images

 

Lego land.

At turn of year.

Some fur-clad wretch, cleaving to a

glut of memories, self-indulgence,

crests the hill.

Burn of hailstone freezes the brain.

From the mismatch of Audi drive and Barratt home

Slumber of reason keeps us in.

While outside horses eat themselves

And George Shaw cemeteries bristle with Gothic’s dark electricity.

The horrors abound in sight of clotted close, and cul-de-sac;

of the black hair and raven-infested trees.

They leave me creased with felicity.

I have bad blood and a lust,

to suck in storms spiralling

up the Atlantic.

Swallowed by a meagre ego wandering out in the winter at dusk.

The other choice;

Build life out of Lego,

Watch while other men live their dreams.

 

Blackened boughs, brittle, broken,

stare back from pavements.

The black satanic smoke of an industrial age long dead paints a slow, silent apocalypse.

Orbs of mistletoe tumble in the trees, mock their own abandonment.

In the graveyard on Battleship Hill,

distant cedars gather,

planted to shelter the dead.

 

Step away from hum of passing car,

effete people carrier;

Into the dirty gloom of light-abandoned days.

Lego. Steam issues from vents. L’ego. Bedecked with,

Twin receivers, twin irony;

Satellite dishes catch everything; solar panels nothing,

Under Geography’s egregious grimace.

A tiny view reveals itself, mile off mobile phone mast.

Climbing pretty, the five scarlet lights.

Steady rain sends streams down the pavements and away.

Runoff,

minor.

 

Paul Nash trees, stunted, two crooked sentinels guard the edge of estate.

Sounds of suburb;

Faint melt, rain tap on leaves, the feet of mice,

Oh you mice, I love you.

Alone; soundless here except for the whine-groan of the A road somewhere far off,

the feral shout of a child to its mother;

the sound forgotten before it is made;

high-altitude jet making haste.

From the hill, a measled scattering of lights,

The Tory blue light of the golf club in the distance.

Blinds and curtains cover private worlds.

The inner glow of Saturday evening’s variety show.

Forty-two inch wall-mounted.

Blood of a nation. Vague as weed.

Televisions. In them suspension of life itself.

The airy atmosphere miserly

Yet frittering everything away.

And over the hill the last ribbon of the day fades in the west leaving

Shadows of ten mile clouds.

Somewhere overhead the sky is blue.

The warmest colour.

 

But,

Then again.

Shat on by one lot,

shovelled up by the other,

Four years have passed again – time for a change,

Indentikit houses rise in neighbourhoods vague as weed,

Squares of jelly in evaporated milk,

They crowd the hill of light.

Instead it rises from the motorway in the valley,

Distant twinkles of soul-wrapped fireflies.

While the minds gather at neighbourhood watch,

Neighbourhood’s only kin flock

At the hand car wash.

Poles huddle around the rims.

Pitstop it’s called;

Brakes, batteries, servicing, tyres

Cheaper than the Esso all-in-one automated?

From earthly labours we are freed,

Rolling along vague as weed.

 

Don’t they say the sky is always blue,

If you go high enough?

 

Robert Karl Harding

January 2014

 

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