the riveters in the wagon works,
a tough bunch.
spitting, swearing, ‘who you looking at?’
sort of bunch of fives.
the fettlers in the bottom shop,
grit blasted smiles and billie cans,
and jack hammer humour, son.
the moulders tamped of sand in
clamped metal boxes, their heads and gates,
and their hoses for breakouts and their bots
for the holes and rodded into the cupola spout
jammed shut. or poked open to
flow into the mould of their day shift.
the slam! the wham! of the exploding gas
beneath the cast beds, ignited by a
spark from the furnace. the same sparks
that burred in ears and down socks, or
were doused by the floor’s sandy dirt.
these are the men / boys of my youth.
the ones i decided were across the river’s mile,
and not my cup of tea - which was Glengettie actually.
so i ran with the hare, and soared with the lark,
hill-high and be-blued above the heather.
those alone moments with a rod or a gun
and the neighbour’s dog. bonzo.
i remember bonzo, i do. he was a fun dog,
a company across the fields sort of dog.
a marsh harrier of rats in the rubbish tips
long-walked upon the marsh.
these marble memories rattle now, around and
around they rattle my brain - as that song said.
where shall i lay them, and when is the time?
here upon a few lines of ink think? or shall i
take them to the graveside of childhood and
knock the door and run away? but, hey,
they are homing dreams, like the pigeons in baskets
at release of somewhere, somewhere.
look, i’ll put them just here. OK?
look after them for me;
i won’t be long.