Welcome to my adventures and experiments in creativity. Where writing is like running: sometimes I know where I'm going, and sometimes I see where the mood takes me.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Guest Poem

In 'A Night At The Leopard', I talked about a poem that was read out before mine during the meeting of the Staffordshire Poetry Stanza. With the kind permission of the author, John Lindley, here is that poem as an accompaniment to the account of the evening.

The Kingless Crown

Tongue sixteen shots short of the alleged eighteen,
but that pair sat squat on a belly of ale,

from pub through tippling rain I walk the wet
of Wind Street to his bronze unlikeness,
clamber onto his slippery left bronze knee 
and kiss him square on his boyish bronze lips.
He stole my tongue then put me in with the wolves.
I wring the Welsh he didn't use through my lungs
and, bloated with him, prowl this unsweet mess
of a city, improved by bad light, scour
this ripped by the blitz, bombed by bureaucracy
sad sack city and pity the girls

with only the sane boys of Swansea –
mad by proxy – left for company.

The finished article, the Wild Welsh Boy,
now dead as his nails, of course, this coarse
and courteous cup of a boy, filled
to the spilling brim with language's spells
dwells marginally (if he dwells at all)
less in seven hills soulless Swansea
than you'd think; than I'd think. Much as I'd wish it
he doesn't ghost up Uplands as I do
today, climb Cwmdonkin Drive to Number Five,
cross Cwmdonkin Park in the day's showers as
mister I call Hey mister take my picture
by this drinking fountain with no cup.

That night, the B & B, the Residents' Lounge,
lonely as solitaire I snake dominoes
on the glass top table giving each neat
ivory tablet a name: Swansea,
London, Laugharne, New York, Dylan and Caitlin.
I tip each against the other and curse

not the bless├Ęd weather but Swansea's cold.
My fingers rake the clutter of bones for him.

John Lindley


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