Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Asking Feelers.

I talk to my hands and ask them
to tell me what they have felt
in sixty years and more,
A million mugs of steaming tea
barrels of porter in pints
the handle on my fathers door,
and the grip of many a spade
shiny with spit and sweat
from biting the sticky clay
to find the golden wonders
and black champions,
the twine on bales of hay.
Footballs with laces
the reins on the stubborn ass,
diamonds, hearts and spades,
screwdrivers, saws and hammers
handlebars, saddles and pumps,
razors with throwaway blades.
Shakes with other hands
“I'm sorry for your loss”
countless hello's and goodbyes,
brylcreem and carbolic soap
Windsor knot propping Adams apple
buttons on schoolboy flies.
Ash plants on bullock backs
the mane of a white-eyed ass
foot stretched neck of a goose,
the profile of scratchy stubble
the slap of another wrist
twin fists turned loose.
The turning of calendar pages
and leaves of all those books
fiction of poetry and prose
the weight of the gravel earth
at the grave of parted friend
the ritual of putting on clothes.
The feel of my children's faces
the crossing at Angelus bell
pulling the belfry rope,
the fingers of a lovely woman
twining in a casual touch
delivering a message of hope.
The good the bad and the hopeless
they've felt, the sun and the rising damp,
the flick of a switch, then light.
The power of the beating pulse
at wrist, and heart still ticking over
when eyes won't work in the night.