Poetry Blog by Tony Hill
Help if you want, he said, and so we set about
clearing the path of snow from door to road
before the sky, already gravid, a grey clout,
took umbrage and dumped another load
on us. He shouldered it like a gun,
like a man going to war, his favourite spade,
the one with the shit-off-a-shovel shine
to the blade, solid as himself, the shaft
and handle both made of seasoned pine.
Monday 26th October 2020 6:52 pm
For John F B Tucker
I would kill to have you back, now that I’ve known you
for 3:25 minutes in black and white,
the sound turned down while you prowl
a dusty enclosure in Beaumaris Zoo
in ’36. I can almost feel the heat
of neglect, hear the two million year howl
against extinction. Tail like a kangaroo’s,
striped lower back, marsupial not canid,
you pace the boundaries of your...
Saturday 24th October 2020 6:58 pm
The sea could do this in its sleep,
rewrite history with each wave, but keep
its darkest secrets from us, those which run too deep.
We stand alone among the rock pools
watching the waves break afresh, script and scroll
spread out across the sand, which is turning a shade of purple
as the evening makes its first advance
through the marram grass, spitting the difference
Wednesday 21st October 2020 5:32 pm
As if a grave had opened up beneath us;
something had crawled under the floorboards
to die all summer. What do you think it is?
Where did it come from? A mouse, worse,
a rat? And the dining room of all places.
We walked above that death for weeks,
gauging daily the strength of its reek,
until it didn’t seem to matter that much.
We were shunned, of course, no one seeing fit
Saturday 17th October 2020 2:57 pm
Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly –
to a sunlit classroom in ’63,
before that winter, and Kathleen Ferrier’s
voice blowing through the window from somewhere
or other, a class not ours is singing together;
but it’s her voice, recorded in ’49 in a capella,
that continues to drift from the past to reach me,
though the breeze cuts it off intermittently.
Oh, is it not sw...
Wednesday 14th October 2020 1:03 pm
Why had they come – the men on horses?
They must have ridden miles to reach us,
The winter came quickly
that year. Nothing, until I woke
one morning to find the fields slain
by frost, the house quiet, no one risen though the cock had crowed at dawn
to warn us, as he always di...
Sunday 11th October 2020 12:05 pm
Brought back from Singapore,
a gift to be handed down some day,
bought at the fag end of a war
you despised, on a private’s pay,
pounds, shillings and pence the NAAFI
hadn’t swallowed up – the fountain pen,
a Parker, my brothers and I
coveted, mine in all but name.
A gift from son to father, and back
again after he died, it lay
at rest among her other relics:
a porcelain pl...
Friday 9th October 2020 3:26 pm
Your cluttered room where our nights were spent, the teenage
years, squandered some would say, and carnage
if it’s accuracy you need to paint a scene.
Ashtrays, fag ends, books, albums, and Strongbow cider,
de riguer for one season, a radio, called transistor
once, the paraphernalia of who we were is what I mean.
What was it that bound us together with hoops
of steel, our little mi...
Tuesday 6th October 2020 5:58 pm
Though long healed now the scars remain,
white bloodless skin stretched tight across
a spot where, nerve endings lost,
we feel, by feeling less, no pain,
or less at least than when our hearts
and minds, not yet inured to
suffering by neglect, felt hurt
cut deep, the thrill of pain still new
to us. Cicatrix, the wound
of love we bear and cauterise
and move on if only to find,
Saturday 3rd October 2020 7:20 pm