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Robert William Black

Updated: Sun, 18 May 2008 08:49 am

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Baby. Shavy. Navy. Wavy. Lazy. Maybe...All Gone Hazy! I was born in 1955, which is very recently it seems to me. I write to exorcise something sometimes, and to capture ephemeral things at other times. Love in both instances. I wish that I had gone to art college - although that would have meant missing out on Fiji with my shipmates in '79. Wiggy and Soapy and Whisky and Streaky.


YORKSHIRE, FROST, FEBRUARY 2008 Outside The fingers of the frost are touching up the grass again The grass might like this I don’t know; sweetness could be transferred by the cold one’s kiss. What I do know is that for today, mid-February, We had all that late spring days should bring Including sun until dusk, and when driving down the Skipton road I saw The mist like candyfloss flow round the trees As they stood helpless in the valley ahead. The chill arrived unsaid but felt, and ripped us from the fruiting time to coal Inside Half promised, part consumed within the hearth whose heat I half resent. The smoke will drift in to the wind and maybe warm the errant sheep* up on the lane This is unlikely though, since frost has gripped the grass and acts Like skinny snow. *As I drove up the lane from the cottage this afternoon my way was blocked by a dozen sheep who had got out from the field and were grazing on the hedgerows. They panicked at my arrival in the car and could not understand the threat I represented so, fearful of a sudden move that might damage my car I drove with great caution until got past them and up to the farm. At the farm I said “Some sheep are loose in the lane”. “Not mine mate” came the less than useful reply. A PAIR OF BOOTS A wet field and what seemed like a hundred boys. We chased around without a care, Knowing that tea would always be on the table. I ran hard, the ball was mine! And then it wasn’t, as I slid past it in my plimmies Like a train not stopping at that station. And so it was in later life I found it hard to get traction Travelling not where I chose But in the direction of most momentum. A boy whose photo I still have Saw the blur of me slide by And promised me new football boots To better tie me to the ground. And so it was in later life Gifts came unexpectedly From people that I hardly knew And not from where I thought they’d come. Paper stuffed in to the toes A clown among the richer boys I felt obliged to use my gift Of diving boots worn on the land. And so it was in later life Not for me the easy path Never chosen first in games Trying to fly in feet of clay.

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Joe Williams

Thu 10th May 2018 10:03

Thanks Robert, glad you liked the poem!

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Robert Black

Thu 20th Mar 2008 08:16

Hi Sophie,
What a lovely, warm response to my poem. Thanks a lot - it is a great feeling to know that one's words can warm others don't you think? All of the people in the poem exist - the "chicken man" was such an irrepresibly cheery chap and sooooo proud of his chickens! (His wife, who we only heard from inside the house, made it clear that she was a bit less in love with them!).

Thanks again.

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Robert Black

Mon 3rd Mar 2008 14:50

Hey Nicola...I got a comment! :-) Interesting observation on "A Pair of Boots" by you - in fact there was a last, redemptive verse originally but I dropped it.
A pretty true story by the way, except that I hope that I've brushed the clay off now!
Thanks for popping by.

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