On the Meridian

It is a valorised thing –
according to Tesco’s
stuck clock –
it keeps all minutes
at ten past each hour

An upturned claw on top
of the brewery’s
brick chimney
sits finger-ready to grab
electrical strikes

as charged forklift trucks
whirl and rattle
quick around that
barrel-high yard
to meet loading outs
and unloading empties

where white smoke
from Jenner’s pipes
almost declare rogue
Popish thoughts
without bonfire boys
in that lazy town of
timeless martyrs

Men with beards –
each worth a tall story –
gather in cafes –
some sat high inside –
some sit outside
under chalked signs

How to tell such saints
and vagrants apart?
Hipsters and tramps
trading shit for kicks –
that stink of piss marks
their short-distance

The Ouse runs up and in
muddied and quick –
as if time’s rule
has been put in reverse
whilst so-special shops
sell out of bow ties
and string

to men and women
who prefer to spend
their Lewes Pound
– Keeping it local
they also voted for
One Nation Conservatism

If you stand still
for long enough
on Cliffe Bridge
the world and his wife
will pass you by –
ten times –
in both directions

On tidal urges
from her river’s mouth –
and in unseen particles
from a local incinerator –
all that Lewes renounces
does – in time – return


Pinned to https://www.placesofpoetry.org.uk/

Attention

Heed half-attention
to these written words
and the breath it takes
to read my thoughts

Here in the present
at which you look
stay aware
of my conjoured tricks –

which we now see
in separate worlds
joined by my verse
and nothing else

No hardened borders
or long-haul flights –
so turn off the clock
to find more time

Then walk with me –
but not too fast
past Thoreau’s woods
to face what has passed

as it now collides
with the present
and our time is filed
as misplaced moments.

The Pile

Every brick was identical
and took the same grip
in the lift from left to right,
from the old pile to the new pile,

in the repetitive task
that I undertook –
to clear the driveway
of the builders’ detritus.

Each heave was unique in time
but same as the last,
with slight variations
at the start and the end.

Leftover dust was blown
as I picked at the old pile,
counting the weights
like our equalised days.

In such manual work,
of free menial sorts,
I build a low wall
on a slowly stacked week.

The Surveyor

I am measuring my life
in Caroline’s greetings,
the mortgage repayments,
in slow sips of hot coffee,
the stick-tapped steps,
in unanswered emails,
thrusts of my toothbrush,
in the filing of VAT returns,
the social media updates,
in tripsĀ up the High Street,
the ‘phone battery warnings,
in the hours of lost sleep,
and the distances between.