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Poetry

The Visit

 

A grey place, this place.

Cement-harled houses hunker

round the sludge brown bay.

The snaky crazy main street

narrows the north wind to a knife –

a blade which stings and flays.

 

It’s a charity shop now, the baker’s

which sold warm rolls on blue mornings –

still warm when I pulled out their insides

and slathered yellow butter

on that soft doughy prize.

 

I loiter at shop windows,

dawdle down thin closes to

waste time at the seaweed shore.

The living room must be thirty degrees or more

but you’re wearing your winter cardigan.

 

You seem pleased to see me.

 

From a biscuit tin of old photographs

you name every girl in your year

at school. Amo amas amat…

But you don’t recognise my picture

and your face is glazed with tears.

 

The roar of the game show soon

mutes our attempts to talk.

The subtitles are out of sync.

I’m drowning in afternoons.

 

You seemed pleased to see me.

 

The sun smiled on the day I sailed home,

and the sky and the sea shone pale.

The fields were a bright, sheep-cropped green

but the little town was still grey.

 

 

(c) Elizabeth Angus 2015

Published (minus the first verse) in Northwords Now, November 2014.


The Buachaille

 

An upthrust craggy pyramid,

your rocky head hid

in cloud: my boot slid

across your flanks.

You didn’t feel me.

 

I clung to your stony face,

watched shadows chase

the sun, and race

towards the night:

You didn’t see me.

 

Blood banged in my head.

Grazed knuckles bled:

I slipped, and overhead

a kestrel screamed.

You didn’t hear me.

 

A million years you’ve stood:

a senseless heap of crude

granite, and suppose I could

climb here for a million more,

you’d never know me.

 

 

(c) Elizabeth Angus 2015

Published on Open Mouse, winter 2013

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