Latest - New collection, "A Silence Black as Milk" completed, Autumn 2011. Garstang-based poetry dabbler, by turns lyrical, sardonic and celebratory. Neither fearing nor revering rhyme, he flirts shamelessly with the sententious, occasionally nods to his elders and betters yet remains assiduously accessible. Works so far: Perspectives & Other Poems (2008), On Pendle Hill (2009) photo-poetic collaboration with lensman Andy Carson, Stinging the Sepia (2009), A Whoop Above the Dust(2010), A Silence Black as Milk(2011) and a growing body of prose. See www.normanhadley.com. Other activities involve videoing performances for Lancashire Writing Hub at Word Soup in Preston and Spotlight Lancaster. Photo credit: Richard Davis
Worm Food I am not worm food I will feed the cat When the worms have stripped me to A jolly-rogered grin of bones I'll wriggle to a surface gasp And slither down a baby blackbird's gape That, fledging from a catkinned branch To skulk in dappled hedgerow shade, Awaits a father's laden beak And will gaze with blinking trust into a whiskered face To a snap of neck and a licking of chops And to squeeze back in, through a clacking flap To coil in the musky warmth of your lap H2O Remember me? I’m the other molecule you all know Two aitches straddling a single O There are trillions like me In the rivers and sea A shimmering skin Around a paperweight world Yes, I’ve been through seven Londoners Swilled around in Cromwell’s wine In vain I diluted the Christ man’s vinegar Rode the Jordan out of Palestine I drifted north, linking arms To crystallise in a spinning flake Dozed a century in the glacier’s creak Calved in a splash from a spray-bound snout I was ridden by bears across the salty swell Shrinking in the drip melt till The bears swam in me then I swam in them I regretted the darkness of their lungs Later I was exalted, to the rim of space Gulped by engines of furious devising Scribbled in staves across the blackboard sky Loitering in droplets before the reckless rush Back to gravelly headwaters, A homecoming salmon, barren of spawn To slither once more down the mountain’s tilt To an ocean already cold to my longing How long must I journey on this ceaseless conveyor? A belt-loop spliced without beginning or end Feed me to a furnace stronger than the sun Hammer-forge me into a helium haze Let me bubble through the giggling throat of a child Stretch the skin of a shiny balloon Scale the vacant blue and never rain again ---------------------------------------------------------------- Pebble Fingers scrabble upward Brailing for texture On the blank slate No hyphen of a welcome ledge Just this full-stop pebble Hard, conclusive A goitred eyeball staring Odin-wise Now I see where necessity leads me To tug the world down like a Roman blind Commit all that I am to this obstinate fragment Stretch, trembling, into a hopeful sky I ponder how securely this nugget is bonded Two futures open; triumph, disaster Neither impostors, the distinction concrete To pluck the jewel between surprised fingers Catch the critical eye of cartoon gravity And scatter my flesh among distant boulders Or, find it firmly-founded; reach and seize the windswept rim. But spin the clock the other way, watch the birches recede See ice sheets pulsate across the land Oceans spill over and continents cleave To find this land, Sahara-scorched, Pangean A storm-tossed pebble lies loose on a beach Emergent from the shimmer; three-horned beasts Will they swagger past, snorting stale breath on primitive bromeliads? Or will one lumber near, impose its thunderous mass Tamp the pebble down, cemented for a billion frosts? Two pasts converge where two futures part. And here am I Nailed to the crosshair of decision Then, now and always.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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