Learning The Ropes
This was one of the first poems I wrote and it kind of puts all its cards on the table. Nonetheless, it was recently selected for the weirdly excellent Moor Poets iv anthology. I say weirdly, because it is ‘just’ a local anthology, but the talent on display is quite astounding. Must be something in the moorland spring water.
Learning The Ropes
My ebay seller had no teeth in
when I got to the bungalow.
She demonstrated teddies
every neat stitch identical,
got the singer machine nattering
showed me the ropes. So easy
for her, so hard for me this
regularity, this hushed life
power of a sewing machine
totally under her control
while the stitches only
away from me.
I rollerskate in
but am soon seduced
into the fog-slow unrolling
of a day stretched out and sleepy in front of your black and white telly.
to the hearth and its tracklements,
lulled orange by the coals, I stay to see
the little couple come out the clock as the barometer clicks to rain.
drip by, awaiting
kettle whistle, ice-cream van chime
waiting for you to leave the room so I can shake the bell in the brass lady’s dress.
You shake the tin
of Nestles for three languid minutes,
ease off the lid with liver-spotted hands
and sliding the cream over Coop pear or peach halves, smile at me
and these afternoons last forever
until they don’t.
I enjoy the occasional bit of found poetry.
Here’s a found poem I had published in The Broadsheet in 2017. This year’s Broadsheet has some cracking poems from the likes of Emily Berry. There are still some copies available for purchase here.
It’s been interesting to hear feedback on this poem. Some people have seen it as a sort of ‘commuter’s prayer’, while others simply liked the absurd juxtaposition of secular and spiritual.
Our father who art in heaven,
Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth
Hallowed be thy name
this is Dave your station manager speaking
Thy kingdom come
on platform 5
is the delayed 15.23 service to Bristol Temple Meads and
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
first class is located at the front of the train
Give us this day our daily bread
the buffet car serving snacks and light refreshments is located in coach E
And forgive us our trespasses
trespassing on the tracks is strictly prohibited
As we forgive those who trespass against us
any suspicious behaviour will be reported to the authorities
Lead us not into temptation
customers are reminded that smoking is strictly prohibited within the station
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the Kingdom
Windsor Lego Land
The power and the glory
ladies and gentlemen, the 15.23 service to Bristol Temple Meads is now delayed
For ever and ever
customers seeking a refund are advised to speak to one of