Neil Crawford

Rookie - 3 Points (29/04/56 / CHESTER, ENGLAND.)

The Spell(Tempus Fugit) - Poem by Neil Crawford

Dad would stand and stamp off the rain
on the coconut kitchen mat.

Muttering curses that should have been in Welsh
(he was a Welshman trapped in an Englishman's body)

Poetry and politics made him passionate,
all else encompassed in their pincer grip.

The little yappy dog he initially disliked
would jump waist high in manic greeting

Wet with incessant Cheshire rain, the cloud soaked
denim of his work clothes dripped.

The aroma mixing with those of the evening meal,
hmm, overralls and chips..again.

Linseed oil, wood chippings, sawdust, pine shavings
all mingling, a kaleidoscope for the nose

The warm metal smell of handtools
all polished to chrome by constant use.

A soupcon of swarfega and a pinch of putty
helped to complete the recipe

Unlike his workmates, Dad eschewed a toolbox,
preferring instead a leather bag

Easier to carry on the bike he said
but it hardly, if ever, dried out

Now it gently moulders
in my rotting garden shed

the one final component in the formula
that brings him back to mind

like the ingredients in a sorcerer's spell
used to conjure spirits

Now when I saw a piece of wood
or paint something with oil based paints

Dad is at my shoulder showing me how to saw
or redirecting the wilful brush.

Perhaps I should treat it as a spell
compiling all of the above

'On a square of damp denim trace a circle
in oil(linseed) adding a blob of putty

sprinkle with sawdust and shavings(preferably pine)
a dab of turpentine would help

rub on a patch of old brown leather
and use to polish a disused plane'.

Dad, no doubt, would appear in the doorway
shaking off the ethereal downpour

I, of course, would be full
of the usual metaphysical questions.

But Dad, if I know Dad, would simply point
at the kitchen clock...and fade.


Comments about The Spell(Tempus Fugit) by Neil Crawford

  • (6/2/2012 7:32:00 AM)


    This points up the magic in the commonplace. I can come back to this again and again (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2012



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