Excerpts from Time Traveller:
Last year we had flowers on our wall:
ice flowers, petals of crystal, frost-grown
blooming silently overnight. Fragile as dreams,
they would not wait for capture in vases.
This winter, moss and lichen crept across,
spreading cushions of sulphur and emerald:
alien life forms, neither plant nor fungi,
staining brick and post, gone with the sun.
Now, with unexpected heat, the wall
seems bare. Yet shades of ochre and red
throb; tiny weeds struggle through mortar,
shadow shapes of leaves flutter.
We come and go, compliment the roses,
trim the lawn and greet the postman,
blackbird, lollopping dog, but overlook
the slow garden growing on a wall
Gulls scream and cackle through
my memory, whirl above harbour
and rain-soaked beach.
Fat as ducks but crueller,
they squabble on my window-ledge
while my parents snore.
I long to join their mad swirl
above Bed and Breakfast roofs.
A flick of the years
and they follow my boat, snatching
at galley scraps, an international
clamour, signalling every port.
Nowadays they commute
above my garden, between tip and ing,
or stomp arrogantly along a pier.
Gangsters with scimitar beaks
and webbed talons, they shout
for attention, argumentative
as neighbours disputing a hedge.
Reviled, ignored, but always
a presence, they taunt my view,
scything air. I can only watch,
a grounded speck,
still envying their flight.
You curse me. I ruin your careful course,
earth-mound your close drained grass.
Blind, I know your goings and comings,
hear soil pounded by hoof and foot.
Which of you has seen me?
I am sharp-toothed darkness,
the narrowness of earth that soon
must claim your tawdry light.
© 2017 Pauline Kirk