes,
I negotiate life in the third person;
toes swathed in top quality calfskin,
safe from random shit and shards,
where neither grass nor paved path
can sully these soft arches and soles.
I wear these suits;
an actor avoiding the fourth wall,
costumed and painted with lines learnt,
senses fenced off with silk and cashmere,
any truthful light blocked b...
Thursday 11th April 2019 5:10 pm
I wonder if, like me, the winter skies at Cunswick,
swathed in low cloud, above old scars of crag
and frozen garlands of brown bracken,
anticipate the welcome return of African visitors;
if underfoot, limestone bones ache for warmth,
dark fissured slabs buried beneath grass paths,
quietly longing for early May’s trick of light,
tired bodies aloft after months of migration...
Tuesday 9th April 2019 3:57 pm
Grown wild, unclaimed and loose in lanes,
he peed higher, spat further, swore louder
than any other latchkey street weed.
Green acolytes, summoned with strangled
banshee howls, drawn to worship as he spoke
to us in bloodied tongues for a dare.
Envied for knowledge of hidden pathways
by the railway, and his dead bat in a matchbox,
which some could see for tuppence.
Pursuing the lost, alw...
Saturday 16th March 2019 11:32 am
Haunting places where secret agents once hid,
I return to childhood as a stranger.
All games we played for keeps; no second chances.
Committed to blood and rain and wind and sun,
a tribe summoned down alleys by banshee howls;
we spoke in bloodied tongues for a dare.
Drawn to worship by abandoned rank canals,
waist high in summer filth, baptised with leeches;
Saturday 9th March 2019 11:52 am
Perched on a milestone,
Spy considered offers from fylgjur,
haunting woods like fox wraiths.
Night worn as a cloak, tired bones
aching under breeze ruffled feathers,
his conspiracy betrayed by brother silhouettes
circling in tempered moonlight.
Revealed by flecks of white in beads of jet,
he watched ghost clouds drift like lost leaves,
disturbing stars floating...
Thursday 7th March 2019 7:59 pm
I read somewhere, at sometime,
that everything and nothing exists
outside the space you’re placed.
Closed doors are quantum barriers
separating the countless possibilities
of constantly branching parallel universes.
Facts on the outsides of rooms
are blurred, until they are moved into
and created through observation.
So, ignoring Newtonian classical notion...
Sunday 3rd March 2019 11:06 am
On good days, the voices were quiet.
He’d fumble the razor, indulge in muttered
early morning profanities, yet still wear
his hope like an old boxer’s dressing gown.
Water cascading over knotted hands,
temperature rising as the boiler kicked in,
he’d tickle the soap trout like a novice,
splashing water over threadbare slippers.
Thin ribbons of steam wafting upward...
Friday 1st March 2019 7:35 pm
On hard wet ground, exposed like a pulsing nerve,
half a yard from the comfort of grass,
it writhed unsteadily to unheard music, while the
connoisseur’s eye judged its girth from a bush.
Rainwater marinated and near wasted after a night
of passion, casting tired letter shapes as the sun split
clouds overhead, this foot long night crawler knew
of its place on the...
Monday 25th February 2019 8:09 pm
Your love of my raspberries has resulted
in this late evening walk in headtorch,
to hedges of hazel and blackthorn,
far enough from home to foil ideas of return.
Aware of owls ripping through moonlight,
I kneel in damp fescue and sedge,
clutching this tilt trap of quantum uncertainty;
mouse or no mouse? that is the question.
The trap gate opens. You see ...
Friday 22nd February 2019 9:59 am
You ask on my behalf to rise and leave,
to dress without the hindrance
of bootlace worms returning at our feet.
In vain we anticipate permission from spiders
who watch in shadows, spinning webs
that constrain all action.
Standing, squatting, sitting, we are opposed,
resisted. We are tangled marionettes,
linked with quantum string, each responding
Tuesday 19th February 2019 10:55 am
I am small in the sea, pushed around
by waves that care not for any grain of sand
or stuff that floats in old men’s heads.
Arms held wide and high, that reach and cling
like a child to a parent when things get rough,
when routines fail and muscles waste.
I hesitate, recoil, cower; skin so thin
these cold water blades could spill these guts
for waiting gulls an...
Wednesday 13th February 2019 8:33 pm
Curtains remain drawn, as day comes with rain
like a returning memory. In darkness, early moments
rest on heavy eyes, closed to a wave of sickness.
In the residue of cracked ashtrays and stale alcohol,
sit diary entries of dissolute nights with succubae;
a debt of bad shillings that smothers and oppresses.
With a switchclick of artificial light, a three-quarter
circular tea stain on the...
Saturday 9th February 2019 1:43 pm
I don’t feel like searching this time.
What would be the point? But we’re
throwing cushions to the floor,
groping down the sides of armchairs,
emptying cupboards, rolling back
mats and scrabbling under beds.
I know it’s useless looking for this
jigsaw piece, the missing bit I burnt in
the grate last week along with other
stuff from a shoebox of old crap,...
Saturday 2nd February 2019 12:16 pm
Heart racing as if a mile had been lost,
at odds with the stillness of a newly
emptied room, taking in the failure
of pencils on the floor and books left
on tables. He sees ghosts, hears the
echo of children’s voices, careless and
free now it has gone three, oblivious
of the anguish stalking this classroom;
a place conflicted all day, growing
through the week with doors ...
Wednesday 30th January 2019 7:28 pm
Five drab juveniles land outside my window;
goth eyeliner, raucous and rucking over territory,
fouling up my window ledge, five floors high.
Under murmured shadows, three leave suddenly,
startle the two, who, drawing close, look to each other,
before the larger wings it with thousands in late city skies.
The smallest catches reflections in the high rise glass,
Sunday 27th January 2019 6:47 pm