Saturday, 29 July 2017

Requiem for a village night

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Knife cold. Always. In the valley
of my short-trousered village.
Stone chapel over the glowering gates.
By hell, the pub glows raucous in its corner,
smoking on the slag-terraced hillside, frowning
as the trains slice and rape the night.

In all ways, the village is ageing.
The choleric ice inside the bedroom window,
behind its fern fans, as hard as nails.
When the glow of the cinders subsides,
cold clock chimes count down the night.

Damp black, the woollen balaclava night,
tightens on the boy's wandering minded lanes.
Sulphated in culverts, the broken adventures hang,
full blown beneath the village's pumiced veins,
pain striated in the sidings of the night.

The cold sweat of manacled workmen,
absent from the housewives’ gossip shop,
bread and dripping whispers,
mangling the washing lines of thought,
upon a haughty night.

The sepulchre rooms, linoleum cold,
bright on a diadem mantel piece in braid,
with ornamentally insignificant motes,
of the "oh, sigh don't know" toiled of days,
and days, punctuated by the night.

Glued to the fire, and tired
of the stains on the cold heart
of a village prostrate, on the black altar
of industrial grime and greed.
A night for all lost souls indeed.

Yet, see the summer sunburnt boys
in their self-conscious bathers,
coo cooling so very out of place.
Dew mun, never found a jewelled field,
but the stars upon a moonless night.

The shining doorsteps polished
by scarf-women kneeling in worship,
pouring scorn on the stone,
with soap and water guttering,
and spluttering into the drains of night.

Above the catacomb culvert lungs,
petrified in soot and ratted in slime,
the village floats, a bog wort bloom,
held and threaded by the silken people,
moonbeam and lamp lit, lonely of the night.

Cold then, but golden, set the scene
in aspic, chapel doored and psalmed,
firesided in pubs embalmed in smoke.
We folk, are the joke, of course.
Our bravado shattered in the night.

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