Poem: Grey Timebends

I wore my glasses to see it better

but there are sea mists today

that occlude ocular aids. 

Nature as boss,

as it should be.

We can barely see the great chimney –

tallest man in any room –

our changing estuary did not feel like putting on a show.

The rest of the sky stayed crisp as a child’s crayon line

while the small patch set aside for devastation pulled tight

Constable’s blend, blurred hues and grey timebends.

It’s all a haze. Shy.

Seems only right

the crematorium curtains should be pulled before the smoke.

It falls.

A late blow shakes the sky.

It’s half-fallen before the thunderchime like a military gun 

Speaks up for the river,

the buried munition 

of hundreds of years of man’s wars and progressions and explosions,

dredges up the voices of the silent hulks teeming with weeds & fish & lost trinkets & buried time.

The ghosts shriek together and then are silent.

It falls.

Rubble to be settled

and moved by machines by men who want it gone.

Today. Not tomorrow.


Four minutes and it’s gone.

A train runs to time.

Boats glint like brass buttons in funereal mud.

Dogs turn their noses up to the drift blow and close their eyes.

People start talking again, begin to move.

Disappointed there was 

‘not more to see in an otherwise clear sky’.

Schoolchildren on a day trip to see destruction,

who will forget they ever came,

clamber back up the hill, 

their minds not even on what will be constructed there next.

Landscapes change.

This was never theirs.

Voyeurs of a part of us,


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