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more poetry by Milner Place 

Milner Place lives in Huddersfield, England.  His 7th poetry collection, Caminante, is his most recent work - released by Wrecking Ball Press (  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  

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

and steel.


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.


Strange fruit,

mood indigo,

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.

He said:


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,

are familiar,

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

my name.


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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