|Milner Place lives in Huddersfield, England. His 7th poetry collection, Caminante, is his most recent work - released by Wrecking Ball Press (www.wreckingballpress.com). He has also written The City of Flowers, Piltdown Man and Batwoman, In A Rare Time of Rain, etc.|
© 2003 Milner Place
Non-UK folk can buy Caminante
directly from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
for a quotation in any currency.
As Shakespeare said, Charlie not Bill,
there is a time in the affair
when you must get the fuck out.
Ted Shanks, a dreamer remarked on
June Wilde's walk and its after effect
on those in long trousers, even skirts.
Neither has much regard for Carl Bugatti
and his mouth organ, but obsequiously agree
with his wife in her selection of dentures.
Not one of these four has heard
of Dandy Jim Davidson who resides noisily
in Ossett with some goats and a collection
of erotic cockroaches, but his altercation
with Black Toby over the existence of quarks
caused a circling of ripples still undetected
by seismologists and the perseverance of dowsers.
The turning of an Archimedes screw
sucks water from its heaving up to where
water drifts waiting in a somber cloud,
waiting to fall as water in a drift of rain,
like leaves that drop in autumn to the soil
to rot among the roots that ravish them,
to spread a canopy that sucks the sun
until the turning of the globe calls in
the nights that harbor frost, an alchemy
transmuting green to gold before the white
of snow lays on its eider down and crows,
their darkness like the mouth of death,
like water deep below the eye of sun, like
a black hole and its relentless screw, wait
for the nights to shrink and leaves to spring
and dress the branches where to build a nest,
their shadows on the winter wasted fields
transient as wakes of old and desperate ships.
All along Jensen Avenue poverty had spilled
out of the houses, even the dogs and cats
had caught it and a harsh and sulfurous light
had faded the T-shirts of the jobless welders
and the blouses of their pubescent daughters.
The newsagents on the north-west corner
didn't sell wallets, and the glass case
full of pens and watches was sealed
with a patina of dead dust. That's not
to say that dignity had been abolished,
nor that the music that inhabits aspirations
was silenced nor the drums of passion dismantled.
Children blew about the street like crisp packets,
doorways were carpeted with condoms, laughter
fell about, half an hour after the bars opened.
It was while he was stealing a girl's bicycle
from the alley by the chapel that Amos Dupre
caught sight of a fluorescent angel lurking
behind the tombstone of Andrea Bellini, mother
of Patsy Fate and a seven piece rock band.
And it told him to get his thieving hands
off the bike and pointed out to him
that in Draper's Close a fish-merchant
had just parked a Ford Capri and neglected
to remove the keys from the ignition.
Just now the music's
in the rain and in
the washing of the trees,
but when the light
fell on the roofs
and idle chimney stacks
it sounded like a band
of Irish pipes supported
by the wail of trains.
I wouldn't wish to die
in such a breaking of a day,
on such a note,
but in the music of the rain,
now that's another thing,
with a score written
by those hands
that carved out flutes
and conjured fire. That
is the river that we run,
dance to be danced
deep in a forest
where the flowers thrust out
their genitals with greedy lips
and curl their phallic tongues,
or in the jig-sawn streets;
cadences of stone,
arias of roots
Music's a fine way
of seeing things, just as
a trumpet sounds like brass
and violins become the voices
of bent pines, and drums
are rumbling stomachs
of wild beasts, palpitations
of fear-stricken hooves,
blues are the harvest
of the cotton fields.
rain-wash on leaves,
a dying day,
of equinoctial geese,
a full moon drifts
behind a hanging tree.
I asked him
where he came from.
I come from my mother's waters,
from my father's well,
come grimed with brick dust,
stained by my brother's blood,
scorned by accountants,
washed in sweat.
Horses see the dust of my passing,
snort their impatience.
Crows watch my shadow,
worms sense my steps
and are expectant.
My inheritance is clay
and offal from sumptuous kitchens.
I'm a conjuror of fishes.
My nostrils know the language
of faithless streets,
effluvium of mines.
I pass from farm to forge,
from mill to ship
and each one steals
the droplets of my sweat,
my hours, my loves
and no one calls
I asked him
where he lived
but he was lost in the crowd.
All work is property of Milner Place. © 2003.
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