Poetry Blog by Tony Hill

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Tony Hill on 1963 (3 hours ago)

Tony Hill on 1963 (3 hours ago)

Greg Freeman on 1963 (3 hours ago)

Philipos on 1963 (5 hours ago)

JOHN F B TUCKER on THYLACINE* (1 day ago)

Tony Hill on THYLACINE* (1 day ago)

JOHN F B TUCKER on THYLACINE* (1 day ago)

Tony Hill on ROCK POOL (1 day ago)

Tony Hill on THYLACINE* (1 day ago)

Rose Casserley on THYLACINE* (2 days ago)

1963

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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. 

...

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THYLACINE*

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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...

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ROCK POOL

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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 
with each...

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REEK

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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 
to vis...

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BLOW THE WIND SOUTHERLY

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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...

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THE HORSES

Why had they come – the men on horses? 
They must have ridden miles to reach us, 
but why? 
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...

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PEN

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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...

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In the Land of Grey and Pink *

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...

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SCAR TISSUE

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, 
...

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