I started writing poems 'seriously' in my early thirties. At different times I worked as a delivery driver, gardener and coronary care nurse. My pamphlet 'Gopagilla' was published in 2012 and a full collection 'The Sun Bathers' (Shoestring Press, 2013 ) was short-listed for the Michael Murphy award. I write about writing at roymarshall.wordpress.co
The Horses In the first bright slew of laughter and bedclothes we hear them, and cars slowing to pass, the drifting talk of their riders. They clop through gathering dark as lights come on and the baby kicks and dreams inside you. Hooves break the skin of our sleep, wake us to green shoots or rusted leaves, to shoe prints in early frost, a puddled road and soft scatterings. The boy grows tall and oversleeps as we lie tangled or back to back, while the phone brings news of a slipping away, a collapse into nearly nothing. Blossom is blown to blizzard, blackbirds return to build in clematis. But always, we hear horses; though we never know their barrelled flanks, the sway and tilt of a saddled back, as they trot through the days of promise, arrival, exit. First published in the Ver Open poetry competition anthology 2014 Eclipse Outside ward four, nurses and doctors hold X-rays to the sky. The day turns cold and blue. Bones rise to the surface of film the colour of canal water. A crescent sun lights up fractures: compact, spiral, greenstick, simple and oblique. The moon is a coin in the neck of a femur, a shadow on the skull of a window cleaner who missed a rung. The black ball slips from arthritic fingers and through a doorman’s jaw. First published in Ambit Magazine, 2015 Records on the Bones As kids we would risk imprisonment, pay our last rouble for contraband discs pressed onto X-ray sheets, grooves cut into opaque femurs, hair-lined metatarsals and wrists, furrows on fields of cranium, long since gone to ground. Smuggled under over-coats through the streets was the promise of jazz, sleeved between twilight and heartbeat, carried up back stairs to box rooms where the snare flitted like sun-light through a line of freight; this is how St. Louis and all its saints came to Leningrad, in the bootlegged sound of those who were born as slaves, musicians who drew us along in the wake of all that western decadence. Note. In the USSR in the 1950′s underground presses printed flexi-discs of American Jazz records. The plastic for these copies came from discarded X-ray sheets which would produce a disc with part of the skeleton still visible. From Gopagilla. A version of this poem appears in the The Shop, Autumn/winter 2011.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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Tuesday 15 October 2013
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