Poet Introduction I compare poetry to painting, believing that I lack any drawing/painting skills but believing my imagination and training in writing has enabled me to transfer my love of visual art to the written word
The gate stands by a field that leads down the slope to a river. The gate opens with a creak, its wood rough after years of use. From the gate, one can see the water, smooth, almost silent, A steady stream that is always there, A faithful friend, like the creaking gate.
I get up and leave, shivering outside as I walk across the hospital front in the freezing rain, the northern winds biting at my fingers and face, the downpour reaching deep into my trainers and socks. It's nearly half four in the afternoon, and already almost dark, more like late autumn or early winter.
An ambulance rushes into the front area of the hospital, lights flashing, and pulls to a halt by the entrance. For a while, I stand watching in a type of daze, remembering another time when an ambulance pulled up in the clearing at the bottom of Whaley Hill to take me to hospital...
I take a different route to Lyme House. Across the main coastal road and down a tree-lined lane with a spring breeze and the smell of sun. Another crossing. Past an arty bookstore and a café-restaurant with umbrella-type covering. Bungalows and cottages and a village-like church with a water well. Broken twigs and pebbles and stones. Fields going further inland. This part of the town isn't bad at all, if you can forget the rest of the area.
I reach the private driveway leading down to Lyme House. It's a five or ten minute walk with tall hedges and trees on both sides. Stillness,...
We set off on our holidays in a rusty green van, moving in the direction of the sun, past fields and trees and farms, the country air lifting our spirits.
We’re speeding along the motorway when the van starts to shudder and horns toot warnings at us. Something is wrong. In the back compartment, my brother and I stare at the door, holding our breaths, waiting, not daring to speak.
The vehicle swerves across the motorway lane, closer to the hard shoulder, where an embankment lies below.
Early one Saturday morning when I was about nine, we set off in the car for Blackpool where my maternal grandparents lived. My mother had a cousin in a neighbouring coastal town and the cousin's son, whom I'd never met, had just turned thirteen and was about to recite his Barmitzvah at the synagogue there.
We took the usual route through Bolton, past the array of TV aerials on Winter Hill, and down the busy Preston Road, arriving in Blackpool about an hour and a half later. My grandparents lived near Stanley Park, a huge park we used to visit a lot.
Once more, I consider the possibility that Simon might have a wife and kids. Maybe those little kids are up now, crying for their daddy to come home, like I used to cry for mine when I was little. Reaching for my favourite teddy, I hold it to my chest and let my chin rest on its furry head.
Everything's going to be okay, I promise myself. Mum will see what Simon's really like and chuck him out.
I shiver. In the distance, a police helicopter scours the sky. The noise begins like a group of buzzing bees, getting louder as the helicopter moves closer and closer. The...
An unfamiliar room. He awakes tipsy from the remains of sleep, mouth parched with thirst and the aftertaste of whisky and cigarettes. An open window lets in sticky air. It’s quarter to six in the morning, according to a miniature clock next to the bed.
He staggers to the window. Outside, a crescendo of colour streaks the horizon, bathing the sea in a magenta glow. He leans against the wall, willing the dizziness to stop. On the other side of the window, a steep drop tempts him to jump to the ground where huge rocks await, like teeth. As the dizziness...