The Dry Stone Wall Man
All winter, he’s run his hands
over this bony outcrop of rough stone
where the yard meets the road.
The wall is layered
underneath his breath, frosted
with the air’s fresh lime, batter-boards
are setting out his course.
Through January, February, he works
the horizontal lines, guided by the ropes
that twine and quiver from the hooks
of rusted poles like shepherds’ crooks.
With a groove, a chip, a chiselled blow, he eases
disparate rocks into a space, feels where every angle
has to go, each stone an individual that belongs
and earns its place. The satisfying weight
is measured like religious vows—
too much, too little, its heft and sway
is ordered to withstand a sum of days.
And he knows where moss will take a hold.
His radio ignored, he stands, adjusts his woollen cap
and sets his sights beyond the road.
The damp smell of sandstone is ground
below his boots, the late sun is gold now,
cast on the roofs of the town.
…but I decided to resurrect my WordPress account today. It looks completely new and different, and I’m hoping it will provide the inspiration I need to upload some work every now and then. Not too often (don’t worry, you won’t be getting spammed from me anytime soon!) but just every now and then.
(Maybe if I imagine the view from Dylan Thomas’s boathouse that would help too.)
I’ll update my ‘About’ page soon, but for now, I think I’ll just get reacquainted with some old friends, and say thank you to all of you for reading this far. It’s good to see you again!
Above the quarry crags,
above the dust and noise
beyond the flight of rooks,
where yellow gorse blows
in the wind’s persistent tugs
and lichen-braided rocks
show through the stubbled rye,
my fifty years are nothing now,
above me is the sky.
Posted in Poetry
Tagged Beauty, countryside, crags, Gunnerton, Gunnerton Nick, Life and death, Nature, poem, poems, poetry, summer, Time, village, writing
June is always a difficult month:
her honeyed light flows
as if pagan blood still ran
untrammelled, wild as roses in full bloom,
vibrant through our veins.
A yearning to the central point
is hinged on tides of change;
the twins ascend like gods, bestriding
heights with careless ease, to bring
a fiery-promised bliss.
Wanton and unruly,
she follows Primavera (in decay)
trampling, Machiavellian, over May,
and the sundial’s short, gnomonic arm
she mocks with psychopathic grace.
One of my poems is published in ‘Outside In’ Literary and Travel Magazine, Issue 14, June 2013
St Kilda’s Lost World | Anne Bradshaw.
[Further information on St Kilda, Scotland, can be accessed here.]
Posted in Poetry
Tagged archaic, life, Life and death, loss, Nature, poem, poems, poetry, Scotland, sea, St Kilda, Time, village, writing
The Rhythm of Life
The rhythm of life
is like rain
and no one is listening
No one is jumping in puddles,
or splash, splash, splashing!
watching it fall,
the wet rain.
No one – except maybe children -
is hearing the world
sing its tune.
Like roses which opened in summer:
and nobody noticed a thing.
Then it’s midnight, suddenly,
the streets are all dead,
all the traffic is finally asleep.
And the drops
on your window
are falling, still falling,
and no one
( I’ve been studying the New York poets of the early Twentieth Century – Langston Hughes, Claude Mackay, et al – and enjoying some of the free verse and use of jazz/blues style rhythms. That kind of ‘improvisational’ feel to things, which challenged a lot of the staid and outdated modes of expression which had been clinging on since the nineteenth century. The above is not an attempt to copy their brilliant work, it’s just a very small and personal example for myself – but for some reason I like it.)