Poetry Blog by ray pool


Here stands Tim Quiney

porter at Defford

for over thirty years.

In the background, undisturbed

the station he knew so well,

in the Vale of Salty Tears. 


Such men are copied

on heritage lines,

celebrating the way things used to be,

but on that day we see him

he went down with history

along with the Vale of Salty Tears. 


He lost his job along with others


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"How're ye doin' honey?

I got here as soon as I could."

    He's all strapped up,

    tubes like spaghetti,

    leg in a splint. 


"I'm doin' jus' fine, i'm OK you know. "

    Multiple fractures,

    bed curtains fastracking, 

    stethoscopes wagging,

    emergency vehicles

    not long from the scene. 


"How'd it happen, what's the news?"


"Well, h...

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When the men came a-knocking

the die was cast,

plans in tatters behind the door;

then mothers wrung their hands in grief

clinging to tragic hope and belief. 


On their final visiting list

were sons of Derry

who had drank and talked

sealing their fate

without a trial. 


When the man came a-knocking

to take them away

those dreamers of freedom

espousers ...

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unlike holiday destinations

don't exist in brochures

or online,

don't make false promises,

offer palm trees, white beaches

rolling surf,

beach bars


bliss of a transient kind

that runs out back at the airport

with the phone turned off.


You may sense them on balmy breezes:

magic carpet rides,

in a look wher...

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Heat is sighing in the glade

so we look for welcome shade,

remembering a pond 

that scratched itself on the backs of rushes

concealing more than it could show. 


We lean together on a fence

watch some ducklings

paddling on lily pads

like uncertain swimmers

precarious and disjointed. 

Adults stay in the shallows

bobbing like coracles. 


A man comes with b...

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In the graveyard, a low sad sun

helps to reveal names on headstones,

green from time's dedication,

scrolled like a will and testament

or in bold font according to taste. 


"Departed this life"- the date obscured.

Bees choose life in the blossom;

while the old church, defending its faith

with custom, lurches into safe oblivion. 


I see a fresh headstone

with it...

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While the film was running

somebody died.

It's always like that,

just as you thought there was a plot

as likely as not

there'll be an alternative ending

that nobody saw coming. 


Except perhaps GOD

who fails to rewind

playing cinematic tricks with your mind.

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The saxophone is only as good as you feel,

a masterpiece of confusion brought to heel,

constantly seeking company.

"Speak with me

speak with me it says,

I have so much to tell."


With plaintive insistence it reaches out,

then, tired from sound

lays down in velvet ruffs.


Enough is enough the ventriloquist says,

then the dummy cries itself to sleep,

in a dre...

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