I was on Saturday Live this morning with Rachel Johnson, who edits the The Lady and of course the lovely Fi Glover. I had a very nice time as always. First poem is fairly self explanatory, and not great. The second I’m more pleased with. It’s about this story. Enjoy …
Ode to Hasting’s Pier
So toodle pip then Hasting’s pier
another landmark goes this year.
No more drunken scuffles,
or desperate fumbles
the last gasp, half cut love making
beneath your salty boards
at this island’s dirty end.
I’m sure I’m not the only one
who finds it so sad that
the howling, burning teens
will have to take to the malls.
I used to take a painter up his milk
and watch him work in spilling morning light
recreating shapes that humans built
and dark, hunched matchstick men with breathless whites
of sky. The mills with snakes of chimney wisp
in Pendlebury or tankers on the Tyne.
I couldn’t say I liked these cranes and ships
but knew they sought a finer eye than mine.
And once he gave me one to throw away,
he’d ruined it so I did as I was asked.
They say it’d fetch a lot of cash these days –
‘that could have been your fortune, boy’ they laugh.
But I live day to day, not year to year
that painter would approve if he was here.