Drowning

From our place, the road meanders
River-wards; an oil-slicked snake
Glinting with glass slivers
Under that damned gun-metal sky,
Rock pools of tyre shards
Broken mud flaps, bent hub caps
Go unmoved by any tide.

The land is drowning;
Struggling to lift its head above the flow;
Gasping for air from grass-sward
To tractor-turned till,
It pleads for mercy –
But the waterboarding goes on;
No quarter. No end.

The river runs bank-full;
Soils super-saturated,
Skies soddenly sopping
Triple width, fast flowing
Fields become lakes –
Hillocks become islets –
Kettle holes, an ossuary.

When will it end?
The road now a causeway.
When will it end?
The bridge now a lifeline.
When will it end?
The spirit now eroded…
A barrage, unflinching, resolute.




The front advances

South-westerlies comb the ridge
An ancient ridge, wiry-haired with Scot’s Pine
Hornbeam and scale-skinned horse chestnuts
They act as a break
Before a break in the trees lets the storm
Seep in, be channeled
Along the holloway of sorts
A muddy cleft, worn low by countless feet
And the countless hooves of ox and beast
Over countless years
And there in my look-out, my crow’s nest
I see the rain approaching
Like waves billowing before the break
Like the milk diffusing through my tea
Like the rippling curtains of the Northern Lights
I see the front advancing
The change in the air, all dryness seen off
The pressure drop, lifts me
The disquiet amongst the angsty birds
Then the first dribs, at first I can count them
One drop, it leaves a crater
A second, third, then the thunder of the guns
The front’s artillery unleashes its power
Softening the enemy
Before the fine mist, the rain’s rapid rattle
Horizontal, spatters me
Finishes me off

Neon islands

Aridly I stride through the plashy pools
Of leaves and rivulets of riffling rain
Dancing, to avoid a slip
Twixt bruised hip and the sheep dip
Of swellingly sodden socks
From the puddle puthering over the lip
Of my desert boot
Squeaking, the soft pad of my soles
Beat a melody to the soulful tap tap
Of my dog’s soft pads, a light drum beat
We traverse the stormy seas this night
Between one island and another
The billowing waves, blown leaf-fall
Browns, russets, reds, ochres
My boots a burnt umber, fading to black
Where the water seeps in
To my soul and down my neck
Cresting, breaking on the shores
Of each island, a blustery haven
Beneath the neon burr
Of unholy orange, lighting below
But not between, there lies nothing
Just the deepest shadows
And the wettest waves