No 120 - 1990
We came by them, of course, in various
lots from sales, the end of someone’s
farming life when ours was still
going strong. We never tried to fill
them up. We’d find them on an aimless
day, like some forgotten party dress,
look over them, then leave them safe,
knob-headed on their cupboard shelf.
When our turn came for sales we didn’t
part with them. Pushed to the loft
they stayed for years until we moved again.
This time we disturbed an older past. Strewn
through the muddled loads was our own past
with all its harboured discontent.
We could not let it be.
Those half-unwrapped decanters, never used,
might just as well be priced. Obsessed
with our struggling moods we had no head
for towns or keys or gales outside.
We laid the opened box aside and watched
a whiplash, gusting flurry snatch
at the top decanter like an ill-shaped
kite, then throw it loosely paper-layered
down by the next car’s wheel.
it seemed unscathed, until we saw
that part of the rounded lip was chipped.
‘A pity,’ the dealer said. The only
item of any worth was damaged now,
this thin-glass, hand-blown, flowered one.
We took them all back home.
We knew we hadn’t lost a limb or eye
or drowned in storms at sea that day
as others did. But we had somehow been
through the old unoriginal dream
where a life-size mirror cracks in
jagged veins, and ahead is the knowing
that nothing can ever come right.
We stared in dismal quiet that night
at the tiny blue forget-me-nots and flat-leaved
yellowed daisies on the suffering carafe.
They were twined in thin gold that also edged
the hurting broken lip. It seemed as it stood
vaguely askew; it should have been filled, lit
with a pale Rhine wine or a darker, sturdy claret.
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- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
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- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
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- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
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- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The