The Boundary Ghost

A crop of prime turf
is to my back
My thin brick perch digs in
to my lowered leg aches
after a blind walk from Ripe’s
church across three fields –
now sat stiffly in Chalvington

Here they face me –
Picknell’s dead family
Engraved stones staring out
at an unmarked boundary –
was it laid in my eye just now –
was it suggested by Robert
Who Departed This Life
February 7th 1869

A slab is sunk tightly
between three yews
It bears equal surnames –
set to unequal end dates –
to be kept In Loving Memory
More of his
relatives crushed
in their compressed beds

Then a blackbird’s repeated
yack-yack of late insistences
lifts me from that moment –
away from Robert’s ghost –
to have me rise
from that low wall
and to leave them all
well alone – for now
and to walk back across
that even outfield –
around his unmarked boundary

Seven Overs

For Tony Rees

Scuttled and wind-licked
we hunkered with beers
under the Shane Warne Stand

as scurried rainclouds toyed
with our long-hatched scheme
for a day of World Cup Cricket

under an English summer –
but no plan was framed for stacks
of latin-named dark formations

And a record was set at that game –
the 2nd shortest world cup match –
ever – and we were there to see it


Last Day

It is the day after
the last red ball
and rain has found
the indentations
made by the size
eleven landings –
those measured
imprints on grass
which were placed
half a dozen times
in the hunt for another
man’s number –
And another summer
is ticked off
and recorded inside
the scorer’s book.