Chris Hardy is a prize-winning poet and experienced folk-blues guitarist, song writer and member of Little Machine, a group who set classical and contemporary poetry to music. They have played frequently with Carol Anne Duffy, Liz Lochead and Gillian Clarke at their readings.
We get lost by the harbour.
The directions are wrong
but we follow them anyway.
The road runs along the shore,
at dusk hulks lean in the rocks,
gas plumes burn from iron heads.
Behind us the moon steps left
or hides between towers lit
like upright dominoes.
Though the map says something must appear
the dials say something must run out.
We cross an upland plain in half a night
and stop before a wall of shining glass.
Inside four men sit before a screen
watching their side lose.
One sings loudly into another's ear
as if insisting on a point
or inviting a blow.
From our room the castle on the peak
glows in the moonlight.
For years the Franks made it their home,
where they kept their water to themselves.
We have a brief option on this space,
our names are in the book,
bolts slide in the dark,
we know why we are here,
our map is on the table.
An Audience of Clouds
The sea dabs its fin
against the shore,
green and blue and flat
across the bay.
Along the horizon
the water darkens,
where the world's edge
where the round sea
cups the world.
Ten small birds fly
from a yellow cliff and speed
left to right above the surface,
changing position within the group
but rushing on together
as if within
an invisible net
towards the bleached grey ruins
of the basilica,
Everything begins to be the same
An audience of clouds remains
silent in its huge