Friday, August 04, 2006


Apparently, a poet should be able to write blank verse without breaking a sweat, preferably for pages and pages. This one's freshly minted (and thus, by definition, dog-rough).


It takes a glance to catch him: turn a head
and he'll be gone back through the wall - the one
with counties catalogued by colour. Quick!

He's there. He stares around the room, a man
who's lost his century, bemused by desks
and phones, dividing screens, fluorescent light

that makes his inky fingers glow. He wears
a frown beneath his wig, a blot of mud
still wet around his calf. Why is he here?

His shoulders slope in chalk cascades, his arms
solidify round parchments, briefs and notes
with ribbons wound about them. When I turn

my head, he turns, returns the stare. I smile:
'see us', my eyebrows arch, 'both lost inside
this treasury, too poor to seek escape'

Needs a bit of work, I think. And given the content, it probably needs approval from some committee or other. Oh, well ...


  1. Rik - I enjoyed it, although the ending didn't appeal. Could be I didn't understand something, but the idea in the final stanza seems dropped into the poem from a great height, and given the first line, I wasn't sure why the narrator's turn of the head happens in S4 - who's observing before that?

    But S1-4 were mysterious and made compelling reading. Definitely worth working on and progressing.

  2. Thanks, Rob. I was exercising my skills at writing blank verse during the lunch hour and didn't expect anything useful to come out of it!

    The ending's my fault - longing for escape, a lottery win, etc, etc ...