Weekend Poetry: Sea Memory and other poems

TAKING PLACE

The son of the neighbourhood nazis

made her come, washed her hair,

lit the smooth, white fingers of two tsigára.

These gestures she embraced

like letters hand-delivered from the front.

 

But there is no front haunting her,

save the Fascist face of Athens’ back-

footed hydra. A clean scalp,

the sterile ash – not so soothing

when recalling her lover’s excuses

 

stalling. Men will say anything,

will not say anything, if they think

it will get them somewhere.

What would he have her say when face-

to-face with the mother and father –

 

‘Oh well’ to hatred taking place at home?

What to tell her friends in England

braced for another Victorian Britain?

What to make of Europe turning alien...

Bereft, she thumbs her phone.

 

SEA MEMORY

Seeing the Pacific for the first time

         taking in the drive-in of the elements

 

Sun-charmed vapor churning the air

         streaking the sand and the hood of the Ford

 

Came through Aberdeen

         in the state named after the founding father

               with pioneer and native under wheel

 

Flickbook outskirts blending into the suburbs

         of a Rorschach fishing town

                  blending into the suburbs’ flickbook outskirts

 

And unbelievably there they were

          the shore the surf the sea the sky

                  arrayed in strips

                         a Rothko realized

 

REMAINS

All morning, all afternoon,

this popping sound

 

coming from the woods.

Not the rhythmic champing

 

of the tree-feller’s chore,

but a sputtering –

 

a bubbling, populous hubbub.

It skips over private land

 

and plays on the ear,

like a child in a shut-down

 

penny arcade.

Night piles up,

 

the popping sound

stops, remains.

 

The next morning – breakfast

of bullets of flesh,

 

their skins pierced, one

by one, lest a popping sound

 

disturb the peace.

 

Humphrey Astley

Enjoyed this article?

Help us to fund independent journalism instead of buying:

Also in Disclaimer

Trump's Freak Show Might Get Top Billing in Davos But Power Lies With China

Donald Trump will become the first sitting US President to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos since Bill Clinton in 2000. While many are intrigued as to what the US president will say, it actuasloly does not matter. A year into his presidency, the world is going about its business without referenceto Washington and is, increasingly, looking east.

How Brexit puts the UK at risk of more collapses like Carillion

The construction industry has always been characterised by uncertainty. Managing large construction projects involves enormous challenges, coming from the political, economic, social and technological environments involved. Carillion’s demise shows the risks that are encountered in an industry. We should be mindful of how Brexit compounds this.

“In my Beginning is My End.” How Project Corbyn Will Fall Apart

The seeds of political downfall are sown early. Both David Cameron and Theresa May set in motion their own ends early in their leaderships. Jeremy Corbyn will be no different. The sin that will catch up with him is arrogance.

Carillion is This Week’s Watershed: But When Will Anything Change?

The collapse of Carillion is a catastrophe. 20,000 jobs are now under threat, while even more are at risk at the small firms that are owed money. But this is not the only disaster of recent times. The common theme from Grenfell Tower to GS4 at the 2012 Olympics is private sector outsourcing.

After a Lost Decade, Time for our Leaders to “Raise Their Game”

Nick Boles was right to warn that Theresa May needs to raise her game. She is offering second-rate leadership and has no domestic agenda. Even worse, her opponent Jeremy Corbyn is not offering an thought-through alternative. Britain is still ducking the challenges a decade after the banking crisis.