Friday, 13 November 2015


In true Magpie Bridge tradition the photographs do not match the main poem- but they do reflect the second poem, close but no cigar.
The title of this post is taken from below. But first a couple of lines on its genesis. 
I had the beginning of the poem rolling round my head for a couple of days. A man using his internal dialogue to set his life to rights. I suspect the trees changing to autumn sparked the idea. I left a draft of the first stanza for a week or so then as I revised it I thought it would be interesting to contrast his idealised internal life with a more brutal reality.

In his head it is always summer,
he refuses autumn permission
to taint even a single leaf.
Across impossibly green lawns,
in high ceilinged rooms,
where fans churn stale words,
he replays his life's key events,
pulling his fat from the fire as required.
It is time for drinks on the veranda,
gin slings with friends.

Outside his head rain tattoos the tin roof.
Summer has gone missing,
spring is eighteen months late
and freak weather has reduced his world.
All across the English Archipelago
survivors fear their neighbours,
eat their seed stocks,
worry about the sea level,
or that the water will rise in a moving wall
and sweep them away, once and for all.
Not sure about that last couplet.
I had to loose some interesting lines along the way. At one point there were three stanzas, inside his head, his immediate environment and then the wider world. The second stanza ended with the line: He knows exactly how many food tins remain. But you have to be ruthless.
I was just looking for a decent gin sling recipe but most on line add sugar syrup- a travesty. Essentially a gin sling is 2 parts gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice [to taste], a shake of Agustora Bitters topped up with tonic water. Chill the glass and add ice before you start. 
A brief poem I wrote last Friday after watching a firework display.

it draws you outdoors
echoes across the houses
this is how dolphins navigate
in sonic sketches
we are drawn to a street corner
with other humans
to watch fireworks for free
to evaluate each blossom against our memories
it is over too soon
There is something about loud noises echoing off buildings that [for me at least] can confuse.
I was saddened to hear of the death of Allen Toussaint the other day. We have lost a very unique voice. here's a documentary about his life.
Here's my favourite of his lps Southern Nights.
And lastly here's the great Lee Dorsey singing Yes We Can.
Until next time.

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