Poetry Blog by Martin Elder

out there

Today I remembered that day

The day we walked across

Red wharf bay

The tide was out

The sun was out

Our thoughts were out

Out there

Somewhere out to sea

As we tramped across the undulating sand

In places ridged and formed in perfect patterns of

Sculpted crinkle cut relief

Sand worm casts in patches

Like carefully drawn scratches

Scars upon the earth

And s...

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Golden days

Sitting round a table in their local

A few lonely souls gather

Sinking jars of dark and mild

Down to the bottom of the glass

Weather beaten faces and shaking yellowed fingers

Telling each other the way it should be

The way it is

And the way it was

Watching rings of trickled froth

Coagulate in spiralled signals of no more

Wondering why they have ended up in this place...

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Green T shirt

Blue Nike nylon shorts

Shuffling trainers

Laces barely knotted moves along the street

The straw grey threads of hair spread out

From under the baseball cap

Sauntering and dragging

the arched hanging frame of a body

against the low set trolley

neck bent

head slightly stooped

against the staggered scowl that passes for a smile

indistinct in the bac...

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Identical twin

As the moon croaks

A winking blink of an eye barely closed

You cast a shiver down your own throat

And across your back

Safe in the knowledge that all is as its seems

And the jokes and the pokes

You believe to be tales told after sixteen pints

From a night on the ale

That would shave the hairs of next doors cat

Are no more than that


Whilst you moan that nothing ...

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Sunning themselves

Caught between the wine bars full to the brim

Of hoo-rahs and serious laughter

And the fountains where kids scream with delight

Are those who spread themselves on

Sprawled out on dog- tired grass

Cross legged and relaxed heads back smiling

some expressions intense

on low cut crawled walls

others half smiling

Some with cans and a carefully tailored

Rolled up cigarette


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Divided by derision

I trip

I fall

I skin my knees

I cry the tears

Of a hungry gull

I am picked up

I am fed

Rocked with natural nurtured words

Cooing and soothing

The maternal words

Calming my fractured sounds

And I feel safe

And I am held

A mother’s wings surround me


I skip

I trip

I fall

Over words

Empty headed curses

Cheers and jeers breathed over me


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It was hot

She was hot

She was bored

Not just with this day

But with everyday

He was Dave filling up the car with petrol

Everything for him was planned

Well thought out and considered

She was Amy bright blonde brown eyed pretty

Hot sticky and bored

He was reliable predictable

Regular as clockwork

But hadn’t noticed the clock that was ticking

She wanted someth...

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Bucket spades and ice cream days

And I have seen myself

Laying in salt water tides

Watching the waters that surround

sinking slowly into sucking sand

as the line sweeps the half sleeping form

that is me

licking my toes

cooling the heat filled body

which is mine

until at last I get up to leave

the Impressed shifting imprint of my tomb filled cast

that is washed away in curling bubbles


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It will be the death of you

She stands outside

Shaking as if she were naked

Her short fur lined hooded jacket

Her only protection from the cold

Not covering her tatty faded jeans

And burnt out long ago trainers

Worn to the walk of her feet

As she takes another drag

From the cigarette held tight between her lips

Held clumsily in her fingers

purple and white as her face

her yellow stained teeth


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Mountains climbed

Does the scuff of your shoes?

And the tear on your dress

Mark the graze on your shins

Away from the grins

And the gaze into your soul

Brush away the gaping hole

Is there a fence

Around your heart where the birds use to sing

And where the sun used to play

In your eyes and your lips


Do the wrinkles and the bags

That form on your face

Hide some previous m...

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old kid, new tricks

For every kid there is a time

When in the mind

All summers are going to last forever

And the stickiness under your arms

In the folds of your skin

Behind your knees

Will remain a part of your life

as much as blowing Raspberry’s on your arm

as much as ice poles that turned your tongue blue or red

seemed so big

you thought they would never end

trying to hide the bore...

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Hard lines

She wore the lines impressed on her leathern face

Like the rings of a tree

Her hair hanging down in dark brown tea stained tendrils

Her eyes both blank and sad

Dark marbles starring into nothing

Her skin hung on her bones

Like a tired bag of clothes

Her brow deeply farrowed

Now lies fallow of all the concerns of parenthood

As she moves among the rooms of her flat

The ...

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Far from this place

Oh, to spend some time

Precious ill got

Away from the feathers and the flux

Of human intercourse

Where everything is either split or spilt

Or spat out and declared

Behind waves of words

Some unspoken

But more often not

Sent crashing one upon another

In costume covered gloss and paint

All froth and fancy

From those who fail to observe

The cautious perplexities


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The airships cling momentarily to the past

Moving and hovering with undue delay

Cursing and spitting

Upon anyone who dares

To raise an objection

As I sit and watch these leviathans of the air

Greying black and then to white

Heavy with their own purpose

Blocking and blacking the rays

From that which I sometimes crave

Beyond and above

The blue and the white

These ...

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Hands open

The hands have remained closed for so long

In the shape of fists

Pointing are stiff and tired

But there are no words

Of love or hate spelled on the whitened knuckles

Just the lines of age

And the tension of muscle and sinew pulled over bone

The veins that stand out on the back of hands

Nothing hidden

Nothing revealed

Yet the outstretched arms begin to shake


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she's the one

She’s the one

Who proudly called your name

Who gave you, life

She’s the one that wiped away

The snot and spittle

She’s the one when you cried stamped and screamed

Said it’s not fair

Was always there

And you knew it was safe

Because she always keeps mum


She is the one who is the queen of your dreams

She’s the one that ignores

The meaningless babble you some...

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Standing on death

We stood on death

Bending it

Holding it down

Thinking it didn’t matter to us

We had plenty of time

And we were always there

All of us

Ready to run around

Laugh and play

Drive to places that didn’t really matter

A car filled with joss stick smoke filled smiles

Sweet smooth and sickly

Bongos and nonsense conversations

No sense of time place or anyone else


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I lay my head

Would I lay my head upon the block?

My neck into the noose

My body to be stretched

Bent and gashed upon the rack

To be devoured by hungry hearts

Allow my head to be placed upon a spike

For all that I would hold dear

For the revelry of all of those

Who would watch and sneer

Against accusations and false imprisonments

To satisfy the lust of those

Who would say they


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Hidden treasure

I can still see

Still smell that smell

The smell of leather

And the way it would creak and crack

Despite the polish

Giving way once too often

The straps wearing thin

Like belts that had seen too much service

Round the corpulent wreck

Of standing room only, trousers

The corners that were broken or split

One of the latches would never easily fasten

And signs of ...

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Coming up fast behind us

A pair of kicking heels

We don’t need to turn our heads

As they overtake us

Scuffing buffing boots

Leopard skin coat

Head down into a phone

A small cutter full steam a head

Moving through the water with ease

Very few ripples in her wake

Just the hint of sweet smelling perfume

And fast-moving steps

saying got to move

‘I’m late’

As s...

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In through the outdoor and out through the in

So many doors to manage

I wake

I rise

I open the bedroom door

I enter the bathroom door and close

Completing my ablutions

I enter the bedroom once again

Opening the wardrobe

Picking a shirt, socks, trousers and pants

Dressed I go downstairs

Opening the kitchen door

I pass across its threshold

I drink

I eat


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Waking up my people

It can take time to get

My inner people moving in the morning

Like an old car on a cold frosty day

Where the windows have to be

Scraped and brushed


then the engine starts

Sometimes with several turns of the key

In order for a breath of life to start

The action of working in my mind

Where cogs turn

And fingers hit the keys

The frost and mist meltin...

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Who is the fairest

When I reflect back

Over the years since I was

First introduced to this house

I can say I have seen an awful lot

I have seen small children scream and make faces

Teenagers squeeze their spots

Admire themselves

Sit in a corner and cry relentlessly

Over a love lost

I have seen them pout

And put on make up

Take it off later

sometimes through tear stained mascara


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What if

What if

And what if

And then what if

And he hadn’t

And she didn’t want to know

And he had never asked

And she had never said yes

And what if he had never spotted her in the first place

Or he had simply gone somewhere else

Like his usual place

What if he hadn’t missed his bus

And walked into a bar

where divas and devils

Congregate and coagulate

Away from t...

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is he

The smooth ice red light

Flicks on

Flicks off

Flicks on

Flicks off

And yet the light isn’t red

But white

The red is a moving

Fine dark line

Of crimson paint

Trailing down a temple

A brow a cheek

Running round to a protruding chin

Dripping down a creased and dirty shirt

Some hangs to the five o’clock shadow

Except it’s not five

It’s nine

And the c...

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Recent Comments

Martin Elder on out there (Mon, 1 Oct 2018 08:09 pm)

Hannah Collins on out there (Sun, 30 Sep 2018 08:01 pm)

keith jeffries on Golden days (Sun, 23 Sep 2018 07:51 pm)

Martin Elder on out there (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 10:23 pm)

Rose Casserley on out there (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:04 am)

Colin Hill on out there (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:50 am)

Kate G on out there (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 05:22 am)

raypool on out there (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:32 pm)

Martin Elder on Golden days (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:37 am)

Stu Buck on Golden days (Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:12 am)

Martin Elder on Golden days (Tue, 11 Sep 2018 10:47 pm)

Hannah Collins on Golden days (Tue, 11 Sep 2018 09:00 am)

M.C. Newberry on Golden days (Wed, 5 Sep 2018 11:00 pm)

Martin Elder on Golden days (Tue, 4 Sep 2018 12:19 pm)

Darren J Beaney on Golden days (Mon, 3 Sep 2018 03:41 pm)


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