Monday, 20 June 2016

A Small Decision (sample)

I remember the moor, no longer in bloom but still having a residual vibrancy from the late-morning sunlight refracting through dew on brown autumn heather. There were still cows out on the lower fields, taking what for them would be last meals of fresh grass before death or winter hay.

I had half a second’s warning. Behind a blind summit was a dip just deep enough to hide a crashed car - or to hide a sheep, which is what they had hit before turning over. A white Escort, an ancient Mark Two, was on its side, one door half off. The body of the sheep lay on the verge, ten yards in front of the car. A man lay between the car and the sheep, on the road itself. He could have been sleeping in the sun. It is possible that he was still alive when we passed. I think I saw a woman still in the car, but that might be because I know she was there.


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Sea Glass

(Seaham beach, March 2016)

One day it will all be like this
Worn down, opalescent
Indistinct, collectable remains
Stone, shell, glass, china, brick
Rust and plastic
Nestling in sand, clay, coal
Preserved in coarse conglomerate

One piece, held up to the greying sky
Kidney-shaped, pink and smooth
Framed by small fingers, face proudly
Turned to the wind. Our girl
Keeps it safe
Wrapped in orange polythene
To be displayed or used, later lost

By things that are extruded hot
Will our civilisation be known
One in millions fossilised, the rest
Broken up and recycled
Except plastic
Sculpted by erosion, melted
Reformed by continental drift

Waves break on groynes, sending up spray
Blown ashore, it rains down
She squeals and scampers. Distracted
By piddock holes and green glass, I say
Don’t get cold
She pulls her hood up, it blows off
She slides on her knees in pebbles, laughs
And tongues a loose tooth