Fragments Of An Ordinary Boy - From Lego to Rubik's Cube
We scattered rose petals
Washed down by the rain
Over rutted ground
Where we were told
Snowy had been laid to rest.
We knew, as children do,
He hadn’t been buried.
Asked elderly neighbour to teach
Me how to smile?
“We smile from here,” she said.
Pointing at her nicotine-stained heart.
Nain looked for images
Of Christ in woodwork.
She found him in wardrobe.
Neighbours came from doors
Around to view the apparition:
Callous candour they did decree
‘It looks more like a squashed fly.’
Out of awkward reverence
She removed Lady Chatterley’s Lover
From the top shelf.
It was the summer of ladybirds
Clung to sweat on skin,
As if heatwave delivered
Tides of flesh eating locust
Windows sealed and old ladies armed.
The tiny free falling bird
That’s ever a bird & never a bird.
Under a twilight orange’d slant
The night lacing her bodice,
We threw pebbles at the moon.
To waken the boy who lived
In the house on the moon:
Fell to allotment ground
Scraping sunflower skins, and
Tinkling green houses.
A b&w photograph of Armstrong stepping
Stood on our kitchen wall.
We were ‘The Catz’
Under Guevara’n leader Daz.
The baby Bolshevik,
Displaying Cybermen chic,
Decreed “balaclavas worn at all times.”
As pale skinned terrorists sat on sea wall
We fried alive under woollen armour plating,
Committing drive-by shouting’s from bicycles.
The drowned girl in green dress
Fished from sea as a dead kitten,
Seaweed sprawled on golden sands.
Ambulances, solemn as Gods,
Choked exhaust fumed tears.
What stays in my mind
Is the green dress,
Her Mother probably bought
Proudly for an unattended party.
The rain fell apologetic
Folding summers corners towards slumber.
Bank of dark clouds tiled o’er Irish seas,
Hung as an executioner’s
Smile across harbour lips.
Next year were merely two words
But at that moment, return to school,
I knew, just knew,
Sometimes things have
To get worse, before
They get better,
They just get worse.
Stubbornly the stars
Push the quill into emptiest spaces.
Dragged the river and found the stone
Skimmed to the depths
By weight of words –
Wrote another blow to the bruise.
All I seemed to do was
Drink to absent friends.
Swimming against vodka streams,
Listening to your eyes speaking
Sparkling sonnets across my air waves.
Recall the eight different angles
Of how you breasts looked through sari red;
Girl, your purple-tipped poetry
Never see that green dress anymore
Only your silhouette on the beach
Which has waited for me.
Photo. Rhyl, 1926. L S Lowry