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The Boat Train

We rumbled through the country
in cramped carriages.
Passengers tried to sleep
but the lights were bright
and the upholstery was lumpy
and the train rattled like a snake.
When we struck Warrington
the platform was filled with sacks
porters blew whistles.
Then we edged from the brightness
rattling the rails, going north.
When we came into port
it’d grown grey and gulls screamed.
You could smell the salt, the herring
the ferry stank of rust, it began
to rain. Sleepy men checked
our tickets, we flowed onto the boat
and moved down the sea loch
beside Ailsa Rock, like a
turret for birds.

Robert James Berry
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry

Ghoulish

You’d broken your leg
it was ghoulish
the bone showed through.
When the ambulance came
the pain was horrible
you trembled
and choked down the sobs
wracking you.
When they plastered you leg
you blazed at the nurse
decorated your crutches
with pink lace
and hobbled.
You wanted to be running
blamed the world
shrieked like a golem
because healing was slow.

Robert James Berry
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry

Alpine

You adored alpine flowers
lived by the snow line
the roads were glazed
that lead to your house.
When snow began to fall
a swirling sea of big flakes
you were peaceable
in love with the cold.
The rowan berries were fat
your boots sunk in the snow
the hills were eiderdowned
you were pale as smoke.

Robert James Berry
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry

Bite

You’re ash-pale
after our long haul.
These fields are mine
you’re not native here
feel threatened.
I grasp your hand
to gentle you
you bite.
I drive wildly
in shock
you’ve drawn blood.
You say I coerced you
and smile widely
as the hills pass by.
Soon the owls shall hunt
we may see foxes
I have forgiven your cruelty.

Robert James Berry
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry

Dingle

We’ve dined on lobster
and are mellow
flying round the bends on our bikes
chewing up the miles
while the sun declines
and bleeds over the world.
The Atlantic blusters in bays
the hills grow cold, opaque
we leaf through our guidebook
for somewhere to stay.
On the coastline there are
cormorants like still-life studies
islands are whorled seashells
and the ocean sings its night music.

Robert James Berry
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry

Garden

The hailstones fall
my new plantings wilt
but in my garden
I am king
my cardigan muddy
my spade levering earth.
I put my seed potatoes in
come summer they’ll be prizes
my silver beet is hale
you’ll find no weeds in my plot.
When the rain comes
I yank off my gum boots
peel off my cardy
and retire inside, exulted
and aching.

Robert James Berry
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry

Noise

The square was clangorous
you made a soft mewing sound
it drizzled, you hated the raIn
I padded after you, sorry
but when you ran from me
pearled with damp
folk stared.
You looked radiant, young
but were consumed with bitterness
you loathed people
even me.
I fought the urge to chase you,
went home.
I opened a bottle of wine
and waited. You’d come back
drenched and ravishing
bringing chocolates.

Robert James Berry
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry

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