Build me a ship; bid it bear me away
Beneath a broad white sail, across the sea
To some far distant island with no name,
Then burn it on the strand, and let the wind
Swirl high the ashes, leave no trace behind.
No grief nor hesitation; I would leave
Soon as the tide allowed and not look back,
But will my vessel onward with all speed;
Or else condemn myself to live confined
By phantom walls weak, frightened men defined.
The world says
I should be producing
Doesn’t matter what or who
It’s the taking part
Each weekday-morning pedal-stroke
Is a small rebellion;
A quiet refusal
To be contained.
This sun-stretched hour has not been bought
So I need not account
For how I spend it;
I shout no slogan, raise no banner
But register my protest
With long, lonely marches
In the heat-mirage of burning tyres.
The suits will send
The snatch-squad out
To haul me back and shackle me
To that other, dark machine.
I’m out of sight and reach,
Fallen off the roaring edge
Of a world they never see.
And if they want to take me
They’ll have to catch me first.
Just back from a lunchtime ride: 80 minutes on the road bike, in sunshine hot enough to melt the tarmac. Got to work this afternoon, but now I can face it with equanimity, having done the thing I want to do, ahead of the thing I have to do. Mission accomplished.
Off the hook
I’m not available
To take your call right now:
The air in there
Is sour and sick,
Thickened with work,
Tainted by worry
Like the gust of last night’s beer
From the pub door Sunday morning.
Now I’m out
Of reach of the bank, the Revenue’s men,
The trivial tyranny of whencanyougetitdoneby,
And the world falls away
Like the sheep-speckled hillside
Beneath the red kite’s wing.
Just a coat between me and the wind
That playfully snatches at collar and cap;
Boots pressed into the old, soft turf
Like the fifty-pence-piece in my Grandad’s palm;
The dog stops, turns, looks at me and laughs
And a lone crow tips me a knowing wink.
When I’ll get back to you.
This should give you some idea of the week I’ve had. Wish it was half-term again, and we were back in Wales.
is the colour of getting things done;
at my desk,
could go either way
But blue –
is an invitation
with outstretched hands
a girl in a meadow
in her light summer dress
and she knows
I can’t resist.