Saturday, 30 April 2011

Further April efforts

In that kitchen

a cooker called Radiation
where my dad made the flame
burn green annealing copper
to beat into a bowl
with the polished steel peen
of a planishing hammer.

In that kitchen
the sticky-varnished back door
would open too suddenly
on red-polished brick steps down
to what we called the Shed, home
of the noisy old Morrison Shelter
my dad used for a bench, and the garage,
rented home to better-off people’s cars.

In that kitchen, too
lived the Cabinet with the drop-down
white enamel shelf where mum
rolled pastry. Mind your head
when you come up from rummaging
in the bottom cupboard for shoes
or big saucepans.

Never mind That kitchen

in this kitchen Mount Fuji
somehow looms out of the corner
of my eye as I stand at the sink
swirling limescale flakes
out of the white electric kettle
but has gone when I turn to see it.

Teastains in the sink
have made a sepia sketch
of a ghostly samurai reaching
to point to the future with his sword
beneath the mechanical doughnut sun
of the plughole.

Racing the rain back
from Forde Abbey this afternoon
between hedges unbelievably dotted
with pink, red, blue, mauve, yellow, white
I caught myself saying
what a lovely world we have.

In the living room

A purist from a line of purists, made
worse by a lifetime in a pedantic trade,
I think of writing about the two plums
I know are on the kitchen table.

Are they really, I wonder, navy blue
but the minute I look I know
the word for what they are is indigo –
despised term for a spurious seventh colour

Newton or Goethe (or both for all I knew)
squeezed in, I thought I knew, to the middle
of the perfect and rational spectrum of light.
As bad as calling green a primary hue.

How you will come

When you call for me I’ll notice
how you came,
from which direction:
did you walk
past the ethical food shop
smelling of caraway
and yeast, or drive by
the fitness club with its air
of sweat and desperation?

Are you straight to the nearest gate
from the car park, or do you wrestle
your wheelie bag along the street
peering at door numbers?

Will you be so late I’ll despatch
a friend down
to look out for you
or is your knock going to catch me
still basting the fowl?

SELF-INDULGENCE: an infuriating poem about doorknobs

I’m not even going to look. More books
come in the post every day. You know
how polished brass is the colour of dry straw.
Someone woke the birds.
If I was able to, I’d go far a walk round the village.
(Wouldn’t we all, dear). Not saying
what I have to say, I wonder how long
this weather’s going to last.
If you close the door properly or leave it ajar
it won’t bang.
Just a gabble, with no proper words,
lines that have strayed from other poems.

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