Such Dug Up Stuff

I could bite on Mr Heaney’s
lust-sight of her

of lost flesh

of navvy-dug amber nipples

under hard-weighed stones
over her cracked oak-bones

which are not
my spoken words

Language is not my tight weave
of Sussex-ness

no fluttergrub’s spade
to turn my empty laine of chalkland

His words are kissed intimacies
in his Castledawson rooting –
in peat-dug dampness
of vowel-soundings

If only we could speak such –
with such – reverence and blind love
of a long-buried bog-stickiness –

then this would be my
other language –
one not yet fully known

14th February 2019

Held by a red signal in south London –
in a balloon of wifi – of library silence –
this being a price-hiked compartment –
a restricted remnant of empire days
still served up by rail franchisees

as our ticket collector mis-quotes WS –
Juliet’s soft words as cuffed banter
towards serving staff –
parting is a sweetest sorrow
and he then regrets these modern times
of –
changes to language – to luv cld b not bad

Then a roll forward like a sneaking suitor –
an incline takes us without that rumble
from diesel complaints – this carriage sways
over switched points – under lopped trees –
those leaf-spill hazards

alongside a thousand-thousand
other prunings met behind drawn curtains –
those many lovers’ shop-cut flowers
presented in cellophane in south London
on this Saint Valentine’s Day


EDITED 170219

I, the Draughtsman

‘The Irish have the greatest command
of the English language’ Discuss
Some West Indian poets may disagree
as would others from further ports
of our whore-explored tongue

This waking moment lets me wander
in a drunken reverie the words of Wallcott
but I haven’t dropped a touch in a week
apart from that sip of gin and tonic
which I was asked to consider for taste

In the house children clunk on floorboards
and the eager dog patters and follows them
My eyelids measure the paucity of my sleep
Later today my fatigue will make a grand entrance
just as I need to be alive to connect the lines