napowrimo #24-28


An old man in a suit
gathers wild fennel from the verge.
A wryneck calling.

Fried Beauty

Glory be to cod for battered things,
for chips as golden-glisten as a suntanned thigh;
for fresh-made doughnuts, croutons, chicken wings.
All things that saute, sizzle, fry,
praise them.

A poem

Her breath is vine leaves, crushed in the hand,
and her sweat is green olives.

Under the plane tree three old men
watch the shadows creep across the square.

His hair is the wing of a swallow
his mouth a pebble wet from the stream.

Sitting in doorways headscarved women
slowly and precisely stitch.

In all the village the only sound
is the rustle of lizards.

Aphorism, shamelessly made into a poem via the addition of line breaks

A poem should be true;
not like an axiom,
but like a bell.


napowrimo 24: no title

Looking down into the valley
and seeing them fly one after another
across the olive groves
like flakes of gold,
or sparks, or dandelion petals,
or some kind of elemental spirit,
eight golden orioles;
I find myself thinking
I do not deserve this.


napowrimo 23: Just theory

The ball is round, the game lasts 90 minutes; everything else is just theory. Sepp Herberger.

Except that the ball is oval.
The bar has spent a lot of money
on a widescreen telly
and isn’t going to waste it.

Passes from end to end
are noticeably quicker
that the ones from side to side,
and when a player bends over
to rearrange his socks,
his head is warped disturbingly
from short and wide
to long and thin.

Football never seems right, anyway,
without the sound on.
It’s like some kind of solemn ritual theatre;
with Giggs as the Three Muses
and Rooney symbolising Discord.

They take their turns to mime
frustration, anger, outraged innocence
a stylised repertoire of gesture
before a silent crowd.


napowrimo #21-22: Greek snippets


The waiter asks “How was the food?
Was everything OK?”
But I don’t know the Greek for
“The cumin cured pork was so salty
that my tongue is puckered.”
So I said “yes.”


As the waves break high
against the rocks,
a small boy throws the town into the sea
one rock at a time.


napowrimo #something: not just yet

I have actually written a poem of a sort, but this internet connection is in a travel agent, and even by the low standards of ambience typical of internet cafes, it’s just not terribly thrilling.

And possibly more to the point, all I’d had to eat all day is a cheese pie. I came in here to fill time before going to get some food, but I might just have to go and eat. So toodles.


napowrimo #20 – shameless filler poem

Down in the benthic darkness
among the ghosts and mud
hagfish gnaw at the bones of a whale
as death rains from above.

I think I’ve recycled not just the first line from yesterday’s poem, but the last line from some previous poem a while ago. But it’ll have to do.